rTorrent Linux ncurses torrent client with protocol encryption

I’ve the opportunity to try rTorrent today, it is a lightweight bittorrent client that uses ncurses as its user-interface. Personally, I’m impressed with all the features included in this small and seemingly simple bittorent client.

Among the feature included in rTorrent are :

  • Partial downloading of multi-file torrents
  • Upload/Download throttling
  • Task prioritization
  • Protocol Encryption
  • Supports Linux, *BSD and Mac OS X

rTorrent itself is written with performance in mind and it uses the smallest amount of memory compared to other bittorent client.

One of the advantage of using rTorrent is – it can be used under command line (CLI) environment without the need of an X server. This means with rTorrent, you can download torrents on another computer by using remote connection (for example SSH).

rTorrent session can also be multiplexed with the additional use of GNU screen utility, which enables you to focus on other work while monitoring your downloads.

In my personal opinion, the best thing about rTorrent is because it supports bittorrent protocol encryption which is important to me because of my ISP’s traffic shaping policy on P2P trafffic, which kinda lame – I know.

How to get rTorrent
rTorrent is available on Ubuntu repository, but the current release listed there (0.6.4) does not support protocol encryption which is one of the main point that you might want to use rTorrent.

So if you’re using Ubuntu Feisty Fawn or Debian Etch, you can install the latest release of rTorrent by using these deb packages :

Alternatively, you can compile both libtorrent and rTorrent from its sources.

rTorrent sucks, I want a GUI bittorrent client
Though rTorrent has most of the feature that makes it a fully featured bittorent client, it does feature a cryptic user-interface which is not suitable for everybody to use.

If you’re using an ISP that shapes torrent traffic, and has trouble using a CLI environment, then I recommend these bittorrent clients for you :

Both application is available in the latest Ubuntu Feisty Fawn repositories.

[tags]torrent,bittorrent,azureus,ubuntu,linux,open source,encryption,p2p[/tags]

20 Replies to “rTorrent Linux ncurses torrent client with protocol encryption”

  1. Great article. I’ve been looking at niche sites recently like thevault.bz which was rubbish! They make you jump through hoops to get an account claiming loads of exclusive content but you can get everything from the main torrent sites like pirate bay. thevault.bz is a total waste of time!

  2. I am running rtorrent right now on a Linksys NSLU2 I reburned with Debian this weekend and it seems to be working just fine on practically no memory or CPU. I can park the slug (NSLU2) and an external drive on a bookshelf, scping torrent files to its watch folder when I want it to get something…too fun.

  3. well i sometimes download around 3-4 gigs a night, and i’ve also been seeding some tv shows lately (upload around 1 gb a day). i know this isn’t huge traffic, but rtorrent never caused me one problem. and i have a whole 256 megs of ram…

  4. It is very good with CPU-usage and starts with very little used memory, but as you use it, the RAM usage creeps up and up and up. If you start a few torrents in the evening, your system will be near-frozen in the morning unless you have lots of RAM in it or stick to tiny torrents. Placing external memory limits on it (ulimit) results in errors.

  5. This is on Debian etch (4.0r1)…

    debian:/shared/downloads# dpkg -i libtorrent10_0.11.8-1_i386.deb rtorrent_0.7.7-1_i386.deb
    (Reading database … 61820 files and directories currently installed.)
    Preparing to replace libtorrent10 0.11.8-1 (using libtorrent10_0.11.8-1_i386.deb) …
    Unpacking replacement libtorrent10 …
    Preparing to replace rtorrent 0.7.7-1 (using rtorrent_0.7.7-1_i386.deb) …
    Unpacking replacement rtorrent …
    dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of libtorrent10:
    libtorrent10 depends on libgcc1 (>= 1:4.2.1); however:
    Version of libgcc1 on system is 1:4.1.1-21.
    libtorrent10 depends on libssl0.9.8 (>= 0.9.8e-1); however:
    Version of libssl0.9.8 on system is 0.9.8c-4.
    libtorrent10 depends on libstdc++6 (>= 4.2.1); however:
    Version of libstdc++6 on system is 4.1.1-21.
    dpkg: error processing libtorrent10 (–install):
    dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
    dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of rtorrent:
    rtorrent depends on libcurl3 (>= 7.16.2-1); however:
    Version of libcurl3 on system is 7.15.5-1etch1.
    rtorrent depends on libgcc1 (>= 1:4.2.1); however:
    Version of libgcc1 on system is 1:4.1.1-21.
    rtorrent depends on libkrb53 (>= 1.6.dfsg.1); however:
    Version of libkrb53 on system is 1.4.4-7etch2.
    rtorrent depends on libncurses5 (>= 5.6); however:
    Version of libncurses5 on system is 5.5-5.
    rtorrent depends on libssh2-0; however:
    Package libssh2-0 is not installed.
    rtorrent depends on libssl0.9.8 (>= 0.9.8e-1); however:
    Version of libssl0.9.8 on system is 0.9.8c-4.
    rtorrent depends on libstdc++6 (>= 4.2.1); however:
    Version of libstdc++6 on system is 4.1.1-21.
    rtorrent depends on libtorrent10; however:
    Package libtorrent10 is not configured yet.
    dpkg: error processing rtorrent (–install):
    dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
    Errors were encountered while processing:

    debian:/shared/downloads# uname -a
    Linux debian 2.6.18-5-686 #1 SMP Fri Jun 1 00:47:00 UTC 2007 i686 GNU/Linux

  6. Pingback: Blogroll
  7. Hi mypapit:
    I use “lenny”, the current testing version.
    this is the dependency error:

    “libtorrent10 depende de libc6 (>= 2.5); sin embargo:
    La versión de `libc6′ en el sistema es 2.3.6.ds1-13.”


  8. lowks: agreed. I prefer ktorrent over azureus mostly because azureus is too resource intensive for my other applications.

  9. For bang of the buck I use ktorrent. It’s really shining now and it’s the only one that I can decent speeds on ( sometimes still able to go up to 100k++). It comes with a nifty web interface for remote access to boot !

  10. ermm , can it really bypass streamyx traffic shaping?. whats the max speed u can get for a good torrent files with good seeds ?

Comments are closed.