Skip to content


Repository files navigation


A 40' shipping container for the Internet

crate build book chat

Intermodal is a user-friendly and featureful command-line BitTorrent metainfo utility. The binary is called imdl and runs on Linux, Windows, and macOS.

At the moment, creation, viewing, and verification of .torrent files is supported. See the book for examples and usage information.

For more about the project and its goals, check out this post.

demonstration animation

Table of Contents


Supported Operating Systems

imdl supports Linux, MacOS, and Windows, and should work on other unix OSes. If it does not, please open an issue!


Operating System Package Manager Package Command
Various Cargo imdl cargo install imdl
Arch Linux Yay intermodal-binAUR yay -S intermodal-bin
Arch Linux Yay intermodalAUR yay -S intermodal
Arch Linux Manual Installation intermodalAUR wiki
Void Linux XBPS intermodal xbps-install -S intermodal
Windows Scoop intermodal scoop install intermodal

Pre-built binaries

Pre-built binaries for Linux, macOS, and Windows can be found on the releases page.

Linux and MacOS Install Script

You can use the following command on Linux and MacOS to download the latest binary, just replace DEST with the directory where you'd like to install the imdl binary:

curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 -sSf | bash -s -- --to DEST

A good place to install personal binaries is ~/bin, which uses when --to is not supplied. To create the ~/bin directory and install imdl there, do:

curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 -sSf | bash

Additionally, you'll have to add ~/bin to the PATH environment variable, which the system uses to find executables. How to do this depends on the shell.

For sh, bash, and zsh, it should be done in ~/.profile:

echo 'export PATH=$HOME/bin:$PATH' >> ~/.profile

For fish, it should be done in ~/.config/fish/

echo 'set -gx PATH ~/bin $PATH' >> ~/.config/fish/


imdl is written in Rust and can be built from source and installed with cargo install imdl. To get Rust, use the rustup installer.

Shell Completion Scripts

Shell completion scripts for Bash, Zsh, Fish, PowerShell, and Elvish are included in all binary releases.

For Bash, move imdl.bash to $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/bash_completion or /etc/bash_completion.d/.

For Fish, move to $HOME/.config/fish/completions/.

For the Z shell, move _imdl to one of your $fpath directories.

For PowerShell, add . _imdl.ps1 to your PowerShell profile (note the leading period). If the _imdl.ps1 file is not on your PATH, do . /path/to/_imdl.ps1 instead.

The imdl binary can also generate the same completion scripts at runtime, using the completions command:

$ imdl completions --shell bash > imdl.bash

The --dir argument can be used to write a completion script into a directory with a filename that's appropriate for the shell. For example, the following command will write the Z shell completion script to $fpath[0]/_imdl:

$ imdl completions --shell zsh --dir $fpath[0]


Online documentation is available in the book, hosted here.


Adding --help to any command will print help text about how to use that command, including detailed information about any command-line arguments it accepts.

So, to get information about imdl torrent create, run imdl torrent create --help.

Additionally, the same help text is available online in the book.


The intro to the book has a few simple examples. Check the FAQ for more complex usage examples.


The FAQ covers a variety of specific use-cases. If there's a use case you think should be covered, feel free to open an issue.

Notes for Packagers

First off, thank you very much! If I can do anything to make packaging Intermodal easier, please don't hesistate to open an issue.

The Intermodal binary is called imdl, and the suggested name for the package is intermodal.

Intermodal is written in Rust, and can be built with cargo build --release.

Intermodal is distributed under the Creative Commons Zero, a public domain dedication with a fallback all-permissive license. The SPDX identifier of the CC0 is CC0-1.0.

Build Artifacts

There are a number of build artifacts: the binary, the man pages, the changelog, and the shell completion scripts.

The binary is built with cargo, and the other artifacts are built gen, located in bin/gen.

The binary can be built with:

cargo build --release

gen requires help2man to be installed, which is used to generate man pages from subcommand --help strings.

The rest of the build artifacts can be built with gen:

cargo run --package gen -- --bin target/release/imdl all

The path to the built imdl executable should be passed to gen with the --bin flag.

After running the above commands, the following table shows the location of the built artifacts.

Artifact Location
Binary target/release/imdl
Man Pages target/gen/man/*
Completion Scripts target/gen/completions/*
Changelog target/gen/
Readme target/gen/

Release Updates

If you'd like to receive an update whenever a new version is released, you can watch the intermodal repository in "Releases only" mode.


The primary chat is on Discord.


Your bug reports, feature requests, pull requests, and design help are much appreciated!

Check out issues with the "good first issue" label for some ideas.

Quite a few files are generated by the program in bin/gen. Some files are generated from templates, so those templates should be edited to make changes to those files:

  • bin/gen/templates/ -> book/src/
  • bin/gen/templates/ ->
  • bin/gen/templates/ -> book/src/

Some files are completely generated, and so shouldn't be manually edited at all:

  • book/src/commands/*
  • completions/*
  • man/*

All files can be regenerated by running cargo run --package gen all, or just gen, if you have just installed.

The changelog is generated from YAML metadata in commit messages. Here is an example commit message, with metadata:

Upgrade foo

Upgrade foo to v7.5, which is much better.

type: changed

The only required field is type. To see the possible values for type, run cargo run --package gen commit-types.


Performance benchmarks can be run with:

$ cargo bench --features bench

The benchmark framework used is criterion.

The bench targets themselves are in the benches directory. These targets call benchmarking functions in src/, which are only enabled when the bench feature is enabled.

Semantic Versioning

Intermodal follows semantic versioning.

In particular:

  • v0.0.X: Breaking changes may be introduced at any time.
  • v0.X.Y: Breaking changes may only be introduced with a minor version number bump.
  • vX.Y.Z: Breaking changes may only be introduced with a major version number bump

Unstable Features

To avoid premature stabilization and excessive version churn, unstable features are unavailable unless the --unstable / -u flag is passed, for example imdl --unstable torrent create .. Unstable features may be changed or removed at any time.


The formatting of imdl torrent show is entirely copied from torf, an excellent command-line torrent creator, editor, and viewer.


A command-line utility for BitTorrent torrent file creation, verification, and more