How to run uTorrent in Mac OS X

As a x-Windows guy and an ardent BitTorrenter I can confidently say that uTorrent is one of the best BitTorrent clients available for Windows 95 through Vista. It's lean, takes up very little memory and doesn't need to be installed, you can even run it off a USB pen drive. It also offers all the important features like Selective Downloading, Universal Plug 'n' Play Support, Super Seeding Mode and RSS Feeds Subscription. Soon we will also be able to use uTorrent via a web-interface.

If you don’t like torrents try MP3 Search. The site carries in excess of 50,000 albums from 46,000 artists. Prices start at $0.19 per track. Most tracks are in high quality bitrate, 320 kbps. The site accepts major credit cards.

uTorrent is currently only available for Windows. But that isn’t going to stop us from running it in OS X.

We currently have two ways of doing this. The first and more obvious way to do this would be to install Parallels and just run it as we would any other Windows program. The second is with an exciting new program (not so new for Linux users) called CrossOver. CrossOver is still in beta, but is already a very usable and stable alternative to installing a copy of the entire Windows operating system on your Mac, which is essentially what you’re doing when you run Parallels.

So, here’s what you need to do:
Sadly, CrossOver only works on Intel-Macs, so don’t try this on a PPC one (I won’t be responsible if it blows up in your face :-P).

  1. First off, go download CrossOver Beta, it’s available as a free download on the developer’s site. Once you have it installed, you will be able to run quite a few Microsoft programs, as well as other small Windows programs within OS X. uTorrent is one of those other small programs.
  2. Next, you need a copy of uTorrent. After you’ve downloaded the Windows executable (utorrent.exe), double-click it and CrossOver should start bouncing in the dock with the little .exe symbol displayed on it. After a few seconds uTorrent will load up.
  3. That’s it, you’re done! You’re running uTorrent in Mac OS X!

Waitasecond, slow down. There are still some things you need to know…

The file structure that you see while trying to download a torrent is a tad confusing. You see, CrossOver tricks programs into believing that there’s a C: drive on your Mac, when there actually is none.
Make sure you do not save your files in the C: drive. You can get to your user folder by choosing:

Desktop > / > Users > Yourusername
File Structure

Another annoying thing is the fact that you can’t just untick files you don’t want when trying to download selectively. You have to right-click on the file and choose “select” or “deselect.”

Select, Deselect

But seriously, do I really want to run a BitTorrent client that has to be emulated through CrossOver? No. For me this was just a fun side-project. Just like attempting to run IE6 in OS X. A major drawback is that CrossOver hogs too much RAM to be able to constantly run in the background. The day there’s something like Rosetta for Windows applications, it’ll open up a whole new market to developers. Even better would be a Mac-version of uTorrent, which is incidentally in the developer’s plan of action.

Have you tried running uTorrent in OS X? Do you think it’s worth the trouble? We want to know.

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