Install CouchPotato on Ubuntu in few simple steps

Install CouchPotato Ubuntu
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CouchPotato is a wonderful set and forget python script to automatically download and pass movie torrent files to torrent downloaders or NZB files to NZB downloaders. In this post I will explain how to install CouchPotato on Ubuntu, including Ubuntu Server 14.04 Trusty Tahr. You can search add movies to download through the CouchPotato web interface or directly from sites like imdb or rottentomatoes. If you are not comfortable with Linux commandline or if you are do not want to go through these steps one by one, then you my try our 1-step CouchPotato installer script for Ubuntu (see it’s magic in operation in this CouchPotato installer video). In my other post, I explained how to setup CouchPotato on Windows. Now let us look at how to install CouchPotato on Ubuntu.

Install CouchPotato on Ubuntu

CouchPotato Features

CouchPotato offers several awesome features including automatic downloading through SABnzbd or bittorrent software, one click addition of movies, automatic sorting/renaming movies, automatic trailer/subtitle/artwork downloading, quality options, support for NZB indexing services and more. It is very similar in operation to Sick Beard app for downloading TV Shows, which is described in my other post. If you setup CouchPotato correctly, all the above functions should work flawlessly giving you an automatic Usenet downloads and organization of Movies. Without further delay, lets install CouchPotato on Ubuntu.

Before You Begin

Downloading HD content definitely requires a good unlimited Usenet account. We recommend unlimited plans from Newshosting, NewsDemon, or Astraweb. All currently offer over 2000 days of retention, secure SSL connections, and unlimited bandwidth unlike some of the other Usenet providers.

ProviderPlanFeaturesCost / Offer Link
>2000 days retention, SSL, 30 connections, & free Usenet browser$9.99 / month
$99.99 / year ($8.33 / month)
>2000 days retention, Unlimited, SSL, 50 connections, Unlimited online storage, & free Newsreader$10.00 / month
AstrawebUnlimited DSL
>2000 days retention, SSL, and 20 connections$11.00 / month
$96.00 / year ($8.00 / month)
For more plans that may fit your needs please read our Usenet plan selection guide.

Step 1: Install the Essentials

You may install CouchPotato on Ubuntu or Ubuntu Server by downloading the latest version from here and extracting. But I recommend running it from source (to keep up with the latest features and bug fixes) using Python with git as the updater. If you do not have python and git installed already, install them using the command below:

sudo apt-get install git-core python

Step 2: Install CouchPotato on Ubuntu

First, if you already have a .couchpotato folder in your home directory (/home/$USER) from a previous version you may rename the folder and save it for now while you setup V2. If your previous CouchPotato is in your home folder then from there do the following:

sudo mv .couchpotato .couchpotato_v1

After your CouchPotato V2 (aka CouchPotato Server) is running you can delete the previous version’s folder (.couchpotato_v1).

Next, to install CouchPotato on Ubuntu, move to your home directory (or any other directory) and clone a copy of CouchPotato V2 from the git repository:

cd ~
git clone git:// .couchpotato

This will download the contents to the folder .couchpotato. The “.” in the front keeps the .couchpotato folder hidden. That is all there is to setup CouchPotato on Ubuntu.

At a later stage, to update CouchPotato setup, just go into .couchpotato folder and type:

git pull

You may also update CouchPotato app by clicking “Update to Latest” from the settings menu or click on the update notification that appears on top of the screen (shown below).

CouchPotato Update Notification

CouchPotato Update Notification

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Step 3: Start CouchPotato

After you install CouchPotato on Ubuntu Server, use the following command to run it:

python ~/.couchpotato/

CouchPotatoServer is now running on your system (unless you encounter any errors). CouchPotato default port is 5050. So you can access the CouchPotato web interface by going to:


If your CouchPotato server is on your internal network and doesn’t block port 5050 you can also access it through its network IP address (see example below):

If you have port forwarding enabled on your router and you have a domain name referring your server running CouchPotato, you may also view your CouchPotato App through the internet using your domain name:

For now, http://localhost:5050 should be enough.

Step 4: Configure CouchPotato

After you install CouchPotato on Ubuntu, you can configure it as described in the following post: How to Configure CouchPotato V2?. It explains all the settings in detail with screenshots. After configuring your CouchPotato, you may return to this post and continue. In order to make CouchPotato function properly, you will have to install and configure SABnzbd to listen to download requests from CouchPotato. Please refer to my SABnzbd installation guide and configuration guide to properly automate downloading movies. As mentioned earlier, you also require a reliable Usenet account. You may get a free Usenet account as described in this post, or go with a reliable Usenet service from Astraweb.

