Windows users enjoy a lot of options when they want to use a download manager. Systems like Download Accelerator Plus and RealDownloader manage video downloads speedily but these great free tools aren’t available for Linux.
Fortunately, there are some excellent free download managers for Linux out there. However, with a much smaller market than the Windows’ user base, Linux tools providers spend much less money on publicity, so they are harder to find.
Here is our list of the best free download managers for Linux:
- Xtreme Download Manager (XDM) A great free download manager that can convert file format types as well as accelerate download speeds. This tool includes download queuing and integrated antivirus checks.
- uGet Open source software that can be customized by the user. Uses a multi-thread architecture to shorten download times.
- SteadyFlow A download accelerator that is available for Linux or as a browser extension for Chrome.
- FlareGet A download accelerator available in free and paid versions.
- Persepolis A free, open source download scheduler and accelerator.
- MultiGet A free, open source internet download manager that uses a torrent-like methodology.
- DownThemAll A Firefox add-on that manages downloads through the browser.
- kGet A download manager that uses file sharing techniques to speed up downloads from multiple sources.
The best download managers for Linux
We have reviews of each of these tools in the following sections.
Xtreme Download Manager is available from Sourceforge and Github. This is a free tool that also has versions for Windows, Unix, and Mac OS. This is probably the closest you will get on Linux to the speedy video download capabilities of Download Accelerator Plus. It can speed up downloads to make them five times faster. Like DAP, XDM can retry broken links and can resume interrupted downloads.
The downloader is great for downloading video from a wide range of sources including YouTube, Google Video, Vimeo, and Dailymotion. The XDM module can be integrated into Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Vivaldi, and Opera web browsers. The add-on will detect a video playing and offer to download it for you, exactly the same way as RealDownloader. Also, like RealDownloader, XDM has a companion file converter. You can even specify a file type that the utility will convert files to during the download session.
- Completely free
- Multi-platform support, great for homes that have a mix of operating systems
- Supports uncommon sources such as Dailymotion, and Vimeo
- Built-in virus scanning keep users safe by default
- The interface could be improved. Having more skin options would be a welcomed change
A few great features of XDM make it a lot easier to download, especially the integrated antivirus checks. You can queue downloads and specify that the downloader shuts down the system when all actions are finished. That means you can safely leave the downloads running unattended overnight while you are asleep.
The uGet downloader is free and it works on Windows XP to Windows 8, Unix, and Android as well as Linux. This is an open source project, which means that anyone can download the source code, check it, or even amend and improve it.
The uGet user interface allows you to add in new download requests while others are still running. This creates a schedule queue, so you can download an entire series of videos without remembering to go back to the source and queue up the next episode later. The downloader is able to resume broken downloads; you can also pause individual downloads to give downloads lower down in the list a chance to finish. Downloads from FTP servers that require authentication can still run in uGet because in these cases, the interface will prompt you for the required username and password.
You can set the downloader to automatically kick in if you copy a URL that has a recognized video file type. The downloader keeps running in the background and asks you if you want to get a copy of a file if you put the name in your Clipboard. You can even specify that videos of a given type should download as soon as they are detected by uGet in your browser. There is a uGet plugin for Mozilla Firefox.
- Can run in legacy environments as far backs as Windows XP, making it very lightweight on modern operating systems
- Automatically resume broken links. Great for unreliable connections or large downloads
- Open-source, anyone can build features or fix bugs
- Interface is due an improvement
- Limited number of plugins, currently only for Firefox
The multi-threaded architecture helps to speed up downloads. This is the same methodology that Download Accelerator Plus uses. However, while DAP splits files into five sections for simultaneous download, uGet can divide them into 16 segments. For a free tool, you get a lot of features with uGet.
SteadyFlow is a straightforward downloader written specifically for the Linux GNOME environment. There is also a browser extension version available for Google Chrome. The code for this program is available for anyone to copy or amend, so you can comb through it and ensure yourself that it doesn’t represent a security threat.
The program has a GUI interface, but its functions are kept intentionally sparse. The aim here is to provide a fast and efficient download service using minimum CPU and memory. The downloader uses a multi-threaded architecture like DAP and you can also pause and resume individual downloads. The interface includes a queue and you can prioritize individual downloads by setting bandwidth limits on less important files.
- Open-source project, anyone can view and modify the code
- Utilizes multi-threaded DAP for fast downloads
- Very low resource footprint
- Barebones user interface is lightweight but quite unaesthetic
- Missing a lot of search and management features that are offered in similar tools
SteadyFlow isn’t as feature rich as some of the other downloaders on this list, but it will use up less of your computer’s resources so you can get on with other activities while your downloads progress.
FlareGet is a paid download manager, but there is also a free version. There are versions for Windows and Mac OS as well as Linux. The downloader has some great features that make it a fast client for file transfers.
The FlareGet system divides up files and downloads all the segments simultaneously in exactly the same way as Download Accelerator Plus. Other features include a bandwidth limit to keep the internet service available for other activities on your Linux computer while downloads progress in the background. The system also includes a queuing and scheduling interface that will keep on downloading files without your intervention. If a download falters, the system will keep retrying. It also gives you the opportunity to pause and resume individual downloads and it can also resume downloads that were interrupted by system failure.
- Has one of the better user interfaces among its competitors
- Has a queuing and scheduling option that can initiate downloads without a user present
- Works on nearly all browsers
- Some features are locked behind a paid version
- No open source like similar tools, giving you limited transparency into the tool
A background process that starts up with the FlareGet interface will monitor for any YouTube videos appearing in your browser and offer to download them. This feature is active for all browser types. The downloader will also monitor your Clipboard and load copied URLs automatically without you having to paste them.
