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The rutorrent Ratio Groups Tutorial

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1. Preface

Unfortunately the rutorrent ratio groups are not very intuitive to use and also the corresponding documentation is incomplete. Therefore I made this small tutorial. The first part contains a detailed description about the underlying logic of ratio groups. However, if you are only interested in a particular (common) use case of a ratio group, such as seeding torrents to a specified ratio, you can skip to the example ratio groups that I listed in the second part. You can easily amend them to your own needs.

2. How do ratio groups work?

Each ratio group consists of 4 different conditions ( Min,% / Max,% / UL,MB / Time,h ) and an action. Whether the action of a ratio group will be triggered depends on which conditions have been satisfied. Whether an individual condition has been satisfied (for a particular torrent) depends on either

  • how much has been uploaded in percentage (Min,% and Max,%) or
  • how much has been uploaded in MB (UL,MB) or
  • how many hours the torrent has been seeded (Time,h)

For the sake of simplicity, these four conditions can be put in two different groups:

The Min,% and UL,MB conditions (mandatory)
These conditions are "packaged together". That means only if both conditions have been satisfied, the action will be triggered. One condition alone doesn't suffice.

The Max,% and Time,h conditions (optional)
Each of these condition is independend from all other conditions. That means, as soon as one of Max,% or Time,h is satisfied, the action will be triggered, regardless of whether the other conditions are satisfied or not. So these are hard limits. You can turn the Max,% condition off with "0" and the Time,h conditions with "-1".

The following table shows which combinations of satifsied conditions will trigger the selected action

Min,% Max,% UL,MB Time,h Action triggered
x x x Yes
x x x Yes

= condition has been satisfied
x = condition has not been satisfied or is turned off


Note that there are limits to what you can do with ratio groups. For example, you cannot require a torrent to have both a minimum ratio and a minimum seed time. However, if you need such conditions you can use another tool such as rtcontrol.

A ratio group / torrent size example

Here is an example that shows after how much uploaded MB the action of a particular ratio group is triggered for torrents with different sizes. The Time condition has not been set (-1) for this example ratio group.

Example ratio group

Min % Max % UL,MB Time,h
100 200 500 -1


Torrent size 700 MB
Action trigerred after 700 MB has been uploaded
Reason the Min 100% upload (700 MB) and UL,MB (500 MB) conditions are both satisfied


Torrent size 350 MB
Action trigerred after 500 MB has been uploaded
Reason the Min 100% upload (350 MB) and UL,MB (500 MB) conditions are both satisfied


Torrent size 100 MB
Action trigerred after 200 MB has been uploaded
Reason the Max 200% upload (200 MB) condition has been satisfied

3. Ratio groups examples

These are examples of commonly used ratio groups which you can easily amend to your own needs.

Example 1

Torrents should stop always after reaching a 2.5 ratio


Min % Max % UL,MB Time,h
250 250 any value -1

If Min % = Max % then the UL,MB condition has (practically) no effect. The Time,h condition has to be turned off (-1).

Alternatively you can specify the following conditions

Min % Max % UL,MB Time,h
250 0 0 -1

In this case the UL,MB condition (0 MB upload) is always satisfied. So as soon as the torrent reaches a 2.5 ratio the action will be triggered.

Example 2

Torrents should stop always after 48 hours seeding regardless of how much (or little) has been uploaded

Min % Max % UL,MB Time,h
1000000 0 any value 48

Set the Min % condition to a very high value that is very unlikely to be reached by any torrent. This will (practically) turn both the Min % and the UL,MB condition off. So the only remaining relevant condition is the Time,h condition.

Example 3

Torrents should not longer seed than 48 hours and should not have a ratio greater than 1.5

Min % Max % UL, MB Time, h
150 0 0 48

The Time,h condition sets the maximum seed duration in hours. However, the action will be triggered before 48 hours have been passed if the torrent reaches a 1.5 ratio.

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I just started using r(u)torrent. Whats the best way to set up a ratio group that seeds for ever / until stop it?

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If things are automated as from RSS or IRC bot you will want to delete them sometime after they mature. Setting everything to a good ratio and expiration time is important to not only build your ratio but to make sure you are obeying the rules of each tracker you use. Good doesn't necessarily mean long because you also want "out with the old and in with the new" to keep your seedbase hot. I'm also sure you have a space limit on your seedbox.

Using the wonderful breakdown of the "what and hows" of ratio groups in the first post, I would like to share how I implement it. I believe that this is a more simple approach to understand it and is better when using it in an automated system. Hit and runs are not good and easy to avoid.

Since most trackers have slightly different rules, all trackers involved need to be looked at for setting  up. The seed ratio and time requirements need to be identified for each tracker that is used. If a tracker has no requirements a humble 1:1/48 would be grand. This simply means that it will be seeded until it has shared back 100% (1:1 ratio) OR reached 48 hours of seeding. When either one of these are reached it is completely deleted.  Note: it will wait to remove a torrent that is actively transfering.

The next task is to set up the ratio groups in rutorrent. Each entry is a label, the "terms" and the action, deletion in this case. The photo below shows a sequence of commonly used configurations that should cover quite a few different trackers properly.  The first 4 groups are the common settings. 5 6 and 7 are used manually on one or more torrents if I want to seed them a little longer. Note that group 4 is the default group. This is for trackers that are not in the ratio group rules and need a strict rule to be on the safe side against hit and runs.



Lastly rules are needed to assign new torrents to one of the ratio groups from above. Using the information found in each tracker rule book or wiki, they are entered along with it's base url and which group it will be assigned to.


Now when a torrent is added, it will eventually expire and make room for the next. This configuration was designed for ratio boosting using commercial seedbox accounts. As-is, it may not be optimal for most people but with slight adjustments I think it can be. Both windows shown above are accessible from the top menu in your rutorrent.

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