Manual Getting Started with Rtorrent-Pro - Default Configuration and Managing

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Silas Mariusz

Silas Mariusz

Apr 5, 2008
1 GbE

1. Configuring Rtorrent-Pro Main Settings​

1.1 Logging In

  • Open Rtorrent-Pro.
  • On the toolbar in the right-top corner click SETTINGS button
  1. Network
    1. Common settings
      1. Bind interface
        Assign Rtorrent-Pro for specified LAN or VPN
      2. Listening port
      3. UDP trackers support
      4. DHT support
      5. UDP port setting for DHT server
      6. PEX Enable/disable
    2. UPnP and NAT-PMP port forwarding for:
      1. Data protocols (default: yes, consider manual port forwarding)
      2. Remote access (not recommended unless needed)
        NOTE: NAT-PMP support is abandoned and will be removed.
  2. BitTorrent
    1. Encryption
      Can set encryption rules.
      NOTE: For private trackers recommended setting is: preffer encryption, but allow plaintext.
      However for public trackers this setting does not mean anything, because on public trackers you are unprotected anyway so doesnt matter if you use SSL or not.
    2. Minimum-maximum peer settings
    3. Minimum-maximum peers for seed settings
    4. Minimum-maximum number of simultaneous downloads and uploads per torrent

      NOTE: Rtorrent-Pro is designed and tuned to maintain minimum disk utilization with biggest buffer size for any network ingress pattern. Thus Rtorrent-Pro does not support job queuing (if you look for it) and is not recommended for downloading poor quality torrents. Please consider using Deluge instead.
  3. Limits
    1. Bandwidth
      Default startup Download/Upload limit setting.
    2. Memory
      Allow maximum memory usage for Rtorrent-Pro. Please note that this not mean Rtorrent-Pro reserves that memory on startup. Rtorrent-Pro transferring data directly between file pages mapped to memory, so may request and try to allocate up to maximum defined RAM. This setting defines also how fast Rtorrent-Pro can download stuff. Make sure to leave space for Rtorrent-Pro in the RAM page otherwise program may crash and you may loose last part of data equal to 1*MAX_MEMORY MB.
  4. TCP/IP tunning
    Enable/disable Network Boost Linux Kernel tweaks
    This costs your RAM a little bit of extra usage for network buffers. Make sure it is enabled otherwise you could not reach gigabit and faster download speeds due to QNAP's kernel tuned for other purpose.
    NOTE: May conflict with other services like iSCSI MPIO or Load Balancers. Disable Rtorrent-Pro and restart NAS before doing diagnosis on other services!

  5. Automation
    Enable/disable default label directories in complete, download and watch.
    Read difference between torrenting on a PC and NAS.

  6. Media Library
    Media Library can automatically move and rename completed movies and tv-shows, download fanarts, posters and other metadata for Kodi and etc.
    • Button: Rescan all in complete
      Can rescan complete directory content for movies and tv-shows
    • Automatically organize downloaded media content
      Enable/disable media library completely
    • Instanly clean-up TV Shows from .nfo file to prevent Kodi library gets broken.
      This setting prevent Kodi TV Shows library crash.
    • Meta-data Language for all media downloads
      Can set main language for meta-data
    • Meta-data Language for kids label downloads
      Can set different language for Kids stuff (label: Kids). This is very useful when you prefer Enligh/Original movie names, but for Kids you prefer foreign language.
  7. Block list
    1. Can enable IP filter list.
      This list may affect download/upload speed on public trackers. Please note, enabling IP filter list may affect download performance because of IP lookup in DB on every peer refresh.
      However to maximize your safety it is recommended to enable it.
  8. Notifications
    1. Can send notification on Download finished event to:
      • QuLog Events Log
      • QTS dashboard notice
      • SMSC service
      • External scripts
  9. Integration
    1. User Frontend
      • View mode. Can change to open Rtorrent-Pro in QTS window instead new browser tab
      • Enable Flood UI. Can enable Flood UI interface.
        Since Flood UI does not offer any extra features and needs extra RAM resources it is diabled on default
  10. Maintenance
    Available buttons:
    • Credentials - allow to change login name and password
    • Reset UI settings to default - this function can restore to default only Advanced UI settings and will NOT affect current page settings
      (full restore to default can be done by uninstalling app and removing Rdownload | Download/rtorrent | Public/rtorrent folders)
    • Enable/Disable DEBUG - can enable/disable extra DEBUG during app start/stop

2. Managing Rtorrent-Pro with Advanced UI​

2.1 Open Advanced UI

  • Open Rtorrent-Pro.
  • LOG IN into Advanced UI
Navigate to this link and you will be prompted for credentials (see screenshot below).

