rTorrent Manager

rTorrent Manager

What is rTorrent Manager?

rTorrent Manager is a remote front-end for rTorrent built on Mozilla platform. It can run as an extension for Mozilla Firefox or as a stand-alone application using XULRunner. Firefox 2.0+ and XULRunner 1.8.1+ are supported.

Why rTorrent Manager?

There are a few remote front-ends for rTorrent out there. Why would someone create another one? The main reason for creating rTorrent Manager is to provide close integration with a web browser, so that you can browse the web, download torrent files, and control downloading torrents directly from your browser. There are also a few Mozilla extensions that support downloading torrents directly, but they don't give the freedom to shutdown your desktop whenever you like without interrupting the download process.


Currently rTorrent Manager is in a low-activity mode of development. Many useful features are missing. However, the most essential things are in place. Other useful features are being worked on. The items grayed in the following list are not available in the current release, but will be some time in the future.

  • Connect to rTorrent over HTTP or HTTPS. Use basic HTTP password authentication.
  • Display the list of the torrents loaded in rTorrent. Display detailed information about each torrent.
  • Control torrents by issuing commands like Start, Stop, Pause, Rehash, Delete.
  • Load new torrent files into rTorrent from the local file system by picking files with the standard "Open File" dialog or by drag-and-dropping the files onto the torrent list window.
  • Monitor the status of the downloads in the background and display notification when a download is complete.
  • Detect when a torrent file is being downloaded by the browser and load that file directly into rTorrent without saving it to a local file first.
  • Display the content of a torrent file before loading it into rTorrent to provide the user with more information to decide whether he wants to download that torrent.
  • Display connection status icon and number of XMLRPC errors in the status bar of the torrent list window.
  • Open torrent magnet links, when clicked in the browser, and send them to rTorrent for downloading.
  • Display generic information about rTorrent configuration and status. Allow to change the configuration where applicable.
  • Delete damaged, incomplete, or unnecessary downloaded files from the file system where rTorrent runs without using any extra connection protocol (like SSH or FTP).
  • Copy or move the downloaded files to the local file system using one of several available protocols (SSH, FTP, HTTP, SMB, NFS, etc.)
  • Display the list of files/peers/trackers for a particular torrent and perform the operations supported by rTorrent via remote interface.
  • Connect to rTorrent via SSH tunnel. Use password or key pair authentication.
  • Other feature suggestions are welcome.


Click on the image to enlarge.


Firefox extension

The extension can be installed from the download page either directly or by downloading the .xpi file first and then installing it offline. When the extension is installed there is a toolbar button available to open the main rTorrent Manager window. One may have to use the toolbar customization dialog to make that button visible.

Firefox will check for updates of the rTorrent Manager extension automatically once in a while, just like it does for other extensions (if configured accordingly).

Since version 48 Firefox requires all extensions to be signed by Mozilla. To make things worse, Mozilla no longer accepts new extensions for signing. Because of that, to install rTorrent Manager on recent Firefox versions mandatory extension signing needs to be disabled. Depending on a particular Firefox build, there may or may not be an easy way to do that.

In Firefox version 57 Mozilla is planning to discontinue support for XUL/XPCOM-based extensions completely. That means it will no longer be possible to install and run rTorrent Manager. Fortunately, developers of some Firefox-based browsers intend to continute supporting what Mozilla calls "legacy" extesions. Pale Moon and Waterfox are two examples of browsers where rTorrent Manager will likely continue to work.

XULRunner application

XULRunner itself is not included in the installation package. It should be downloaded and installed separately. The latest stable release of XULRunner can be found here. Depending on the OS the installation may involve a setup wizard or it may be as simple as unpacking the package to a location of choice.

The application installation procedure on Mac OS X is typical for many applications on that platform. Once the .dmg file has been mounted, the application can be copied to any suitable location. It can be started by simply clicking on the application icon.

On other OS one has to unpack the installation package to the desired location and use XULRunner command line options to start the application. On Windows one can create a shortcut to run the startup command. On other OS there is usually similar functionality available.

Currently the XULRunner application version of rTorrent Manager does not feature automatic updates. Such functionality is may be implemented in future versions.

Mozilla stopped publishing XULRunner binaries after version 41.0.2. However, Firefox can be used to run XULRunner applications with -app command line parameter.

Many relatively recent versions of XULRunner (or at least the binaries published by Mozilla) appear to have issues on OS X. The latest version known to work is 33.1.1.

How to use

There is no written manual at this time. There isn't that much need in a manual. Install it, run it, enjoy it. If the meaning of some settings is not immediately obvious, one can figure it out by trying different options.


rTorrent Manager is free to use, but currently it is not open source software. Please read the Software License Agreement. In short, everyone is allowed to use rTorrent Manager for any legal purpose, except for modification, reverse engineering, or any kind of redistribution (including sale). The author cannot be held responsible for any damage that might result from the use of this software.

Why not open source?

For no particular reason. It will very likely become open source at some point. But before that there is still some work to be done. And, of course, there must be some interest to the software, otherwise open source makes no sense. So if you are interested in rTorrent Manager becoming opensource you can send your feedback.


The latest release of rTorrent Manager is available on the download page.


To send your comments, questions, suggestions, bug reports, feature requests see the support page.