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qBittorrent with GlueTUN VPN in Docker on a Synology NAS

Please note if you are using DSM7.2 or higher you should use the Container Manager version of this guide from the menu.
This guide has reached the end of its updates as most people are now on the latest DSM update - This guide is correct as of 08/12/2023 however no further updates will be added.
Important or Recent Updates
Historic UpdatesDate
New guide23/09/2022
Fixed a typo in the yaml ‘vpngluetun’ to ‘gluetun’26/09/2022
Added the synobridge network to the VPN container07/10/2022
Added depends_on to the compose file to help with the container stack coming online at boot.18/10/2022
Removed requirement to use VPN Package06/11/2022
Amended compose file for enabling or disabling the built-in proxy09/12/2022
Added note to the FAQ about how to Update the containers06/01/2023
Added additional step to force qBittorrent to use the tun0 interface06/02/2023
Added firewall exception for network subnet22/02/2023
Added firewall exception for ‘synobridge’ subnet as this seems to be yet another random thing that works for some and not others!31/03/2023
Compose version number removed and image updated in line with amendment09/04/2023
Amended the path to save the compose file – this is for security, so the container has no access to the file contents.14/04/2023
Added watchtower labels to the compose to allow updates and changed the proxies to off by default06/05/2023
Removed the Watchtower ‘Depends On’ Labels as they do not successfully update the GlueTUN container. Added an Exclusion label to the GlueTUN container, so it can just be manually updated.11/05/2023
Update includes: Firewall Input Ports for when your provider offers port forwarding, also a note in relation to volumes and added PUID/PGID settings for GlueTUN14/06/2023
Update for Wireguard Kernel Module Install which reduces overall CPU usage for Wireguard connections
Please note if you previously followed this guide you can follow the new section to update your existing set-up.

Added Health checks to dependent containers
25/09/2023
Updated with new steps to obtain and change WebUI password21/11/2023
Issue with passwords has been fixed in 4.6.2 so removed tty line from yaml29/11/2023
Historic Updates

What are qBittorrent and GlueTUN?

qBittorrent is a torrent downloader and GlueTUN is the Docker container that has pre-configured VPN connections for numerous VPN providers.

Before you start check the GlueTUN Wiki to see if your provider is on the supported list on the left-hand side.

Also, if you are yet to choose a provider have a look at the Reddit list of recommended suppliers as could save you a headache when trying to seed. I currently use AirVPN which has nice easy port forwarding unlike some others. This is my affiliate link if you fancy signing up.

Let’s Begin

In this guide I will take you through the steps to get qBittorrent up and running in Docker and a separate GlueTUN VPN container. By having a separate container for the VPN connection we can use it in the future for other applications such as Prowlarr, this is useful if you have torrent indexers blocked in your country.

As the Synology DSM Docker GUI does not support some of the functions we need for this tutorial we will be using Docker Compose. This is not as complicated as it might seem!

In order for you to successfully use this guide please complete the three preceding guides

Folder Setup

Let’s start by getting a couple of folders set up for the containers to use. Open up Filestation and within the /docker share create a folder called ‘qbittorrent’ and one called ‘gluetun’

Setting up the start up script

Open up Control Panel and then click on Task Scheduler

Next click on Create, Triggered Task then User Defined Script.

Now enter a name for the script – you can call it anything you like. The User must be ‘root’ and ‘Boot-up’ for the Event.

On the Task Settings tab copy and paste the code below in the ‘User-Defined script’ section. It will look like screenshot.

Bash
#!/bin/sh -e

insmod /lib/modules/tun.ko

You can now press OK and agree to the warning message. Next run the script which will enable the TUN device.

You can now move on to the next step.

Firewall (Optional Step if you have the Firewall Enabled)

If you have the Synology Firewall enabled and configured to block outgoing connections you will need to do this step. Otherwise, you will have issues with the VPN connecting to your provider. (please note the screenshot below does not show all the other rules you would normally have enabled)

Go into Control Panel > Security > Firewall

Click on Edit Rules and in the screen that appears click on ‘Create’

In the first screen select ‘Custom’

On the next screen we select the Type as ‘Destination Port’ and Protocol as ‘All’. In this example I am going to open up both 1194 and 1195 as some providers use UDP and some TCP and these are the most commonly used ports.

Click on OK and Apply the rule, and leave the ‘Source IP’ and ‘Action’ to their defaults on the original screen.

