NonGNU ELPA - mentor


Frontend for the rTorrent bittorrent client
mentor-0.5.tar (.sig), 2024-Mar-31, 130 KiB
Stefan Kangas <>
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To install this package from Emacs, use package-install or list-packages.

Full description

1. mentor

mentor.svg mentor-badge.svg

mentor is a GNU Emacs frontend for the rTorrent bittorrent client.

By default, it will start and run rTorrent from within Emacs but can also be configured to use an external rTorrent instance over XML-RPC.

This project aims to provide a feature complete and highly customizable interface, that will feel familiar to Emacs users. Key bindings are chosen to be as close to the vanilla rTorrent curses interface as possible.

mentor still has some way to go before it can really be considered a complete interface, so please moderate your expectations. It works fine for many common tasks though, and in some cases (dare we say?) much better than the standard ncurses interface.

1.1. Screenshot

Screenshot of moving a download and its data to another directory using ido integration. Sort your downloads in a breeze!

1.2. Features

Here is a summary of some of the features:

  • Show torrents in a table, with configurable columns.
  • Search torrents using C-s (no more of the manual up/down).
  • Mark and perform operations on more than one torrent at once.
  • Sort torrents according to one or more criteria.
  • Move downloads together with their data in one command.
  • Switch between views, create new etc. (like numbers)
  • Support for most standard operations. (Start/stop/rehash/move etc.)
  • Use all Emacs features you are used to: macros, Emacs Lisp, etc.

1.3. Installing mentor

1.3.1. Installing through NonGNU ELPA (recommended)

You can install mentor from NonGNU ELPA or MELPA.

NonGNU ELPA is configured by default in Emacs 28.1 or later. Find and install Mentor using this command:

M-x package-list-packages

For earlier versions, please see the specific instructions for how to configure NonGNU ELPA and MELPA.

1.3.2. Installing mentor manually

You can also install mentor manually. First, make sure you have the minimum version of xml-rpc.el installed.

Clone this repository using:

git clone

Add this to your init.el:

(add-to-list 'load-path "~/src/mentor/")
(require 'mentor)

Change "~/src/mentor" to the path where you keep the mentor source code.

To byte-compile mentor, go to the source directory and run:


To setup autoloading, you can add this to your Init file:

(autoload 'mentor "mentor" nil t)

1.4. Quick Start

Make sure that you have rTorrent (0.9.0 or later) installed on your system.

To start mentor, just run:

M-x mentor

It should work out of the box, but you may want to do some additional configuration.

1.5. Configuration

1.5.1. General

You can find additional Mentor options in customize.

M-x customize-group RET mentor RET

Two useful variables to customize are mentor-rtorrent-download-directory and mentor-rtorrent-keep-session.

1.5.2. External rTorrent

If you are already running rTorrent outside of Emacs, it is easy to configure Mentor to use it.

Add this to your ~/.rtorrent.rc and restart rTorrent:

scgi_local = ~/.rtorrent-rpc.socket
encoding.add = utf8

Customize mentor-rtorrent-external-rpc, or add this to your Init file and restart Emacs.

(setq mentor-rtorrent-external-rpc "~/.rtorrent-rpc.socket")

You can also specify an absolute path:

;; Alternative 2: Absolute path
(setq mentor-rtorrent-external-rpc "/path/to/rtorrent-rpc.socket")

It is also possible to connect to rtorrent over http. There are instructions on configuring this on the rtorrent wiki.

;; Alternative 3: Use a web server
(setq mentor-rtorrent-external-rpc "")

Finally, you can connect directly to rtorrent over scgi. However, anyone that can send rtorrent xmlrpc requests can in all likelihood also execute arbitrary code as the user running rtorrent. Therefore, this is inadvisable on anything but the loopback device (e.g. on single-user systems.

It is almost always easier and better to use a Unix domain socket (file) as suggested above.

;; Alternative 4: Connect directly to rtorrent over scgi
(setq mentor-rtorrent-external-rpc "scgi://")
1.5.3. Configuring rtorrent

For more information on configuring rTorrent, refer to the rTorrent wiki.

1.6. Key Bindings

DEL Add torrent file
l Add Magnet link, URL or torrent file path
s Start download
d Stop download
D Remove download
k Close download
K Remove download including data
r Initiate hash check for download
g Update screen
G Re-initialize all download data
v Show download in dired
1.6.2. Marking
m Mark item
u Unmark item
M Mark all items
U Unmark all items
1.6.3. Sorting
t c Sort downloads by state
t D Sort downloads by directory
t d Sort downloads by download speed
t n Sort downloads by name
t p Sort downloads by size
t t Sort downloads by tied file name
t u Sort downloads by upload speed
1.6.4. Misc
RET Enter file details screen
R Move download data
C Copy download data
x Call XML-RPC command
q Bury mentor
Q Shutdown mentor

1.7. Mapping from rTorrent commands to Mentor

1.7.1. Main view keys
rTorrent Mentor Description
-> RET View download
0 - 9 0 - 9 Change view
^S s Start download
^D (1) d Stop an active download
^D (2) D Remove download
^K k Close a torrent and its files
n/a K Remove download including data
^E e Set 'create/resize queued' flags
^R r Initiate hash check of torrent
^O o Change the destination directory of the download
^X x Call commands or change settings
^B n/a Set download to perform initial seeding
+ / - + / - Change the priority of the download
<DEL> DEL Add torrent file
  l Add Magnet link, URL or torrent file path
l n/a View log. Exit by pressing the space-bar
U n/a Delete the file the torrent is tied to, and clear the association
I n/a Toggle whether torrent ignores ratio settings

1.8. Known issues

  • There is no view for trackers/peers/extra information.
  • Mentor used to have performance issues when there were several hundreds or thousands of torrents. So I wrote a patch for xml-rpc.el to add support for Emacs built-in libxml support, which was helpfully merged by the xml-rpc.el maintainer Mark A. Hershberger. This improved performance by a factor of 100. Make sure you upgrade to Emacs 27.1, build it with libxml support, and use the latest xml-rpc.el version to benefit from this speed increase.

1.9. Contact

You can find the latest version of mentor here:

Bug reports, comments, and suggestions are welcome! Send them to Stefan Kangas <> or report them on GitHub.

Old versions

mentor-0.4.tar.lz2022-Sep-2226.6 KiB
mentor-0.3.5.tar.lz2022-Jan-0525.2 KiB