Category Archives: nzb

Raspberry Pi

How-to Build a Low Budget Usenet Download Machine: Setting Up SABnzbd

Welcome to the fifth and final installment of the How-to Build a Low Budget Usenet Download Machine series. In this guide, we will walk you step-by-step all the way through installing, setting up, and configuring SABNZBd on your Raspberry Pi. We will also cover getting your Pi primed for downloading from your UsenetServer account.

Since we’ve started this How-to Build a Low-Budget Downloading Machine series, we have shown you how to gather the parts necessary to build your Pi, set up the Raspbian OSset up remote access to your Pi using SSH over your network, and set up storage on your Pi. Before attempting to follow this guide and install SAB, we highly recommend you review the required guides mentioned above doing so will make your life so much easier to get SAB running on your Pi. Before proceeding any further, you should have a working, powered-on Raspberry Pi with Internet access that you can login into directly or remotely via SSH.

Updating Apt-Get and SABnzbd

Before we do anything else, we need to update and upgrade the apt-get installer.

To do so, type in the following commands in the terminal:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get upgrade

If it’s been a while since you updated, you may want to go have a Coke and smile because it could take a while for the update process to complete. Once the upgrade is complete, we are ready to get down to business and install SABnzbd on our Pi.

To install SABnzbd, type the following command at the terminal:

sudo apt-get install sabnzbdplus

This command will install the core dependencies for SABnzbd, including several Python tools (like the RSS Feed Parser and Cheetah template gallery) as well as the basic SABnzbd themes. During the package install process, you’ll see the following error at some point:

[....] SABnzbd+ binary newsgrabber: not configured, aborting. See /etc/default/s[warndplus ... (warning).

This is not important at this point because it is just SAB letting us know that we do not have a news server configured for use. This, of course, makes sense because we haven’t even set SAB up yet. After the install finishes, you are ok to move to the next section,

Running the SABnzbd Setup Wizard

SABnzbd Setup Wizard
After the sabnzbdplus installation has finished, you’ll be returned to the command prompt. Enter the following command to launch SABnzbd for the first time:

sabnzbdplus --server 0.0.0.0

The command starts the SABnzbd daemon and turns on the WebUI. Several commands will scroll by and then it will stop and give the impression that the application has crashed, but it hasn’t. It has just taken control of the terminal, and as it performs, new functions they will appear here. Open up a new terminal window or SSH connection (if you CTRL+C to break out and return to the command prompt, you’ll cause the daemon to shut down).

From either a browser on the Raspberry Pi or a remote browser on your desktop, you can now start up the configuration wizard. We’d strongly advise you to use a remote web browser for ease of use and better performance.

Open a browser and go to:

http://[Your Pi's IP]:8080/wizard/

Select your preferred language and click “Start Wizard.” The first step is to input your UsenetServer account information:

News Server Setup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Input news.usenetserver.com for the the host, port, username/password, and set the number of connections. While you can easily get away with 20+ connections on a desktop or server installation, we suggest starting with four connections on your Pi and gradually increasing the number upwards if you find you need more concurrent connections. Click Test Server to make sure you get connected to our servers without any issues.

Step two of the wizard sets the access control:

Setup SAB Access

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you would like to be able to access the SAB web interface from any device on your network and not just your PC, select the first option under the Access section. We also recommend you password-protect your SAB web interface by checking the password protect box and entering in a username and password of your choice. If you would like the web interface to be secured using SSL, check the box to enable HTTPS and move on to the next step (we do recommend you enable this option).

You can skip step three of the quick-start wizard altogether, unless you need to configure NZB search services. Click “Next” to skip ahead to step four. Step four is automated, SABnzbd will restart, and the wizard will show you the web addresses where you can access the WebUI, like so:

http://192.168.0.102:8080/sabnzbd/
http://raspberrypi:8080/sabnzbd/
http://127.0.1.1:8080/sabnzbd/

Go ahead and click on one of the SAB links or “Go to SABnzbd” and you’ll be taken to the SAB web interface.

Installing UNRAR for Automated Unpacking

SABbnzbd Error Message

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that you are logged into SAB and looking at the new spiffy webUI, you might notice there is a problem. We are getting a warning: “No UNRAR program found, unpacking RAR files is not possible”.

