qBittorrent is a cross-platform free and open-source BitTorrent client. qBittorrent is a native application written in C++ which uses Boost, Qt 5 toolkit, and libtorrent-rasterbar library and is extremely lightweight and fast. qBittorrent is very popular amongst torrent users as the main alternative to UTorrent.
In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install qBittorrent on Debian 11 Bullseye desktop GUI and install qBittorrent-nox, which can be installed on a desktop or headless server using the command line terminal to access the WEB UI.
Table of Contents
First, before anything, update your system to ensure all existing packages are up to date.
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y
Install qBittorrent – Desktop GUI Client Method
The first method is installing the qBittorrent GUI Client method that would suit most users that prefer desktop applications. For users that want to use the WebUI as they run remote servers either at home or remotely, skip this section and install the qBittorrent-nox.
Install the qBittorrent client using the following command.
sudo apt install qbittorrent -y
How to Launch qBittorrent – Desktop GUI Client Method
To launch qBittorrent, type the following command into your current terminal session.
Alternatively, use the following path to launch the application icon.
Activities > Show Applications > qBittorrent
The first you use the program, you will get a pop-up window with a Legal notice. This covers qBittorrent from legal responsibilities as most know torrents are still a significant part of illegal downloads today.
After agreeing to the Legal notice, you will see your newly installed torrent software window.
Install qBittorrent-nox – Server Method
qBittorrent can be installed on a desktop that will be accessed remotely or headless Debian servers and efficiently managed on a WebUI interface accessed from your favorite Browser.
Import qBittorrent-nox Stable (Recommended)
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:qbittorrent-team/qbittorrent-stable -y
Import qBittorrent-nox Unstable (Nightly)
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:qbittorrent-team/qbittorrent-unstable -y
Next, run a quick APT update to reflect the newly added PPA.
sudo apt update
Now you can install qBittorrent using the following command.
sudo apt install qbittorrent-nox -y
qBittorrent-nox is the default go-to for headless clients designed to run through a Web interface accessible on the default localhost location at http://localhost:8080. The Web UI access is secured by default, the default account username is (admin), and the password is (adminadmin).
Unlike the desktop version, using the terminal command (qbittorrent-nox) would not be advised as a headless server; you won’t be able to do anything while qBittorrent is running, which isn’t practical. Instead, you will create a systemd service unit to run in the background and start at system boot.
First, create (qbittorrent-nox) user and group so the service can run as an unprivileged user.
sudo adduser --system --group qbittorrent-nox
If you were wondering what (–system) means, you created a system user instead of a typical user.
Next, add your username to the qbittorrent-nox user group.
sudo adduser your-username qbittorrent-nox
Example using my username:
sudo adduser joshua qbittorrent-nox
Second, create a systemd service file for qbittorrent-nox.
sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/qbittorrent-nox.service
Thirdly, you must copy and paste the following lines into the file.
[Unit] Description=qBittorrent Command Line Client After=network.target [Service] Type=forking User=qbittorrent-nox Group=qbittorrent-nox UMask=007 ExecStart=/usr/bin/qbittorrent-nox -d --webui-port=8080 Restart=on-failure [Install] WantedBy=multi-user.target
Save the file (CTRL+O), then exit (CTRL+X). Now, reload your systemd daemon for changes to be active with the daemon-reload command.
sudo systemctl daemon-reload
Now you can start qBittorrent-nox with the following command.
sudo systemctl start qbittorrent-nox
If you want qBittorrent-nox to be started automatically on boot, use the following.
sudo systemctl enable qbittorrent-nox
Before you continue, it would be ideal for checking the status to ensure everything is working correctly.
systemctl status qbittorrent-nox
If there are no errors and status in the green, proceed to the next part of the tutorial.
Accessing qBittorrent Web UI
qBittorrent can be accessed through your local network’s favorite Internet Browser on its Web UI. Type the server’s internal IP address is followed by the port number (8080), for example, 192.168.55.156:8080, or use if hosted locally, use the localhost address 127.0.0.1:8080.
You should see the following page.
The default username is (admin), and the default password is (adminadmin).
Once entered, the application will start as below.
Before doing anything else, you should immediately change the default username and password, which can be found following the path.
Tools > Options > Web UI > Authentication.
From here, you can change the username and password.
Congratulations, you have installed qBittorrent.
How to Update/Upgrade qBittorrent/qBittorrent-nox
Using the command line terminal may be more work but is often the most efficient way to update your system. All you need to do is run the apt update command as follows.
sudo apt update
If an update is available for qBittorrent or qBittorent-nox, use the following upgrade command.
sudo apt upgrade
How to Remove (Uninstall) qBittorrent/qBittorrent-nox
If you would like to remove qBittorrent, this is an easy process. First, you must remove the custom PPA if installed per the above tutorial.
Remove the PPA that you imported with the following command.
Remove qBittorrent Stable
sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:qbittorrent-team/qbittorrent-stable
Remove qBittorrent Unstable (Nightly)
sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:qbittorrent-team/qbittorrent-unstable -y
Next, remove qBittorrent using the command below.
sudo apt autoremove qbittorrent
Users that have installed qBittorrent-nox use the following command.
sudo apt autoremove qbittorrent-nox
And that is it; repeat the tutorial to re-install qBittorrent if you wish it back on your system.
Comments and Conclusion
qBittorrent is a great torrent client that will work on any operating system. It has more features than Transmission, but without the bloatware and ads. If you are looking for a good torrent client, qBittorrent is worth considering.