How To Download rTorrent From Command Line

How To Download rTorrent From Command Line
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In the next article we are going to take a look at rTorrent. Using torrents is an excellent and efficient way to share files. It will allow us, through the client in turn, to have such useful options as the ability to pause the downloads, establish upload / download speed limits or manage multiple downloads efficiently.

This client to download Torrents will allow users to perform the downloads from the command line with low consumption of resources on our computer. rTorrent does not have a GUI, it is only available in CLI. The terminal will be the user interface.

rTorrent seeks to get the most out of data transfer speeds . If you compare it with a GUI-based torrent program, you can certainly notice a considerable increase in the speed of data transfer.

Users will be able to see the details of torrents opened in rTorrent in a similar way to any GUI torrent client. It shows information such as the size of the files, the amount downloaded, the upload / download speed, the time remaining and some more details.

Installation of rTorrent

This program is available in most repositories of the main distributions. For Ubuntu, Linux Mint or any other derivative, just open a terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and write:

onesudo apt install rtorrent

Use of rTorrent

rTorrent is a great program, especially if you know the keyboard commands that allow you to use it.

Start rTorrent

Starting it is easy. Just open a terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and type:


rTorrent will cover the entire screen of the terminal.

Add torrents

There are two options for adding torrents. Both a downloaded torrent file and the URL of the torrent file can be used . Both are used in the same way.

After starting rTorrent, press Enter and you will get something like the following:

add url or Torrent file to rTorrent

Now, after ‘load.normal>’ , you just have to type the location or URL of the .torrent file . By default, the working directory of this program is the user’s home directory. Therefore, let’s say that if you want to select a torrent in the Downloads directory, type Downloads / and DO NOT press Enter . You must type the full name of the .torrent file, so press the Tab key. This will list all the files in that folder in the window.

list files in a folder with rTorrent

If you fill in the name of the file or type the URL of the torrent and press Enter, the torrent will appear in the window. It will not start downloading by default . In this way we will have the option to change the destination directory of the torrent download.

Change the destination directory

Now that the torrent has been added, press the up arrow key to select it . When selected, three asterisks (*) appear to the left of the torrent .

Torrent selected and Torrents download folder

Now press Ctrl + O. This will show a change_directory warning . This is the place where we can write the route to the destination directory that interests us.

Start the download

Download a Torrent with rTorrent

To start downloading the torrent, simply select it with the arrow up and press Ctrl + S .

Pause and clear screen

Torrent paused with rTorrent

Pause and delete will use the same command. To stop/pause a download, select it and press Ctrl + D. After stopping once, the status will become Inactive. To erase it from the screen you just have to press the same key combination once more.

See more information

To see more information, simply select the torrent and press the right arrow key .

Change priorities

Changing priorities is simple. All you have to do is select the torrent and press ‘+’ if you want to set it to a high priority level and ‘-‘, if you want to set it to a low priority level . The priority will be displayed on the right side.

Exit rTorrent

To exit rTorrent, no more than press Ctrl + Q .

Configuration file

This is optional, but highly recommended. First, create the file by typing in the terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T):

onevi ~/.rtorrent.rc

Here we can change the default destination of the downloads . For this example I will use a directory called rtorrent , which must exist previously. Inside the file we will write this:


If we want to automatically resume incomplete downloads when starting rTorrent , we will add the location of the directory in which the .torrent files are located . Usually, it’s the download directory.


After this, save and close the configuration file.

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