In the past few years, torrenting has become a popular way of downloading content. The Bittorrent protocol that is used to download this data from other users onto your computer also works in reverse-as well as downloads files for you at lightning speed.
Adding a torrent service on top of your current project(s) is another wonderful usage for a Raspberry Pi if you already have one operating. I understand that torrents aren’t as popular as they once were, but having an app with a decent web interface to fast download torrents when you need them is still useful. How are you going to construct this? So, I’ve tried a few options and will address all of your concerns in this post.
Overall, qBittorrent is the most complete program for setting up a torrent server on a Raspberry Pi. It’s included in the Raspberry Pi OS default repository and contains all of the advanced capabilities (speed limits, notifications, and a web interface).
In this post, I’ll show you everything, including how to set it up and additional options to consider. So, if that’s something you’re interested in, stay reading!
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Table of Contents
qBittorrent is number one.
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Introduction to qBittorrent
qBittorrent is an open-source project that was developed as a replacement for Torrent and other torrent clients. You may have previously used it on your computer since it runs on any operating system (Windows, Linux, macOS, and BSD).
qBittorrent is presently the most sophisticated option for managing torrent downloads, according to my experiments on Raspberry Pi. All of the functionality you’ll need are pre-installed, you can add plugins, and the web interface is accessible from any device on your network.
I’ll share what I learned after testing this software with you so you can do your own research. I’ll then offer you two choices in case qBittorrent isn’t a suitable match for you, but it should be for the vast majority of you:-).
Installing qBittorrent on a Raspberry Pi
qBittorrent is accessible in the default Raspberry Pi OS repositories, as stated in the introduction. The installation is rather basic; the only difference is whether you want it to start automatically on startup or whether you utilize the command line.
To install qBittorrent on Raspberry Pi OS with Desktop, utilize the add/remove software tool:
- Go to Preferences and choose “Add/Remove Software” from the main menu.
- Type “qbittorent” into the search engine.
- Select the first package and check the box.
- To install it on your machine, click “Apply.”
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qBittorrent will now be accessible from the main menu, under the “Internet” category. You may begin now. I’ll give you more details on the complex setup later, but the fundamental operation is rather straightforward.
Use the qBittorrent interface to add a torrent link (or a direct download of the.torrent file) to your download list.
Installation through command line
You can’t utilize the qBittorrent GUI if your Raspberry Pi runs a basic version of Raspberry Pi OS (or another server distribution), and you’ll need to install another package. qbittorrent-nox is the third package shown in my earlier screenshot.
Install it using APT, just like any other program: sudo apt install qbittorrent-nox sudo apt update
After the command has been installed, you must give the torrent file location or the direct URL. The fundamental syntax is as follows: qbittorrent-nox qbittorrent-nox
By default, this will begin the download in the current folder, but there are several choices available to accomplish your goals. To display all the options, use “–help”:
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Configuration of qBittorrent
The basic software is now installed, but qBittorrent’s true power is concealed in its settings. As a result, I suggest going over your options to see if there’s anything relevant there.
On the desktop, enter the configuration interface by selecting “Preferences” from the “Tools” submenu. You may either pick as many options as required or build a configuration file with your choices using the command line.
Turn on the web interface.
One of the nicest aspects of qBittorrent is the web interface, which is particularly useful when installed on a Raspberry Pi and used without a display or keyboard. The web interface is not activated by default, so go to Preferences then Web UI to enable it. Then choose the first option and create a login and password as follows:
You may deactivate authentication for clients on the same network or for certain IP addresses, depending on how you use your torrent machine (your phone or your computer, for example). If any other services (such as Domoticz) use port 8080, be sure to alter it in this window as well.
After that, open your web browser on your PC and type http://:8080 to have immediate access to the web interface. If you don’t know how to retrieve your Raspberry Pi’s IP address, check out this guide.
The user interface is almost identical to that of the desktop:
If you have a minimal distribution running on your Pi, you can still Turn on the web interface. and then only use this to easily get access to all the Other possibilities without having to use the command line at all. Simply execute this command without any parameters: qbittorrent-nox You’ll need to accept the disclaimer, and you’ll then get the Web UI address.
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qBittorent provides all of the standard app setup choices, such as the download route, speed limitations, and so on. But I really like the fact that they provide sophisticated choices. Consider the following examples:
- Notifications: When a download is complete, you may establish a mail server to send an email notice.
