Setup rtorrent Send Pushbullet Notifications


This guide will show you how to send a pushbullet notification when rtorrent completes a download on Debian Wheezy. With the power of curl and simple bash scripts it is remarkably easy to make pushbullet do its thing and make you feel like a digital badass.

Consider reading Comparing Usenet vs Torrents – Which is Better? 

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Setup rtorrent and Pushbullet

First make sure curl is installed

sudo apt-get install curl -y

We are going to create a shell script first

Fire up WinSCP and create a file in the rtorrent user directory /home/user/

Right click in your scripts folder pane and select New -> File and name it

Make sure you give it permissions 0755 or the script will not be executable. You can do this by right clicking on the file in WinSCP and choosing properties.

Now get your api key from

Paste the following and replace apikey (keep the trailing colon symbol!) with your own API key

curl -u apikey: -d type=note -d title="$tname downloaded"

Now we tell rtorrent to run the script each time a download finishes

We need to edit .rtorrent.rc. Most guides will tell you to edit it in the root folder which you are welcome to try but it did not work for me.

I did get it working using /home/user/.rtorrent.rc

I always use WinSCP to edit these files so browse over to/home/user, user is the username you chose when you installed rtorrent.

The file is hidden by default but you can easily find it using WinSCP, open it up and add the following line or open it using nano and replace user with your username

sudo nano /home/user/.rtorrent.rc

Find and adjust this line so you execute the file we just created,push_me,"execute=/home/user/,$d.get_name="

Hit save and reboot your box to ensure the fresh .rtorrent.rc file is loaded. In PuTTY type


Now you will get a pushbullet notification each time a torrent finishes downloading like a boss 😉

You may get an .rctorrent could not be read error

  • Delete rtorrent.lock file in user/home/session
  • Change permission of file to 0755
  • Rebuild rtorrent