Running qBittorrent without X server

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qBittorrent has a feature-rich Web UI allowing users to control qBittorrent remotely. Up until v2.1.0, qBittorrent required a X server to run because its Qt4 graphical user interface could not be disabled. However, it is often the case that Linux servers are not running any X server. To allow users to run qBittorrent v2 on a computer without X we separated the GUI code from the core in qBittorrent v2.1.0.

Table of Contents

Install qBittorrent-nox (from binary package)

Many distributions package qBittorrent-nox into a different package.

For Ubuntu:

Please refer to the updated guide here.

On OpenSUSE:

You have to install the same named package (as of 13.1):

 sudo zypper in qbittorrent-nox

There is no PPA for OpenSUSE, but you can check the Build Service (OBS in short) for new packages. Use these only on your own risk. Those are not our packages, we don't check them.

Compile from source - How to disable qBittorrent's GUI

First of all, you need to understand that qBittorrent graphical user interface can only be disabled at compilation time. To disable qBittorrent Graphical User Interface, you should run the configure file as follows:

 ./configure --disable-gui

Then compile qBittorrent as usual:

 make && sudo make install

Run qBittorrent-nox

qBittorrent-nox can be launched as usual with the following command:

 qbittorrent-nox

Note that qBittorrent-nox is a terminal application and it will not run as a daemon. As a consequence, it is advised to run qBittorrent-nox within GNU Screen, using detach feature so that the user can conveniently logout from the system while keeping the file transfers active.

Control qBittorrent-nox

qBittorrent-nox ships a feature-rich Web UI that is almost identical to qBittorrent graphical user interface. The Web UI can be accessed via most Web Browsers (including Firefox, Chromium, IE7/8).

When the GUI is disabled, the Web UI is automatically enabled and running as a default on:

 http://server-ip:8080
 Username: admin
 Password: adminadmin

It is strongly advised that you change the username / password as soon as possible as it is a security risk to leave the default values. You can choose a new username / password from Options > Preferences window in the Web UI. The new parameters will be taken into account instantly, without restarting qBittorrent.

If you already have a server listening on port 8080 (e.g. An application server such as Tomcat or Glassfish), then you can use a different port by running qBittorrent-nox as follows:

 qbittorrent-nox --webui-port=x

For example, to run qBittorrent-nox Web UI on port 8181 instead of 8080, use:

 qbittorrent-nox --webui-port=8181

It is only required to pass --webui-port parameter once because qBittorrent-nox will remember the new port upon restart.

If you want to further configure it, have a look at: ".config/qBittorrent/qBittorent.conf" in your executing users home directory.

Useless dependencies

qBittorrent-nox does not need as many dependencies as standard qBittorrent because its Qt4 GUI is disabled.
The following dependencies are no longer useful:

  • geoip-database
  • libnotify
  • QtGui, QtXml
  • Python

How to run qbittorrent-nox on startup

Warning! Ubuntu 15.04 switched to Systemd. Please refer to the Ubuntu server Guide mentioned at the top of this article.

A qBittorrent user (Jakster) wrote an init script for Debian to run qbittorrent-nox on startup.
This script can be found here | mirror | mirror2. Save it in /etc/init.d/ folder, under the name qbittorrent-nox-daemon.

You can do this in one step, by issuing this command:

 sudo wget -O /etc/init.d/qbittorrent-nox-daemon http://launchpadlibrarian.net/38905385/qbittorrent

However, always make sure you got the proper content. Check the link and the mirror.
Make sure the downloaded file is correct as well, by opening it in the text editor 'nano'.

 nano -w /etc/init.d/qbittorrent-nox-daemon

Then make sure it is executable using this command:

 sudo chmod 755 /etc/init.d/qbittorrent-nox-daemon

Then make sure it is executed on startup using this command:

 sudo update-rc.d qbittorrent-nox-daemon defaults

If you wish to undo the previous command, you can use the following command:

 sudo update-rc.d -f qbittorrent-nox-daemon remove