Downloading Ubuntu ISO images with a torrent client is one of the most efficient ways to obtain the installation media. Torrenting allows you download the file from multiple sources simultaneously, which means you'll wind up with a very speedy download because the entirety of your network's download bandwidth can remain saturated. It's a very reliable method for downloading large files.

It also takes some strain off of official Ubuntu mirrors, so you're actually helping them out a little by getting an ISO image from the torrent swarm. If you want to continue helping after the download completes, you can choose to leave the Ubuntu torrent in your torrent client and let it "seed" (torrenting jargon for upload) to other prospective downloaders.

These are the main reasons that nearly every Linux distribution offers an option to download its ISO installer images via torrenting. If you're new to torrenting but looking to get started, don't worry, we'll walk you through GUI and command line options to download Ubuntu via torrent.

In this tutorial you will learn:
  • Download links for Ubuntu .torrent files
  • How to download Ubuntu via Deluge torrent client (GUI)
  • How to download Ubuntu via Aria2 torrent client (CLI)
Downloading Ubuntu with a torrent client
Downloading Ubuntu with a torrent client
Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Any Linux distribution or system that can use a torrent client
Software Deluge, Aria2
Other Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the sudo command.
Conventions # - requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ - requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

Download Ubuntu Torrent Files


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In order to download Ubuntu with a torrent client, you'll first need a .torrent file. It's a small file that tells your torrent client where to find peers to connect to and download from.

The torrent files are hosted over on Ubuntu's download page. Every version of Ubuntu has two torrent downloads available - one for Ubuntu Desktop and one for Ubuntu Server. You just need to click the one you want and let the .torrent file download to your PC.

Torrent download options from Ubuntu website
Torrent download options from Ubuntu website

Download Ubuntu With Deluge

Deluge is a popular torrent client available for Linux, Windows, and MacOS. You can download Deluge from the official website or, if you are running Linux, you can use your system's package manager.

On Ubuntu, Debian, and Linux Mint:

$ sudo apt install deluge

On Fedora and Red Hat:

$ sudo dnf install deluge

On CentOS:

$ sudo yum install deluge

On Arch Linux and Manjaro:

$ sudo pacman -S deluge
  1. Once you've installed Deluge, open it up and load the Ubuntu torrent file you downloaded earlier. You can do so by clicking File > Add torrent.


    Adding a torrent file to Deluge
    Adding a torrent file to Deluge
  2. Select "File" which will allow you to browse to the download location of your .torrent file. Make sure the file is highlighted and click "Open."
    Highlight the torrent file and click Open
    Highlight the torrent file and click Open
  3. On the Add Torrent prompt, click on "Add" and Deluge will begin to download the ISO file.
    Click Add to begin downloading the ISO file
    Click Add to begin downloading the ISO file


  4. Your ISO file should now be downloading. Once it's complete, you'll find the completed download inside your user's Download folder.
    The ISO file is downloading inside of Deluge
    The ISO file is downloading inside of Deluge

Download Ubuntu With Aria2

Aria2 is a lightweight command line utility that can download files with the BitTorrent protocol and several others. It's available for Linux, Windows, and MacOS. The Aria2 home page contains a download link for the latest version, hosted over on GitHub.

If you are using a Linux distribution already, you can install Aria2 with your system's package manager.

On Debian, Ubuntu, and Linux Mint:

$ sudo apt install aria2 

On Fedora and Red Hat:

$ sudo dnf install aria2

On CentOS:

$ sudo yum install aria2

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On Arch Linux and Manjaro:

$ sudo pacman -S aria2

Once you have Aria2 installed, you can execute the following command to start downloading the torrent with Aria2:

$ aria2c ubuntu-desktop-amd64.iso.torrent

Your torrent file likely has the Ubuntu version in the name, so be sure to substitute the correct file name in the command above.

Aria2 is downloading the Ubuntu ISO file
Aria2 is downloading the Ubuntu ISO file

Once Aria2 completes the download, you'll find the ISO file in whichever directory you executed the aria2c command from.

Conclusion

Downloading Ubuntu via torrenting makes for a very fast and stable download. The BitTorrent protocol and the thousands of peers that are seeding ISO files allows our torrent client to use the full bandwidth of our network to download files as fast as possible.

BitTorrent is also very reliable, as it performs error checking to make sure none of the downloaded pieces are corrupted. Futhermore, it's very easy to stop and resume a download as needed. All in all, downloading large Linux distributions via a torrent client is remarkably efficient.

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