Persepolis is a free, open source system that is available for Linux, Unix, Windows, and Mac OS. The interface opens multiple windows for downloads. The base window is a scheduler that allows you to cue up several files for download. Once each download completes, the next in the queue begins. The progress of each download is shown in an overlay window.
- Transparent and open source project
- Cross-platform for Linux, Windows, and Mac making it a great option for families and multiple devices
- Automatic video detection makes collecting media fast and easy
- Interface could be designed better
- Can have a slight learning curve for those who have never used similar tools
The Persepolis downloader operates a multi-thread architecture, speeding up downloads by copying over segments of files simultaneously. A background process monitors browsers for video players and prompts you if it detects a video.
MultiGet is available for Linux, Windows, Unix, and Mac OS. This is a free program and the code is open source. The downloader is accessed through a GUI interface that has a great progress meter depicted in its lower section. The upper section of the window shows a queue of scheduled downloads. The current download file gets split up for simultaneous download of segments in a multi-thread architecture.
- Transparent and open source project
- Can pull file segments from other sources when a download get interrupted or removed, similar to how torrent software works
- Can use URLs to automatically download media on a webpage
- More features make it less beginner-friendly
- The automatic media detection feature could use improvement
- Lacks out of the box visual customization
The latest version of MultiGet operates like a torrent client. It is able to seek out segments of the same file from different sources. Those segments will be downloaded simultaneously and assembled into one file. The system allows you to pause and resume individual downloads and it will also load URLs directly from the Clipboard.
You don’t need to worry about which operating system this downloader will work on because it is an add-on for Firefox, so it will work on any system that can host that web browser. The add-on format makes the interface for this tool browser-based. The main screen shows a list of downloads in a schedule and you get details on an individual download by clicking on that file’s entry in the list. Those details appear in a popup window.
You can pause and resume downloads and also try to resume broken links. The settings of DownloadThemAll allows you to specify a number of simultaneous file downloads, so you are not limited to downloading one file at a time – although you can enforce that method if you want. The downloader will detect the presence of videos in the browser and offer to download them. It will also appear as an option in the context menu when you right-click on a link to a video file.
- Has one of the best interfaces among its competitors
- Open-source project leaves room for custom-built features and community improvements
- Is one of the most popular download managers for Linux, meaning better community support
- Handles multiple downloads better than other tools
- Could have more browser plugin options
- URL clipboard feature can sometimes not download the right media
DownloadThemAll is free of charge.
The KDE group develops a range of products for Linux computers, including the Plasma Desktop. The software bundle available for Linux from KDE includes the kGet Download Manager. The downloader uses HTTP, DTP and BitTorrent protocol to mediate transfers.
Even if you are not downloading with torrents, the downloader has the capability to source segments of files from different servers, download them all simultaneously and assemble them all into one unified file. The multi-thread architecture will automatically divide any file into segments and download those sections simultaneously even if they are all coming from the same server. A series of files can be scheduled into a download queue that is shown in the kGet interface.
- Uses multiple protocols to detect and download media, giving your more sources to download from
- Utilizes multi-threaded architecture to improve download speeds and bulk download performance
- Is completely free
- Can be confusing for new users who haven’t used torrent style downloaders before
- Some options and features are nested inside menus, which might take time to find
- While the interface is better than most, there is room for improvement
You can pause and resume large downloads and retry file transfers that were interrupted. This Linux download manager is free to use.
A couple of these download managers can also be used as torrent clients. There is nothing illegal about downloading with Peer-2-Peer (P2P) networks or sourcing segments of files from different servers. So, you won’t get into trouble for having a torrent client on your computer. Problems only occur if you download files from unofficial sources without the permission of the copyright holders.
Copyright holders are becoming particularly active in suppressing illegal downloads and your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is obliged to cooperate with copyright lawyers if served with a court order. All of your internet activity has to pass through your ISP, so that company can easily see what you are doing and store records of your activities. So, be very careful about what you download. Entertainment files, such as video and music are particularly risky.
You might not realize when you start a download that you are breaking the law. However, in court, ignorance is not regarded as a credible defense and you will be charged or fined whether or not you knew what you were doing. As a rule of thumb, if you have to pay to download a file, you are probably getting permission to copy it. However, even then, you have to be careful because there are some unscrupulous websites and online services that will charge you for accessing pirated video.
Choosing a download manager for Linux
All of these internet download managers work through the Desktop versions of Linux and not at the command line. It is possible to download with commands, but then you don’t get the display of the queue, progress monitors, or other accessible features of GUI interfaces that make downloading easy.
These Linux-based download managers have all of the great features that you can get from download managers written for Windows. Enjoy your downloading activity but remember to be cautious about where you download files from.
Do you have a favorite download manager for Linux? Do you use a download manager that isn’t on our list? Are you a regular user of the downloaders that we have featured here in this guide? Leave a message in the Comments section below and let the community learn from your experience.
Linux Download Managers FAQs
What is the best download manager for Ubuntu?
For the best download manager for Ubuntu check out:
- Xtreme Download Manager
Can I batch downloads using a Linux download manager?
Yes, there are a number of command-line systems that allow a list of download sources to be fed into the command in a file. Download managers with graphical interfaces, such as Xtreme Download Manager usually have a batch download option.
What is the download command in Linux?
There are two commands that are built into all Linux distros and enable downloads. These are wget and curl. You don’t need to install these utilities because they are already there. In each case, use the --help switch to get a full list of command options, eg: wget --help will show you all of the wget switches and variables.