How to Install qBittorrent on Ubuntu 18.04 Desktop or Server

This tutorial will be showing you how to install qBittorrent on Ubuntu 18.04. qBittorrent is a free, open-source, fast and lightweight P2P BitTorrent client written in C++ / Qt, available for Linux, FreeBSD, MacOS and Windows. It aims to provide an open-source alternative to uTorrent., which is a very popular BitTorrent client among Windows users.

qBittorrent features:

  • A uTorrent-like interface
  • Supports main BitTorrent extensions like DHT, peer exchange, full encryption.
  • It provides a good integrated search engine
  • It also comes with UPnP port forwarding / NAT-PMP
  • You can also remotely control it via the qBittorrent Web interface.

Install qBittorrent on Ubuntu 18.04 Desktop via PPA

qBittorrent is included in the default Ubuntu software repository. You can easily install it on Ubuntu 18.04 desktop by running the following command in a terminal window.

sudo apt install qbittorrent

However, it is outdated (v4.0.3). The latest version 4.1.2 was released on August 12, 2018. To get the latest version of qBittorrent, you need to install it from the official qBitorrent PPA (Personal Package Archive). First, run the following command to add the PPA.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:qbittorrent-team/qbittorrent-stable

qbittorrent ubuntu 18.04

Press Enter to continue. It will update the software repository index. After that, run the following command to install the latest version of qBittorrent.

sudo apt install qbittorrent

This PPA also works on other Linux distributions that are based on Ubuntu, such as Linux Mint and Elementary OS. If your system already has qBittorrent installed, then the above commands will update qBittorrent to the latest version. Don’t worry, your existing torrents are safe. Once installed, you can start qBittorrent from application menu.

qbittorrent ubuntu install

How to Enable qBittorrent Web UI on Ubuntu 18.04 Desktop

The web UI allows you to remotely control qBittorrent in a web browser.

  1. In the qBittorrent application window, go to tools > Preferences > Web UI.
  2. Check the Web User Interface (Remote Control) option.
  3. Change IP address from 42 to the IP address of your computer (like 192.168.0.102).
  4. Select a port (by default 8080).
  5. Set a username and password. (By default “admin” and “adminadmin” respectively).
  6. Click Apply button.

Now in my local network, I can access qBittorrent web interface via 192.168.0.102:8080.

qbittorrent webui

Make qBittorrent Automatically Start at System Boot Time

To enable autostart, open the Startup Applications from your applications menu. It can also be launched by issuing the following command  in the terminal window.

gnome-session-properties

Then click Add button to add a new startup program. In the Name field, you can enter something like “qBittorrent”. In the Command field, enter /usr/bin/qbittorrent. You can leave the comment field blank. After that, click Add button.

ubuntu qbittorrent startup

How to Install qBittorrent on Ubuntu 18.04 Server

You can install qBittorrent command line client on a headless Ubuntu 18.04 server and manage it via the qBittorrent web interface (You control it in a web browser). SSH into your Ubuntu 18.04 server and use the same PPA to install qBittorrent daemon.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:qbittorrent-team/qbittorrent-stable

sudo apt install qbittorrent-nox

Note that we need to install qbittorrent-nox (without X), instead of qbittorrent. qBittorrent-nox is meant to be controlled via its feature-rich Web UI which is accessible as a default on http://localhost:8080. The Web UI access is secured and the default account username is “admin” with “adminadmin” as a password. You can start qBitorrent-nox with:

qbittorrent-nox

However, starting qBittorrent-nox this way isn’t recommended, because you can’t run other command while it’s running. Press Ctrl+C to quit it now. We can create a systemd service unit so it can run in the background and also start at system boot time.

Create the qbittorrent-nox user and group so that it can run as an unprivileged user, which will increase your server’s security.

sudo adduser --system --group qbittorrent-nox

The --system flag means we are creating a system user instead of normal user. A system user doesn’t have password and can’t login, which is what you would want for a torrent client. A home directory /home/qbittorent-nox will be created for this user. You might want to add your user account to group qbittorrent-nox with the following command so that the user account has access to the files downloaded by qBittorrent-nox. Files are downloaded to /home/qbittorrent-nox/Downloads/  by default. Note that you need to re-login for the groups change to take effect.

sudo adduser your-username qbittorrent-nox

Then create a systemd service file for qbittorrent-nox with your favourite text editor such as nano.

sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/qbittorrent-nox.service

Copy and paste the following lines into the file.

[Unit]
Description=qBittorrent Command Line Client
After=network.target

[Service]
#Do not change to "simple"
Type=forking
User=qbittorrent-nox
Group=qbittorrent-nox
UMask=007
ExecStart=/usr/bin/qbittorrent-nox -d
Restart=on-failure

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

To save a file in Nano text editor, press Ctrl+O, then press Enter to confirm. Press Ctrl+X to exit. Now start qBittorrent-nox with the following command.

sudo systemctl start qbittorrent-nox

Note that if you change a systemd service file, you need to reload the systemd daemon for the change to take effect.

sudo systemctl daemon-reload

You might also want to enable auto start at system boot time.

sudo systemctl enable qbittorrent-nox

Check its status:

systemctl status qbittorrent-nox

qbittorrent ubuntu server

You can see that qBittorrent-nox is running and auto start at boot time is enabled.

