howto use rtorrent to download torrents

So, you are on our lovely (GNU/)Linux OS right? And, you, being a smart guy (or girl), uses the best ever made torrent client: Azureus, right? Well, I was just like you, untill I found (well, I didn’t find it, actually, I was told of it’s existence on a  web-forum…) RTORRENT!

I don’t know why, but I like to keep things light. rtorrent is just that: a bit torrent client that runs on the command line. But it’s not like a wget, that you run, and watch the output. It is ncurses bases, so you will have a user interface, just not graphic. On Ubuntu, it is on the repositories, so you can apt-get install rtorrent and you’re ready to go!

Here are some tips on how to use it:

First of all, you WILL, some time, want to exit rtorrent. Don’t try vi-style here. To exit, just type CTRL + Q. Simple right?

Opening a torrent for download:

  1. type “rtorrent  my_torrent_file.torrent” if you are not already inside the app OR
  2. type ENTER on the main interface to  get the open “dialog”: it has TAB completion, so you don’t have to remember the hole path.

Starting the Download

  • If you openned the torrent using the first option, it will start STOPPED. To start it, select it using your keyboard arrows. A few asterisks will be shown to indicate wich torrent is currently selected.  Type Ctrl+S to start the download.

Information about the download:

  • You can see more detailed info about each running torrent by selecting it (with the up and down arrows) and pressing the RIGHT arrow. It will show you a new screen, where you can, again, use the arrows to move. To return to the main screen, just keep pressing the LEFT arrow till you are there.

These are some basic usage tips. If you want to became the rtorrent guru (I just want to download a few files), I suggest you visit this website, a great blog from K Mandla, where I learned these things I’m passing to you. Or you can go straight to the RTorrent user guide.


~ by Dante Regis on June 5, 2007.

3 Responses to “howto use rtorrent to download torrents”

  1. If you are interested in more information about rTorrent check out this study. It looks at the weaknesses of the bittorrent protocol and the modifications you can make to rTorrent. We cover ratios, client ids and misconceptions about trackers. If you have any questions drop me an email.

  2. i’ve been using rtorrent since i started linux.
    i recommend rtorrent.

  3. Nice Tutorial…. thanks

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