iPad Downloading torrents to iPad?

Discussion in 'Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks' started by mixvio, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. mixvio macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    Is anyone aware of a decent jailbreak way to do this? I mean specifically downloading and running torrents all on the iPad, not using the iPad to handle torrents downloading on a computer.

    The only success I had was with Torrentula, but it was incredibly buggy and kept crashing constantly. It also didn't seem to let me run more than one download at once.

    I can download the actual .torrent files fine, but the difficulty is in finding a decent GUI to run them afterward.

    I would like to be able to download my Doctor Who episodes straight on the iPad instead of using my computer!
  2. Zodiak macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2010
    Gatineau, Qc, Canada
    You can but you need to be jailbroken

    You need dTunes and Mobile Terminal. I forget if thats all you need but doing a simple search on youtube for cTorrent, then sort by views or date.


    It's been a while since I've done it but it can be done.
  3. mixvio thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    I think it's fair to say everyone posting under the iPad Hacks subforum is jailbroken, not to mention me saying "jailbreak ways" in the OP. :p

    At any rate, MobileTerminal doesn't work on the iPad, so I need another way.
  4. icarus523 macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2009
    I do this all the time, but you have to use command line apps.

    1. Install ctorrent
    2. Install screen
    3. Install wget/curl
    4. Install nano

    Create text file with your URL links (use nano) for torrent files, download them via wget/curl

    Now run screen.

    Now run ctorrent inside screen with the first argument being one torrent file.
    Create new "screen" by press ctrl-a-c, now run another instance of ctorrent with another torrent file. Repeat as necessary.

    Now your downloading torrent files on your iPad. The purpose of running screen is that the iPad will force binaries to close, screen allows you to run ctorrent headless mode, and reattach later on.

    All done via
  5. mixvio thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    How do you use command line apps when MobileTerminal doesn't work on the iPad though? Or is there another terminal program?

    Yeah I just downloaded the tools but I have no idea how to use them. I don't want to SSH into the device, I was looking for something I could run completely contained within the iPad.

    If that's how you do it, would you mind giving me a bit more of a step-by-step on how you get it running? I'm a bit stumped. Thanks!
  6. icarus523 macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2009
    Sure no problem.

    I use iSSH which is available in the app store, a bit pricy but its the only one that works with the iPad as of this writing. SSH'ing via your mac would be ideal because this whole process runs headless mode.

    ctorrent - your command line bittorrent client
    screen - your terminal multiplexer, this will allow you to run multiple ctorrent sessions (multi downloading of torrent files).
    wget/curl - I sometimes find that I can't download torrent files using Safari Downloader so I have to grab them via these command line apps.

    Assuming you have everything running.

    1. Run "screen" from the command line.

    You can google "screen" commands for further details but I'll give you the basic commands you'll use 95% of the time.

    - detach session, as the name suggests detaches your current "screen" session so you can leave it running in the background - non interactive mode.

    - switch to next screen session, in your case your other ctorrent instance downloading another file.

    - switch to previous screen session.

    - create a new screen session, kinda like envokes a new terminal session. use control-a-n, and control-a-p to move around "screen" sessions.

    To reconnect to a de-ttached session type the following on the command line:
    screen -x
    - reattach to a non-attached screen session, if you only have one "screen" session running" it automatically connects to that one.

    screen -r
    - lists screen sessions that you have detached from, to connect to a specific screen session type "screen -r [Process ID]", where [Process ID] is a number that is associated with the screen session displayed when you type "screen -r"

    2. Download your torrent files.
    I don't know how you are downloading torrent files, without Safari Downloader but I generally copy the URL from Safari, then start iFile to edit a text file. Paste the URL directly into your edited text file using iFile (I find pasting to command line apps are flaky at best so this method is better).

    your text file should include the whole address i.e.
    myurl.txt, yes you can have more than one url address, each separated by a new line e.g:


    now we use wget (or curl if you prefer, I'm more comfortable with wget so I'll use that for this example) to process the myurl.txt file.

    to use wget type the following:

    wget -c -t 0 -T 90 -i myurl.txt

    the flags used for wget are:
    -c : continue flag, resume downloaded file where possible
    -t 0 : retry indefinitely, if set to x, will retry x-amount of time until it gives up
    -T 90 : timeout of 90 seconds, no data received in x seconds, will retry again
    -i [filename] : use urls listed in filename.

    As you can see you can use wget as remote downloading tool when you have something you want to download directly on your ipad but may high chance of being aborted. I.e. you can use it to download large files and it can be resumed.

