Sonarr/Radarr/FlexGet/NZBHydra2/CouchPotato/NZBGet/SABnzbd - wth?

OK disclaimer, I am rather old to remember newsgroups fine and actually used them… erm decades ago, but also someone who has given up using them for many years and can’t remember a bit about them, except those tree branches that form them and that I used to need software to read them.

Newsgroups seem to refuse to die and have die hard followers.
Of course big chunk of these users are there “for the stuff”.

I see various pieces of software (I hate the word “apps” as a tag to everything) that “relate” to this, but I have to say I am lost.
I am talking about the programs I list in the title and try to make a sense of them.

Any help appreciated.

MY MAIN GOAL: Bother only with the select few (hopefully one or two) that can actually cover everything I need and add containers for them.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I don’t plan to pay some newsgroup subscription. If nothing serious can be done without one, please point this out to me and the thread stops there.

NOTE: I haven’t installed any of them to try it out yet, so this is a “virgin” take from info I find online.

So let see what I can understand for each and PLEASE step in and correct me and fill the blanks.

  • Sonarr, searches for and downloads (?) series episodes, from newsgroups and actually some “indexers” (already first confusion although I can mostly understand the concept).

  • Radarr, is the same but for movies.

  • FlexGet, advertises as a “multipurpose automation tool”, I fail to grasp practical uses, although the claim is pretty bold and really seems interesting. I also don’t get how it “integrates” with clients (and what do these clients miss if they don’t integrate with FlexGet).

  • NZBHydra2 a search for NZB indexers. What makes it difference from Sonarr/Radarr? It is more generic? What does it mean that it is “compatible” with Sonarr/Radarr/NZBGet etc.? Do they need it to become “better” in some way?

  • CouchPotato. Well its description is pretty stupid-proof, as it says it searches for movies from usenet and torrents (and you don’t bother with actual knowledge of the existence of trackers etc.). So I guess even without newsgroup subscription, it makes sense to use it. Right? It claims to use “our favorite download software” (how?).

  • NZBGet. An NZB downloader. This guy here “needs” the “search for indexers” above to actually find stuff? No?

  • sabnzbd. As above? Or not? How does it compare to it?

  • Other app/client/service I should consider that serves as the above and is possibly better at it?

The reply to this can easily serve as a new FAQ.

Thanks in advance.

Don’t get me wrong but with what intention are these applications? To download binaries from newsgroups? IMO most binaries on newsgroups are pirated or am I very off here?
If those applications can be installed on NethServer/CentOS, by all means, give it a try and share your findings. But I think we are entering a grayish area when the NethServer project starts adopting applications that are mainly used for downloading pirated software.
It is more or less the same as using PirateBay. In The Netherlands use of TPB is blocked through a court order because of the general use: download of pirated software and multimedia content. Yes you can also download your linux distro and you can argue that should be freely possible, but when 99% use is illegal… I am very reluctant to support such applications…

Don’t blame the tool for the wrong use they may use it.
The knife is a knife, it is not its fault that it can (also) kill.

Torrents were blamed for years, until people realized that many (bigger) pieces of software (including many Linux distros) use torrents for their distribution.

Same for nzb. They are also the means to find obsolete software that possibly cannot be found anywhere else (and the company is closed).
It is how I use my torrent clients, so I cannot agree with the claimed “99% use”.

In any case, I am asking exactly because the knowledge is out there and I don’t want to “give them a try” all of them, don’t want to mess my live server etc., when someone can enlighten me instead (and the reply will serve others too).

This is a discussion with very different points of view. You compare it as a knife that also can be used as a weapon. Yes a knife can be of good use too, but my fear is that these types of applications are not to compare with a knife (that can be used in a good way too) but rather as a sub machine gun. And AFAIK a sub machine gun is not intended to hunt for animals so you can eat…(IE the ‘good’ use of a gun)

Well I am not sure of their use thus the questions.
I agree with your take though - but maybe it doesn’t fit all the above apps.
Someone needs to clear things up.

BTW, since we widened the thread, I am not a friend of guns for civilians.
But there ARE many weapon oriented fora, organizations etc. worldwide.
Doesn’t mean they are killers.

Anyway, back to the topic. Most of the above seem to be linux oriented (or “more linux oriented than other OS”), so since this is my most active linux setup right now, I asked here since I suspect there are people that can help me/us clear out the differences/similarities/overlaps.
I am not asking for help to setup or anything like that, so the thread is not… helping people to use them (in a bad or good way).

Ethical or non-ethical use was not something I thought about.

That could be your biggest obstacle. At least here in the US, most (if not all) of the major ISPs dropped support for newsgroups some time ago.


Same here.

If your objective is to do something without needing to pay, you’re probably out of luck, as finding a new server with good retention that’s free is pretty uncommon, at least in .us. But with that said, I’m familiar with most of the software you mention (except for FlexGet). In listing them together, you’re conflating three distinct tasks: the end-user cataloging/listing, the download indexing, and the actual downloading.

In the first category, you have Sonarr, Radarr, and CouchPotato (the latter of which is defunct), and other similar software. Sonarr acts somewhat as a DVR for TV shows–you tell it, for example, that you want Doctor Who. It first finds that show in a database to see which episodes are known, then scans your hard drive for episodes you already have. It then searches one or more indexers (configured by you) for episodes you don’t have, sends those to appropriate downloading software (again, configured by you). Once an episode is downloaded, Sonarr then moves it to your library, typically renames it to conform to some specified format, and optionally notifies your media server software (Plex/Emby/whatever). Radarr and CouchPotato work similarly, but for movies.

In the second category, indexers are generally third-party services (NZBHydra is more of a meta-indexer). They index torrents or NZBs, and give the end-user software (category 1) the information needed to tell the actual downloader (category 3) what to download. NZBHydra, as I said, is a meta-indexer–Sonarr (etc.) will send a search request to NZBHydra, whereupon NZBHydra will send that request to other indexers you’ve configured. It simplifies configuration inside Sonarr (etc.), and also gives you feedback on how productive your indexers are.

The third category is the software that actually downloads the files–this includes NZBGet and SABnzbd for NZBs (newsgroup files), and any number of torrent clients for torrents. All of the category 1 software works with both NZBs and torrents.

From what I can tell quickly from their website, FlexGet is also category 1 software, though it isn’t primarily operated using a web GUI as the others you name are.

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Thanks Dan, very helpful.

FlexGet and its “recipes” looks like a very powerful tool btw.