Software Updates


The syntax of XMLRPC commands changed with rTorrent version 0.8.9, and continues to change. Make sure that the versions of rTorrent and PyroScope you plan to install or update to are actually compatible. There are compensation mechanisms in both projects, but there are limits to those — scan the respective changelogs for breaking changes.

pyrocore 0.5+ will no longer support the old syntax, and thus not work with rTorrent 0.8.x versions. rTorrent 0.9.6 has the old commands disabled by default, and only a special command line switch will enable them again, for now. Also, this documentation uses the new syntax (mostly).

Making Backups

Since repairing broken files resulting from faulty updates usually is either a lot of work or simply impossible, always make a backup. Backups should be made when either PyroScope or rTorrent is changed to a new release version or git revision.

These steps should make a copy of pretty much anything important:

  1. Copy your rTorrent session data and configuration (rtorrent needs to be running):

    rtxmlrpc -q
    tar cvfz /tmp/instance-backup-$USER-$(date +'%Y-%m-%d').tgz \
        $(echo $(rtxmlrpc session.path)/ | tr -s / /)*.torrent \
        ~/rtorrent/*.rc ~/rtorrent/rtorrent.d ~/rtorrent/start
  2. Backup your current PyroScope virtualenv and configuration (use ~/lib instead of ~/.local for installations before 0.5.1):

    tar cvfz /tmp/pyroscope-backup-$USER-$(date +'%Y-%m-%d').tgz \
        ~/.pyroscope/ ~/.local/pyroscope/
  3. Depending on how you installed rTorrent, make a copy of the rtorrent executable and libtorrent*.so*. Note that the rTorrent-PS build script installs into versioned directories, i.e. using that you don’t have to worry if changing to a new rTorrent version ­— the old one is still available, and you can switch back easily.

Updating the Software

Before adapting and extending your configuration to make use of new features, you first have to update the software itself. How to do that depends on the way you initially installed it, so follow one of the following sections, depending on whether you did a release installation or one from source.

How to Do a Release Version Software Update

Remember to read the migration instructions further below, and the changelog, BEFORE installing any new version.

Then to update an existing installation, use these commands (but note the 0.5.1 update is different, see below):

cd ~/.local/pyroscope
bin/pip install -U "pyrocore[templating]"
ln -nfs $(egrep -l '(from.pyrocore.scripts|entry_point.*pyrocore.*console_scripts)' $PWD/bin/*) ~/bin

If you used pip install --user -U pyrocore without creating a virtualenv, just repeat that command.

Now skip the next section describing a source installation upgrade, and go to the configuration update further below.

How to Update a Source Installation to the Newest Code

BEFORE any update, remember to read the migration instructions further below, the changelog and the list of commits.

Then to update an existing installation, use this command:


Continue with any tasks regarding configuration changes from the next section.

Updating Your Configuration

After you installed a new version of the software, you have to check for necessary changes to the default configuration, after calling the pyroadmin --create-config or the command.

Note that only the *.default files (config.ini.default,, and so on) will be overwritten, they are a literal copy of the defaults packaged into the software, and are there for informational purposes only. You can then use the diff tool to check for the differences between your current configuration and the new default one, and add any changes you want to adopt.

Also note that sections of the configuration you leave out, and keys that you do not overwrite, are automatically taken from the defaults, which greatly simplifies any update. That is the reason why it is recommended to have a minimal configuration with just your customizations, in addition to the defaults.

The file ~/.pyroscope/rtorrent-pyro.rc.default, and those contained in ~/.pyroscope/rtorrent.d, are a different story. They change quite often, and since there is no merging of *.rc.default with *.rc files, the default ones are normally used. You can still disable those default files one by one using the rtorrent.d/.rcignore file, in order to provide your own versions or simply disable certain features. That is way better than switching altogether to *.rc files, again for the reason updates become way more painless. See the comments at the start of files in rtorrent.d for details.

And remember to always read the changelog!

Migrating to Version 0.5.x

The 0.5.x release line adds a queue manager, watching a directory tree for loading metafiles, and removes support for ancient versions of Python and rTorrent. More details on the contained changes can be found at GitHub releases and the changelog. Install at least version 0.5.3, which has a few important fixes.

To upgrade your existing installation, follow these steps:

  1. For people that run a source code installation, just use the script as described in Installing from GitHub. When your old installation is still in ~/lib, you’ll be presented with the necessary commands to move to ~/.local after calling ~/lib/pyroscope/ Since all the documentation now points to ~/.local paths, you should switch over.

    For PyPI installs, just do a fresh install to the new location at ~/.local.

  2. Call pyroadmin --create-config to update the .default configuration examples, and create the new rtorrent.d directory.

  3. In your rTorrent instance, update the start script (and save a copy of the old one before that).

  4. You also MUST change the import command in your rtorrent.rc that loads the PyroScope configuration include:

    # Remove the ".default" if you want to change something (else your changes
    # get over-written on update, when you put them into ``*.default`` files).
    import = ~/.pyroscope/rtorrent-pyro.rc.default
  5. Read the rTorrent Queue Manager section if you plan to use item queueing and/or the tree watch feature; both are inactive by default and need to be enabled. You also need to add the new pyro_watchdog schedule into your configuration, as shown in the Configuration Guide.

  6. Remember to restart rTorrent after any configuration changes.

When you have a rather aged configuration, also consider switching to the new set of configuration files as found in the pimp-by-box project, that use the new command names through-out and are thus way more future-proof.

There is an easy to use script, see rTorrent Configuration on how to use it. At the same time, update the start script. Note that these configuration files also work with a plain vanilla rTorrent version, you do not need rTorrent-PS for them to work.

In any case, make a backup of your configuration and scripts, as mentioned at the start of this chapter. After creating the new configuration, merge in what’s missing from your old configuration, but migrate to the new syntax first. For adding your custom settings, you can use your own files in the ~/rtorrent/rtorrent.d directory.

Migrating to Version 0.6.1 (UNRELEASED)