HOW TO: Mount any Torrent File as a Read-Only Directory on Linux and macOS


With BTFS (bittorrent filesystem) you can mount any .torrent file or magnet link and use it as a read-only directory in your file tree. The contents of the files will be downloaded on-demand as they are read by applications.

ALSO READ HOW TO: Easily Mount Remote Filesystems on Linux, macOS and Windows with SSHFS


NOTE: FSM does not promote piracy. The torrent used in this tutorial was downloaded from, where you can also watch the movie.



  • Debian/Ubuntu – sudo apt-get install btfs
  • Arch Linux – sudo pacman -S btfs
  • Gentoo – emerge -av btfs
  • macOS – using Homebrew brew install btfs



1. Download the .torrent file on your machine

2. Create a folder that will be a mount point for your .torrent file. ( e.g. mkdir torrent )

3. Mount the .torrent file with btfs path_to_torrent_file mount_point


4. Once the .torrent file has been mounted you can use tols like ls, cat and cp. If the .torrent file is a video you can play it with mpv name_of_the_file or vlc name_of_the_file.

NOTE: you can also use a GUI file manager ( like PCmanFM/Dolphin/Kursader/Thunar etc on Linux and Finder on macOS ) to browse, play or copy the contents of the .torrent file.




  • Linux – fusermount -u mount_point ( e.g fusermount -u torrent )
  • macOS – umount mount_point ( eg. umount torrent )

NOTE: you will have to cd out of the mount folder first

For more info on btfs check out the project on Github.