    3. now we run ctorrent
    with torrent files downloaded. run ctorrent with the torrent file name as its parameter. Note there are a lot of settings you can change (just like the gui version), i.e. max throughput caps, number of peers to connect to, etc, type "H" while in ctorrent to get more info.

    i.e. "ctorrent myfirsttorrentfile.torrent"

    you can google more about ctorrent stats (they're kinda cryptic to understand), and I can't remember from the top of my head what the letters/numbers mean.

    now type "control-a-c" to create a new screen session.

    type "ctorrent mysecondtorrentfile.torrent" to start another download

    now type "control-a-n" or "control-a-p" to switch between the two processes in screen.

    repeat as necessary. enjoy downloading torrents on your iPad.
  7. icarus523 macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2009
    oh yeah i forgot.

    one of the irritating things about iOS is that it forces apps to close when resources (RAM) gets tight, so if your running backgrounder and you switch around apps, you'll notice iSSH(your terminal emulator) will no longer be running. But that's okay because we ran "screen" which will continue to run in the background, you just have to re-attach to your screen session.

    i.e. run iSSH again then type "screen -x" to reattach to your disconnected session and monitor your torrent downloads.

    I script most of this stuff, using endless loops so I just end up editing URLs in a text editor and everything is done automagically - just like the ipad. :)

    just be wary though, using your ipad's SSD (hard drive) to download torrents (many writes are done in the process) may probably shorten its lifetime as already argued in the past, but if you don't think you'll be using the same ipad in the next 5-6 years then there's nothing to lose. I don't worry about it, because I'll be getting a rev3/4 later on. love this thing.
  8. mixvio thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    icarus, you're a prince; thanks for such a great walkthrough, I'm going to go try it now.
  9. aaron580 macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2010
    Im lookin for better ways to download but man this is kinda a ling process for a torrent... And download backgrounder for runnin apps on the background.
  10. wrkactjob macrumors 65816


    Feb 29, 2008
    "we do these things not because they are easy....."

    Holy Cow!
  11. gopherhockey macrumors regular


    Apr 2, 2010
    Not to dig up an old post but here is an alternative way of doing it via GoodReader (or Filer, formerly Downloader) and Dropbox apps "cloud computing" style. Perhaps that work instructional video your boss created for you is best streamed via air video than downloaded to the iPad itself.


    Download uTorrent 3.0 Alpha onto your computer and enable Web Remote Access.

    Set "automatically load .torrents from" to a path in your dropbox sync'd folder structure, like "My Dropbox\torrents"

    Using Goodreader, Browse the web and locate your torrent. Download the torrent, which saves it into Goodreader's file structure.

    Select Manage Files, select the .torrent file and select "cut (Move)"

    In Goodreader, select "connect to servers" and then Dropbox. Browse to your torrents folder and paste in your .torrent file

    On the PC that you set up uTorrent 3.0 it will auto-download the file(s). If you set the "Move completed downloads to" to a location that is available via the Goodreader app (or air video, or ftp app etc.) you can then consume your download....

    BONUS POINTS: set your download location in uTorrent to an ftp capable NAS... or if you are daring, set it right back into another Dropbox folder. Lots of options here.

    Of course this is for LEGAL .torrent use only!
  12. esears1 macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2009
    When I try this, it looks like it's error'ing out. This is what the main line looks like..

    0/0/1 [0/560/0] 0MB, 0MB | 0,0K/s | 0,0K E:12,0 Connecting

    The E: keeps incrementing in numbers. Why can't it connect?
  13. t0xx1c macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2010
  14. koollectablz macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2009
    Just tried this out - very simple and works very well, so far. Just use in conjunction with ifile to place the resultant files in the correct app folders. Oh and you need to disable safari downloader manager if you have that installed as well.

  15. Jdaud macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2010
    +1 for emrek's itorrent. VERY fast. I did not disable safari download plug-in...when I open a torrent file I choose view and am directed to itorrent screen. I love having my missed tv shows ready for watching on my iPad.
  16. koollectablz macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2009
    Yeah noticed that as well - just go to view.

    For an alpha release I think it's spot on.
  17. ClaireL macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2010
    New Jersey
    Worked PERFECTLY! Superb!
  18. ryan0402 macrumors 6502

    Jul 24, 2010
    what kind of torrents are you downloading for your ipad I am confused I see one person saying tv shows what else movies, songs or what
  19. t0xx1c macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2010
    A new version of the iPad/iPhone/iPod Torrent Client For Mobile Safari is available

    A new version of the iPad/iPhone/iPod Torrent Client For Mobile Safari is available here: http://itorrent.ermak.us/
  20. koollectablz macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2009
    Looks like this doesn't work with 4.2.1

    Oh well.
  21. TheGenerous macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
    I'm an Austronaut
    I'm so dumb, I can't figure out why would you want to download from torrents on an ipad. why?
  22. jgunn macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2008
    because you can then open them in VLC. Is it really that hard to understand.
  23. speedracer3000 macrumors 6502

    Sep 29, 2008
    so you don't have to go through the extra step of transferring the porn from the computer to watch on the ipad. :D
  24. Xredman002 macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2011

    Just got an iPad and all of that was wY over my head. Is there an easier way by now? Just want to get books comics . The occasional movie if it doesn't hurt this thing?

    In advance I would like to Hank anyone who feels like giving me any advice?

  25. Leyla macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2011
    Need help

    Hi,can you please expain how to download it step by step? Thank you

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