HowTo Install rTorrent

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What you will need:

  1. Copy of rTorrent compiled for Intel OS X.
  2. Copies of tar, bzip2 and bunzip2 from Darwin x86 ISO. (Located in /usr/bin )
    • Having nano helps a lot, too.
  3. An AppleTV set up with SSH access.

Here is how to install!

First, gather the necessary files together in a single folder for ease of organization (not necessary though), and use scp (or your favorite ftp or sftp client, such as Cyberduck on OS X or FileZilla on Windows - see their instructions) to transfer them to your AppleTV. In the following examples, replace with whatever your AppleTV's address is. Open up and do:

scp tar frontrow@
scp bunzip2 frontrow@

Or, if all your files are in the same folder, open up, go to that folder, and do:

cd myfoldername
scp * frontrow@

Now, log in to your AppleTV with SSH:

ssh frontrow@

Once you're in, do:

./bunzip2 rtorrent-0.7.4-osx.tar.bz2
./tar xvf rtorrent-0.7.4-osx.tar

Alternately, you can copy tar, bzip2 and bunzip2 to your /usr/bin directory (see next step!) This will make your root filesystem writable, so be careful.

sudo mount -uw /

(This step is optional!)

sudo cp -n tar /usr/bin
sudo cp -n bzip2 /usr/bin
sudo cp -n bunzip2 /usr/bin
sudo cp -n nano /usr/bin

Note that these must be correctly chmodded with
chmod +x <filename>
before you copy or
sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/<filename>
afterward. And then you don't need to type "./" in front of executing these commands anymore. If you do this before extracting the rTorrent archive, you can use tar xjvf rtorent-0.7.4-0sx.tar.bz2 - all one step.
Since the root filesystem is still writable, we need to — if they do not already exist — create the following directories:

sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/bin
sudo mkdir /usr/local/lib

Then move our files into place!

sudo cp rtorrent-0.7.4-osx/rtorrent /usr/local/bin
sudo cp rtorrent-0.7.4-osx/libtorrent.* /usr/local/lib
sudo mount -ur /


Now you may create a file called .profile in your home directory, either by using nano and pasting the following, or just do:

echo export PATH="/bin:/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/usr/sbin" > ~/.profile

There is also a more global way of doing this, if you set up your path in the file /etc/profile

Now just run rtorrent, or better yet, screen rtorrent and you have a text-mode BitTorrent client on your AppleTV! What's more convenient than that! The basics of using screen is to type Ctrl+A then Ctrl+D and you can exit out of things, but leave rTorrent running. Next time you need to access it, SSH back in to your AppleTV and type screen -rd and boom!