Why SABnzbd?

SABnzbd 0.5 review and setup guide on Ubuntu Linux, a cross platform, open-source, web-based binary newsreader (usenet client) which simplifies the process of downloading from Usenet. In case you aren’t subscribed to a premium Usenet provider or are looking for a better one, take a look at this cheap Astraweb Usenet provider.

While there are other Usenet download clients worth mentioning, SABnzbd managed to stay my favorite thanks to it’s solid out of the box functionality. It has all the features you will need, does everything automatically if you want and is a fast and efficient client. Compared to some other Usenet clients the CPU usage is much lower.

Setting up SABnzbd

To get the latest version from sabnzbd.org, follow the Ubuntu instructions from here so that your client easily stays updated. After installation, it’s very easy to setup an Usenet connection. You can choose between different web interfaces, I prefer the Plush skin. The interface is clean and responds well with all the information I need.

Since version 0.5 it can detect NZB files, but I’m used to the Firefox nzbdStatus plugin which I think is great with it’s 1-click download. For Google Chrome you can use SABConnect++. Once I got it setup, it’s a joy to use. I recommend binsearch.net or nzbindex.com to find stuff while it nicely integrates with the 1-click download functionality.

File quick-check speeds up the whole process and is one of the many new  improvements in this latest version.

Tuning SABnzbd

Once you got a working Usenet connection, there are some settings you should tweak. First go to the Switches tab under the Config menu.

sabnzbd switches
Switches tab

Use the settings from the screenshot if you don’t want your system to become unresponsive during unpacking/parring. Those settings allow you to be able to watch a HD movie, transfer files or whatever while the download is processed. The more you are busy with your system the slower the processing will be. Do not use the PAR2 parameters from the screenshot if you don’t have the multi-core par2 binary installed (by default in Ubuntu it is not installed). Next under Config go to the General tab and under Tuning options set the Article Cache Limit to 128M or lower if you have less then 1GB internal memory.

That’s about it, i mentioned just a tiny portion of SABnzbd functionality but this guide is only intended to get you started quickly and easily with the right settings. For more info check the wiki. Happy leeching!

Is web-based Usenet not your cup of tea? Check out some other Usenet clients.

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