Frequently Asked Questions

Practical Questions

Downloading and Uploading



More About Tribler

About Tribler

Supported Features



Practical Questions

Downloading and Uploading

How do I download using Tribler?

The easiest way to download using Tribler is to search from the Home tab. Just type in what you're looking for and click Search. You will be taken to the Results tab and your search results will start coming in. When you've found what you're looking for you can click the Download button directly or first click on the search result to examine it in detail and then click the Download button.

For a step by step introduction, see the example below:

  1. Type Sintel in the search bar and click on the Search button; (Visit the Sintel website for more information about the movie.)
  2. The results view should come forward and give you a number of results. One of them should be named Sintel;
  3. Click on the name of the result called Sintel to expand it, the program will inform you that the .torrent is being requested via DHT;
    1. If the program informs you it failed to get the .torrent, collapse the torrent by clicking its name again and then expand it again. Give it a few attempts before giving up.
  4. When the torrent file has been retrieved you will get a number of tabs, called Details, Edit, Comments, etc. You will also see the Download button. Click it;
  5. You then have to select a location where to place the file. Click OK when you're satisfied with the location;
  6. The file now starts to download, give it some time or watch immediately (if you're connection is fast enough);
    1. Notice that you see the current progress here. This will tell you how much has been downloaded, how large the file is and how much time it will take at the current speed.
  7. You can click the Downloads button at the top to see your downloads library. The Sintel video has appeared here, too. Click on the name again to expand it;
  8. If you're feeling impatient you can start watching immediately by clicking Start streaming this torrent now. If you're not sure your internet connection can handle that without you having to watch a stuttering video, check the time that is still needed to finish the download: the sintel video runs for about 15 minutes, so if it takes much longer than that you probably want to wait before starting to watch. If it's lower than that, though, you can watch straight away.

Can I use Tribler to download using a Torrent file?

You can also use Tribler to download using a Torrent file. Go to the Downloads tab and click the Add... button to add the Torrent file. Here you can also specify the URL to the Torrent file directly, so you don't need to download the Torrent file first when you've found it on the internet. Magnet links can also be entered this way.

How do I select which files from a torrent I wish to download?

Please don't. At this point you can, but the functionality is broken and will result in broken files. A fix is being worked on.

How do I upload using Tribler?

If you wish to upload something you have already downloaded you can just start the download for it as usual and point to the same directory where you stored the files when downloading them. Tribler will then start by checking all the data to see if it's there. After that Tribler will try to download any missing data and will start uploading the data you already had.

If you wish to upload something new you can add it to your own channel. To do this go to the Channels tab and click on My Channel. If you don't have a channel yet, you can create one here. Click on the Manage Torrents tab and then click the Add... button. Choose Create in the dialog that pops up. Here you can browse for the file(s) you wish to make available and tweak some settings before clicking Create .torrent(s). They will be added to your channel and anyone who can find your channel will ultimately hear about them as well (this may take a while).


How do I install Tribler?

Go to to download the right package for your operating system.

For Windows users: just open the downloaded package by double clicking on it and Tribler will be installed.

For Mac users: drag the downloaded .dmg file to your Applications folder to install Tribler. Please note that only Intel based Macs are supported at this time.

For Linux users: if you're using a fairly modern Linux distribution, like Ubuntu, just download the package and double-click it to begin the installation. If that doesn't work, follow these instructions. If you're not familiar with using a terminal program, see for more on terminals in Ubuntu.

  1. Download the latest package
    1. Make sure to save the file in your personal home directory. To choose where to save the file, right click on the link and choose 'Save as...' (or similar)
  2. Open a terminal program (e.g. Gnome Terminal)
  3. Try
     sudo dpkg -i tribler*.deb
    You will have to give your password to proceed. If this succeeds without errors you can now find Tribler in the list of installed applications, or you can just type
    and Tribler should start.

Note: if you do not run a supported system (see the download page) the following steps might not work.

If the above did not succeed, try the following:

 sudo dpkg -i --force-depends tribler*.deb

 sudo apt-get -f install

The first line will forcibly install Tribler despite dependency errors occurring and the second line will try and fix that again. If everything succeeded at this point, you can type


and Tribler starts. If not, then be sure to run

 sudo dpkg -r tribler

 sudo apt-get -f install

to first line to remove Tribler again and the second line to make sure the system is in order.

