Radarr and Jackett: Get Your Automation On

Today we learn how to set up Jackett and Radarr so that we can automate the downloading of our content.

Tim Roberts

5 minute read

As I have started to take more seriously my attention and what I consume, I have had this internal urge to start owning all of the content that I consume. Even if I had to ask the outside world for the information once, I wanted to be able to ask my network for the information from that point forward. Case in point: movies.

When my partner and I want to watch a TV or movie, I want us to be able to do that even if the outside network isn’t working. We shouldn’t have to have a constant network connection in order to have the comforts that Netflix or Hulu offer. I knew that we would still have to be connected at some point in order to get the content but once we had it, we should, in my eyes, be able to consume it however and whenever we want.

I had previous experience with this, using JDownloader, RG, and some warez-y website. That process, which I will document at some point, is simple enough that my parents, admittedly tech-forward people, have terabytes of files saved on a handful of external hard drives that we share with 16gb flash drives when they realize one of us kids haven’t seen a movie that they deem “essential” to watch.

However, that process meant that I had to manually go to my favorite site, search for the movies that I want, at the right format, just so that I could figure out captchas or pay $/mo for the privilege to automate it more with JDownloader. It was the year 2020 and I knew that there had to be a better way.

Being the tech person I am, I first tried to write it myself. I wrote some RSS servers, using OpenVPN and Transmission to download the files I wanted. That was fun and I learned a lot about how the process would work. But. Having to go to KAT or TPB to find the files we needed, getting the magnet link, then going to Transmissions client and setting the download path and …. simply did not pass the Wife Test. We needed a better way.

I did some digging and found this tool called Radarr. It says the words

A fork of Sonarr to work with movies à la Couchpotato

if that means anything to you.

What sold me were the features that they had: An integration with my Transmission client and the ability to search for the files that I wanted to fetch. It also has a bunch of other features that are killer but since we don’t need most of them yet, we aren’t going to go over it.

Looking at the site and docs, I thought that I just had to click a few buttons and bang it would work. Since I am using Docker, it was a little bit more involved.


# Create a container
docker create \
  # call it radarr
  --name=radarr \
  # give it super root admin hero level perms
  # probably a bad idea tbh
  -e PUID=0 \
  -e PGID=0 \
  # Whatever your timezone is
  -e TZ=Europe/London \
  -e UMASK_SET=022 `#optional` \
  # <host>:<docker>
  -p 7878:7878 \
  # So we can keep config between restarts
  -v ~/.radarr:/config \
  # point our data folder to the ts_data folder
  # I doubt this is needed since we don't download
  # inside of it
  -v $PWD/data:/ts_data \
  -v ~/radarr/downloadclient-downloads:/downloads \
  --restart unless-stopped \

# Start radarr container
docker start radarr

You can then run

docker logs -f radarr

and wait until it says that it is listening on 7878. Once it does, you can press ctrl+d to get out of the logs and go in the browser to <ip_of_server>:7878.

If you mapped the ports to different on your host, you will have to change it above

At this point, we can connect our Download Client inside of radarr

Download Client

OpenVPN Client Config

Be sure to have directory be wherever you want the files to be downloaded in relation to Transmission. This means that if you are downloading files to /data/completed/type you will need to set Directory to /data/completed/type

You would think that this is all you need to do. And I did for a bit. This will not start downloading movies as you add and search them because you haven’t configured any Indexers. That is where jackett comes into play.


docker create \
  --name=jackett \
  -e PUID=0 \
  -e PGID=0 \
  -e TZ=Europe/London \
  -p 9117:9117 \
  -v ~/.jackett:/config \
  -v /dev/null:/downloads \
  --restart unless-stopped \

docker start jackett

This will start jackett on the host port specified in the script. Once it starts (use docker logs -f jackett to see when it starts), you can go to <ip>:<port> and then click Add indexer

The file indexers that I like are RARBG and YTS. Add them and then follow the instructions for adding a Jackett indexer to Radarr.

If you are using those file indexers, your Jackett config should look something like this

Jackett Config

And your Radarr config should look similar to this

Radarr Index Config

And each Indexer should look similar to

RARBG Config

Your specific settings will be different and that is okay. These are what it will look like, not what it will be.

Now, when you are in radarr and add and search for files, it will use the indexers that you added to find the files. Once it finds a file that matches, it will tell the OPenVPN download client to download the requested files into the Directory entered on setup.

When it is all said and done, when I check what I am running on my server, I see the following

When I run Docker PS

Your IDs, created and status values will be different but in order to get the same setup that I currently have, you will need the pieces set up as I do above.