Q: Ok, so now I’ve installed rtorrent. What next?
A: Let’s get started. Open the console and type
A: Now you want to know how to add a torrent. Hit Return. You can use tab completion to navigate to the directory with the torrent file. Double-tab will display completion options. Select torrent file. Hit return.
Q: The torrent file is marked inactive!
A: You need to tell it to start. Highlight the torrent file using arrow keys, and hit the Hotkey ^s (^ means Ctrl key). While it is inactive, you can change the download directory by using ^O. This doesn’t work once the torrent is activated. You can also use the Backspace key instead of Return to add torrents. The difference is that this will immediately activate the torrent. To stop an ongoing download, type ^D. Type this again to delete the stopped torrent.
Q: Ok! Got it working! Is this it?
A: Well, these are the basics. Now, let’s see a few other things. You may want to cap your upload/download speeds. This can be done using the keys a/s/d, A/S/D, z/x/c, Z/X/C.
Q: And how do I see info about the files?
A: You can navigate using the arrow keys. Highlight the torrent using Up/Down, Left will give expanded view and Right will go back to main view. You will find that the keys 1-8 offer various different views of the downloads. You can change the priorities of the torrents using the keys +/-. You can even change the priorities of individual files, by selecting them in the file view, and hitting space. If you select priority ‘off’ file will not be downloaded.
A: Now, lets turn this ordinary bumbling application into a super-app. You may notice that on starting rtorrent, it throws a warning saying .rtorrent.rc not found. This is the configuration file for rtorrent, which is found at
Copy this file into your home directory, affix the . in the name, and open it in a text editor.
Q: Wow! Is this what I think it is?
A: Yes. A simple glance at the file will show you what I mean. Check this out:
# Global upload and download rate in KiB. “0” for unlimited.
#download_rate = 0
#upload_rate = 0
# Default directory to save the downloaded torrents.
#directory = ~/
You can set the global throttle rate, and the default download directory. Now see this:
# Watch a directory for new torrents, and stop those that have been
#schedule = watch_directory,5,5,load_start=~/*.torrent
#schedule = untied_directory,5,5,stop_untied=
rtorrent will watch the watch_directory, and automatically start any torrent copied into it. If you delete the torrent file from this directory, it will automatically stop the download.
# Close torrents when diskspace is low.
#schedule = low_diskspace,5,60,close_low_diskspace=100M
# Stop torrents when reaching upload ratio in percent,
# when also reaching total upload in bytes, or when
# reaching final upload ratio in percent.
# example: stop at ratio 2.0 with at least 200 MB uploaded, or else ratio 20.0
#schedule = ratio,60,60,stop_on_ratio=200,200M,2000
This is pretty much self-explanatory. Go through the rest of the file. Convert your rtorrent into a beast.
Q: All of this is truly great! But I’m sure this is available in Azureus. So why rtorrent?
A: All I can say is:
1)negligibly light footprint
2)about 2MB space cost
3)no Java/Gnome/Other Window Managers/X dependencies.
Q: Yes, I think I’ll give it a try!
Tags: Console Junkie