How do I upgrade to a newer version of Tribler?

Just install the new version, see here for instructions on that. Tribler will automatically upgrade data from old versions when it is first started, if necessary. All your data, torrents, channels and settings will be retained.

Can I limit the download or upload speed of Tribler?

You can limit the download or upload speed of active downloads and seeds by going into the Settings and, under Limits, setting the desired values. Note, however, that this limits the speed of active downloads and seeds, not of Tribler in its entirety. The overhead of the Tribler protocol, in particular, can't be limited at this point.

Can I block peers or addresses in Tribler?

No, you can't. Although this feature has been requested a number of times and is available in some other clients, it is not one that is likely to appear in Tribler. The first use of the feature is to manually block certain peers. This usage scenario just asks for abusive behaviour, since actual reasons for blocking (such as freeloading) are very hard to investigate for a human being and easy to misjudge. The second usage scenario is using block lists to keep out unwanted eyes, such as governments that don't wish to upload or download but want to spy on you. This usage, however, is not very effective and provides a false sense of security at best.

If you still wish to block lists of peers to prevent spying parties to connect to you, you can use external software such as PeerBlock that is specialised in this.

How do I delete my channel?

Basically removing all .torrents from your channel is now the only option. We cannot do much better that this as you are still kindly requesting other peers to please remove your channel. We cannot force anyone to actually remove the channel.


I can't download anything. Where do I start?

If you can't seem to download anything there are a lot of possible causes. The first and most easily checked ones: you're trying a search or download of something that's not readily available. Try and search for something you're sure is widely available. Terms such as Linux or Ubuntu should certainly give you some result. Try and download a recent Ubuntu version (the numbering scheme they use is year.month of release, e.g. Ubuntu 11.10 was released in October 2011) or try and download something with a (partially) green popularity bar. If searching doesn't work you can see if you can at least download something using external .torrent files, such as the ones for the Ubuntu releases.

If the above doesn't give results or the downloads don't start, then you're likely to have connection problems. Such problems can have many reasons. Some common ones:

  • You have not allowed an exception for Tribler in the Windows firewall or other firewall software you're running;
  • You are behind a firewall somewhere in your network, because:
    • You are on a company network and the company doesn't allow BitTorrent, try again when you're at home (same goes for, for example, schools and universities);
    • You have hardware or software that provides your internet connection and has a firewall built in. Common examples are ADSL routers, VPN software and advanced switches.
  • You connect through hardware or softwarerouter and need to forward the ports.

This is all assuming that you actually have a connection to the internet and can, for example, read this page from the same computer you're running Tribler on.

While there are many ways to configure a firewall or router, each should most likely be configured to one of these common settings:

  • Allow the Tribler to connect to the internet and to receive connections from the internet - this is most common for software running on the same computer at Tribler, such as software firewalls (including the Windows firewall), virus scanners, vpn software, internet connection software, etc;
  • Allow incoming connections to the ports used by Tribler and forward those ports to the correct computer - this is most common for hardware you connect through or software running on computers you connect through, such as routers, (local) servers, computers providing shared internet to your computer or advanced switches.

For a description of which ports to open, see below. How you open ports completely depends on the device or software you're trying to configure, but PortForward has excellent coverage of most of them.

Note that some routers actually provide both port forwarding and a firewall. The two are not the same, but both can hinder your connection. Forwarding the ports is needed to have incoming connections to your router to be forwarded to the computer running Tribler, while allowing those incoming connections is needed to allow them in the first place.

If all of this doesn't help you get your downloads going, you can always visit our forums for more help.

What ports does Tribler use?

The ports Tribler uses depends on the port number configured under Settings, Connection. The default port number is 7760.

The ports actually in use by Tribler, for a given configured port number N, are:

  • TCP N
  • TCP (N-1)
  • UDP N
  • UDP (N-1)

So for the default configuration that is:

  • TCP 7760
  • TCP 7759
  • UDP 7760
  • UDP 7759

These are the ports used for incoming connections.