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One of the first things to notice is the menu bar on the top of the GUI. In the next section, we will explain step by step what is the purpose of every button.

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So let’s start explaining what every button does! (Refer to the red labels)
  1. “Log off” current user.
  2. “Globe”: This button is for adding torrents
  3. The “Star” button will allows you to create new torrents.
  4. The “Delete” button. To delete single or multiple torrents.
  5. The Start” button role is to start downloading/uploading torrent/torrents.
  6. The “Pause” button, for pausing torrents.
  7. The “Stop” button, to stop all activity on a particular torrent.
  8. The “RSS feed” button for creating RSS feeds.
  9. The “Autodl-irssi” plugin for monitoring our trackers, announce channel, and to automatically start downloads for you based on filters.
  10. The “Settings” button where we can change all of the ruTorrent settings.
  11. The “plugin” button, to manage the plugins.
  12. Pause WebUI
  13. Refresh WebUI
  14. The “Help” button will show us some basic shortcuts.

2.2 How to load a torrent?

The torrents can be loaded via two ways, via magnet link (torrent URL) or the .torrent file. Click on “Add New Torrent,” and you will get a popup window like on the picture below:

Add t popup 300x210

  • “Directory” – The path where torrents will be downloaded.
  • “Label” – Use this option, if you want to customize the torrent label.
  • “Torrent file” – Use this option to locate the .torrent file and load it.
  • “Torrent URL” – The URL of the magnet link.
After you select either ‘Add file’ or ‘Add URL,’ options, your torrent will start downloading just like in the picture below:

Torr start dl 1024x76

2.3 How to create a new torrent?

First, click on the “Create New Torrent” (the star button,) and the popup window will show like this:

Torr create 300x268

  • “Select Source” – Here, you can determine the destination where your file is located.
  • “Trackers” – A text area to add trackers separated by one blank row. Note: When using a private torrent, you can only add one tracker.
  • “Comment” – An optional feature, that lets you add an additional comment.
  • “Piece size”– You can select the following options, depending on the size of your file.
    • Up to 50MiB: 32KiB piece size (-l 15)
    • 50MiB to 150MiB: 64KiB piece size (-l 16)
    • 150MiB to 350MiB: 128KiB piece size (-l 17)
    • 350MiB to 512MiB: 256KiB piece size (-l 18)
    • 512MiB to 1.0GiB: 512KiB piece size (-l 19)
    • 1.0GiB to 2.0GiB: 1024KiB piece size (-l 20)
    • 2.0GiB and up: 2048KiB piece size, and larger at your discretion. (-l 21)
  • “Other” – The “Start seeding” checkbox, if selected will make ruTorrent automatically start seeding after the torrent is created. “Create “ creates a new torrent.

3. Main Dashboard.​

When you select a particular torrent (like the one in the picture below), you’ll notice down below (in the General tab) all info related to that torrent. You can see many tabs monitored in real-time including, General, Files, Trackers, Peers, Speed, Plugins, File Manager, History, Tasks, Traffic, Chunks, Autodl-irssi, and Log.

All of that info is very useful if you want to find additional information regarding loaded torrents.

Screenshot 2021 10 20 at 153412 1 1024x552

In the General tab, you can find the following useful information including:
  • “Time elapsed” – Showing how much time is elapsed from starting a torrent
  • “Downloaded” – Showing how much data is currently being downloaded
  • “Download Speed” – Real-time speed for downloading current
  • “Uploaded” – Showing how much data is uploaded
  • “Seeds” -Showing how much seeders are connected currently
  • “Peers” – Showing how much peers are connected
  • “Tracker” is showing info regarding trackers URL and its Status
  • “Save As” – showing a path where our data is downloaded
  • “Free disk space” – remaining free space on our HDD
  • “Created On” – If we have created our torrent, its time-stamp will be shown here

3.1. Files tab

In this tab, you can find information about particular files in torrent data. For instance, you can find the size of that particular file and how much data is remaining to be downloaded. Note: Don’t forget to use a data management tool to keep a record of all the information.

Files torr

3.2. Trackers tab

The “Trackers” tab will show info regarding currently loaded trackers. It includes their name, protocol, status, group, number of Seeds/Peers on that particular tracker. It also includes additional information such as download status, when is the time of the last update, the interval, whether is a private or public tracker.

Trackers torrent

3.3. Peers tab

The “Peers” tab shows real-time info about connected peers, their country, speed, and much more. This information is managed by a plugin called ”show_peers_like_wtorrent”.

3.4. Speed tab

The “Speed” tab represents the real-time speeds for downloading/uploading torrent data.

3.5. Plugins tab

The “Plugins” tab is pretty self-explanatory. It shows currently loaded plugins for RuTorrent. We can unload a particular plugin or enable/disable it.