Wireguard Kernel Module
(Recommended for Performance & Reduced CPU Resource)

The default Gluetun Wireguard setup uses a ‘Userspace’ implementation of Wireguard which normally should not use much from a CPU resource perspective. However, on Synology it tends to require high CPU utilisation. For example a 40MiB download via qBittorrent uses up to 176% in CPU (1.7 Cores) on my 1821+.

By installing the appropriate Kernel Module this reduces down to 1 or 2% which over time would add up from an electric usage perspective and free up the CPU for other tasks.

BlackVoid.club have put together a Kernel Module for Synology which allows Gluetun to use the lower level Kernel to perform Wireguard duties make sure you drop them a thanks as this would not be possible without them!

While on first glances it looks like a long installation process the page details a number of methods. I recommend having a read taking note of warnings and also if you want to build your own model it tells you how.

The TLDR is below.

Step 1 – Find your model of NAS under the correct DSM version section (If you are following this guide it will be 7.0/1) and download the pre compiled .spk file
Step 2 – Head into Package Manager and click ‘Manual Install’ on the top right and install the .spk file and untick the box to run after install
Step 3 – Reboot (Not always required for DSM7.1 and lower)
Step 4 – SSH Into your NAS (Just like in the User Setup guide) and elevate yourself to root by typing sudo -i and entering your password
Step 5 – Enter this command and press enter to start up the module /var/packages/WireGuard/scripts/start

You should now be able to see the WireGuard package running in Package Manager. Please note while I will try my best to support in relation to this module I may have to refer you on if it is a specific technical issue.

When you have GlueTUN running check the log for this line [wireguard] Using available kernelspace implementation, and you know it is working.

On to the next part.

Docker Compose

Next we are going to create a Docker Compose file, this is used to tell Docker how to set up our containers with all the variables we require that are not available in the DSM GUI.

You can edit this file in a number of ways, but to keep the guide OS-agnostic we will be using the Synology Text Editor package which can be installed via Package Center.

Open up Text Editor and create a new file then, copy and paste the information below into the file.

You will notice that we have some additional ports assigned for a http proxy and Shadowsocks Proxy – this means you can direct traffic from other devices or applications on your network through the container! If you do not want to use this functionality remove those ports.

YAML
services:
  gluetun:
    image: qmcgaw/gluetun
    container_name: gluetun
    cap_add:
      - NET_ADMIN
    devices:
      - /dev/net/tun:/dev/net/tun
    ports:
      - 8888:8888/tcp # HTTP proxy
      - 8388:8388/tcp # Shadowsocks
      - 8388:8388/udp # Shadowsocks
      - 8090:8090 # port for qbittorrent
    volumes:
      - /volume1/docker/gluetun:/gluetun
    environment:
      - PUID=1234 #CHANGE_TO_YOUR_UID
      - PGID=65432 #CHANGE_TO_YOUR_GID
      - TZ=Europe/London #CHANGE_TO_YOUR_TZ
      - VPN_SERVICE_PROVIDER=NAMEOFYOURPROVIDER
      - VPN_TYPE=openvpn
      - OPENVPN_USER=VPNUSERNAME
      - OPENVPN_PASSWORD=VPNPASSWORD
      - SERVER_COUNTRIES=VPNSERVERCOUNTRY
      - HTTPPROXY=off #change to on if you wish to enable
      - SHADOWSOCKS=off #change to on if you wish to enable
      - FIREWALL_OUTBOUND_SUBNETS=172.20.0.0/16,192.168.0.0/24 #change this in line with your subnet see note on guide.
#      - FIREWALL_VPN_INPUT_PORTS=12345 #uncomment this line and change the port as per the note on the guide
    network_mode: synobridge
    labels:
      - com.centurylinklabs.watchtower.enable=false
    restart: unless-stopped

  qbittorrent:
    image: linuxserver/qbittorrent:latest
    container_name: qbittorrent
    environment:
      - PUID=1234 #CHANGE_TO_YOUR_UID
      - PGID=65432 #CHANGE_TO_YOUR_GID
      - TZ=Europe/London #CHANGE_TO_YOUR_TZ
      - WEBUI_PORT=8090
    volumes:
      - /volume1/docker/qbittorrent:/config
      - /volume1/data/torrents:/data/torrents
    network_mode: service:gluetun # run on the vpn network
    depends_on:
      gluetun:
        condition: service_healthy
    restart: unless-stopped

You can change the formatting to YAML in the bottom right of the editor to make it easier to read.

