aria2 is an open source command-line application that allows users to download files from multiple sources and protocols. Besides Linux, it supports Android, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows operating systems.
The software provides users with a straightforward way to download files from HTTP/HTTPS, FTP, Metalink and BitTorrent sources using nothing but a terminal emulator application, such as GNOME Terminal, XTerm, or Xfce Terminal.
Features at a glance
Its key features include multi-connection download functionality, a fully featured BitTorrent client, support for the Metalink 3/4 and Metalink/HTTP file formats (Metalink Download Description Format), and remote control.
Being extremely lightweight, the application has been designed to handle annoying CGI fake download pages, can be manipulated via standard RPC (Remote Procedure Call) interfaces, such as XML-RPC and JSON-RPC (over WebSocket or HTTP).
The built-in BitTorrent client allows users to download both Magnet and Torrent files, and features support for Local Peer Discovery, DHT (Distributed Hash Table), PEX (Peer exchange), encryption, web-seeding, UDP (User Datagram Protocol) tracker, and selective downloads.
Various graphical user interface exist
Various graphical user interfaces (GUIs) are available for the aria2 software, including the acclaimed uGet download manager, and the webui-aria2 web-based interface. It is also important to mention that the program’s command is actually aria2c and not aria2.
aria2’s developers provide detailed usage examples for downloading from Web, from two different sources at the same time, for using two connections per host, URIs found in a text file, as well as Magnet, BitTorrent and Metalink URIs, on the project’s homepage.
On Linux, the project is distributed only as a source archive, which allows experienced users to configure, compile and install the program in any Linux distribution. However, novice users can easily install it from the default software channels of their Linux distribution.
Overall, aria2 is an acclaimed and powerful CLI program that comes with numerous attractive features, including support for multiple protocols and sources, as well as cross-platform availability.