rTorrent on Windows

Installing rTorrent on Windows

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

Precompiled binaries which do not require Cygwin can be found in the download section.

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 at least the following packages in order to compile and run rTorrent:

  • git
  • subversion
  • automake
  • libtool
  • cppunit
  • gcc-core
  • gcc-g++
  • openssl-devel
  • pkg-config
  • make
  • libncurses-devel
  • libcurl-devel

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).


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

mkdir -p /usr/local/src

Installing libTorrent

Download the latest windows fork of the 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
make install
cd ..

Installing rTorrent

Now download the latest rTorrent source from the git repository.

cd /usr/local/src/
git clone rtorrent-git
cd /usr/local/src/rtorrent-git
./configure --with-xmlrpc-c
make install
cd ..

If make fails with the message "No package 'libtorrent' found" you might need to set the PKG_CONFIG_PATH environmental variable:

export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/usr/local/lib/pkgconfig

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 (including 32 bit and 64 bit) releases in the download section.

Direct download (zip archive)

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

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 9 months ago Last modified on Mar 6, 2015, 7:09:32 PM