Biowulf High Performance Computing at the NIH
aria2 on Biowulf & Helix


aria2c is a utility for downloading files over the HTTP(S), (S)FTP, and Metalink protocols. The version installed on our systems does not support bittorrent. In can use multiple sources and multiple connections to the same source to speed up downloads. It can make use of the proxies that allow limited internet access to the compute nodes.

There may be multiple versions of aria2 available. An easy way of selecting the version is to use modules. To see the modules available, type

module avail aria2 

To select a module use

module load aria2/[version]

where [version] is the version of choice.

Environment variables set



Download a file with a single connection from a single source

$ module load aria2
$ aria2c "$testurl"

Download a file with 4 single connections from a single source. -x is used to set the number of connections and -k is used to specify the chunk size.

$ aria2c -x4 -k1M "$testurl"

Download files listed in a text file (-i) with a max of 2 concurrent downloads (-j).

$ aria2c -i listfile -j2

Throttle download speed per download

$ aria2c --max-download-limit=1M $testurl

Throttle overall download speed

$ aria2c --max-overall-download-limit=1M $testurl