If you are a frequent torrent user, you will come across magnet link. Magnet link has been around for quite some time, but it is only recently when the Pirate Bay confirmed that it would switch to DHT, PEX and magnet links that makes people start to wonder what magnet link is all about. You can read about the full explanation of DHT, PEX and Magnet Links here. In short, it is a method for you to download files without having to first download the .torrent file. You can start the download with just a link (or URL).
Magnet link makes it very convenient for all of us to download file. However, when you click on the magnet link in the browser, you will probably see the error message below.
So how can we open magnet links in the browser in various OS?
Note: Not all Bit-torrent clients support magnet links. Vuze, uTorrent and Transmission are several clients that support magnet links.
In Linux (Gnome)
If you are using Ubuntu Karmic, the default transmission does not support magnet link. You have to upgrade to the latest version (1.9 as of this post).
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:transmissionbt/ppa sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
Alternatively, you can also install Vuze
sudo apt-get install vuze
Next, we are going to add an entry to your gonf. In your terminal:
gconftool-2 -t string -s /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/magnet/command "/usr/bin/transmission %s" gconftool-2 -s /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/magnet/needs_terminal false -t bool gconftool-2 -t bool -s /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/magnet/enabled true
If you are using Vuze, change the /usr/bin/transmission to the filepath of the Vuze application (usually is /usr/bin/vuze).
Note: If you are using Swiftfox or Opera, the magnet link will not work with the above trick.
Download and install uTorrent, Vuze or Transmission.
Open NotePad and type the following in it:
REGEDIT4 [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Magnet] @="URL:magnet Protocol" "URL Protocol"="" [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Magnet\shell] [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Magnet\shell\open] [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Magnet\shell\open\command] @="\"C:\\Program Files\\uTorrent\\uTorrent.exe\" \"%1\""
If you are using Bit-torrent client other than uTorrent, replace the last line C:\Program Files\uTorrent\uTorrent.exe with the filepath of your Bit torrent application.
Save the file as “magnet.reg“, then double-click it to insert into the Windows registry. You will see some warning windows as shown below.
Click Yes to proceed.
Once the import is completed, you can click on the magnet link in your browser and then select the application that you want to use.
There is no configuration required in Mac. If you install Transmission, Vuze or uTorrent, it will automatically add the protocol handler to the system. You can simply click on the magnet link and choose your application from the popup window.