You are most welcome to configure a different port, but keep in mind that ports below 1024 are privileged and therefore most likely unavailable to Tribler. Choose a value higher than 1025 to be safe. Also keep in mind that each port number can be used by only one program at the same time. If you have other BitTorrent software running, for example, and want Tribler to use the same port then you will first have to close that other program completely before running Tribler or configuring Tribler's port.

Why don't I see all the torrents in a channel?

There are several reasons that not all torrents in a channel show up:

  • You have the family filter on;
  • You have not marked the channel as your favorite and hence only get a preview of up to 50 torrents;
  • Tribler simply hasn't heard of all torrents in the channel yet.

Note, in particular, that all of these apply to torrents in your own channel if you look them up from the main channels view instead of under My Channels.

Not 'having heard' of the torrents might be a bit vague, but has to do with the way channels are distributed. Tribler uses a gossiping protocol to communicate, something you can compare very well with real world gossiping. People (peers) meet each other (connect) and then they exchange information. Not everybody knows the latest in town (not every peer knows every torrent), but if you go around enough (exchange information with enough peers) you'll be kept up to date (know the current state of the channel). Just like real world gossiping, where it would become a very busy mess if you'd put all the people together in a room to keep each other constantly informed, Tribler peers aren't constantly exchanging information either. As such, gossiping, while disseminating information quite effectively, can take some time to get you the latest information.

How do I reset Tribler completely?

To completely reset Tribler you can remove the settings directory in its entirety. This will completely wipe all settings and active downloads or seeds, as well as your download and upload history (and hence reset your reputation). Note that it will [i]noti remove the actual data, either partial or complete, of your downloads, just the knowledge that you were downloading them. Unless you put your downloads in the settings directory yourself, of course.

If you're concerned about losing things nonetheless, you can also just temporarily rename the directory and start Tribler again to see what happens.

To find your settings directory, see below.

Where do I find the settings directory of Tribler?

Under Windows, depending on the version and settings, either of these two:

  • %APPDATA%\.Tribler
  • %APPDATA%\roaming\.Tribler

You can enter the %APPDATA% directory by opening an explorer, typing %APPDATA% in the address bar and then hitting Enter.

Under Linux or Mac the .Tribler directory is stored in your home directory, /home/USERNAME/.Tribler Note that, since it begins with a ., it will be hidden by default. Search the web to find out how to see hidden files depending on your environment (Ubuntu / Gnome / Nautilus, Kubuntu / KDE / Dolphin / Konqueror, MacOS / Finder).

I see objectionable content in the network. How do I remove it? Can I get in trouble?

You can downvote a channel by marking it as spam. This is the most effective way of removing the content: it stops your client from spreading information about it (see * here about how Tribler communicates) other than that it's spam.

Even for highly illegal content, such as child porn, you can't get in trouble if you don't download it. If you see it in a channel all you have done is hear about it from another peer, which most likely has only heard about it just like you have. You have, however, not downloaded the actual files. It's like this gossip in the pub where you've heard about that neighbor brewing illegal booze. You then know where to get the illegal booze, but as long as you don't you won't get in trouble. Tribler does not automatically download actual files, only data about the files (.torrent files) so you could find those files if you want to.

More About Tribler

About Tribler

What is Tribler?

Tribler is a BitTorrent P2P client with various extensions such as integrated search and video-on-demand. Tribler is also a not-for-profit research group in which several universities participate. We are supported by EU and Dutch research funding. Our aims are to further research, education and progress in peer-to-peer applications, build EU skill capacity in this important area and reach out globally for cooperation and exchange of ideas. As academics we publish our findings so anyone can follow our progress. Tribler is an open source project so anyone can participate in the development of our work and utilize it.

See also What is Tribler?.

What is the difference between Tribler and BitTorrent?

While Tribler uses the BitTorrent protocol to download and upload files, and is fully compatible with most BitTorrent clients, it adds a number of important extensions:

In short Tribler is the evolution of P2P technology building on but also going beyond the successful BitTorrent protocol.

Is Tribler anonymous?

