I run rtorrent remotely on a seedbox. When I log in with a web interface I'm able to start torrents, and when torrent files get dropped into my watched folder that works too. However, when I try to start them by SSHing in to my seedbox and -r resuming the screen session that contains my instance of rtorrent, I can't seem to use the Ctrl+S keyboard shortcut to start torrents. I can stop and delete them with the Ctrl+D shortcut, and as far as I can tell all the other keyboard shortcuts work.

I've tried this from the Terminal app in OSX and from Cygwin on Windows.

Thanks for your insight!

  • I should add that in both of these cases, if I run rTorrent locally I don't have this issue. Only when running it remotely via SSH and screen. I'm not sure whether the issue is with screen or ssh, or something else. Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 6:15
  • Have you tried using PuTTY on windows ?
    – Lawrence
    Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 8:21
  • I have not and won't be back at my Windows machine until some time tomorrow to try it. That said, I think it's something on the remote end, not on my end. I've tried one more terminal application in the mean time: iSSH on an iPad. Same issue. Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 14:49
  • 1
    What exactly happens when you press C-S? My fist thought is that C-S sends XOFF to your terminal. Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 15:34
  • It seems as if nothing at all happens when I press Ctrl-s. Other keyboard shortcuts work, just not this one. Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 23:43

3 Answers 3


I eventually found the answer for myself on this page.

The machine I was running rtorrent on had Ctrl+S and Ctrl+Q mapped to stop and start screen output. Unmapping these got things working again.

  • 2
    screen's flow toggle C-a C-f might help with these shortcuts. In -flow mode they may be passed on to the program. Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 18:20
  • Great. Now what's -flow mode? And what is C-a C-f? Commented Aug 11, 2022 at 0:27

If you wanted to keep the use of those keyboard commands outside rtorrent, here's an alias to only unset them when you run rtorrent:

alias rtorrent='stty stop undef ; stty start undef ; rtorrent'

Here are my aliases to start rtorrent in the background and display the client using screen:

alias rtorrent-start='stty stop undef ; stty start undef ; screen -d -m -S rtorrentd rtorrent'
alias rtorrent='screen -DR rtorrentd'

I had a little trouble figuring out which alias should contain the stty commands. But this seems to be workable. I still get the notification in my terminal (konsole) when doing a Ctl-S or Ctl-Q but now the commands pass through to rtorrent.

I'd still like to get rid of the terminal notifications so please let me know if there's a better way.

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