Install & Setup SABnzbd Plus on Ubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10, Jaunty Jackalope 9.04 and Older Versions

// 17th Nov '09 Install & Setup SABnzbd Plus on Ubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10, Jaunty Jackalope 9.04 and Older Versions

Thanks to the wonderful package manager that is apt-get this post won't be extremely long and the install won't require you to hunt down a handful of dependencies. While we have only tested this on Jaunty Jackalope and Karmic Koala (Ubuntu 9.04 and 9.10 respectively); there is little reason why it shouldn't work on Intrepid (8.10) Ibex or before (as long as the sabnzbd package is available in the package repository for that release).

Step One

Installing the sabnzbdplus package

You can do this one of two ways, either via System -> Administation -> Synaptic Package Manager or the easier way via the Terminal. The package manager is fairly self explanatory but nothing beats the speed of the Terminal.

So open a new terminal window (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal if you have no shortcut set up) and type sudo apt-get install sabnzbdplus. It will prompt for your password (due to the sudo command) and then proceed to handle pretty much everything for you, so sit back while it takes its short time to download the package and install it, along with all its dependencies (things it relies on, such as CherryPy etc).

Step Two

Edit the main config file

SABnzbd relies on one main config file which has critical (required to run) settings in and another file located in the users home directory which handles lesser used features, download directories etc (and is usually edited from within the SABnzbd itself.

The file we are going to setup is located in the standard Linux config directory at /etc/default/sabnzbdplus. To open this file for editing (it needs root permissions), type sudo nano /etc/default/sabnzbdplus. Nano is our favourite quick editor, that command can be replaced with other clients such as vi, emacs or gedit if you know how to use them better.

You will see a file which looks like this:

# This file is sourced by /etc/init.d/sabnzbdplus
# When SABnzbd+ is started using the init script, the
# --daemon option is always used, and the program is
# started under the account of $USER, as set below.
# Each setting is marked either "required" or "optional";
# leaving any required setting unconfigured will cause
# the service to not start.

# [required] user or uid of account to run the program as:

# [optional] full path to the configuration file of your choice;
#            otherwise, the default location (in $USER's home
#            directory) is used:

# [optional] hostname/ip and port number to listen on:

# [optional] extra command line options, if any:

There are only really three options you need to deal with:

  • USER : set this to the user you are running as within Linux, in our case djm so USER=djm
  • HOST : set this to HOST=localhost if you only want the web interface accessible on the PC you are installing on. If you would like to use the interface with other computers on the network, or over the internet then set it to HOST= which will listen on all interfaces (make sure to password protect later if you do this)
  • PORT : set this to the port you would like to run the server on. Make this nice and high, as in 2000+, so as to avoid conflicts with other applications.

e.g A port of 8080 and a host of localhost would be later accessible at http://localhost:8080/sabnzbd/.

Step Three

Restart the server

To load the new config file, the server must be started (or restarted). To do this type /etc/init.d/sabnzbdplus restart into the terminal (if it was not started first, the first half of the restart command will fail, but as long as it starts you're ok). You shouldn't get a permission denied error but if you do, simple add sudo to the front of the command (or just do sudo !! to run the last command you did with raised permissions).

Step Four

Configure the settings via the web interface

Boot up your browser, whether that be Firefox (recommended due to the plugins available), Konquerer, Chromium or whatever. If you are accessing the server on the same machine you can browse to http://localhost:9000/sabnzbd/ to access the interface (where 9000 is the PORT number you selected. If you are acccessing over a network (e.g LAN or Internet) then you'll need the IP address of the machine to take the place of localhost. e.g. Whatever you do, do not forget that trailing /sabnzbd/ as it is required. If you leave it off you'll simply get a blank page with no errors and this will drive you crazy for a few minutes - this definitely didn't happen to us ;).

You'll most likely be met with a message telling you to add servers, so head over to the Config -> Servers tab and add in your providers details (this is fairly similar to most other Usenet clients). Then head through the rest of the settings and tail them to your desires (most important being the download directories probably).

Future Tips

Restarting the server, the 2nd config file and plugins for Firefox

In your fiddling with the settings, you will most likely come across a message that looks like this, "The server must be manually restarted for these settings to take effect". This does not mean a complete reboot, all you need to do is simply open a terminal window as we mentioned before and run the command /etc/init.d/sabnzbdplus restart. That will restart the daemon for you, allowing for skin changes etc.