Plugins tab e1459073097683

3.6. File manager

File manager plugin

The “File manager” tab is shown if the file manager plugin is loaded. This tab provides the basic navigation for your root directory where torrents are downloaded. Usually, the root is your /home/ dir.

3.7. History

The “History” tab keeps track of all torrents downloaded/uploaded for your current session. You can remove the history information if you select all rows (or via CTRL+A) and delete it by right-click + Delete. This tab is loaded by a plugin named ‘history.’

3.8. Tasks​

“The “Tasks” tab keeps track of your session. It includes the operations done in the File manager.

3.9. Traffic

The “Traffic” tab shows real-time statistic info of a specific tracker, in the shape of a formatted graphics chart.

Traffic 1024x299

3.10. Log

The “Log” tab is the handiest tab for debugging any ruTorrent related errors. The error output will be displayed in this tab if an error exists, like misconfigured or not working plugins, or if there is an error in communication between rTorrent and ruTorrent or loaded torrents. If we want to clear up those messages, you can click on the clear button.

Log tab

3.11. The search command.​

The “Search” functionality can significantly reduce your searching time for torrents. You can filter your results by clicking on the drop-down menu (“shown in the picture”), and you can choose different functional torrent sites from where you can narrow your search or select all sources for searching.

Screenshot 2021 10 20 at 155843

On the other hand, you can also search for torrents that are stored locally by selecting “Local Torrents”.

4. The Bottom Bar and Left-hand Menu.

4.1 The bottom bar.​

The bottom menu bar was added in ruTorrent 3.0. It shows the total upload/download speed information along with any limitations. This information can be used to set or adjust the server’s throttle level. If you have “Plugin Disk space” installed, the bottom menu also shows the remaining space.

Bottom 1024x82

Hint: As best ruTorrent practice, keep 5% of free space to prevent your torrent client from freezing. Should you ever see a warning as shown below, please remove some space by deleting unnecessary torrents.

RTorrent has no free space

4.2 Left-side menu

The left side menu is designed to provide quick info about loaded torrents.

Left side menu

A quick summary of all the elements within the left-side menu.
  • “All” – Sum of total loaded torrents
  • “Downloading” – Total torrents that are currently downloading
  • “Completed” – Total torrents that have been completed.
  • “Active” – Sum of torrents that are currently downloading/uploading.
  • “Inactive” – Status of torrents that are currently stopped.
  • “Error” – If for example there are torrents with no seeders, it will be marked as an error.
  • “Labels” – We can label our torrents with a different name, hence to that, labels will be shown here.
  • “Search” – The results from our most recent search will be displayed here.
  • “Trackers” – Displays currently loaded trackers.
  • “Feeds” – If our RSS feed is set up, feeds will be displayed here as well.

5. Optimazing Speed & Diagnosis​

5.1 Speed Settings:

The other reason why your torrent speed is so slow is that you might have a speed limitation at the application level. In other words, your ruTorrent’s speed configuration might be limited.
  • To find these speed settings:
  • Go to Settings > Connection > Bandwidth Limiting. Make sure that maximum upload and download rates are set to 0.
Screenshot 2021 10 21 at 202757

  • Some users, leave download rate without limitations, while limiting the upload rate. As a recommendation, do not limit the upload rate. BitTorrent protocol uses an algorithm called “choking” to make sure that sharing is fair. If you limit the upload speed too much or use a different algorithm that is “unfair”, other peers in the swarm will not cooperate and you will immediately get “choked” until you do not receive any data.

5.2 Health of torrents and trackers:

Your download speed can also be influenced by the health of the torrent. Two factors account for this health: the number of seeders in the swarm and the availability of the torrent trackers. If there are not enough seeders (peers), or if the torrent tracker is too slow or unavailable, your torrent downloads will be slower.

Although there’s not much you can do here, you can still analyze the health of a torrent before downloading it, and decide whether to find a healthier torrent.
  • Check the seeder/leecher ratio beforehand. This ratio may vary, so you may have to come back later if you see a low ratio or very few seeders. A quick look into the S/L (Seeders/Leechers) columns might give you a lot of information on the health of the torrent. As shown in the picture below, three torrents have only one seeder, while other has 59. The one with 59 seeders is much healthier. The higher the number on Seeders, the more chances to download your torrent faster.
04 03 Speed

  • Check whether the torrent trackers are available. Torrent trackers are the main servers that regulate P2P traffic. They keep information about each client using each torrent so they are capable of speeding up the seed discovery process. Unfortunately, sometimes trackers experience downtime and remove torrents if they are older than a year.
  • As a solution, use multi-tracker torrents: You can find torrent tracker lists online and update your torrent with this information. If the first tracker on the list fails, then the torrent will use the next one and so on. By going to the “Tracker” label on the bottom menu, you can see information such as the name of the tracker, type, #seeds, and peers.
Screenshot 2021 10 21 at 204056 1024x557