Guess what? SABnzbd’s core installation package doesn’t come with a unRAR utility. What this means is that SAB will download your favorite NZB posts from the Usenet, although you will have to manually unpack and decompress the RAR files as they come in — but we wouldn’t stand for that nonsense. So instead, we’re going to install an unrar-nonfree utility.

In order to automate the file unpacking, we’re going to have to build a copy of the free but oddly-named unrar-nonfree app. Luckily, we found a step-by-step guide from someone over at RaspberryPi.StackExchange who outlined just how to do so for Raspian.

At the terminal, enter the following command to allow you to edit your sources.list and add the repository that contains unrar-nonfree:

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

In nano, add the following line to the .list file:

deb-src http://archive.raspbian.org/raspbian wheezy main contrib non-free rpi

Press CTRL+X to exit nano and Y to save/overwrite the old .list file. Back at the command prompt, you will need to update your sources list for the change to take effect:

sudo apt-get update

After the update is finished, it’s time to create a working directory and then change to it:

mkdir ~/unrar-nonfree && cd ~/unrar-nonfree

Time to download unrar-nonfree’s dependencies:

sudo apt-get build-dep unrar-nonfree

When the process finishes and you’re back at the prompt, enter the following command to download the source code and build the installation package:

sudo apt-get source -b unrar-nonfree

Now it’s time to install the package. If you’re following this tutorial after a new version of unrar-nonfree is released, you’ll need to update the filename. You can check the version number by typing “ls” at the command prompt to list the files we downloaded in the previous steps:

sudo dpkg -i unrar_4.1.4-1+deb7u1_armhf.deb

Once the installation is complete, you can quickly test to see if command “unrar” is available to the system by simply typing “unrar” at the command prompt. If properly installed, the unrar app will send back a list of all the available unrar switches and their descriptions. If the package installed without error, you can tidy up after yourself with the following command:

cd && rm -r ~/unrar-nonfree

Now it’s time to get rid of that error in SABnzbd. Restart SABnzbd from within the WebUI by clicking on Options > Restart (upper right hand corner of page). When you restart, the error message should be gone. You can make sure that the error log is empty by clicking on the Status link in the upper left hand corner:

SABnzbd Error Log

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last thing we need to configure is our storage directories for SAB. As of right now, everything is configured to be downloaded and stored on our Pi’s SD card, which is not what we want as it would fill up fast. We need to setup our SAB directories to take advantage of our large USB storage drive(s) that we configured earlier in our Setting Up Storage on the Pi guide. Let’s get those directories setup.

Configuring the SABnzbd Directories

To avoid filling up your SD card and having SAB come to a screeching halt, we’re going to move all the important directories off the SD card and on to the external hard drive. If you do not already have a USB hard drive attached to your Raspberry Pi and set to auto-mount at boot, you should read Setting Up Storage on the Pi to find out how to get it setup. We’re going to use the same HDD naming convention and directory structure we used in that guide, so adjust your commands in this section to match the location of your HDD.

First, let’s create the directories we need for SABnzbd:

sudo mkdir /media/USBHDD1/shares/SABnzbd/downloading
sudo mkdir /media/USBHDD1/shares/SABnzbd/completed
sudo mkdir /media/USBHDD1/shares/SABnzbd/watch
sudo mkdir /media/USBHDD1/shares/SABnzbd/watch/nzb-backup
sudo mkdir /media/USBHDD1/shares/SABnzbd/scripts

After creating the directories, return to the WebUI of SABnzbd to change the default directories. In the WebUI, navigate to Config > Folders. There are two sections: User Folders and System folders. Within those two sections, change the following entries using the folders we just created. You must use absolute paths to force SABnzbd to use folders outside the default of /home/pi/.

Temporary Download Folder:  /media/USBHDD1/shares/SABnzbd/downloading
Completed Download Folder:  /media/USBHDD1/shares/SABnzbd/completed
Watched Folder:  /media/USBHDD1/shares/SABnzbd/watch
Scripts Folder:  /media/USBHDD1/shares/SABnzbd/scripts
.nzb Backup Folder:  /media/USBHDD1/shares/SABnzbd/watch/nzb-backup

In addition to these changes, you should set the “Minimum Free Space for Temporary Download Folder” by using designations such as 900M for 900 megabytes or 20G for 20 gigabytes. You should generally leave 10-20GB free on your disk to serve as a nice buffer and cushion.

