Installation on POSIX

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NZBGet is a cross-platform program which works on many platforms including many POSIX systems.

This article explains how to compile NZBGet from sources on a POSIX system. For cross compiling tips please refer to Cross compiling. Linux users can use universal installer which includes precompiled binaries for many CPU architectures - see Installation on Linux.

NZBGet absolutely needs the following libraries:

  • libstdc++ (usually part of compiler)
  • libxml2

And the following libraries are optional:

For curses-output-mode:

  • libcurses (usually part of commercial systems)

or (better)

For encrypted connections (TLS/SSL):


All these libraries are included in modern Linux distributions and should be available as installable packages. Please note that you also need the developer packages for these libraries too, they package names have often suffix "dev" or "devel". On other systems you may need to download the libraries at the given URLs and compile them (see hints below).

You also need a working C++ compiler.

Example: The following command installs all packages required to compile NZBGet on Debian/Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install build-essential libncurses5-dev libssl-dev libxml2-dev -y


Well, the usual stuff:

  • untar the nzbget-source via
tar -zxf nzbget-VERSION.tar.gz 
  • change into nzbget-directory via
cd nzbget-VERSION 
  • configure it via

maybe you have to tell configure, where to find some libraries. "./configure --help" is your friend! ;-). Also see Configure-options below.

  • compile it via
  • become root via
  • install it via
make install 

NOTE: if you want to spare some space on the drive you can install the stripped version (which is much smaller) of the binary instead:

make install-strip

The stripped version doesn't include any debugging symbols. You shouldn't do stripping if you compile the binary in debug mode (using ./configure --enable-debug).

NOTE: if you do not have root-access or do not want to install the program system-wide, you can omit the install-step and copy the compiled binary "nzbget" into any location you want.


You may run configure with additional arguments:

  • --disable-curses
to make without curses-support. Use this option if you can not use curses/ncurses.
  • --disable-parcheck
to make without parcheck-support.
  • --with-tlslib=(GnuTLS, OpenSSL)
to select which TLS/SSL library should be used for encrypted server connections.
  • --disable-tls
to make without TLS/SSL support. Use this option if you can not neither GnuTLS nor OpenSSL.
  • --enable-debug
to build in debug-mode, if you want to see and log debug-messages.

Optional package: par-check

NZBGet can check and repair downloaded files for you. For this purpose it uses par2-module (based on par2cmdline) which is integrated into nzbget's source code tree.

If for some reason you have troubles compiling units belonging to par2-module you can make nzbget without support for par-check using option "--disable-parcheck":

 ./configure --disable-parcheck

Optional package: curses

For curses-outputmode you need ncurses or curses on your system. If you do not have one of them you can download and compile ncurses yourself. Following configure-parameters may be usefull:


If you are not able to use curses or ncurses or do not want them you can make the program without support for curses using option --disable-curses:

./configure --disable-curses 

Optional package: TLS

To enable encrypted server connections (TLS/SSL) you need to build the program with TLS/SSL support. NZBGet can use two libraries: GnuTLS or OpenSSL. Configure-script checks which library is installed and use it. If both are avialable it gives the precedence to GnuTLS. You may override that with the option --with-tlslib=(GnuTLS, OpenSSL). For example to build whith OpenSSL:

./configure --with-tlslib=OpenSSL 

Following configure-parameters may be usefull:


If none of these libraries is available you can make the program without TLS/SSL support using option "--disable-tls":

./configure --disable-tls


NZBGet needs a configuration file. After make install an example configuration file nzbget.conf is installed into /usr/shared/nzbget/nzbget.conf. Use command:

make install-conf

This command copies the configuration file into /etc/nzbget.conf and makes few changes in the file to adjust to your system paths. If you don't want the file to be system wide available you can instead of "make install-conf" copy the file into your home directory, open the file in a text editor and make sure the option ConfigTemplate is set properly. All other options can be edited later via web-interface.

The program looks for configuration file in following standard locations (in this order):

On POSIX systems:

  • <app-directory>/nzbget.conf (since version 15.0)
  • ~/.nzbget
  • /etc/nzbget.conf
  • /usr/etc/nzbget.conf
  • /usr/local/etc/nzbget.conf
  • /opt/etc/nzbget.conf

You can use any other path and name but then you need to pass the full filename of the configuration file when starting NZBGet:

nzbget -c /path/to/nzbget.conf -D

If you put the configuration file in other place, you can use command- line switch "-c <filename>" to point the program to correct location.

In special cases you can run program without configuration file using switch "-n". You need to use switch "-o" to pass required configuration options via command-line.


NZBGet can be used in either standalone mode which downloads a single file or as a server which is able to queue up numerous download requests.

Standalone mode

nzbget <nzb-file>

Server mode

First start the nzbget-server:

A) in console mode:

nzbget -s 

B) or in daemon mode (POSIX only):

nzbget -D 

To stop server use:

nzbget -Q 

Depending on which frontend has been selected in the nzbget.conf file (option "outputmode") the server should display a message that it is ready to receive download requests (this applies only to console mode, not to daemon mode).

When the server is running it is possible to queue up downloads. This can be done either in terminal with

nzbget -A <nzb-file> 

or by uploading a nzb-file into server's monitor-directory (<MAINDIR>/nzb by default).

To check the status of server start client and connect it to server:

nzbget -C 

The client have three different (display) outputmodes, which you can select in configuration file (on client computer) or in command line. Try them:

nzbget -o outputmode=log -C 
nzbget -o outputmode=color -C 
nzbget -o outputmode=curses -C 

To list files in server's queue:

nzbget -L 

It prints something like:

[1] nzbname\filename1.rar (50.00 MB)
[2] nzbname\filename1.r01 (50.00 MB) 

The numbers in square braces are ID's of files in queue. They can be used in edit-command. For example to move file with ID 2 to the top of queue:

nzbget -E T 2 

or to pause files with IDs from 10 to 20:

nzbget -E P 10-20 

or to delete files from queue:

nzbget -E D 3 10-15 20-21 16 

Command line reference

For more information on using the program via command line see Command line reference.

Running client & server on separate machines

Since NZBGet communicates via TCP/IP it's possible to have a server running on one computer and control it from another computer.

Post Processing scripts

After the download of nzb-file is completed NZBget can call post-process-scripts, defined in configuration file.

NZBGet distribution comes with two example scripts.

For more information see Post-processing scripts and Catalog of post-processing scripts.


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