Aria2 is a free and open-source lightweight multi-protocol command-line utility that grabs files from the internet. It supports a variety of protocols such as HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, and even BitTorrent. Aria2 works on windows, Linux, and Mac OSX.
In this guide, you will learn how to install and use Aria2 on Linux.
Below is a highlight of the key features of Aria2 download utility:
1) Resource-friendly: Aria2 is quite lightweight and takes up just a small fraction of your RAM and CPU. Physical memory usage is roughly 4MB for normal FTP/HTTP downloads ad 9MB for BitTorrent downloads.
2) Multi-Connection Download: Aria2 is a multi-protocol download tool that supports multiple protocols and tries as much as possible to use maximum bandwidth to speed up your downloads
3) Remote Control: Aria2 has support for RPC interface, more specifically JSON-RPC and XML-RPC.
4) Fully-featured BitTorrent features: These include Web seeding, Magnet URI, Encryption, Selective downloads and Local Peer discovery to mention a few.
5) Metalink support:
Installing Aria2 on Linux
Before we touch base on how Aria2 works, let see how to install it on various Linux distributions:
Install Aria2 using Snap
This is the most recommended way of installing Aria2 on various Linux distros for the simple reason that snap packages are universal and work in almost any major Linux flavor.
Before anything else, ensure that snapd is installed.
To install Aria2 using snap, run the command below:
$ sudo snap install aria2c
Apart from using snap packages, you can use the package managers in various Linux distributions as follows
On Ubuntu, use the APT package manager as follows:
$ sudo apt install aria2
RHEL 8/CentOS 8
For RHEL 8 /CentOS 8, use the dnf package manager as shown:
$ sudo dnf install aria2
For RHEL 7/CentOS 7 and earlier versions, use the yum package manager.
$ sudo yum install aria2
Fedora 22 and later versions
For Fedora 22, use the dnf package manager just as in RHEL 8/ CentOS 8
$ sudo dnf install aria2
Arch / Manjaro Linux
For Arch Linux & its derivatives use the Pacman package manager as shown:
$ sudo pacman -S aria2
How to use Aria2 with example
In this section, we look at a few usages of the Aria2 command-line tool.
1) Download a single file over the internet
To download a file using either HTTP, HTTPS or FTP protocol, use the syntax:
$ aria2c file-url
For example, to download the latest WordPress tarball file, run the command:
$ aria2c https://wordpress.org/latest.tar.gz
2 ) Save a file under a different name after downloading
To save a file using your preferred name and format pass the -o option as shown:
$ aria2c -o new-filename file-url
For example, to save the latest WordPress file as
latest-wordpress.zip run the command:
$ aria2c -o latest-wordpress.zip https://wordpress.org/latest.tar.gz
3) Download multiple files
To download more than one file, use the -Z option in the command followed the URLs of the files to be downloaded as shown.
Here, we are downloading the latest Teamviewer Debian package and Owncloud tarball file.
$ aria2c -Z https://download.teamviewer.com/download/linux/teamviewer_amd64.deb https://download.owncloud.org/community/owncloud-10.5.0.tar.bz2
4) Download files from an input file
Instead of listing all the file URLs on the terminal, you can create a text file in which you can list all the file URLs. You can then run the command using the -i option and passing the input file as shown.
$ aria2c -i aria2-input.txt
5) Limit download bandwidth speed
By default, aria2 uses the maximum bandwidth to download files. This can result to degraded performance if you intend to upload or download files using other applications. To avoid this scenario, you can limit the bandwidth using the
-max-download-limit option a shown:
$ aria2 --max-download-limit=500k https://download.teamviewer.com/download/linux/teamviewer_amd64.deb
6) Download a Torrent file
To download a torrent file, run the command using the torrent link as shown:
$ aria2c http://releases.ubuntu.com/disco/ubuntu-19.04-desktop-amd64.iso.torrent
Finally, for more command options, visit the man pages as shown:
$ man aria2c
If you having difficulties grabbing files over the internet, aria2 is a good download utility.