axel, uGet, aria2: Linux download managers

We wrote about FlareGet in an earlier article and explored wget here. In this post we will cover three more download managers which perform very well in download speed, are lightweight and pretty easy to use:

  1. axel
    A console based Linux download manager. It downloads very fast when you use the multi-threaded feature. More than a download manager it’s rather a download accelerator. However, you can specify multiple URLs at once. It can resume broken downloads by default. It might have a GUI front-end in GAxel but we haven’t tested if it’s functional because the command is simple. axel does have a problem with too many redirections whereas wget works fine in those cases. axel doesn’t work with HTTPS. To install on Ubuntu:

    $ sudo apt-get install axel

    Normal usage:

    $ axel -a -n 5 URL //compact progress bar, 5 parallel threads
  2. uGet
    Much more sophisticated than axel with many advanced features like multi-segment download. Supports downloading files through HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, BitTorrent & Metalink. The GUI looks good. Install from the site downloads section on Ubuntu as the version available in synaptic is very old. To install on Ubuntu:

    $ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:plushuang-tw/uget-stable
    $ sudo apt-get update
    $ sudo apt-get install uget

    uget is available in the default repos on Ubuntu 14.04 and can be installed easily:

    $ sudo apt-get insall uget
  3. aria2
    This is also an excellent cmdline download manager. Very simple to use and supports HTTP(S), FTP, Magnet, Metalink and Torrent. To install on Ubuntu:

    $ sudo apt-get install aria2

    aria2 has some interesting options:

    -s N : use N connections to download (s for split), default 5
    -x N : maximum number of connections per server for download, default 1

    So you can use -x 5 for faster downloads, e.g.

    $ aria2c -x 5 URL
  4. curl
    A good download manager which is available by default in all major distro repos. To install on Ubuntu:

    $ sudo apt-get install curl

    Example usage to upload a file to FTP server:

    $ curl -u anonymous --upload-file bigfile.tar.bz2

All the download managers can be integrated in Firefox using the FlashGot extension.

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