I talk big about rtorrent a lot, and it’s for a good reason. I still prefer it to any other torrent client, and yes, occasionally, I do try others. Usually my motivation is to isolate “torrent slave” as a role for underpowered or out-of-date hardware.
But what about something with a little more guts? What about, instead of relying on a 120Mhz machine to catch, download and seed torrents, relying on something ten times faster, with more space, plenty of memory and an equally fast network connection?
Purely in the name of science, I dumped every torrent I could find on the front page of LinuxTracker into the 600m, and let it spin up. That’s 86 torrents, probably more than 60Gb of disk space, and generally speaking a considerable workload.
And here’s the damage, on a machine with 768Mb of memory, a Broadcom 4318 wireless card and a 1.4Ghz Celeron in the captain’s chair. (This is Arch, by the way, which is why I have about 3,000 console-kit-daemons running )
Memory use is flexing between 6 and 8 percent, with — do I read that right? — zero percent of the processor tied up.
Oh. Well. Maybe it’s not as considerable a workload as I thought.
Now let’s go crazy. Here’s Deluge, with nothing running.
Hmm. Three percent of the available memory, and that’s while managing zero torrents. And it requires the entire X desktop to display the interface, so don’t think the actual footprint stops at just three percent.
And Azureus? Or Vuze, I should say, since it has apparently changed its name, or something. It’s been that long since I used it.
This is where the nightmare starts. I can’t even count how many Java processes were spawned when Azur— I mean, Vuze was started up. Look at all those. It’s almost as bad as all those console-kit-daemons.
Memory use has jumped to an obnoxious level, and that’s before I even loaded up a torrent. Just idling, and the system is already using as much memory as a cold boot of Ubuntu Gnome. And that’s saying something!
And all this time, rtorrent is still running. Where are we at, systemwise?
Oh my goodness. Over 8 percent? Unbelieveable. And look at that — it’s actually taking up a measurable amount of processor time. Must be some of the upward traffic causing the machine to actually work.
Of course, rtorrent doesn’t have nearly the flashy interface that Azur— I mean, Vuze has, and I can’t connect to the Vuze community at the click of a button, and the console will always be uglier than a GTK2 interface. I am willing to admit those things.
But … maybe a machine that’s “ten times faster,” isn’t even needed. A 1.4Ghz machine ignores all but the unholiest of traffic coming out of rtorrent, and memory use is probably just peaking around 64Mb.
Honestly, with 86 torrents to manage, up-and-down traffic that rolls between 1Mbps and 100Kbps, maybe I should be saving my Celeron for something a little more daunting. Like chatting or surfing or file management. Oh wait, all those are taken too. …