aria: The perfect downloading tool

Also in the “A” category, and probably deserving attention long before now, is aria2.


True, I did mention it obliquely, back when we talked about bitflu, and alluded to it with axel. But I should have done it justice before now.

In the list of clever Linux applications that I keep on my mantel, this one is near the top. And no, not because it starts with A.

aria2 will download almost anything you throw at it, from an http link to a torrent. You can even give it the link to a torrent and it’s smart enough to download the torrent, then start downloading the target.

And it will do it all quite speedily.

Getting used to aria2 will take a little work. The help flags alone are miles long — the only thing I can think of offhand that has more command-line options than this is mplayer … and that’s an ungodly mess.

But I’m fairly confident that 95 percent of the time, you can just feed it a link, and it will do the rest. Perfect.

aria2 is good stuff. If you don’t want an entire console application just to download things, you’d do well to try this out.