🎨 Extended rTorrent distribution with UI enhancements, colorization, and some added features.
C++ Python Shell



Extended rTorrent distribution with UI enhancements, colorization, and some added features.

Extended Canvas Screenshot


rTorrent-PS is a rTorrent distribution (not a fork of it), in form of a set of patches that improve the user experience and stability of official rTorrent releases.

rTorrent-PS is not the same as the PyroScope command line utilities, and doesn't depend on them; the same is true the other way 'round. It's just that both unsurprisingly have synergies if used together, and some features do only work when both are present.

To get in contact and share your experiences with other users of rTorrent-PS, join the pyroscope-users mailing list or the inofficial ##rtorrent channel on irc.freenode.net.

Feature Overview

The main changes compared to vanilla rTorrent are these:

  • self-contained install into any location of your choosing, including your home directory, offering the ability to run several versions at once (in different client instances).
  • rpath-linked to the major dependencies, so you can upgrade those independently from your OS distribution's versions.
  • extended command set:
    • sort views by more than one value, and set the sort direction for each of these.
    • bind keys in the root display to any command, e.g. change the built-in views.
    • record network traffic.
  • interface additions:
    • easily customizable colors.
    • collapsed 1-line item display with condensed information.
    • network bandwidth graph.
    • displaying the tracker domain for each item.
    • some more minor modifications to the download list view.

To get those, you just need to either follow the build instructions, or download and install a package from Bintray — assuming one is available for your platform. See below for installation instructions — more detailed reference information can be found on the RtorrentExtended and RtorrentExtendedCanvas pages. DebianInstallFromSource contains installation instructions for a working rTorrent instance in combination with pyrocore, on Debian and most Debian-derived distros — i.e. a manual way to do parts of what pimp-my-box does automatically for you.


General Installation Options

See the instructions here for building from source using the provided build.sh script, which will install rTorrent-PS into ~/lib/rtorrent-‹version›.


If you also install the PyroScope command line utilities, do not forget to activate the extended features available together with rTorrent-PS, as mentioned in the Configuration Guide.

Also take note of the pimp-my-box project that does it all (almost) automatically for Debian-type systems (and is the preferred way to install on those systems). The automation is done using Ansible, which implies you can easily admin several systems with it, and also maintain them – so it's not a one-shot installation bash script creating a setup that can never be changed again.

Installation Using Debian Packages

For a limited set of Debian-derived platforms, there are packages available that contain pre-compiled binaries (and only those, no configuration or init scripts). You can download and install such a package from Bintray — assuming one is available for your platform. The packages install the rTorrent-PS binary including some libraries into /opt/rtorrent.

Example on Raspbian Jessie:

cd /tmp
curl -Lko rt-ps.deb "https://bintray.com/artifact/download/pyroscope/rtorrent-ps/rtorrent-ps_$version.deb"
dpkg -i rt-ps.deb

After installation, you must provide a configuration file (~/.rtorrent.rc), and either use the absolute path to the binary to start it, or link it into /usr/local like this:

ln -s /opt/rtorrent/bin/rtorrent /usr/local/bin


You can safely install the package and test it out in parallel to an existing installation, just use the absolute path /opt/rtorrent/bin/rtorrent to start rTorrent. Your data is in no way affected as long as you normally run a 0.9.x version.

Homebrew Tap for Mac OSX

See the homebrew-rtorrent-ps repository for instructions to build rTorrent-PS and related dependencies on Mac OSX.

Installation on Arch Linux

There is an AUR package rtorrent-pyro-git for Arch Linux. If you have problems installing it, contact the maintainer of the package.

Building the Debian Package

A Debian package for easy installation is built using fpm, so you have to install that first on the build machine, if you don't have it yet:

apt-get install ruby ruby-dev
gem install fpm
fpm -h | grep fpm.version

Then you need to prepare the install target, as follows (we assume building under the rtorrent user here):

mkdir -p /opt/rtorrent
chmod 0755 /opt/rtorrent
chown -R rtorrent.rtorrent /opt/rtorrent

Then, the contents of the package are built by calling ./build.sh install, which will populate the /opt/rtorrent directory. When that is done, you can test the resulting executable located at /opt/rtorrent/bin/rtorrent.

Finally, ./build.sh pkg2deb creates the Debian package in /tmp. The script expects the packager's name and email in the usual environment variables, namely DEBFULLNAME and DEBEMAIL. For a few platforms (recent Debian, Ubuntu, and Raspbian), you can find pre-built ones at Bintray.

Building git HEAD of rTorrent

You can also build the latest source of the main rTorrent project (including its libtorrent), with all the settings and rpath linking of the rtorrent-ps builds.

Start by checking out the two projects as siblings of the rtorrent-ps workdir. Then use these commands to build them:

./build.sh clean_all
./build.sh all
./build.sh git

Just like with the vanilla and extended version, you'll get a ‘branded’ binary called rtorrent-git, and a symlink at ~/bin/rtorrent will point to it.

Note however that the new libtorrent.so is unlikely to work with the vanilla and extended code, so they'll be rendered unusable until you rebuild them. Doing that will in turn render the git version broken. This could be easily avoided if the (ABI) versions were bumped in git directly after a release, but alas…


Startup Failure: ‘your terminal only supports 8 colors’

Read these instructions:

If all else fails, you can add a configuration snippet to rtorrent.rc so that only 8 colors are used.