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How to install CouchPotato on Ubuntu

by Hend Adel
CouchPotato installation Ubuntu

Downloading movies and copying them over to your home server can get frustrating, especially if you are doing it daily! What if you have an option to download videos automatically, quickly, and above all with excellent quality. CouchPotato allows you to download movies easily once they are available and released automatically.


CouchPotato is a free, opensource automatic NZB and torrent downloader. It is a cross-platform software able to run on the most popular operating systems. Here is how it works, first you need to add what you want to watch to CouchPotato. CouchPotato has a built-in list named “Want to Watch”. Next, CouchPotato will perform all the remaining job for you; it will search for your movies in various multiple Torrent websites. Then when it reaches for the best potential match, it will start downloading the movie immediately through your favorable download application.

Welcome To CouchPotato


In this tutorial, we are going to walk you through the installation of CouchPotato on your Ubuntu machine. But before starting the installation process, kindly ensure that your system is updated using the following two commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Now let’s begin installing the CouchPotato using the below-detailed steps.

Installing CouchPotato on Ubuntu


CouchPotato has some requirements that are needed to be installed on your machine before starting the CouchPotato installation. Open the Terminal and execute the following command to install Python.

sudo apt install python git

Pay attention to the Terminal and enter ‘Y’ when prompted.

Install Prerequisites For CouchPotato

Install Prerequisites For CouchPotato

Creating Required CouchPotato Directory

After successfully installing the CouchPotato prerequisites, we can now create the needed Directory to start installing the CouchPotato application.

Step 1. Execute the below command to create new CouchPotato Directory in the “opt” directory:

sudo mkdir /opt/couchpotato
Create CouchPotato Directory

Create CouchPotato Directory

Step 2. Move to the newly created CouchPotato directory to change your current location.

cd /opt/couchpotato
Move To the CouchPotato Directory

Move To the CouchPotato Directory

Get a CouchPotato Clone From Github

Now you can get a CoughPotato clone from the Github using the below command.

sudo git clone https://github.com/RuudBurger/CouchPotatoServer.git
Copy init CouchPotato File to init Directory

Copy init CouchPotato File to init Directory

Post-installation Configurations

At this point, we can configure the CouchPotato to start with every boot.

Step 1. Copy the CouchPotato file to the “init.d” Directory.

sudo cp CouchPotatoServer/init/ubuntu /etc/init.d/couchpotato
Copy init CouchPotato File to init Directory

Copy init CouchPotato File to init Directory

Step 2. Then let’s grant the CouchPotato file an execute permission as follows:

sudo chmod +x /etc/init.d/couchpotato
Grant Execute Permissions on Coppied File

Grant Execute Permissions on Copied File

Step 3. Next, let’s create a CouchPotato file using the command:

Create CouchPotato Configuration File

Create CouchPotato Configuration File

The previous command will create a new file just place the next few lines in the generated file:


As you can notice, you just need to replace the USERNAME with your username, as in the below screenshot. Next, save the configuration file and exit it.

Edit CouchPotato Configuration File

Edit CouchPotato Configuration File

Step 4. Execute the following command to update the boot sequence.

sudo update-rc.d couchpotato defaults
Update Boot Sequence

Update Boot Sequence

Step 5. Now you can start the CouchPotato service.

sudo service couchpotato start
Start CouchPotato Service

Start CouchPotato Service

Just in case, if you needed to stop the CouchPotato service, use:

sudo service couchpotato stop

Step 6. To check if the CouchPotato is up and running:

sudo service couchpotato status
Check CouchPotato Service Status

Check CouchPotato Service Status

Open The CouchPotato WebPage

After you have successfully configured the CouchPotato application, you can now open the CouchPotato webpage.

Step 1. Launch your favorite web browser.

Step 2. Go to the below URL to open the CouchPotato:


You should see the CouchPotato welcome page.

CouchPotato Home Page

CouchPotato Home Page

Step 2. Scroll down and configure the settings you need.

CouchPotato Prefrences

CouchPotato Preferences

Step 3. When you reach the end of the page, you can press the “I’m ready to start” button.

Ready To Start CouchPotato

Ready To Start CouchPotato

Step 4. You will get a login screen where you can use the username you have previously added in the CouchPotato configuration file.

Login to CouchPotato

Login to CouchPotato

Welcome to the CouchPotato, where you can search for the media you need to download and let CouchPotato download it for you.

Welcome To CouchPotato

Welcome To CouchPotato

Congratulations! You have just installed and configured the CouchPotato application successfully on your Ubuntu PC. We had used Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on our test PC. Still, the tutorial is expected to work on older Ubuntu versions as well as on the Ubuntu derivatives, including elementary OS, Linux Mint, Pop!_OS, and more.

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1 comment

Ralph October 5, 2020 - 3:13 PM

I love how clear and detailed the explanation is: I followed your instructions exactly but got the following when I tried to start the service:

Job for couchpotato.service failed because the control process exited with error code.
See “systemctl status couchpotato.service” and “journalctl -xe” for details.

I don’t know if this matters but I substituted “Username” as this:

CP_USER=humvee4me916 (my CP login name)
CP_DATA=/home/ralph/couchpotato (my ubuntu name)

Any pointers?



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