Part 1: SABnzbd+ Installation and Configuration

Instaling SABnzbd

What is SABnzbd+?

Sabnzbd is the client that we will pass the NZB files to in order to download.

What is an NZB file?

An NZB file is a file tells the client where to go on Usenet to find specific files to download them.  It is almost the same as a .torrent file.

Where do I get the .NZB files?

The .NZB files will be obtained from the index sites such as or  There are free index sites and paid index sites.  The paid offer better retention and other added benefits.  I would suggest subscribing to NZBMatrix at least because it is a one time fee and you can use all of their services.

Installing SABnzbd

On a Mac:

  1. Download the .DMG file from Mac OS X Universal Binary.
  2. Drag the SABnzbd application to your Applications folder and launch it.
  3. You then probably want to add it to your startup items by going to System Preferences, and then the Accounts pane.  Then select the profile you will use when the media center logs in, and drag the application into the “Login Items” field, it is not necessary to hide it.

On a PC:

  1. Download the SABnzbd executable from Windows Installer.
  2. Run the executable.
  3. Select if you want it to launch when you start up your PC (most likely yes if this is a dedicated HTPC)
  4. Select if you want SAB to associate itself with .NZB files.
  5. That’s it!

On Ubuntu:

  1. Open a new terminal window and run the following command
  2. sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jcfp/ppa
  3. Then do a “sudo apt-get update” to update your available packages.
  4. sudo apt-get install sabnzbdplus
  5. Then you can edit your init.d file or simply run it by executing “sabnzbdplus

That is all it takes to install SABnzbd, and now it will be accessible via your favorite browser.  If accessing it locally or via another computer on your network by pointing it at the appropriate IP address of the computer SAB is installed on (ex.
You will be asked to run through some settings to set up SAB, screenshots here (  I used smpl-white theme, configured on the general tab of the configuration for the screenshots, aside from that all the data is the same!

Configuration Tab


SABnzbd Host :
This points SAB to the local machine in which it is running on.  Would only change this value in a more advanced configuration.

SABnzbd Port : 8080
You can leave the port default unless you are already running some other sort of website off this same box on this port.

API Key : This is an important value that we will need later, you might want to copy and paste this for use when setting up Sickbeard and CouchPotato as they will need this API (Application Programming Interface) key.

SABnzbd username & password:
Set these up however you like, just make sure you remember the username and password.

The rest of the values on this page can remain default for our purposes.  On to Folder configuration.

Folder Configuration Tab

The folder configuration page can pretty much be left alone unless you have an external storage drive that you want to point SAB to.  I suggest storing all files on a local volume (USB, Firewire, E-Sata, etc) rather than a network volume because it will be doing double duty to transport from the internet to your SAB to the storage.

Pro tip for the storage tab : If you are going to use an external drive as the target for your storage, set the completed download folder value to /Volumes/Volumename where Volumename is the name of the drive.  You can also drive down to sub folders, just make sure to type the path EXACTLY how it is or it wont save.

Switches tab

This tab can be left as default, unless you want to change how the files are handled after they are completely downloaded.  By default they will be joined and unrared so you will be left with the actual file rather than 100 zip files.

Servers tab

This is probably the most important of them all, because it contains your Usenet server information.  Plug it in accordingly and make sure to activate SSL if that is a feature that your usenet provider offers.

Scheduling, RSS, and E-mail tabs

These are all pretty self explanatory, if you want to schedule your SAB to only download at certain times, obviously do that.  If you want your SAB to monitor RSS feeds (more advanced setup) go ahead and do that.  And if you want it to email you for whatever reason, errors or completed files, go ahead and do that as well.

Index Sites Tab

Now is a good time to sign up for Newzbin or NZBMatrix and get this part configured so once we move on to SickBeard and CouchPotato, we can just input the API key and we are good to go. ( or

Categories and sorting tabs

These can be left alone for now, as CouchPotato and Sickbeard will be handling the functions of these two tabs.  You should now test your SAB setup by searching for an NZB file on whichever search site you subscribe or a free provider, just to make sure everything is working properly.  If you signed up for Newzbin, you can try to bookmark something on the site, and then click the button to retrieve bookmarks on the left hand side of your SAB to see if that function is working too.  This is a really useful function for downloading files manually especially when away from home and you want something to be available for you when you get home.

Continued in Part 2: Installing Sickbeard

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