Once you have made all your changes, click Save at the bottom of the menu. The changes we made require a restart. To restart, click Downloads to return to the main WebUI screen and then click Options > Restart in the upper right hand corner. Now that our directories are setup, we can finally test SAB by downloading an NZB.

Testing Your SABnzbd Install

SABnzbd WebUI Downloader

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After SABnzbd restarts, it’s time to test it and make sure we can download something without any issues. For our test, we visited Binsearch.info and found a copy of Linux Mint to download. To start the download, we dropped the .NZB file into the SABnzbd /watch/ folder where SABnzbd will automatically snatch it up. Alternatively, you can click the Add NZB button at the top of the WebUI and add the NZB that way also. It will appear in the Queue and then transfer to the History section of the WebUI as it shifts from downloading to verifying and unpacking, as seen in the screenshot above.

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Raspberry Pi

How-to Build a Low-Budget Downloading Machine: Setting Up the Raspbian OS

In the previous installment of How-to Build a Low Budget Downloading Machine, we covered how-to build a Raspberry Pi 2 with all the accessories needed to get it working. Now that you have all the hardware, the stage is set. What you need to do next is load your Pi with an operating system that will allow you to run your automated Usenet download software, SABnzbd. Your operating system of choice will be a customized Debian Linux installation called Raspbian OS.

How-to Install the Raspbian OS

  1. Download the Raspbian OS disk image here.
  2. Insert Raspberry Pi’s microSD card into the card reader/writer.
  3. Follow the instructions found here to copy the Raspbian OS disk image to the microSD card using your computer’s host operating platform (Macintosh, Windows, Linux).
  4. After the transfer of the disk image to the microSD card is complete, insert the microSD card into the Pi’s microSD slot. Once all of the cables and hardware are attached (keyboard, mouse and Wi-Fi adapter) to the USB Hub, HDMI cable to monitor) and your Pi’s microUSB power adapter is plugged in, you’re ready to power-up the unit for setup.

Setting Up Raspbian OS for the First Time

When booting up Raspberry Pi 2 for the first time, Raspbian will automatically detect and load drivers for Pi’s hardware.

Raspbian-OS-Boot-up

Raspbian OS boots-up on Raspberry Pi 2 for the first time, detects hardware and installs the drivers to make it function.

Then it will load-up the Raspbian config so that you can build your Raspbian OS first-time boot options.

After Pi loads the Raspbian OS, it will run the Raspbian-config utility so you can configure the Raspbian OS options for the first time boot.

Configuring Raspbian Boot Options

While there are many options that can be configured for Raspbian OS, this tutorial will only focus on what is needed to get the download project going.

1. Expand Filesystem – Select this option and then choose “Yes” to expand the Raspbian Filesystem, which enables use of all available space on Pi’s microSD card. This is recommended to give the OS more room for installing packages etc., should you choose to install additional features down the road.

2. Change User Password – Select this option to update the default password pre-programmed for your Pi. This is recommended to keep the Raspberry Pi 2 safe and secure, as the default password is easily searchable on the web.

3. Enable Boot to Desktop/Scratch – Select this option to update the default way the Pi will boot-up. The Pi can be configured to boot to the graphical desktop, the text based console Command Line, or the programming environment Scratch. For this project, boot from the text console to save system resources while running SABnzbd (don’t worry you can tackle the Command Line terminal later)!

4. Turn on Secure Shell Remote Access – Go down to “Advanced Options,” choose “SSH” on the next screen, and select “Yes” to enable. This will authorize Secure Shell remote terminal access so you can connect to your Pi from any other computer on the same network, without the need for it to be connected to a keyboard or monitor. As long as you’re powered-on and connected to the Wi-Fi, you are good to go! Now that all your options are set, select “Finish” on the Main Menu and the Pi will reboot.

In our next installment of How-to Build a Low Budget Downloading Machine, you’ll learn how-to connect to the Pi remotely and log-in to configure storage devices for Usenet downloads. Go to Part Three: Configuring Remote Access

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Download Usenet Binaries on Android with Power NZB

In today’s connected world, almost everyone has a smartphone. They have become an almost extended part of our bodies and as such, we are demanding more and more from our mobile devices. From playing high-speed racing games, to checking the weather, to reading email – we truly carry the world’s most powerful tool right in our pockets. But did you know that your phone could download Usenet binaries?

