Speed up your downloads with Axel command line downloader/accelerator

Axel is a lightweight download utility, it does the same thing how other accelerator does. It opens multiple connections for one file and each connections download separate file fragment to complete the download more quickly.

Axel supports HTTP, HTTPS, FTP and FTPS protocols. It can also use multiple mirrors for single file download. So, Axel can speed up a download up to 40% (approximately, i personally realized). It’s very lightweight because no dependencies and uses very less CPU & RAM.

Axel downloads all the data directly to the destination file, using one single thread.

Note : There is no option to download the two file in single command

You can also try alternative Command Line Download Managers/Accelerators

Most of the distribution (Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora, suse, openSUSE, Arch Linux, Manjaro, Mageia, etc.) has the axel package so we can easily install it from distribution official repository. For CentOS/RHEL we need to enable EPEL Repository.

[Install Axel on Debian/Ubuntu/LinuxMint]
$ sudo apt-get install axel

[Install Axel on RHEL/CentOS]
$ sudo yum install axel

[Install Axel on Fedora]
$ sudo dnf install axel

[Install Axel on openSUSE]
$ sudo zypper install axel

[Install Axel on Mageia]
$ sudo urpmi axel

[Install Axel on Arch Linux based system]
$ sudo pacman -S axel

1) Download Single File

The below command will download the file from given URL and stores in current directory, while downloading the file we can see the (No of connection established, download speed, download progress, how much time it took to complete the download & where connection finished) of file.

# axel https://download.owncloud.org/community/owncloud-9.0.0.tar.bz2
Initializing download: https://download.owncloud.org/community/owncloud-9.0.0.tar.bz2
File size: 22678208 bytes
Opening output file owncloud-9.0.0.tar.bz2
Starting download

[  0%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 146.7KB/s]
[  0%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 267.0KB/s]
[  0%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 373.9KB/s]
[  0%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 406.9KB/s]
[  0%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 487.5KB/s]
[  1%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 572.6KB/s]
[  1%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 650.7KB/s]
[  1%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 649.3KB/s]
[  1%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 718.1KB/s]
[  2%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 769.3KB/s]
[  2%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 838.7KB/s]
[  2%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 866.0KB/s]
Connection 0 finished
.
.
[ 99%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [5721.0KB/s]
Connection 2 finished
[ 99%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [5733.4KB/s]
Connection 1 finished
[ 99%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [5745.4KB/s]
[100%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ......

Downloaded 21.6 megabytes in 3 seconds. (5755.94 KB/s)

2) Save the file with different name

You can save the file with different name while initiate downloading by adding -o (lowercase) option followed by file name. Here we are going to save the filename with owncloud.tar.bz2.

# axel -o cloud.tar.bz2 https://download.owncloud.org/community/owncloud-9.0.0.tar.bz2
Initializing download: https://download.owncloud.org/community/owncloud-9.0.0.tar.bz2
File size: 22678208 bytes
Opening output file cloud.tar.bz2
Starting download

[  0%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 143.0KB/s]
[  0%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 264.1KB/s]
[  0%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 309.8KB/s]
[  0%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 406.3KB/s]
[  0%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 495.4KB/s]
[  1%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 586.3KB/s]
[  1%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 673.1KB/s]
[  1%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 647.1KB/s]
[  1%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 721.1KB/s]
[  2%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 781.3KB/s]
Connection 2 finished
.
.
Connection 0 finished
[ 98%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [6221.9KB/s]
[ 98%]  .......... .......... .....
Connection 1 finished
        ,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,..... .......... ..........  [6145.6KB/s]
[ 99%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [6159.2KB/s]
[ 99%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [6172.0KB/s]
[ 99%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [5977.9KB/s]
[ 99%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [5989.6KB/s]
[100%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ......

Downloaded 21.6 megabytes in 3 seconds. (6001.05 KB/s)

3) Limit download speed

By default axel Set the maximum speed for downloading file in Bytes per Second. We can use this option when we have a slow network connection. Just add -s option followed by bytes value. Here we are going to download a file with 512KB/s.

# axel -s 512000 https://download.owncloud.org/community/owncloud-9.0.0.tar.bz2
Initializing download: https://download.owncloud.org/community/owncloud-9.0.0.tar.bz2
File size: 22678208 bytes
Opening output file owncloud-9.0.0.tar.bz2
Starting download

[  0%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 141.5KB/s]
[  0%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 266.1KB/s]
[  0%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 308.0KB/s]
[  0%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 405.9KB/s]
[  0%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 496.7KB/s]
[  1%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 526.4KB/s]
[  1%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 507.0KB/s]
[  1%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 505.6KB/s]
[  1%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 504.8KB/s]
[  2%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 503.9KB/s]
[  2%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 503.4KB/s]
.
.
[ 99%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 497.0KB/s]
[ 99%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [ 496.9KB/s]
[100%]  .......... ..
Connection 0 finished
        ,,,,,,,,,, ,,.....
Connection 1 finished
Connection 3 finished
        ,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,... .......... .......... ......

Downloaded 21.6 megabytes in 44 seconds. (494.54 KB/s)

Magesh Maruthamuthu

Love to play with all Linux distribution

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