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Axel - Faster Downloads From the CLI

When you need to download something onto a server from the CLI, one usually reaches for the trusty wget tool. However, if you find that the download is much slower than your server's bandwidth capability, you might wish to try Axel. Axel allows you to make multiple connections for the download, which will allow you to bypass bandwidth allocations the server may be making on a per-connection basis.

Install

sudo apt update && sudo apt install axel -y

Usage

The following example will make 4 connections to download the Ubuntu 16.04.3 Desktop ISO.

axel -n 4 http://releases.ubuntu.com/16.04.3/ubuntu-16.04.3-desktop-amd64.iso

Whilst downloading, axel will continously output information on the download like below:

...
[  4%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [8003.2KB/s]
[  4%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [8037.2KB/s]
[  4%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [8027.9KB/s]
[  4%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [8023.6KB/s]
[  4%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [8066.4KB/s]
[  5%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [8079.4KB/s]
[  5%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [8083.5KB/s]
[  5%]  .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  [8084.8KB/s]

If you wish to hide this, add the -q parameter (for quiet):

axel -q -n 4 http://releases.ubuntu.com/16.04.3/ubuntu-16.04.3-desktop-amd64.iso

References