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SABnzbd is an Open Source Binary Newsreader written in Python.

It's totally free, incredibly easy to use, and works practically everywhere. SABnzbd makes Usenet as simple and streamlined as possible by automating everything we can. All you have to do is add an .nzb. SABnzbd takes over from there, where it will be automatically downloaded, verified, repaired, extracted and filed away with zero human interaction.


Install sabnzbdAUR from the Arch User Repository.



SABnzbd is able to run globally (settings apply to all users) and locally (per user settings). The way of setting up SABnzbd depends on the way it is intended to be used. A local configuration may prove more useful on a desktop system than on a system that is used by several people simultaneously.

Global configuration

SABnzbd comes with a system service file, this can be used to control the daemon as follows:

#systemctl {start,stop,enable,disable} sabnzbd.service

start and stop are direct, enable and disable configure automatic starting of the service during boot. For more information, refer to the Systemd article.

Local configuration

SABnzbd does not need to be run globally as a daemon and can rather work per user. The usual method to configure SABnzbd globally is because the listed files and folders in the default configuration file point to directories owned by sabnzbd (the /opt/sabnzbd directory).

A less used (but perhaps more sensible) method is to make SABnzbd work with files and directories owned by a normal user. Running SABnzbd as a normal user has the benefits of:

  • A single directory ~/.sabnzbd.ini (or any other directory under /home/username) that will contain all the SABnzbd configuration files.
  • Easier to avoid unforeseen read/write permission errors.

In this case, we will use ~/.sabnzbd.ini/sabnzbd.ini and not start sabnzbd.service as a daemon for the whole system and all users. We will NOT use the /usr/lib/systemd/system/sabnzbd.service which is intended to start the sabnzbd.service for all users. If you already enabled it, just disable it first:

 # systemctl disable sabnzbd.service

If you used to start SABnzbd inside your ~/.xinitrc, comment or delete the line

sabnzbd -d

Then, edit a new file /etc/systemd/user/sabnzbd.service

Description = SABnzbd binary newsreader

EnvironmentFile = /etc/conf.d/sabnzbd_systemd
ExecStart = /bin/sh/ -c "python2 ${SABNZBD_DIR}/ ${SABNZBD_ARGS} --pid /tmp"
ExecStop = /usr/bin/curl -f "${SABNZBD_PROTOCOL}://${SABNZBD_USPW}${SABNZBD_IP}:${SABNZBD_PORT}/sabnzbd/api?mode=shutdown&apikey=${SABNZBD_KEY}"
Type = forking
PIDFile = /tmp/

WantedBy =

Then, change this line in /etc/conf.d/sabnzbd_systemd

SABNZBD_ARGS=-f ${HOME}/.sabnzbd.ini -s ${SABNZBD_IP}:${SABNZBD_PORT} -d

Then, add this line if not already to .xinitrc

#run systemd as user intsance
systemd --user &

Now, enable and start sabnzbd.service as per user

$ systemctl --user enable sabnzbd
$ systemctl --user start sabnzbd

Check the SABnzbd status and see if sabnzbd.service is correctly enabled and started

$ systemctl --user status sabnzbd

Initial setup

It is recommended to run through the initial setup wizard after starting the service by going to in your favourite web-browser. This initial setup should be enough to get SABnzbd working correctly for regular users. Users wanting HTTPS access are recommended to read further on in enabling https.

enabling https

enabling https is a threefold process.

For global configuration:

  • edit /opt/sabnzbd/sabnzbd.ini and set enable_https to 1
  • copy /usr/lib/systemd/system/sabnzbd.service to /etc/systemd/system/ then edit it and set PIDFile to /run/sabnzbd/
  • reload systemd with # systemctl --system daemon-reload

For local configuration:

  • edit /opt/sabnzbd/sabnzbd.ini and set enable_https to 1
  • then edit /etc/systemd/user/sabnzbd.service and set PIDFile to /tmp/
  • reload systemd with $ systemctl --user daemon-reload

You should now be able to start sabnzbd with SSL support.

using a custom port

Using a custom port is similar to using https:

  • edit /opt/sabnzbd/sabnzbd.ini and set port in [misc] section to the port you wish to use.
  • copy /usr/lib/systemd/system/sabnzbd.service to /etc/systemd/system/ then edit it and set PIDFile to /run/sabnzbd/ where yourport is the same as set in the first step.
  • edit /etc/conf.d/sabnzbd_systemd and set SABNZBD_PORT to the port set in the first step.
  • reload systemd with # systemctl --system daemon-reload

You should now be able to start sabnzbd with a custom port.


systemd times out when starting SABnzbd with https enabled

When faced with the following:

[user@host ~]$ sudo systemctl start sabnzbd.service
Job failed. See system journal and 'systemctl status' for details.

[user@host ~]$ sudo systemctl status sabnzbd.service
sabnzbd.service - SABnzbd binary newsreader
	  Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/sabnzbd.service; disabled)
	  Active: failed (Result: timeout) since Tue, 25 Sep 2012 20:10:47 +0200; 9s ago
	  CGroup: name=systemd:/system/sabnzbd.service

It's likely that you've forgotten to edit sabnzbd.service to reflect the proper PID file as mentioned in enabling https.

SABnzbd redirects to localhost on remote access when only https is enabled

This strange issue seems to appear, when you have no https port configured (so it will use the configured http port for http) and your /etc/conf.d/sabnzbd[_systemd] says


instead of:


You might need to restart your clientside browser.

External Links