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(It turns out that rtorrent sucks. Not surprising, given how shitty the interface is. Follow the SABnzbd+Deluge guide instead)

Installing SABnzbd+, rtorrent, and rtgui on Ubuntu 9.04


SABnzbd+ is a web-based usenet binary downloader that eats NZB files.


Here are the paths we'll assume:

Path Purpose
/x/usenet/downloads/incomplete Transfers in progress
/x/usenet/downloads/complete Finished transfers
/x/usenet/dropbox Place where NZBs get picked up from


$ sudo apt-get install sabnzbdplus


Edit /etc/default/sabnzbdplus and set:

  • USER to your username (or the username that sabnzbd should run as).
  • HOST to (to allow remote access) or (for local access only)
  • PORT to the port number to listen on (e.g. 8001).

Then just go to http://yourserver:8001/sabnzbd to set it up. Don't forget to set:

  • web credentials
  • usenet server details
  • paths (if your root is mounted on flash, you should also move the cache and logs to a hard disk)
  • download permissions to 0755 if sharing downloads via Samba/NFS

rtorrent + rtgui

rtorrent is a decent torrent client with a rubbish console interface. rtgui is a web front-end for rtorrent.


Here are the paths we'll assume:

Path Purpose
/home/<USERNAME>/.rtorrent.rc rtorrent config file
/x/torrent/downloads/incomplete Transfers in progress
/x/torrent/downloads/complete Finished transfers
/x/torrent/dropbox Place where torrents get picked up from
/x/torrent/rtorrent-session Rtorrent session directory
/x/torrent/rtorrent.log Rtorrent log file
/var/www/rtgui RTgui installation (assuming /var/www is your web root)

Install rtorrent + rtgui prerequisites

$ sudo apt-get install php5 php5-xmlrpc libapache2-mod-scgi rtorrent

Configure rtorrent

Copy rtorrent.rc to ~/.rtorrent.rc and edit as needed.

Start + Autostart rtorrent

Start rtorrent:

$ rtorrent

It should come up without error, and you can press Ctrl+Q to exit. Now we'll set it to start automatically. Add the following to /etc/rc.local (replace <USERNAME> with your username):

sudo -H -u <USERNAME> screen -dmS rtorrent rtorrent

This will start rtorrent in a 'screen' session, which you can reconnect to with "screen -R rtorrent", if you wish. However, since the rtorrent interface blows infinitely, we'll install rtgui to manage it over the web.

Since that just starts it on reboot, start it now with:

$ screen -dmS rtorrent rtorrent


rtgui uses Simple CGI (SCGI) to control rtorrent. We have to do a few things to enable it. As root, edit /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default and add the following before </VirtualHost>:

LoadModule scgi_module /usr/lib/apache2/modules/

If you want to use .htaccess files to apply a password to this, under "<Directory /var/www/>" change AllowOverride to All.

Restart Apache:

$ sudo service apache2 restart

Install and configure rtgui

Download rtgui from and extract:

$ sudo tar xzf ~/rtgui-x.x.x.tgz -C /var/www

Start with default config:

$ cd /var/www/rtgui/
$ sudo cp config.php.example config.php

Edit config.php. The only things you should need to change are $watchdir, $downloaddir, and $rtguiurl.


(You must have previously set AllowOverride to All in /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default for this to work.)

If you want to require a password for rtgui:

$ cd /var/www/rtgui
$ htpasswd -c .htpasswd <username>
New password: <password>
Re-type new password: <password>

Then populate .htaccess with:

AuthType Basic
AuthName "rtgui"
AuthUserFile /var/www/rtgui/.htpasswd
require valid-user

Single dropbox

If you want to have a single dropbox folder that works for both NZBs and torrents, we can make /x/dropbox do this. Download to your home directory or whereever. Then make it start as a service on boot by adding this to /etc/rc.local:

sudo -H -u <USERNAME> /path/to/ -d &
installing_sabnzbd_rtorrent_and_rtgui_on_ubuntu_9.04.txt · Last modified: 2009/10/16 12:45 by tkbletsc