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 good 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)
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 is able to 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.
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 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 having to remember 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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 queue that is shown in the kGet interface.
You can pause and resume downloads and retry file transfers that were interrupted. This downloader 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 downloader for Linux
All of these downloaders 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 feature of GUI interfaces that make downloading easy.
These Linux-based downloaders 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.