Firewall Subnet

You will see an environment variable in the yml file called FIREWALL_OUTBOUND_SUBNETS=172.20.0.0/16,192.168.0.0/24

The first part 172.20.0.0/16 don’t edit this, the second IP after the , change as per below.

This IP address is easy to figure out. If you NAS IP is 192.168.1.27 your subnet is 192.168.1.0/24 (notice I just changed the last number to 0) This variable allows any containers connected via the VPN access to your local network.

Firewall Input Ports

This part is # commented out by default, if your provider offers port forwarding remove the # from the start of the line and change the port number in line with the one provided to you. This will also be the port used within qBittorrent and will help overall connectivity. (Note if you are using Proton VPN see the FAQ for an important extra step now!)

Volumes

By default, I have assumed you have your config files stored on /volume1 if these are located on another volume amend this line accordingly.

Watchtower Exclusion

You don’t need to change this, I added a label to avoid Watchtower automatically updating the GlueTUN container as it will always break the overall project which can be inconvenient if you are not around to fix it. You can update the container using the mini guide on the left menu of the site.

Default Value
    labels:
      - com.centurylinklabs.watchtower.enable=false

Important – Provider Specific Edits

Next up we will need to make some edits to the Environment Variables section of the compose in line with what is required for your specific provider. Open up the GlueTun Wiki and in the list find your provider.

For example in the Privado section (screenshot below) it has the variables required to make a successful connection, The ‘Required environment variables’ section will get you connected to a random server of the containers choosing.

You can add the ‘Optional environment variables’ parameters in order to select a specific server or range of servers. These are found on the same page.

(Pay close attention to your providers amendments as often people are caught out by using the incorrect settings such as SERVER_COUNTRIES when it should be SERVER_REGIONS etc)

If your provider is not supported, you can make a request on GitHub to add it, I do not currently have custom providers covered in this guide, feel free to jump on Discord / email me for help here.

Also note that some providers don’t like you having special characters in the password you will generally spot this in the log with AUTH errors.

This will be very similar across all the providers built in with some slight variances.

Once you have checked for your provider, make the appropriate edits to the compose accordingly.

In addition to the edits we just made there are a couple more in the table below, do these in the sections I have pre-filled

VariableValue
PUID(required) The UID you obtained in the user setup guide
PGID(required) The GID you obtained in the user setup guide
TZ(required) Your timezone wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tz_database_time_zones

You can now save this compose file in /docker and call it qbittorrentvpn.yml

SSH and Docker-Compose

It’s time to get logged into you Diskstation via SSH, you can do this in the same way as when you obtained your IDs in the ‘Setting up a restricted Docker user‘ guide.

Once you have logged in you will need to give 2 commands, you can copy and paste these one at a time — you will need to enter your password for the command starting with ‘sudo’

First we are going to change directory to where the qbittorrentvpn.yml is located, type the below and then press enter.

Bash
cd /volume1/docker

Then we are going to instruct Docker Compose to read the file we created and complete the set-up of the container. Again type the below and press enter.

Bash
sudo docker-compose -f qbittorrentvpn.yml up -d

When the command has completed you should be able to see both qBittorrent and the VPN container running in the list of containers in the Synology GUI.

Error: “gluetun is unhealthy”

At this stage if you receive an error relating to GlueTUN being unhealthy there is likely an error in the config file, this usually relates to the provider specific elements. If you check the logs for the GlueTUN container it will tell you why it couldn’t connect. If you get stuck drop me a comment with a copy of the logs via https://paste.drfrankenstein.co.uk.

Changing the default WebUI login and password

If you skip this step you won’t be able to log in.

Now the container has started open it in the Docker UI and go to the Log tab. Within the logs you will see the login details

Now before doing any more of the guide go to the Web UI by going to the IP of your NAS followed by port 8090 and log in. Then on the WebUI tab change the defaults to your own and save them.

Now continue on..

Final qBittorrent steps

As we have used /data/torrents as the mount point for our downloads we need to make sure qBittorrent uses this same file path.

We need to change the file paths by editing the qBittorrent config file, before doing this stop both of the containers.