Power NZB Usenet Download App for Android

That’s right! Using an Android smartphone or tablet, managing and downloading user-generated binaries from the Usenet can be easy and convenient! The Usenet apps available for Android range  from companion apps for client-side remote server management – where the Android app talks directly to a computer that downloads content from the Usenet – to fully-featured NZB download clients. The latter of which will search, download and extract binary Usenet content directly onto a mobile device making it ready for immediate use.

The best fully-featured Usenet download application we have found so far is Power NZB. With Power NZB, we can download and extract Usenet user-generated binary content directly to our Android device. The best part about Power NZB is that it is completely free, although donations to the developer are appreciated and will make further development of the app possible. Since the application is free, it’s a win-win all the way around! Visit the download page and simplify your Usenet downloading experience on Android.

Feature Rundown:

  • NewzNab search API built in.
  • Use the Webview to search various free NZB indexing sites.
  • Add NZB RSS feeds to always stay up-to-date and never miss favorite user-generated binaries.
  • The Par2 library lets us check and repair our downloads directly to our device, just like Quick Par. No more wasted downloads!
  • Easily and quickly extract multi-part RAR files. No need to use another file manager to extract your files. Even set downloads to auto-extract and delete!
  • Join split archives. No need to re-join on a PC! Power NZB will now auto-re-join binaries.
  • Slick built-in SAB client to manage PC downloads. No need for multiple apps!

Make Usenet Downloading Easier With SABnzbd

With the large quantities of user-generated content and articles on the Usenet, there is no shortage of conversations to join or binary content to download. In fact, there is often so much to read and so much to choose from and explore, it’s difficult to know where to begin when searching for things – particularly with regards to user-generated binary content. More often than not, our users are wanting to download many posts at the same time downloading multiple NZBs. One of the best ways to make Usenet downloading easier is to use SABnzbd to batch download NZBs.

sabnzbd usenet downloader

What is SABnzbd?

SABnzbd is a light-weight yet extremely powerful web-based user interface that allows Usenet users to batch download large quantities of NZBs with very little hassle or interaction from the user. SABnzbd also comes equipped with a complete, fully functional NZB post-processing engine that will automatically PAR-check the RAR sets of the posts, repair components if needed, and finish the process by extracting the files within the RAR sets.

How NZBs are Imported

The developers of SABnzbd have made it easier than ever to import NZBs, leaving users with several options to queue-up their must-have posts:

  1. Users can click the “Add NZB” button and manually add NZBs to the queue
  2. RSS Feeds from popular NZB search providers can be read and NZBs imported
  3. SABnzbd has a built in API for 3rd party application support to receive NZBs

What Platforms Are Supported & Where Do I Download?

SABnzbd runs on Windows, OSX, Linux, Unix, BSD, you name it! SABnzbd is written in Python, so it will work practically anywhere. To give SABnzbd a whirl and start downloading right away, visit http://sabnzbd.org/

Need a Usenet Account?

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Check Before Downloading with NZB Completion Checker

Because all of the content stored on the Usenet is user generated and not regulated, sometimes users may post something incorrectly, making their post incomplete or even corrupt thus making it impossible for the original files to be put back together after download. When this happens valuable download time and bandwidth is lost. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were a tool that would allow users to check our servers to make sure a file set and all articles of that set are complete on our servers by checking it against the NZB they are trying to download? Guess what? We can do just that.

NZB Completion Checker Working

NZB Completion Checker for Windows scanning an NZB for total completion.

To check an NZB to make sure all the articles and parts of a file set are available on our servers, we need to open the NZB in question with NZB Completion Checker. NZB Completion Checker is a light weight very powerful desktop app for Windows that will allow us to check the entire contents of the NZB against our Usenet servers. Doing this, will give us a clear picture of what articles and parts of the file set inside the NZB are available to us for download. Knowing ahead of time whether or not an NZB is complete, will help users to decide if we should download that NZB or move on to something else.

NZBcc allows for the configuration of primary Usenet servers and backup Usenet servers to find missing articles not found on the primary server. Anyone using NZBcc before downloading, will definitely save a great deal of time not downloading damaged files, especially for larger Posts.

For more information about NZBcc, visit the developer’s website here.