Accessing qBittorrent Web UI

By default, qBittorrent-nox listens on TCP port 8080 of 0.0.0.42, as can be seen with the following command. Port 8999 is used to connect to peers.

sudo netstat -lnpt | grep qbittorrent

qbittorrent-nox ubuntu

This IP address (0.0.0.42) is very strange and prevents me from accessing the web interface. If I run the following command,

curl http://localhost:8080

I get this error.

curl: (7) Failed to connect to localhost port 8080: Connection refused

I don’t know why 0.0.0.42 is set as a default. To access the web interface, I created the qBittorrent configuartion file.

sudo nano /home/qbittorrent-nox/.config/qBittorrent/qBittorrent.conf

Copy and paste the following text into the file. Change 12.34.56.78 to the IP address of your Ubuntu server.

[LegalNotice]
Accepted=true

[Network]
[email protected]()

[Preferences]
WebUI\Address=12.34.56.78

Save and close the file. Then restart qBittorrent-nox.

sudo systemctl restart qbittorrent-nox

Now the Web UI can load without problem. Username is admin. Default password is “adminadmin”.

install qbittorrent ubuntu server

The default web interface.

qbittorrent as a service ubuntu

It’s strongly recommended to change the default username and password. Go to Tools > Options and select the Web UI tab. Under the Authentication section, change both username and password.

qbittorrent-nox config file

And now you can start downloading torrents on your Ubuntu 18.04 server. You have the option to upload local torrents or add magnet links. Files are downloaded to /home/qbittorrent-nox/Downloads/  by default.

Accessing qBittorrent Web Interface Outside of Your Home Network

If you want to access qBittorrent Web UI remotely from your mobile phone or public Wi-fi, then you need to set up port forwarding in your router. Also I recommend setting up Nginx reverse proxy and enable HTTPS protocol to encrypt the communication.

Set Up Nginx Reverse Proxy for qBittorrent WebUI

reverse proxy is a proxy for another web server, in this case the qBittorrent WebUI. Setting up Nginx reverse proxy makes it easy to enable HTTPS protocol.  Install Nginx on Ubuntu 18.04.

sudo apt install nginx

Start Nginx.

sudo systemctl start nginx

Then create a Nginx server block file for qBittorrent WebUI.

sudo nano /etc/nginx/conf.d/qbittorrent-webui.conf

Copy and paste the following texts into the file. Replace the red-colored text with your own domain name and the IP address of your Ubuntu server. You should also set the A record for your domain name. If you don’t have a domain name yet, then I recommend buying domain name from Namecheap because their price is lower than GoDaddy and they give you whois privacy protection free of charge.

server {
  listen 80;
  server_name torrent.your-domain.com;

  access_log /var/log/nginx/torrent.your-domain.com.access;
  error_log /var/log/nginx/torrent.your-domain.com.error;

  location / {
    proxy_pass              http://your-server-ip:8080/;
    proxy_set_header        X-Forwarded-Host        $server_name:$server_port;
    proxy_hide_header       Referer;
    proxy_hide_header       Origin;
    proxy_set_header        Referer                 '';
    proxy_set_header        Origin                  '';
    add_header              X-Frame-Options         "SAMEORIGIN";
  }
}

Save and close the file. Then test Nginx configuration.

sudo nginx -t

If the test is successful, reload Nginx

sudo systemctl reload nginx

Now in your router, forward HTTP request (port 80) to the IP address of your Ubuntu server. After that, you can access qBittorrent WebUI via your domain name (torrent.your-domain.com).

Note: If your ISP gives you a NAT-ed IP address, i.e. not a public IP address, then port forwarding won’t work. Instead, you need to use PageKite to expose local web server to the Internet.

Enable HTTPS to Encrypt Communications

To secure the Web UI, you can install a free TLS certificate issued by Let’s Encrypt. First you need to install the Let’s Encrypt client (certbot) on Ubuntu 18.04 server.

sudo apt install software-properties-common

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:certbot/certbot

sudo apt install certbot python3-certbot-nginx

Python3-certbot-nginx is the Certbot Nginx plugin. After they are installed, run the following command to automatically obtain and install Let’s Encrypt certificate.

sudo certbot --nginx --redirect --agree-tos --hsts --staple-ocsp --email your-email-address -d torrent.your-domain.com

Once that’s done, refresh the qBittorrent Web UI. It will be automatically redirected to HTTPS connection.

qbittorrent remote webui

I hope this tutorial helped you install qBittorrent on Ubuntu 18.04 desktop or server. Take care.

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2 Responses to “How to Install qBittorrent on Ubuntu 18.04 Desktop or Server

  • descanpo
    2 weeks ago

    First of all thank you for your guide.
    Thanks to your guides, I realized the deluge setup and it works fine.

    My problem,

    after installing all the steps in this guide to ubuntu server. The system works and the ports appear to be active, so everything is normal. Picture of the run link: “https://image.ibb.co/hhtx9p/1.png”

    But when I connect to ipadress: 8080 I get the error that you have received “curl: (7) Failed to connect to localhost port 8080: Connection refused”

    sudo nano /home/qbittorrent-nox/.config/qBittorrent/qBittorrent.conf

    I’ve created. Creating image: ” https://image.ibb.co/gjZ7aU/2.png ”

    But when I look at it after creating it and restarting the system, the program gives an error, you can access the error image from this link:
    https://image.ibb.co/eV7SaU/3.png

    I worked for about 6 hours, I investigated, but I could not solve the problem. Can you help me? Where is the mistake?

    • From the screenshot, the error is that “start request repeated too quickly”.

      Comment out the following line in qbittorrent systemd service file.

      Restart=on-failure

      Reload systemd.

      sudo systemctl daemon-reload

      Then restart qbittorrent-nox.

      sudo systemctl restart qbittorrent-nox

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