Go back into DSM and open Text Editor, browse to /docker/qbittorrent/qbittorrent and open the qBittorrent.conf then edit the file in line with the table below, once amended save the changes.

Original ValueNew Value
Session\DefaultSavePath=/downloads/Session\DefaultSavePath=/data/torrents/completed
Session\TempPath=/downloads/incomplete/Session\TempPath=/data/torrents/incoming/
Downloads\SavePath=/downloads/Downloads\SavePath=/data/torrents/completed
Downloads\TempPath=/downloads/incomplete/Downloads\TempPath=/data/torrents/incoming/

You can now bring the containers back up again by repeating the steps in the SSH and Docker Compose section above.

Once the containers are running you can log into the Web UI by going to the IP of your NAS followed by port 8090

e.g. 192.168.0.30:8090

Log in with the username and password you created earlier.

Now you are in the UI click on settings cog at the top of the screen, we are going to change one more directory which is the watched folder to /data/torrents/watch. You can also turn on the option ‘keep incomplete torrents in:’ which should already have /data/torrents/incoming’ prefilled.

Next we are going to set a command to run when each torrent finishes to automatically extract any .rar files (Note if you have any issues with this I would recommend using Unpackerr the guide is on the menu)

Scroll down in the options to the ‘Run external program on torrent completion’ and enter the below, it tells qbittorrent to run unrar and extract the file to the same save path as the original file. This will not delete anything, so you can continue seeding.

Plaintext
unrar x "%D/*.r*" "%D/"

Advanced Network Settings

The last step is to tell qBittorrent to only use the tun0 interface for its traffic, go to the Advanced tab then from the ‘Network Interfaces’ drop down select ‘tun0’ and click Apply

I am not going to walk through all the other settings as you can customise these as you wish.

That’s it you are completely set up, I recommend having a quick read through the FAQ as it covers some questions you may have!


FAQs

Q: How can I update the GlueTUN containers?

A: See the Updating Containers section on the menu for a specific guide for GlueTUN

Q: How can I be sure the VPN connection is working?

A: Go to the TorGuard Check My Torrent IP site, right-click on the Green banner and copy the link (it’s a Magnet link) Then add this link into qBittorrent and start the torrent. Keeping the site open after a few seconds the site will show the IP address of the connection it finds. This will be of the VPN provider not your home IP. (Please note the torrent doesn’t actually download anything it’s purely doing an IP check)

Q: I tried to start Deluge / qBittorrent manually, and it says ‘Container must join at least one network’

A: This is due to the Synology Docker GUI not understanding that the container will be on the VPNs ‘network’. You will either need to start the container again via SSH or you can set up a manually triggered script via Task Scheduler you will only need to do use this if you ever stop the container.

Head into Control Panel and go to Task Scheduler, Click Create > Triggered Task > User Defined Task

SectionSetting
Task NameDockerVPNRestart
UserRoot
EnabledLeave Unticked

In the ‘Task Settings’ tab enter the following and then click Save

Bash
docker-compose -f /volume1/docker/qbittorrentvpn.yml down 
wait
docker-compose -f /volume1/docker/qbittorrentvpn.yml up -d

Q: Everything seems to be connected but nothing is downloading.

Are you using TorGuard – If so they block torrents on their US servers. Change to another country – Also while you are at it, you may need to configure port forwarding in your TorGuard account.

Try grabbing the Ubuntu torrent as that is a sure fire way of testing as generally it has over 3k seeds.

Q: My container doesn’t seem to start on a reboot even with the TUN script.

A: I have seen this a few times and usually relates to the VPN not completing its connection fast enough before containers using the VPN start. You can try setting an additional startup script by doing the following.

Head into Control Panel and go to Task Scheduler Click Create > Triggered Task > User Defined Task

SectionSetting
Task NameDockerVPNBootUp
UserRoot
EventBoot Up
Pre TaskSelect the TUN script from the drop-down

In the ‘Task Settings’ tab enter the following and then click Save

Bash
sleep 120
docker-compose -f /volume1/docker/qbittorrentvpn.yml down 
wait
docker-compose -f /volume1/docker/qbittorrentvpn.yml up -d

Proton VPN Port Forwarding Extra Step

Proton doesn’t allow you to choose your own port for port forwarding, so we need to add another container to the compose in order for this to be automatically updated for us. (Please note I am unable to test this personally it is based on Feedback via our Discord channel)

First don’t uncomment this line in the compose leave it disabled
# - FIREWALL_VPN_INPUT_PORTS=40312

Next copy the code below to bottom of the compose file and then amend the following only leave the other options.

