2 releases

0.0.2 Feb 9, 2024
0.0.1 Feb 7, 2024

#285 in Web programming

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crates.io crates.io docs.rs

rqbit - bittorrent client in Rust

rqbit is a bittorrent client written in Rust. Has HTTP API and Web UI, and can be used as a library.

Also has a desktop app built with Tauri (on Windows and OSX).

Usage quick start

Optional - start the server

Assuming you are downloading to ~/Downloads.

rqbit server start ~/Downloads

Download torrents

Assuming you are downloading to ~/Downloads. If the server is already started, -o ~/Downloads can be omitted.

rqbit download -o ~/Downloads 'magnet:?....' [https?://url/to/.torrent] [/path/to/local/file.torrent]

Web UI

Access with http://localhost:3030/web/. It looks similar to Desktop app, see screenshot below.

Desktop app

The desktop app is a thin wrapper on top of the Web UI frontend.

Download it in Releases.

rqbit Desktop


As you can see from the Desktop app screenshot, it's fast. Anecdotally from a few reports, it's faster than other clients they've tried, at least with their default settings.

Memory usage for the server is usually within a few tens of megabytes, which makes it great for e.g. RaspberryPI.

CPU is spent mostly on SHA1 checksumming.


There are pre-built binaries in Releases. If someone wants to put rqbit into e.g. homebrew, PRs welcome :)

If you have rust toolchain installed, this should work:

cargo install rqbit


Just a regular Rust binary build process.

cargo build --release

Useful options


Increase verbosity. Possible values: trace, debug, info, warn, error.


Will print the contents of the torrent file or the magnet link.


If you want to resume downloading a file that already exists, you'll need to add this option.


This will increase the default peer connect timeout. The default one is 2 seconds, and it's sometimes not enough.

-r / --filename-re

Use a regex here to select files by their names.

Features and missing features

Some supported features

  • Sequential downloading (the default and only option)
  • Resume downloading file(s) if they already exist on disk
  • Selective downloading using a regular expression for filename
  • DHT support. Allows magnet links to work, and makes more peers available.
  • Pausing / unpausing / deleting (with files or not) APIs
  • Stateful server
  • Web UI

Bugs, missing features and other caveats

PRs are very welcome.

  • Only supports BitTorrent V1 over TCP
  • As this was created for personal needs, and for educational purposes, documentation, commit message quality etc. leave a lot to be desired.


By default it listens on

curl -s ''

    "apis": {
        "GET /": "list all available APIs",
        "GET /dht/stats": "DHT stats",
        "GET /dht/table": "DHT routing table",
        "GET /torrents": "List torrents (default torrent is 0)",
        "GET /torrents/{index}": "Torrent details",
        "GET /torrents/{index}/haves": "The bitfield of have pieces",
        "GET /torrents/{index}/peer_stats": "Per peer stats",
        "GET /torrents/{index}/stats/v1": "Torrent stats",
        "GET /web/": "Web UI",
        "POST /rust_log": "Set RUST_LOG to this post launch (for debugging)",
        "POST /torrents": "Add a torrent here. magnet: or http:// or a local file.",
        "POST /torrents/{index}/delete": "Forget about the torrent, remove the files",
        "POST /torrents/{index}/forget": "Forget about the torrent, keep the files",
        "POST /torrents/{index}/pause": "Pause torrent",
        "POST /torrents/{index}/start": "Resume torrent"
    "server": "rqbit"

Add torrent through HTTP API

curl -d 'magnet:?...'


curl -d 'http://.../file.torrent'


curl --data-binary @/tmp/xubuntu-23.04-minimal-amd64.iso.torrent

Supported query parameters, all optional:

  • overwrite=true|false
  • only_files_regex - the regular expression string to match filenames
  • output_folder - the folder to download to. If not specified, defaults to the one that rqbit server started with
  • list_only=true|false - if you want to just list the files in the torrent instead of downloading

Code organization

  • crates/rqbit - main binary
  • crates/librqbit - main library
  • crates/librqbit-core - torrent utils
  • crates/bencode - bencode serializing/deserializing
  • crates/buffers - wrappers around binary buffers
  • crates/clone_to_owned - a trait to make something owned
  • crates/sha1w - wrappers around sha1 libraries
  • crates/peer_binary_protocol - the protocol to talk to peers
  • crates/dht - Distributed Hash Table implementation
  • desktop - desktop app built with Tauri


First of all, I love Rust. The project was created purely for the fun of the process of writing code in Rust.

I was not satisfied with my regular bittorrent client, and was wondering how much work would it be to create a new one from scratch, and it got where it is, starting from bencode protocol implemenation, then peer protocol, etc, etc.


~731K SLoC