Version 1 (modified by Waldorf, 12 years ago) (diff)


Running Transmission on a headless machine

(for other distributions, see the Headless Usage article)

This article was written with Ubuntu and Debian in mind, but should be correct on any linux system with the init.d start/stop system and the adduser command. However your system doesn't have these, then the general steps are still valid.

If you there is no specific guide for your platform, and you can give a clear description on how-to and provide a sample start/stop script, open a ticket (set Component to Wiki).


  1. After setting up your server and configuring it properly, you should install Transmission either from source, by downloading one of the Binaries or using your favorite package manager. Check if you can start transmission-daemon?.
  2. Now we'll set up a new user called "transmission". For the sake of security you shouldn't set a password. Try:
    $ adduser --disabled-password transmission
  3. Switch to the new user's shell and start transmission by calling
    $ sudo su transmission
    (or without sudo if you're root).
  4. Now start transmission by calling:
    $ transmission-daemon -f
    Shut down the application after a few seconds by pressing CRTL-C.
  5. Configure it using your favorite text editor (see below)
  6. Copy this init.d-script to /etc/init.d/transmission-daemon
  7. Check that /home/transmission is owned by the user transmission


There are two configuration files you can edit:

  • init.d-script ( /etc/init.d/transmission-daemon )
  • Transmission settings.json file ( /home/transmission/.config/transmission-daemon/settings.json )


Normally, there is no need to modify this file. However if you don't want to run transmission-daemon as user 'transmission', you'll need to change USERNAME to whatever user you want Transmission to run in.

If you've installed the Web Interface in a non standard location, you can set that path here too.


Note: Only if you've run Transmission once (and Transmission is closed) the configuration directory and files will be created. As mentioned in Setup, point 4.

Normally, all settings are good-to-go out of the box. However, you'll want to look at setting a speed limit for your connection, and maybe you want to have Transmission downloading to a different location (default: /home/transmission/Downloads). Have a look at the Editing Configuration Files page.

Using Transmission

You can use transmission in two ways now:

  • Start and stop it manually by calling the init-script yourself.
    $ /etc/init.d/transmission-daemon start
  • To stop transmission, just call the init-script with the "stop" parameter:
    $ /etc/init.d/transmission-daemon stop

Have a look at the Scripts page for more functionality.