Using Transmission-Qt

Windows Settings

  • Firewall
    I don’t use any on Windows, I trust the one on my gateway which I do configure to do what I want to do.  If you want to use one, then configure it to let Transmission do its job (open ports, let it open at least as many connections as you have configured as maximum peers, it will need more, for DHT, trackers, etc.)
  • tcpip.sys (on Windows XP)
    Windows puts a cap on the number of connections that can be opened in a time period, this prevents games, and other software like Transmission to do their job (and probably prevents a few virus to operate freely).  Windows is almost silent about it, don’t expect a pop-up like the one the Firewall (used to?) show, only an event in the System log.  I use tcpip-patcher-hwrms.exe with a value of 256.  Here’s an example of what Windows shows:

    tcpip.sys limit reached

  • Anti-virus
    I don’t use any, but I think some reported problems are caused by this kind of software causing Transmission-Qt to become unresponsive.  The fix should be to set the directories used for download, and the one where the configuration is kept as exceptions on the anti-virus configuration (i.e. places where the anti-virus never checks).

First use

  • The first time you run the application go through all the Preferences, they have default values and some of those don’t work.
  • For instance, in Preferences : Torrents there is “Save to Location:”, the default is Downloads under your home directory… if the directory doesn’t exist Transmission will not create it, and the first torrent will start downloading and after a minute or so has passed an error will turn the torrent red.
  • You can store some of the values that appear disabled, just check to enable, change the value, and uncheck.  The value is saved in your configuration, so later, if you want to add that option on a single torrent, the default you stored is the first to appear.  A good example of this is the “Stop seeding if idle after N minutes”, if you turn this on a torrent, the default of 30 will appear and it probably will cause the torrent to suspend seeding, until you restart it; unless you already saved a different value, like 1440 (one day).

Look & Feel

The look and feel is controlled by two major factors:

  1. Windows’ display properties, specifically the Themes, and the Appearance setting.  Changing themes and changing appearance controls how things look (continuous or segmented progress bars, square or rounded borders), and the color scheme (default: Blue, Olive Green (the one seen in the screenshots), Silver).   And these are only the ones that Windows comes with, you can use other, like WindowsBlinds (commercial).
  2. Qt style option, described below.

Changed on version 2.42+ The style no longer is changeable, I made it fixed and added the use of QtCurve style, which has themes to change the look & feel.  The default looks much better than cleanlooks, and allows me to change the color of progress bars (blue for downloading, green for seeding).  To change themes you can create an environment variable QTCURVE_CONFIG_FILE and set its value to one of the theme files included in the installation; for instance: themes/Ozone.qtcurve   Those theme files are text files, so you can make your own (Hint: progressGrooveColor=background allow the application to change the progress bar color background, the other options, Dark and Base, only allow the foreground color to be changed; you can see this effect on the screenshot below).

Sample themes

For versions before 2.42+ and 2.50 or newer :

Qt has a feature that allows to change the look of applications, the screen shots I added are using it (and a different icon theme, Tango) while running on XP, try:

transmission-qt -style cleanlooks 

But… yes there seems to be always a but, Qt also has a bug: it doesn’t consume its parameters, so the application receives those parameters and usually doesn’t do anything with them, but when I tried to put them in the file association command, and the magnet association command, the result was that Transmission thought I was trying to open 2 torrents, and the second is malformed so a blank open panel stays… conclusion, only add parameters to the shortcut of the application, wait until the Qt bug is corrected for anything else.

There are other styles.  An early problem users had was that the application didn’t use the native style on Windows Vista, that is a feature of cross compiling, Qt does not present the Windows options when you build it in a cross-build environment, so you can’t choose the addition of Vista style.  A user solved it by changing the Qt dynamic libraries the application used; that is valid only if you built the application with dynamic linking, and of course if you have the Qt libraries.

If you like compact mode, try this one:

transmission-qt -style plastique

it looks much better (with the percentage inside the bar, and the bar is longer so it doesn’t look like something that shouldn’t be there).

To use the native Windows style:

transmission-qt -style windowsvista

There’s no windows7, or anything newer, but the same parameter works.  The only other option is windowsxp, but only the native style will show.

Note:  Using Windows native style doesn’t allow changing the progress bar color (programmatically, it probably can be changed with the Desktop), you will have only one color, not the two used with the default style.

Annoyances

  • MinGW does not support passing parameters in foreign languages.  When I tried to test foreign char. support by passing the configuration location parameter: “transmission-qt -g Aplicación” the actual parameter received is garbage, not even the “-g” or a correct number of parameters (3).
  • MinGW-w64 does have support for parameters as UTF-16.
  • A workaround using Windows’ CommandLineToArgvW() is used so that opening torrent files with foreign characters from Explorer works.