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aria2 is a command line utility for Windows, Linux and Mac OSX you can use for downloading files, which supports HTTP(S), FTP, BitTorrent, and Metalink. The cli tool can download a file from multiple sources/protocols and tries to utilize your maximum download bandwidth. Really speeds up your download experience. Also, aria2 has all the features you want in a BitTorrent client: DHT, PEX, Encryption, Web-Seeding and Selective Downloads.

To install Aria2 in Ubuntu, simply run the following command in a terminal:
sudo apt-get install aria2

There is also an Ubuntu PPA.

If aria2 is not present in your Linux distribution repositories - download it (downloads also for Windows and Mac OSX). There is also a PAGE for distribution specific download / installation instructions.


aria2 is as lightweight as it gets and uses from about 4MiB of RAM (normal HTTP/FTP downloads) to 9MiB (BitTorrent downloads). CPU usage in BitTorrent with download speed of 2.8MiB/sec is around 6%.

Why aria2 and not Wget or another tool?

There are other alternatives, such as wget and curl, but aria2 has two distinctive features:

- aria2c can download a file from several URIs(HTTP(S)/FTP/BitTorrent)

- If you give aria2 a list of URIs, aria2 downloads them concurrently. You don't have to wait for the current download queue to finish one file at a time anymore. aria2 tries to utilize your maximum download bandwidth and downloads files quickly.

aria2 usage

-BitTorrent Download:
aria2c http://site/yourfile.torrent

- BitTorrent Download (torrent yourfile present locally)
aria2c –max-upload-limit=40K yourfile.torrent

- Repair damaged downloads (only for bitTorrent and metalink)
aria2c –check-integrity=true yourfile.metalink

- Download/upload speed throttling
aria2c –max-download-limit=100K http://server/yourfile

- Quickly specify multiple urls
aria2c -P http://{server1,server2,server3}/yourfile
aria2c -Z -P http://server/image[000-100].png (to download multiple sequentially named yourfiles)

A simple file download:
aria2c http://server/yourfile

To see all the available options, open a terminal and type: man aria2c or see THIS page.

GUIs for Aria2

If the command line tools scare you, there are some graphical front-ends for Aria2, and you can find all of them HERE.

Thanks to Gnome Tips for pointing out the application.