Also, we mentioned it uses 2 config files earlier, the 2nd one you will find in the default place of ~/.sabnzbd/sabnzbd.ini where ~/ is the home directory of the user your used to run the daemon (so /home/djm/.sabnzbd/sabnzbd.ini in our case). This is the file which is edited when you use the web accessible configuration so you usually don't need to access it, still doesn't mean its not nice knowing where it is :)

Lastly, we've already written a post on how to make SABnzbd easier to use with Firefox or Mac OS X. There are a bunch of extensions available to make your life easier along with front end non-web graphical user interfaces to make SABnzbd more integrated with your operating system.


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If you have any problems or noticed something we forgot to mention, feel free to leave a comment and we'll try and sort it out ASAP. Thanks for reading.

djm posted by djm
This entry was posted in Client Help and tagged installation, sabnzbd, sabnzbdplus, ubuntu. Leave a comment. Header image by ogalbraith


  1. Alex
    Posted Dec 12th, 2009 at 03:12 a.m.

    Thanks, this is quite awesome.

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  2. Posted Dec 12th, 2009 at 23:12 p.m.

    Glad it helped mate :)

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  3. Jonjo
    Posted Dec 19th, 2009 at 21:12 p.m.

    Was getting my head kicked in by a faulty lottanzb install - this works great and will link in with my dropbox powered remote downloads too!!

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  4. Churro
    Posted Apr 2nd, 2010 at 21:04 p.m.

    This is a great tutorial! I am also a Windows to Ubuntu user and I wish I had found this earlier!

    I spent so much time attempting to autostart SABnzbd+ and use it remotely because I didn't know I had to set hostname to!

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  5. Posted Apr 2nd, 2010 at 22:04 p.m.

    Cheers, glad it helped. Keep in mind that trick works across a lot of other Linux apps. If you ever want a server to listen across all open connections (e.g Apache), setting it to that should work.

    Enjoy sabz, I couldn't live without it now. I love the nzb 'watch' folder feature.

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  6. beatnik
    Posted Apr 13th, 2010 at 16:04 p.m.

    Thank you for this!

    I tried forever to get LottaNZB to work with HellaNZB and i couldn't do it but this app is very similar and with your help i am now downloading NZBs faster than i could with the only other app with come kind of gui that had NZB support, Klibido which is terribly slow and i dont even use KDE. So i prefer not to use KDE apps as i need to then install dependencies for KDE apps although i only run one. (not anymore) Not economical hard drive useage and i dont have a terrabite HDD in fact its only 30GB (my portable MINI HDD is 20GB LOL) now i need to get rid of the KDE Files.

    This helped me a lot although if you know how to get HellaNZB and LottaNZB working i would kiss you for a how to on that one as it is a very similar app although it has something going for it Sabnzbd+ doesn't a GUI. HellaNZB is a daemon very similar to Sabnzbd+ but it has several GUI's available for it and GUI's are much better for older machines as the daemon works faster than the Web-UI refreshes its information. So all I really do is, set, forget, and Hope it did everything correctly when i check my completed folder.

    So I am asking for a HellaNZB in conjunction with the LottaNzb GUI How to. As IDK why but i seam to be unable to correctly configure HellaNZB via the conf file I thought i had it but when i fired up LottaNZB it didn't download although the daemon worked and the GUI connected to it. It just could not connect to my server correctly. Thank you and below i have added some things that might help you out. IDK though.

    I would also include these 2 Usenet servers as affils (i believe they will also help your site if you get people to sign up and they are cheap. Astraweb and Supernews. check them out i don't want to publicise it and possibly get people to sign up without using a referral from you IMO you deserve it and if it doesn't work out edit the names out since there is no reason to advertise for free when what you are advertising is not a free service.

    In All Thanks for all your help i have used several of your guides.

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  7. Greg
    Posted Apr 25th, 2010 at 11:04 a.m.

    Change your browser refresh rate, HellaNZB is junk.

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  8. gliglou
    Posted Jun 18th, 2011 at 18:06 p.m.

    you can add that in that particular case the https acces works only if you set SSL without specifying a port in the web interface

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