What exactly is a download manager? Personally, I think that it’s a computer program solely designed for transloading files from the vast internet. While browsers themselves can do this as well, their main purpose is ‘browsing’, hence the name ‘browser’.
Some very common features of the latest download managers include:
Multi threading a download for better speeds
Scheduling automatic downloads
Automatic mirroring utilities
Supplying optimum through-output on poor connections
..and so on.
This is a list of the most popular and useful download managers to exist for Ubuntu. While not all of these are right for everyone, they’re a great resource to any download junkie. So stick around and see if any particular one catches your mind ;)
Wget is the default download manager that ships with Ubuntu. It’s a network utility designed for retrieving files from the web using the http(s) and ftp (s|es) protocols. Apart from the initial invoking, it doesn’t require any more interactions from the user.
The program also supports mirroring of entire web directories making it extremely useful for someone with limited access to the internet.
As wget ships natively with most Linux versions, chances are that you already have it installed. Run the following to get a basic idea of the options
Gwget is a GNOME front end for the ever so popular wget application. Ideally recommended to people who are not comfortable working with the command line. It features a system tray icon, multiple downloads at the same time and a lot of customizable options.
To install it on Ubuntu, simply run the following:
sudo apt-get install gwget
Curl may be considered a nice alternative to wget. It’s extremely versatile and supports an extensive number of protocols. Thanks to it not needing any user interaction after the invoke step as well, it’s idea for use in the background.
Installing curl is relatively simple as well, just run the following:
sudo apt-get install curl
Axel is yet another command line download manager similar to wget. However, the main beauty of axel lies in its capability to multi-thread downloads. Thanks to this nifty little feature, it can accelerate downloads by up to 100% more. It’s very lightweight and simple to use.
To install axel, simply run the following:
sudo aptitude install axel
Aria2C is similar to axel in the sense that it offers multi thread capabilities as well. However, the true strength of Aria2c lies in the vast number of protocols it can work with.
It can do HTTP(s), FTP (s|es), SFTP, and even Bittorrent. As an added bonus, it can even handle metalinks as well. To install, simply execute the following:
sudo aptitude install aria2
D4X stands for ‘Downloader for X’. It’s a very powerful graphical download manager. Protocol support is extensive and to top it all off, it also includes an attractive graphical interface. What really sets it apart is that it can utilize almost any kind of proxy for downloading. If that’s a feature you need, this may very well be your ideal downloader.
Installation is fairly simple. Just run the following:
sudo aptitude install d4x
Those are currently the ones I use. If you know of any nice ones, feel free to share them in the comments section below