pirate-get: A tool is just a tool

I have to remind myself that today’s first treasure is just a tool, and a tool is just a tool. What you do with these things is none of my business.

pirate-get, as you might infer, performs a search of the world’s most infamous bittorrent tracker, and returns the results in the console.


I could leave it at that, and allow you to glean from that what you will, but there are a couple of things that pirate-get does that are worth pointing out. And not for any reasons except that it does those things well.

First, as you can see above, pirate-get by default returns results in descending number of seeds. I really, really like that, because searching for — ahem — Linux ISOs is not just a matter of what best matches my search terms, but what matches and is available. Perhaps you can sympathize.

Second, pirate-get will automatically cue up transmission-remote and send your selection through. This, as you can also imagine, speeds up the search-to-download process on the whole … if you use Transmission, of course. 😉

For those who don’t, pirate-get can accept a --custom flag, and pass the link to another program. I tested it with pirate-get Ubuntu --custom "deluge %s" and it gracefully handed off the magnet link to a running session of Deluge, no questions asked.

Which brings up an important point: By default, pirate-get returns the text of the magnet link to your $BROWSER, and I don’t see an option to download the actual torrent unless you somehow pipe that link through another site or utility that will convert it. If I don’t include the custom command with pirate-get, my selection is dumped into elinks, which only shows an error message.

So keep that in mind if you prefer to work with the actual torrent (some people do; I know, it’s old-fashioned) you might need to do a little jerry-rigging to get it going to your satisfaction.

(I will add one other small complaint, and it’s a fairly obvious one: As far as I can tell, pirate-get only works with … well, you know. One tracker. If you prefer others, you’ll have to dig into the code or search around for alternatives to pirate-get.)

I like pirate-get a lot, mostly for the things I’ve mentioned above, but also because it can do things like return “all” the results at once, or spit out the torrents added in the last 48 hours. It’ll also show descriptions and file lists, which can be helpful if you’re skimming through a list of distros and aren’t sure what’s what.

One last note: There’s a --color flag available, and what you see in the screenshot — basically alternated bolding — is the result. Personally that doesn’t really qualify as “color” in my mind, but I’m willing to overlook it. If you want to get that effect, you’ll need to install python2-colorama, for the Arch version at least.

That’s all I’ll say about pirate-get. I’m sure you will use this tool in only the most honest and forthright adventures, and eschew any temptation to use your newfound powers for evil. 🙄

3 thoughts on “pirate-get: A tool is just a tool

  1. Pingback: john: Again, a tool is just a tool | Inconsolation

  2. Rik Bignell

    Great review although i can’t get it to show any results. Im pretty sure its working as i get results if i enter no search terms. If i enter a search term i always get “no results”

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