Linux: Firefox Browser Add BitTorrent Magnet Links Support

by on September 4, 2012 · 17 comments· LAST UPDATED August 17, 2013

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How do I add magnet links with transmission bittorrent in Firefox running under Linux operating systems?

You can easily add magnet protocol association in Mozilla Firefox browser for any bittorrent client. Transmission is a fast and easy BitTorrent client. From the wikipedia:

Tutorial details
DifficultyEasy (rss)
Root privilegesNo
RequirementsFirefox v3.x+
Estimated completion time5m

The Magnet URI scheme is a de facto standard (instead of an open standard) defining a URI scheme for Magnet links, which mainly refer to resources available for download via peer-to-peer networks. Such a link typically identifies a file not by location, but by content -- more precisely, by the content's cryptographic hash value.

How can I add magnet support to Firefox?

Open firefox. Type the following in address bar:
about:config
Sample outputs:

Fig.01: about:config settings

Fig.01: about:config settings


Click on "I'll be careful, I promise!" button. Right click > New > Boolean (see fig.02):
Fig.02: Boolean settings

Fig.02: Boolean settings


You need to enter new boolean value called network.protocol-handler.expose.magnet and set it to false. This allows you to assign a bittorrent client for all magnet links. For example, when you open a magnet link you will be prompted with a Launch Application dialogue box. From there you can simply select transmission or any other torrent client.

Fig.03: Setting boolean value

Fig.03: Setting boolean value

How do I force Firefox to open all magnet links via transmission bittorrent client only?

Just click on a magnet link and Firefox will be forced to prompt you as follows:

Fig.04: Firefox launch application dialogue

Fig.04: Firefox launch application dialogue


You need to specify the full path as follows:
/usr/bin/transmission
Fig.05 Transmission - a bittorrent client in action

Fig.05 Transmission - a bittorrent client in action

Check out related media

This tutorial also available in video format:

(Video.01: Linux Add Magnet Link Support To Firefox For Torrent Client)

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 raravun September 16, 2012 at 11:40 am

What is the point of adding a tutorial for a version of firefox that is badly outdated?

This method by no means will work on any linux distro that is is not 3 years old.
Latest versions of firefox seem do not use network.protocol.handler* keys at all.

To the people from the future:
Right way to add new protocol handler is to edit either /usr/share/applications/mimeinfo.cache or edit the .desktop file of the application you want to be a handler for a specific resource.

For example here is a relevant excerpt from /usr/share/applications/qBittorrent.desktop

MimeType=application/x-bittorrent;x-scheme-handler/magnet;

Reply

2 james woods June 23, 2014 at 8:22 pm

yeah its two years later and I still found this post to be helpful

Reply

3 Marek November 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Thank you very much for this! It works perfectly on my Firefox 16 on Kubuntu 12.04!

Thank you for sharing!

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4 lish November 27, 2012 at 7:19 am

thanks a lot, this worked perfectly! so much easier than all the other crap i thought i’d have to do to get magnet links going.

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5 Jorge Albán January 17, 2013 at 4:55 am

Well it did work great in Iceweasel 14.0.1, preinstalled in AVLinux 6.0 (2012)… Thanks a lot !

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6 Dude March 10, 2013 at 10:14 pm

it worked, thanks.

To raravun, it didnt work for you so bug off.

Reply

7 Jason July 7, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Thanks for this. I have used transmission before on Ubuntu and have not had the problem I had just now when I updated to 13.04. Got transmission to work now when I add torrents. Thanks for the info…

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8 carla July 27, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Thanks a lot!! :)

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9 Gordon August 17, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Thank you for this tutorial. It worked for me using Transmission 2.77 and Firefox 22 in Linux Mint 15 KDE.

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10 John September 3, 2013 at 4:13 am

This worked perfectly for me, thanks so much!

Mint 15

Reply

11 Timao September 7, 2013 at 9:44 pm

Hey Man,
Thanks very much. It solved my problem perfectly!
Reguards from Brazil

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12 Randy December 5, 2013 at 2:25 am

Great! Very Helpful for what I needed!!!

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13 ras December 21, 2013 at 11:54 pm

Thank you very very much sir it worked perfectly. This is exactly what I was looking for!

Reply

14 thomas March 3, 2014 at 9:13 pm

Tanks!

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15 Andrew April 5, 2014 at 3:01 am

Thanks very much.
Simple and works.

Ubuntu 12.04

Reply

16 Alpino June 17, 2014 at 1:43 pm

It worked. Thank you so much. Ubuntu 12.04 lts

Reply

17 fox August 30, 2014 at 6:46 pm

thanks, worked great on Arch with Firefox 33 Aurora

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