Scroll to navigation

bittorrent-downloader.bittornado(1) General Commands Manual bittorrent-downloader.bittornado(1)


bittorrent-downloader — download files using a scatter-gather network


btdownloadheadless [options ...] URL

btdownloadheadless [options ...] filename

btdownloadcurses [options ...] URL

btdownloadcurses [options ...] filename

btdownloadgui [options ...] URL

btdownloadgui [options ...] filename

btlaunchmany [options ...] directory

btlaunchmanycurses [options ...] directory


This manual page documents briefly the options available to the bittorrent-downloader commands.

This manual page was written for the Debian distribution because the original program does not have a manual page.

btdownloadheadless, btdownloadcurses, btdownloadgui, btlaunchmany, and btlaunchmanycurses are all programs that allow a user to download files using bittorrent, a peer to peer, scatter-gather network protocol. They all share a common set of options, shown below. For more information on how to run them, and their program-specific options, see their individual man pages.


These programs follow the usual GNU command line syntax, with long options starting with two dashes (`--'). A summary of options is included below.

the maximum number of uploads to allow at once (defaults to 7)
the number of seconds to pause between sending keepalives (defaults to 120.0)
the number of bytes to query for per request (defaults to 16384)
when limiting the upload rate, the number of bytes to send at a time (defaults to 1460)
the maximum number of requests to keep in a single pipe at once (defaults to 10)
the maximum length prefix encoding you'll accept over the wire. Larger values will get the connection dropped. (defaults to 8388608)
the ip to report you have to the tracker (defaults to '')
the minimum port to listen on (defaults to 10000)
the maximum port to listen on (defaults to 60000)
whether to choose randomly inside the port range (instead of counting up linearly from min to max) (defaults to 1)
the file the server response was stored in, as an alternative to --url. If this option is used, no filename or URL should be present on the command line. (defaults to '')
the URL to get the torrent file from, as an alternative to --responsefile. If this option is used, no filename or URL should be present on the command line. (defaults to '')
whether to allow the client to accept encrypted connections. (defaults to 1 if python-crypto is installed, 0 otherwise)
whether to only create or allow encrypted connections. (defaults to 0)
whether to prevent all non-encrypted connection attempts; will result in an effectively firewalled state on older trackers. (defaults to 0)
whether to enable the file selector and fast resume function (defaults to 1)
the number of days after which you wish to expire old cache data (0 = disabled) (defaults to 10)
a list of file priorities, separated by commas. There must be one per file. 0 = highest, 1 = normal, 2 = lowest, -1 = download disabled. Order is based on the file/torrent order as shown by btshowmetainfo. For example, to download only the third of four files use: --priority -1,-1,2,-1 (defaults to '')
the local filename to save the file as, null indicates query user (defaults to '')
the number of seconds to wait between closing sockets which nothing has been received on (defaults to 300.0)
the number of seconds to wait between checking if any connections have timed out (defaults to 60.0)
the maximum length slice to send to peers, larger requests are ignored (defaults to 131072)
the maximum number of seconds to use in guessing what the current rate estimate represents (defaults to 20.0)
a comma-separated list of ips and hostnames to bind to locally (defaults to '')
whether to allow the client to connect to peers via IPv6 (defaults to 0)
set if an IPv6 server socket won't also field IPv4 connections (defaults to 0)
the time equivalent in seconds of writing to kernel-level TCP buffer, for rate adjustment (defaults to 5.0)
how much TCP ACK download overhead to add to upload rate calculations (0 = disabled) (defaults to 0.029999999999999999)
the number of seconds between updates of displayed information (defaults to 0.5)
the number of seconds between requesting more peers (defaults to 300)
make tracker requests every --rerequest_interval until this number has been reached, then switch to the standard longer interval (defaults to 20)
the number of seconds to wait before assuming that an http connection has timed out (defaults to 60)
the number of peers at which to stop initiating new connections (defaults to 40)
whether to check hashes on disk (defaults to 1)
the maximum kB/s to upload at (0 = no limit, -1 = automatic) (defaults to 0)
the maximum kB/s to download at (0 = no limit) (defaults to 0)
the allocation type (may be 'normal', 'background', 'pre-allocate' or 'sparse') (defaults to 'normal')
the rate (in MiB/s) to allocate space at using background allocation (defaults to 2.0)
whether to buffer disk reads (defaults to 1)
the maximum amount of space to use for buffering disk writes (in megabytes, 0 = disabled) (defaults to 4)
whether to send an incomplete bitfield and then 'have' messages, in order to get around stupid ISP manipulation (defaults to 1)
the number of seconds to wait for data to come in over a connection before assuming it's semi-permanently choked (defaults to 30.0)
whether to display diagnostic info to stdout. This option is not very useful when using the curses or gui interfaces. (defaults to 0)
the number of downloads at which to switch from random to rarest first (defaults to 2)
the number of peers which need to have a piece before other partials take priority over rarest first (defaults to 5)
the number of uploads to fill out to with extra optimistic unchokes (defaults to 4)
the maximum number of files to keep open at a time, 0 means no limit (defaults to 50)
the number of seconds between the client switching upload targets (defaults to 30)
whether to use special upload-efficiency-maximizing routines (only for dedicated seeds) (defaults to 0)
whether to enable extra security features intended to prevent abuse (defaults to 1)
the absolute maximum number of peers to connect with (0 = no limit) (defaults to 0)
whether to allow the client to automatically kick/ban peers that send bad data (defaults to 1)
whether to double-check data being written to the disk for errors (may increase CPU load) (defaults to 1)
whether to thoroughly check data being written to the disk (may slow disk access) (defaults to 0)
whether to lock files the client is working with (defaults to 1)
whether to lock access to files being read (defaults to 0)
the number of minutes between automatic flushes to disk (0 = disabled) (defaults to 0)
the code to send to a tracker, identifying as a dedicated seed (defaults to '')
whether to save the current options as the new default configuration for the current program (defaults to 0)


The single torrent downloaders: btdownloadheadless(1), btdownloadcurses(1), btdownloadgui(1).

The multiple torrent downloaders: bittorrent-multi-downloader(1), btlaunchmany(1), btlaunchmanycurses(1).

The bittorrent tracker: bttrack(1).

The torrent file creators: btmakemetafile(1), btmaketorrentgui(1), btcompletedir(1), btcompletedirgui(1).

The torrent file modifiers: btcopyannounce(1), btreannounce(1), btrename(1), btsethttpseeds(1).

The torrent file displayer: btshowmetainfo(1).


This manual page was written by Cameron Dale <> (based on the original man pages written by Micah Anderson <>) for the Debian system (but may be used by others). Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU General Public License, Version 2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.

On Debian systems, the complete text of the GNU General Public License can be found in /usr/share/common-licenses/GPL.