Not more or less than any other BitTorrent client. Your internet address is necessarily known unless you're using proxies or VPN software to prevent that (in which case the proxy or VPN provider knows your address instead). If you are downloading a file anyone could see you are downloading that file if they (pretend to) download that file themselves using a BitTorrent client. This is all inherent to the BitTorrent protocol.

Please note that, although other clients support encryption, that does not make them more anonymous. Please see here for more about encryption and anonymity.

Can I package / copy / distribute Tribler?

Yes, you most certainly can. Tribler is released under an open source license, mostly LGPL, partly MIT license. See the license.txt file in the source package for details.

See also TriblerForBusiness for more information on cooperating with Tribler.

How can I contact Tribler?

For contact details see Contact.

Supported Features

Does Tribler support encryption?

Tribler currently does not support encryption. This means Tribler will not communicate with peers who have configured their clients to require encryption.

Encryption of BitTorrent traffic is used to defend against traffic shaping employed by, for example, internet service providers (ISPs). Some ISPs are known to use deep packet inspection to classify traffic and to slow down P2P networks. Then again, BitTorrent traffic can also be classified by using other signals than just the contents in the traffic itself (e.g. is there a lot of encrypted traffic coming in from more than 30 hosts, then we'll slow them down). As such encryption provides only a first defense against traffic shaping.

Encryption of BitTorrent traffic provides no additional security in the form of privacy or anonymity. The only parties that can't read the contents of the encrypted traffic are the parties that just pass it on, such as your ISP. It has been suggested that encrypting traffic can prevent governments or other agencies from tracking what files you download, but this is not true. Any party can change a BitTorrent client to join a number of swarms they want information about and just look around and contact all the peers in that swarm, encrypted or not, by pretending to download the files in that swarm. This is the most common method for finding out the addresses of all peers downloading a particular torrent and works just as well if you encrypt your traffic.

Several forum discussions on encryption have elaborated on the subject

Does Tribler have a WebUI?

There is currently an experimental feature in Tribler that implements the protocol used by the open source webUI of uTorrent. You can enable the webUI under Settings, Experimental.


I've got a bad reputation!

Don't panic! A good reputation will only get you a little boost from other Tribler peers, not having a good reputation will be the same as downloading using any other BitTorrent client.

If you wish to improve your reputation, you can leave your client on to seed after you've finished downloading. If you want to improve your reputation even further, you can try and find popular content and seed that (after downloading it yourself, of course).

Can I copy or share my reputation?

You can copy your reputation by copying the complete settings directory of Tribler. You can't share your reputation, since it's based on a unique identifier generated for you client.


What's with the collected torrent files?

The collected torrent files are collected while you are online. They are part of the distributed library of torrent files you search through when you search using Tribler. All Tribler peers in the network participate in that large library by exchanging torrents and keeping a part of that library available by storing it locally.

The folder with collected torrent files will at first be filled to contain up to 50 000 .torrent files. After that Tribler will now and then throw away a part of that collection and find some others to store locally, keeping the library up to date.

When using Tribler, am I restricted to download from and uploading to other Tribler peers?

No, you are not. Tribler is a normal BitTorrent client in that it participates in Torrent swarms like any other BitTorrent client. You can download from and upload to all the other peers in that swarm.

Tribler seems to be doing a lot more than just downloading. Can I stop that?

Yes, it does a lot more. Tribler peers are part of an overlay network that exchanges information about channels and torrents, among other things. This overlay network is the basis for the features Tribler offers, such as the integrated search and channels.

Could you stop it? Theoretically, yes. And if you stopped it, it would take your client a few minutes to do searches, but otherwise it would function. You would be leeching on the network, then, taking and not giving. If everybody else stops it, though, you might just as well use any plain old BitTorrent since all of Tribler's features will break down. So yes, theoretically you could stop it, but you shouldn't.

What is Dowser?

Dowser is only required if you want to start monitoring/profiling the memory consumption of Tribler. If not, which should be the case for most if not all users, then just leave it be.

What do all those peer states mean?

If you mouse over the peer state you will see a small popup giving you the full names of all the peer states. They're typical BitTorrent terms, though, so look at this list for more details.

What are bootstrap peers?

See here for more information about bootstrap peers.