TZ= #ENTER YOUR TIMEZONE
QBITTORRENT_SERVER= NAS IP or 172.20.0.1
QBITTORRENT_USER=admin (change to the username you will be using later for qbit)
QBITTORRENT_PASS=adminadmin (change to the password you will be using later for qbit)

Once added continue with the guide 🙂

YAML
  qbittorrent-natmap:
    # https://github.com/soxfor/qbittorrent-natmap
    image: ghcr.io/soxfor/qbittorrent-natmap:latest
    container_name: qbittorrent-natmap
    restart: unless-stopped
    volumes:
      - /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock:ro
    environment:
      - TZ=Europe/London #CHANGE_TO_YOUR_TZ
      - QBITTORRENT_SERVER= #NAS IP or 172.20.0.1
      - QBITTORRENT_PORT=8090
      - QBITTORRENT_USER=admin
      - QBITTORRENT_PASS=adminadmin
      # - VPN_GATEWAY=
      # - VPN_CT_NAME=gluetun
      # - VPN_IF_NAME=tun0
      # - CHECK_INTERVAL=300
      # - NAT_LEASE_LIFETIME=300
    network_mode: service:gluetun
    depends_on:
      qbittorrent:
        condition: service_started
      gluetun:
        condition: service_healthy

Q: How can I add additional services to the VPN container?

A: Adding additional containers to the VPN network is very easy. As you can see in the example below I have added Prowlarr to the bottom of the compose. The only amendments are that the ‘network_mode’ uses the Gluetun container and the ports for Prowlarr have been moved up to the Gluetun containers ports section.

Also see the separate Prowlarr guide on the left menu for setting up FlareSolver (In the Extras section)

YAML
      - 9696:9696 # add this to the ports section of GlueTUN
#add the below to the bottom of the compose
  linuxserver-prowlarr:
    image: linuxserver/prowlarr:latest
    container_name: prowlarr
    environment:
      - PUID=1234 #CHANGE_TO_YOUR_UID
      - PGID=65432 #CHANGE_TO_YOUR_GID
      - TZ=Europe/London #CHANGE_TO_YOUR_TZ
    volumes:
      - /volume1/docker/prowlarr:/config
    network_mode: service:gluetun # run on the vpn network
    depends_on:
      gluetun:
        condition: service_healthy
    restart: unless-stopped

Q: I Get a long error mentioning OCI when bringing up the containers.

A: Stop both the containers from the Docker UI and delete them, run the command again, and it should start up fine. If this still happens double check you have set your VPN providers settings correctly.

More will be added as questions come up


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Published inDockerDownload Tools 7.1Synology

353 Comments

  1. Oleg Oleg

    Great write-up, thanks a lot!
    What I noticed, is gluetun container performs constant writes to disk 500-700Kb/s while idle (qBittorrent container stopped). I can see it using htop via ssh. Perhaps, you saw such behavior? Spent days googling the issue… any help is much appreciated.

    • Dr_Frankenstein Dr_Frankenstein

      It’s not something I have seen – with my qbit paused I don’t see any read or write activity from GlueTUN in HTOP

      I am using version 3.38 ‘qmcgaw/gluetun:v3.38’ I tend to lock in a specific good working version, maybe try dropping down to it.

  2. Marsh Marsh

    Hi Thanks for the awesome guide.

    I noticed for GlueTUN to run with no issues I need to run it with

    cap_add:
    – NET_ADMIN

    otherwise I get a permission denied in my logs.

    https://imgur.com/a/Zy6dKId

    Is it safe to run a container with these high privileges ?

    • Dr_Frankenstein Dr_Frankenstein

      Yes, it only has that specific permission and no others, without that it cannot amend IP Table rules for the VPN connection. So is ‘safe’ in the sense it is required for it to function.

      These ‘old’ guides do not have some additional changes I made recently such as adding the below from the new guide which will enforce the permission and stop the container from gaining any other privileges. While not required its just another level of security,
      https://drfrankenstein.co.uk/qbittorrent-with-gluetun-vpn-in-container-manager-on-a-synology-nas/

      security_opt:
      - no-new-privileges:true

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