rTorrent on Windows

Since Aug 12 2010 Cygwin has a built in rTorrent package, so you only need to use the following method for installing rTorrent, if you need XMLRPC-C support.

Installing rTorrent on Windows

To be able to run rTorrent on Windows, you are going to need Cygwin.

Installing Cygwin

Download Cygwin 1.7 (or newer) from the Cygwin page (direct links to the installers: x86, x86_64).

Start the installer, choose "Install from internet", select a directory to install Cygwin, and one for the packages to be downloaded to, then set up your connection and pick a mirror.

You're going to need the following packages in order to compile and run rTorrent:


  • automake
  • libtool
  • cppunit


  • gcc-core
  • gcc-g++
  • openssl-devel
  • pkg-config


  • make
  • git
  • libcurl-devel
  • libncurses-devel
  • patch
  • subversion
  • wget


  • diffutils

These might require some other packages, let them be installed. Wait until the installer downloads and installs the necessary packages, check wherever you want shortcuts, and close the installer. When you're done, start Cygwin (if you choose not create any shortcuts, you can start Cygwin with the cygwin.bat in your installation directory).

Now you can proceed with rTorrent.


By default, Cygwin has no /usr/localr/src, so create one.

mkdir -p /usr/local/src

Installing libsigc++

Since there is no libsigc++ package for Cygwin, you're going to need to compile this one first.

Download, compile and install the latest libsigc++ source from the Gnome ftp site - at the time of writing this manual, it was 2.2.10.

cd /usr/local/src/
tar xJvf libsigc++-2.3.1.tar.bz2
cd /usr/local/src/libsigc++-2.3.1
make install
cd ..

Installing libTorrent

Download the latest libTorrent source from the git repository, compile, and install it.

cd /usr/local/src/
git clone libtorrent-git
cd /usr/local/src/libtorrent-git
./configure --disable-mincore
make install
cd ..

Installing XMLRPC-C (optional)

If you want to be able to control rTorrent via XMLRPC-C, let's say by rTWi. For that, you need to install XMLRPC-C, preferably something over version 1.07.

cd /usr/local/src/
svn co xmlrpc-c-svn
cd /usr/local/src/xmlrpc-c-svn
./configure --disable-cplusplus
make install
cd ..

If the 'make install' fails, try to copy the necessary files by yourself.

mkdir -p /usr/local/include/xmlrpc-c
cp /usr/local/src/xmlrpc-c-svn/include/xmlrpc-c/*.h /usr/local/include/xmlrpc-c/

ln -s /usr/local/include/xmlrpc-c/oldxmlrpc.h /usr/local/include/xmlrpc.h
ln -s /usr/local/include/xmlrpc-c/server.h /usr/local/include/xmlrpc_server.h
ln -s /usr/local/include/xmlrpc-c/server_abyss.h /usr/local/include/xmlrpc_abyss.h
ln -s /usr/local/include/xmlrpc-c/server_w32httpsys.h /usr/local/include/xmlrpc_server_w32httpsys.h
ln -s /usr/local/include/xmlrpc-c/client.h /usr/local/include/xmlrpc_client.h
ln -s /usr/local/include/xmlrpc-c/server_cgi.h /usr/local/include/xmlrpc_cgi.h;

cp /usr/local/src/xmlrpc-c-svn/xmlrpc-c-config /usr/local/bin/

cp /usr/local/src/xmlrpc-c-svn/lib/abyss/src/*.a /usr/local/lib/
cp /usr/local/src/xmlrpc-c-svn/lib/abyss/src/*.dll /usr/local/lib/
cp /usr/local/src/xmlrpc-c-svn/lib/expat/xmlparse/*.a /usr/local/lib/
cp /usr/local/src/xmlrpc-c-svn/lib/expat/xmlparse/*.dll /usr/local/lib/
cp /usr/local/src/xmlrpc-c-svn/lib/expat/xmltok/*.a /usr/local/lib/
cp /usr/local/src/xmlrpc-c-svn/lib/expat/xmltok/*.dll /usr/local/lib/
cp /usr/local/src/xmlrpc-c-svn/lib/libutil/*.a /usr/local/lib/
cp /usr/local/src/xmlrpc-c-svn/lib/libutil/*.dll /usr/local/lib/
cp /usr/local/src/xmlrpc-c-svn/src/*.a /usr/local/lib/
cp /usr/local/src/xmlrpc-c-svn/src/*.dll /usr/local/lib/

Installing rTorrent

Now download the latest rTorrent source from the git repository.

You are going to need to do some modification on the source code. Download and apply this patch (see ticket #1184 and ticket #1495 at the rTorrent trac). After you're done, you can compile and install rTorrent.

cd /usr/local/src/
git clone rtorrent-git
cd /usr/local/src/rtorrent-git
wget patch
patch -p0 < rtow.diff
./configure --with-xmlrpc-c
make install
cd ..

If 'make' fails, with the message "fatal error: ncurses.h: No such file or directory" you might need to run ./configure with the CXXFLAGS option, i.e.:

./configure --with-xmlrpc-c CXXFLAGS=-I/usr/include/ncurses

You are now ready to run rTorrent on Windows, just type rtorrent into your Cygwin window.

Using rTorrent on Windows without installing Cygwin

Download rTorrent binaries for Windows

You can find all releases in the download section.

Direct download (7z archive)

Download and extract the .7z archive to a directory of your choice.

You can download the 7-Zip software from

BitTorrent download

Download the .torrent file and feed it to your current BitTorrent client. After the download is complete, move/rename the directory as you wish.

Configure rTorrent on Windows

The .rtorrent.rc configuration file can be found in the bin directory. There are some settings already set up for ease of usage, please do not modify them, unless you know what you are doing.

The default session directory is .session, and the default download directory is torrent.

You can access your partitions thru the cygdrive directory from rTorrent.

You are now ready to run rTorrent on Windows, just create a shortcut pointing to the rTorrent.cmd file, or start it directly.


rTorrent on Windows (startup) rTorrent on Windows

Last modified 11 days ago Last modified on Oct 14, 2014 8:23:28 PM