Ubuntu users have a few internet download clients to choose from, but none of them are particularly spectacular, like the tremendous Internet Download Manager for Windows. Many of downloaders are not user friendly, some are way too simple (I rather use the default clients come with browsers).
MultiGet was just so sexy!
Look around the these Ubuntu forums, Aria2 appears to be the favoured one, with constant updates from developers, even backed by Canonical. However, Aria is command-line oriented, and I’m not that tech-saavy. A couple of years ago, there were MultiGet, which was surprisingly FlashGet look-alike. Sadly, the promising project discontinued in 2007. wxDownload Fast was another potential multi-threded download manager, until the developers went on a “hiatus” in 2007 (and never come back). Eventually I settled on DownThemAll of Firefox, which did the job fine enough. My search for a download accelerator recurred just recently, when a non-geek friend of mine ask for a replacement for IDM on Ubuntu. I was reluctant at first, knowing I would go nowhere. However, situation changed, and now I discovered uGet and flareGet are the pretty decent. They all are actively in developement, has friendly user interface, and support multi-threaded download. After a few weeks of constant usage, speed comparison, connection analysis, HIV blood test… I found uGet to suit my need the best.
uGet is my personal favourite out of all. Written in GTK+ 3, it can handle most things a typical download manager does: pause and resume , classify download , every category has an independent configuration, and more…
Click here for the complete list of features.
Where it excels
Multi-threaded downloading, with Aria2. This way, uGet acts as a frontend to Aria2, which supports up to 32 connections.
Out of all the tools I tried, uGet has the simpliest, most explicit design, matching the philosophy of Unity. The use of GTK is a plus.
It also have the best integration with Ubuntu, there are notifications signify when a process begins and completes.
The main dev - Michael Tunnell - seems like a nice dude. Wherever people posting about a download method for Ubuntu, he’s there popularising uGet. Many criticise his over-enthusiasm, I respect his dedication.
Where it fall shorts
uGet does not display the download process of each segments, instead it shows the detail of file being download as a whole. At first, the fact that I couldn’t monitor the percentage of each segments was really annoying, but soon I became accustomed to it, since I found the download speed is considerably faster.
Since the version of uGet comes with Software Centre is obsoleted (in fact, that version does not support Aria2, hence no acceleration), it’s better that you fetch uGet from the official PPA.
Remember to install Aria2 as well.
If you use Firefox, FlashGot supports uGet (in fact FlashGot supports most download managers on Linux, even the command-line ones)
For Chrome/Chromium, you can use Download Assistant, or Simple Get. While Download Assistant gives you choice among different clients, Simple Get is my personal favourite, as it simply… gets the damn thing.
I have no idea why this extension is no longer available from the Chrome Store. However, I found a download link here.
After you have Download Assistant installed, get it to work with Chrome. Read more at Ubuntu Vibes for a thorough instruction.
If the command uget-gtk %u does not work, replace it with uget-gtk “$URL”.
After installing the extension from Chrome Extension site, configure it like the image below:
Update 09 October 2013
The official uGet extension has been released on 07 October. For a complete installation instruction, click here.