[ubuntu-uk] How to torrent on a remote machine: was:Idea- Torrents!

Alan Pope alan at popey.com
Tue Apr 29 14:38:29 BST 2008

On Tue, 2008-04-29 at 14:03 +0100, Javad Ayaz wrote:
> or ill just say its part of my going green aim!!! lol

An admirable goal. Certainly a little nslu2 and a usb drive will take
much less power than a multi-core CPU machine with a monster video card,
driving a flat panel.

What I do is have an old PC I was given for nothing which draws about
30W. It's a Dell Optiplex G1, which has the following specification:-

$ grep MHz /proc/cpuinfo  # 400MHz CPU
cpu MHz         : 398.790

$ grep MemTotal /proc/meminfo  # 192MiB RAM
MemTotal:       190740 kB

$ df | head -n 2
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on # 6GB Disk
/dev/sda1             5.7G  4.3G  1.1G  81% /

Which is running Ubuntu Hardy Server (upgraded from Gutsy, previously
upgraded from Feisty). I put it on my network and installed the
necessary packages to enable me to logon to it:-

(all the commands below are run on the server)

$ sudo apt-get install ssh

And then installed the rtorrent package to enable me to download

$ sudo apt-get install rtorrent

Next we install the program "screen" which allows things to carry on
running when you're disconnected:-

$ sudo apt-get install screen

Then on my desktop PC I go and find a torrent I want to download, ah,
here is one:-


I then open a terminal on my desktop and ssh from my desktop to the

$ ssh

(Note: is the IP address my server has, yours may be
different of course depending upon how you configured your network)

I then get the torrent to the server machine:-

$ wget

Which gives output that looks like this:-


Then run rtorrent:-

$ screen -S hardytorrent rtorrent ubuntu-8.04-alternate-i386.iso.torrent

This then gives a screen which looks like this:-


(which shows that it's _just_ started downloading).

A few minutes have now passed since I typed that and thanks to the
lovely people at Ubuntu, and the equally lovely people at Virgin Media
(providing me with a 20Mb/s connection) I get something like this:-


Look at him go! 2 MegaBytes a second.

Ok, I need to go for a cup of tea, and maybe shutdown my desktop for
some contrived reason, so I press the following keys in the rtorrent

CTRL+A then D

The word "[detached]" appears, which shows that I am no longer attached
to the screen session. I can now logout of the server with:-


Now I could shutdown my desktop, go to bed and dream of torrents.

Time passes...

WAKEY WAKEY! Rise and Shine! It's morning, which must mean it's time to
check the torrents!

So, we boot up the desktop and then ssh to the server:-

$ ssh

Now, lets see if that screen session (containing rtorrent) is still
running by just typing this:-

$ screen -ls
There is a screen on:
        21100.hardytorrent      (Detached)
1 Socket in /var/run/screen/S-alan.

So that means that my rtorrent is probably still running but nobody is
attached, watching it. Lets re-attach to screen to see if it's finished
torrenting the ISO image:-

$ screen -r hardytorrent

Ooh, it's finished:-


(Note: I actually stopped rtorrent by accident and restarted it, but it
carried on regardless)

When finished, if I want to quit rtorrent (and hence screen) I press:-


I then see:-

[screen is terminating]

Job done.

I can now copy the files over from the server to my desktop using the
Ubuntu/Gnome places menu to create a connection to my server.

My manky old PC actually also has a USB drive attached, so I could
rtorrent directly to it rather than store on the small internal hard
disk, but as you can see, my usb disk is a bit full too :)

Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdb1             699G  690G  9.3G  99% /media/750GDisk


Hope that's helpful.

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