- Run a script when a download is finished: you may perform the same thing when a download is finished (or any program). If you’ve read my Python book, you can, for example, use Python to construct a push notification that you’ll get on your phone at the conclusion of each download.
- No-IP updater: If you, like me, use a dynamic domain name such as No-IP or DynDNS, you may set up your account in qBittorrent to automatically update your IP address as it changes.
Even though these features aren’t required, they are the primary reason I picked this program as my favorite. It goes farther than any other option, making it an excellent match for practically everyone.
qBittorrent also has a search engine (use the “Search” tab and install one of the plugins to utilize it). The official plugins aren’t great, but I’m certain you’ll find one that works for you.
On boot, launch qBittorrent.
One thing missing in the settings is a way to automatically On boot, launch qBittorrent.. And this is an issue, as the web interface doesn’t work when the app is not open. I tried a few things, and the easiest way to avoid this issue is to create a crontab, to start the app on boot.
I understand that the best practice (as well as the wiki) is to construct a service for qBittorrent, but I think this is a little too hard for an app like that. So, here’s how to speed up the process:
- First, you’ll need to install the qBittorent-nox package, which you can do using sudo apt install qbittorent-nox (or the Add/Remove Software program).
- Then change the crontab file as follows: crontab -e crontab
- Finally, at the end of the file, add the following line to launch qBittorent on boot: /usr/bin/qbittorrent-nox @reboot
- (CTRL+O, CTRL+X) Save and exit
You should be able to use the web interface straight after the next reboot. Although having this choice directly in the GUI setting would have been preferable, it isn’t a major flaw.
If the crontab isn’t your buddy, this post will show you how to start something on boot. Choose your favorite or set up a service if you wish to follow best practices:-).
Using qBittorrent to get even farther
You now know how to set up qBittorrent to create a torrent box on your Raspberry Pi. But you can go even further by testing Other possibilities in the settings or adding complementary projects to your system.
Installing Samba on your Raspberry Pi and then moving the data to a certain shared folder is an example. This way, you can quickly retrieve the downloaded file from your computer or link this folder to Kodi to view the matching media on your television.
It’s also a good idea to use a VPN on top of it. If you don’t have a VPN yet, I tested the top VPN options available for Raspberry Pi in this post.
2 – Communication
Transmission is another great app to download torrents on Raspberry Pi. qBittorrent is like the “do-it-all” when it comes to torrents, but maybe you need something more simple. If like me, you use a torrent client like once a month to download a Linux image, you just need the basics (click & download).
Transmission is a major undertaking that is often provided by default on other distributions (like Ubuntu, for example). It’s not preloaded on the Raspberry Pi OS, but sudo apt install transmission will install it for you. Alternatively, look for it using the Add/Remove Software program.
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A web interface is also included with Transmission (port 9091 by default). You may activate it under the “Remote” tab of the settings. As you can see, the number of options is limited, but the most significant ones are present (speed limits, download paths, etc.).
Overall, the Transmission app is a fantastic solution that should suffice in most situations, particularly if you don’t want additional features.
3 – Flood
The final recommendation I have is to utilize Deluge.
I tried it since I had used it on my PC for a long time, but after using qBittorrent and Transmission, it seemed to be less appealing. I like qBittorrent’s extensive capabilities and Transmission’s elegant UI; Deluge lacks both.
In any case, it’s still a viable option, particularly if you’re accustomed to it on another device. It’s also in the default repository, so you can use APT to install it: apt-get install deluge If you want more sophisticated functionality, such as the command line, web interface, or daemon, make sure to install the appropriate packages. To receive the list, do the following: sudo apt-get install deluge
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Before publishing this essay, I conducted a poll on my YouTube channel, and I now have a better understanding of the results:
I ordered the three possibilities from most popular to least popular for myself, but it seems that I was out of touch with current events:-).
qBittorent will generally do better than the Other possibilities, and in the long run will already include any advanced options you might need in the future, so I would recommend starting with it directly.
I normally run a torrent box using qBittorent on my Raspberry Pi Zero 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And if you’re looking for more little projects like that, check out my current top Raspberry Pi Zero (1 or 2) projects here.
Resources for Raspberry Pi
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