Remote Torrent Downloads Via SSH

Screen and BitTornado

Once I’m connected to my home network I then use a combination of Screen and BitTornado to download any torrent files.

Screen enables me to start a download and exit my SSH connection without stopping the download. I can then reconnect via SSH and use the command “screen -r” to return to the download screen and check on the progress of the download.

BitTornado is not required but I like it as it adds additional features to Ubuntu’s default bittorrent client.

You can install Screen and BitTornado with the following terminal command:

sudo apt-get install screen bittornado


1. To start a new download enter the following command [remember to replace the example URL with the location of the real torrent]:

screen btdownloadcurses

You should now be able to see something similar to the screengrab below:

Example of Screen and BitTornado

2. To detached the screen and leave the download running use the following key combination:


3. To reattach the screen enter the following command:

screen -r

4. Once the download has finished you can kill the screen with the following key combination:


Notes: If you have multiple screens running, entering the command “screen -r” will return a list of available screens to reattach.

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