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This document is a WORK IN PROGRESS.
This is just a quick personal cheat sheet: treat its contents with caution!


rTorrent is a fast and highly configurable torrent client based on libtorrent and ncurses.


Tables of contents


# emerge -a net-p2p/rtorrent
# pacman -S rtorrent
# apt install rtorrent
# yum install rtorrent
# dnf install rtorrent


  • By default, rTorrent will search its config file here ~/.rtorrent.rc. But if rTorrent is run with the -o import=/path/to/rtorrent.rc option, the rtorrent.rc file can be created anywhere. E.g.:

    $ mkdir -p ~/.config/rtorrent
    $ cp /usr/share/doc/rtorrent/rtorrent.rc ~/.config/rtorrent
    The /usr/share/doc/rtorrent/rtorrent.rc file is pretty self explanatory and provides good reference links in its top header.

  • Set a default session directory (run only one rTorrent instance per session):

    $ mkdir -p ~/.config/rtorrent/session
    $ vi ~/.config/rtorrent/rtorrent.rc
        > ...
        > session.path.set = ~/.config/rtorrent/session
        > ...

  • Set a default download directory:

    $ vi ~/.config/rtorrent/rtorrent.rc
        > ...
        > drectory.default.set = /media/rdownloads
        > ...

  • Set a watch directory (new torrents added here will auto download, those removed will stop download/sharing):

    $ vi ~/.config/rtorrent/rtorrent.rc
        > ...
        > schedule2 = watch_directory,5,5,load.start=/media/rwatch/*.torrent
        > ...

  • Enable encryption:

        > ...
        > protocol.encryption.set = allow_incoming,try_outgoing,enable_retry
        > ...

  • Enable DHT support:

        > ...
        > dht.mode.set = auto
        > dht.port.set = 6881
        > protocol.pex.set= yes
        > ...

if no IPv6


Add the following to rtorrent.rc

    > ...
    > bind

Email notifications




  • Run rTorrent with an alternative rtorrent.rc location:

    $ rtorrent -o import=~/.config/rtorrent/rtorrent.rc

  • Run rTorrent with an other download directory:

    $ rtorrent -d /media/rdownloads/movies

  • Run rTorrent with a specific torrent file:

    $ rtorrent /path/to/file.torrent

  • Ctrl-q Quit rTorrent.

  • Ctrl-s Start download. Runs hash first unless already done.
  • Ctrl-d Stop an active download or remove a stopped download
  • Ctrl-k Stop and close the files of an active download.
  • Ctrl-r Initiate hash check of torrent. Starts downloading if file is not available.
  • Ctrl-o Specify the download directory for a added, but not started torrent.
  • Left Returns to the previous screen
  • Right Goes to the next screen
  • Backspace Adds and starts the specified *.torrent
  • Return Adds and doesn't start the specified *.torrent
  • a|s|d Increase global upload throttle about 1|5|50 KB/s
  • A|S|D Increase global download throttle about 1|5|50 KB/s
  • z|x|c Decrease global upload throttle about 1|5|50 KB/s
  • Z|X|C Decrease global download throttle about 1|5|50 KB/s


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