Newshosting Unlimited Usenet

Step 5: Autostart CouchPotato

Manually starting CouchPotato everytime can be cumbersome. If you are interested in automatically starting CouchPotato during boot, then do the following. Before proceeding if you had a previous installation of CouchPotato running with autostarting enabled (with the init script name couchpotato) then use the following commands to clean them up:

sudo rm /etc/init.d/couchpotato
sudo rm /etc/default/couchpotato
sudo update-rc.d -f couchpotato remove

If you installed CouchPotato following this guide exactly then it should be installed in /home/user/.couchpotato/, where user is your username. cd into the init folder with /home/user/.couchpotato:

cd ~/.couchpotato/init

For Ubuntu, there are 2 files of importance here: ubuntu (needs no editing) and ubuntu.default (needs editing). First copy the file ubuntu to /etc/init.d/couchpotato (note the new file name is couchpotato) and give the file execute permissions (issue the following commands one by one):

sudo cp ~/.couchpotato/init/ubuntu /etc/init.d/couchpotato
sudo chmod +x /etc/init.d/couchpotato

Next, edit the ubuntu.default in the init file using this command:

sudo nano ~/.couchpotato/init/ubuntu.default

CP_HOME and CP_DATA are important. They are the folder in which CouchPotato is installed and database is stored, respectively. Typically, they refer to the same folder. CP_USER should be your username.

Save and exit. Then, copy the file to /etc/default/ folder and give it execute permissions (issue the following commands one by one):

sudo cp ~/.couchpotato/init/ubuntu.default /etc/default/couchpotato
sudo chmod +x /etc/default/couchpotato

Finally, update boot sequence:

sudo update-rc.d couchpotato defaults

From now on, you can manually start and stop CouchPotato using the following commands:

sudo /etc/init.d/couchpotato start
sudo /etc/init.d/couchpotato stop

Alternatively, you can create bash_aliases to simplify starting, stopping, and restarting CouchPotato using shortcut commands.

If you are not comfortable with Linux commandline or you do not wish to go through the above steps one by one then you may try our 1-step CouchPotato installer script for Ubuntu.

Optional Improvements

That is all there is to CouchPotato installation. Go ahead Install CouchPotato on Ubuntu and enjoy.

DISCLAIMER: This post is for informational purpose only. We in no way support or encourage illegal downloading or watching of copyrighted material. Please read our full disclaimer.

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  1. AtariBaby says

    Shouldn’t the command above be python .couchpotato/ ? And what’s -q ? Doesn’t recognize command. –quiet?

    And one more thing, in the first startup step, you can import your database file from your moved v1 directory.

  2. Beninho says


    Dont know what causes the grey screen at the wizzard. Tried reinstalling multiple times. There is really nothing to see on the grey screen.

    Anyone has an idea?

  3. Scott says

    I have tried this twice with the same result. I have installed CP no problem and can run it manually.

    The problem that I am running into starts when I setup a init.d script. If I do this my system will not boot completely. I get to a black screen and it will not load my workspace. If I then remove the script and delete the init.d file and reboot I am back in business.

    I have followed your instructions to the letter.

    Please let me know what I need to change.

    • says

      Scott, I am sorry it took me this long to get back to you. I had to try several things first. CouchPotato recently changed the way init scripts are implemented. I am not sure if this was the reason in your case. Anyway, I have updated the autostart instructions to reflect the changes. If you have not already solved your problem, please check the updated guide or use our 1-step CouchPotato V2 installer script for Ubuntu.

  4. says

    Great site, your guides are clear and accurate. So far I have been able to install SABznbd+ and SickBeard with no problems. I noticed that when I typed “python ~/.couchpotato/” that it would get stuck here. I added the “–daemon” switch to circumvent that. Not sure if this is a one off case or what.

    Running Ubuntu 12.04 Server LTS

  5. pekka says

    Thanks Anand, Sickbeard starts now at boot but no such success with Couchpotato. First time I installed these two was with the help of which isn’t available any longer. I remember vaguely having these start at boot issues even back then but of course I don’t remember how I managed them… Any ideas what to do next with CP?

      • pekka says

        No errors during boot. I’m using Mint 16 – fresh install. These three and xbmc are installed and of course all updates.

        • pekka says

          I got start at boot working by using “Startup Applications” and adding new and there in the Command field: /home/pekka/.couchpotato/

          Don’t know if it is a healthy way to start CP with but it works so far…

  6. jk man says

    i get this error from the debug log. does this have to do with the CP_HOME and CP_DATA being the same??? should they be different or is this something else?

    04-15 05:49:22 ERROR
    [31m[chpotato.core._base._core] You should NOT use your CouchPotato
    directory to save your settings in. Files will get overwritten or be

  7. ferrvittorio says

    I cannot find file (“CP_PIDFILE=/home/user/.couchpotato/”), hence process cannot start. Any hints?

    PS trying to install onto Suse 13.1


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