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python rtorrent webUI
Python JavaScript CSS


pyRT is an open source standalone front-end for the linux bittorrent client rTorrent written in python (currently in alpha testing stages)

pyRT is licensed under the GNU General Public License, Version 3 (


pyRT is designed to run standalone, with its own HTTP server, interfacing with rTorrent via XMLRPC through a socket file.

Assuming rTorrent has been compiled with xmlrpc and scgi_local has been enabled in .rtorrent.rc, pyRT should be able to run without further requirements other than a simple configuration.

No apache set up, no confusing SCGI configuration.

Since pyRT runs off a socket file, the XMLRPC interface can be kept secure by its file permissions. Many other rTorrent frontend result in this being thrown open to other users on the same server, or even to anyone with the knownledge of which port the XMLRPC interface is listening on.


Tested on python 2.7 on a linux system running funtoo Likely not to function with python 2.6 or lower (probably fixable by replacing the json module with simplejson) Likely not to function with python 3.0 or higher

Server dependencies

tornado version 2.2.1 (

Client-side dependencies (major dependencies)

Javascript-enabled browser which supports the following features:

  • HTML5
    • canvas
    • canvas text API
    • drag and drop
  • javascript
    • File API
    • FileReader API
    • Web Sockets
    • XMLHttpRequest (for regression if web sockets don't work)
    • JSON parsing
  • CSS
    • gradients
    • position:fixed
    • box-shadow
    • border-radius (or -moz-border-radius)
    • background-image
    • multiple backgrounds

Recent versions of chrome (tested 19) and firefox (tested 11) are fully supported


Install tornado using your favourite package manager

Debian apt-get install python-tornado (Note that you must use wheezy or sid to install a sufficiently high version of tornado)

Gentoo/Funtoo emerge -av www-servers/tornado (Note that you must use the ~x86 keyword if appropriate)

or from source

tar xvzf tornado-2.2.1.tar.gz
cd tornado-2.2.1
python install

Configure pyRT

Copy example config cp config/pyrtrc.example config/.pyrtrc

Edit configuration and save

(See Configuration below)

Start server

Make sure rTorrent is running

Start server with ./pyrt start


The configuration file .pyrtrc uses JSON syntax, with comments permitted.

All configuration values are contained within a single dictionary, with keys wrapped in double quotes ", seperated from values by a colon :.

Every line excepting the final line must be terminated by a comma ,.

rtorrent_socket: Full path to the rTorrent socket file as defined in .rtorrent.rc

port: Port that pyRT will listen on

host: Hostname or IP address that pyRT will bind to

ssl_certificate: Optional Full path to the SSL certificate, pyRT will run on HTTP if this is not defined

ssl_private_key: Optional Full path to the SSL private key

ssl_ca_certs: Optional Full path to the certificate authority file

root_directory: Optional Root directory that disk usage will be measured for (defaults to /)

logfile: Optional Relative or full path to the log file, defaults to pyrt.log

password: Hashed password for pyRT, this can be generated with the command ./pyrt mkpasswd

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