Some notes from configuring rTorrent

In anticipation of the new *buntus tomorrow, I’m configuring one of my servers as a torrent node for it, and for reasons unknown I’ve settled on rtorrent which is in the repos. The documentation is a little lacking (but does tell you how to do things like download torrents. Read it), and the most popular HowTo is quite verbose.

~/.torrentrc is the config file for rtorrent. The one from the Debian repos puts an example in /usr/share/doc/rtorrent/examples/rtorrent.rc, and apparently so does *buntu. You probably want to edit this. Path variables can be absolute or relative, and are generally relative and inside ./ by default. I’ve two directories, ~/torrents/ for the torrents and ~/.rtorrent/ for rtorrent’s working directories.
Some variables I found to be handy:


Defines the socket file for scgi communication, which you only really need if you want external stats from it. I did, but haven’t yet got round to using them.

session = ~/.rtorrent/session

The session directory, which lets multiple instances of rtorrent remember where they left off. Cannot be shared between instances.

rtorrent supports command scheduling, the syntax for which is occasionally documented. The syntax is approximately:

schedule = a,b,c,d

a: What you want to call this scheduled command ((I don’t know where this comes in handy later on)).
b: How many seconds after rtorrent starts you want to first execute the command.
c: The interval for subsequent executions.
d: the command you want to execute.
This comes in most handy for auotmatically starting torrents in a directory:

schedule = watch_directory,5,5,load_start=~/torrents/*.torrent

Exactly what that does is left as an excercise to the reader (the example .rtorrent.rc explains, too).