Update trackers

  • Torrent files come with a tracker list (such as the five trackers shown above) to improve reliability. But in case that the torrent comes with trackers that have low seeds, are disabled, or haven’t been updated, you can always update the tracker on the torrent, by right-clicking on the torrent > “Update Trackers”, as shown in the picture below.
Screenshot 2021 10 21 at 210528

  • You can also update the list and add more trackers so that the torrent client has more chances of finding the right peers and downloading the torrent faster. To do this, right-click on the torrent (as shown below) and click “Edit Torrent” or “Torrent Properties”. The following window will appear.
  • Find updated torrent tracker lists online and update your torrent. Copy the entire list and paste it right below the last tracker. Do not remove existing trackers and leave a blank space between each line.
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As an alternative to trackers, use Distributed Hash Table “DHT”.

DHT is a tracker-less method. In DHT, the P2P network peers keep all the necessary information for peer discovery to themselves; they don’t need a centralized server, such as a tracker, to search for other peers.
  • To enable DHT: Go to settings > BitTorrent (on the right-hand side menu) > Make sure that “Enable DHT Network” is selected (as shown below).
  • Before enabling DHT, bear in mind that most private trackers require you to disable DHT and Peer Exchange.
Screenshot 2021 10 21 at 212031

6. Bonus ruTorrent tips and tricks!​

The following ruTorrent tips and tricks will take your experience to the next level. Whether is to manage RSS via the WebGUI, customize ruTorrent with plugins, directly share files with your friends through the application, or download torrents automatically.

If there is a trick that you think is totally amazing in ruTorrent, and is not shown here, please don’t forget to mention it in the comments below.

6.1 How to configure RSS in ruTorrent.​

The reason why ruTorrent is so valuable is that it is the only torrent client that can manage RSS via a Web GUI. The following step-by-step guide will show you how to configure ruTorrent to download torrents from RSS feeds.
  • Add the RSS feed to ruTorrent. It is recommended to add an RSS feed that has direct downloads and does not require cookies.
  • Find the RSS feed online. RSS stand for Really Simple Syndication and is a file in XML format used to spread content thorughout the web. To add your RSS into ruTorrnet, you’ll simply need the RSS URL, which looks something like:
  • Go back to the ruTorrent client and click on the “RSS downloader” icon as shown below.
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The following “Add RSS Feed” window will come out. Input the “RSS Feed URL” that you found online and give a custom alias name for the RSS Feed. Then proceed to click the Ok button.

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After a while, your new feed will appear in the “Feeds” list in the bottom left corner. And, you’ll notice the torrent files recommended by your new feed.

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6.2 Use torrent automation software.​

If you love automation and torrenting, there are media automated downloader tools, which can help you download torrents automatically, search+find for your favorite movies, TV shows, music, or books, and update your entire media library.

Radarr is a popular movie collection manager for BitTorrent and Usenet. It keeps track of multiple torrent RSS feeds, finds new movies, and connects with your ruTorrent client to automatically download all those movies. All of that without your intervention. Radarr can also be configured to find better quality content. If and when it find higher quality content, it replaces it with the old.

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There is more torrent automation software, specializing in TV shows, books, music, media organizers, and more. To name a few popular names, Sonarr, Jackett, CouchPotato, LazyLibrarian, and more.

6.3 File Sharing through ruTorrent

The basis of BitTorrent is to share files in a swarm or among a group of peers. ruTorrent goes beyond that and allows you to directly share a file with a friend or specific peer.

How to do that?
  • Go to your “Completed” torrent downloads, click on the file that you want to share and go to “File Manager” on the bottom bar. There is a path finder, that allows you to locate your file. Use this to display all your files present in the “/Downloads” file or whatever folder you are storing your content.
  • After you find the file that you want to share, right-click > “Share”.
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  • A new window “File Share” will pop up.
  • In the field “File,” make sure that the file you intend to share is the correct one. As part of the File share configuration, you must define the duration (in hours) that the file will be available for sharing. As an additional option, you can also determine a password to add up security for the file.
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  • Finally, click “Add”. A download link will be created.
  • To know about your file shares, go to “File Share” in the bottom-bar menu. Locate your file, and record the “Download Link” and the Password information. With this information in hand, your friends can have access to that specific file for a limited time.
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  • From the prespective of your friend’s computer (or if someone is sharing a file with you). Go to “Add Torrent,” (the globe icon), under the “Torrent URL” field, write down the “download link.”
  • The file will start to download.
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File sharing is done using myqnapcloud DynDNS and UI port has to be forwarded.
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