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Download Managers - Start Your Engines!

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#1 wizardfromoz


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Posted 30 January 2015 - 01:43 AM

I had been thinking about this subject for some time, and then a query at a Zorin Topic galvanised me into action (thanks heyyou325).


The installation of a Linux Distribution (distro) pivots around, in the first instance, the successful download of a .iso file (aka ISO), which is not unlike a Windows CAB/.cab file, a ZIP/.zip file, &c. In other words, it is a file containing compressed data, which, when expanded or unrolled or decompressed, will result in a much more capacious outcome, in the case of a distro, not just an application, but an entire Operating System (OS).


To install Linux, we cannot just double-click a setup.exe file that self-extracts, or else links to a website to download and install live. We have to download an iso (called this, hereon), then burn (not just copy) to CD/DVD or USB stick, ie removable media, then reboot the computer with that medium inserted, manipulate the startup menu of the computer to boot from the medium, and then go through the install process.


Some of this resembles a Windows clean install or re-install, using a self-booting DVD utilising a .ini file called "autorun". The rest of it seems tedious. But this tedium plays a part in the "chain of custody" that helps safeguard the integrity and security for which Linux is renowned. That is a subject for another Topic.


Linux isos are typically 1 - 2 GB in size, some larger, some smaller. Once the install expansion process is completed, the resulting OS is typically 6 - 8 GB in size, before you start adding any additional packages from your distro's repositories or from elsewhere. To give you an example, I installed, a few days ago, PeachOSI BB (Bare Bones) 32-bit version, to my wife's laptop. The iso was 1.0GB, and once installed took up 6.0GB. Modest in size compared to Windows installs.


But once we are talking 1 - 2 GB file downloads we are talking about a considerably-sized download, and the time taken on this can be a factor of interest to the User. This time taken can be affected or influenced by:


  • Internet connection speed through your ISP
  • The specs including RAM, of your computer
  • Other factors

I can't solve your problems, here, of the first two, but I CAN give you a little help on two items that may help considerably:


  1. Download Managers and
  2. Mirrors

This first Topic will deal with Download Managers. We will commence in the first instance, with DownThemAll! - an Extension that can be downloaded and installed into Firefox with just a couple of clicks. This applies to both Firefox under Linux, and under Windows. It has been chosen because Firefox is the most commonly-shipped browser with Linux distros.


The second one I will look at will be Xtreme Download Manager. Prior to starting this Topic, I performed an in-site Search under "download manager", to see if I was duplicating an existing Topic. I wasn't, but the search revealed this option at #2287 page 153, in 2013, of where else but rburkartjo's wonderful cheesemaker's-linux corner.


Stay tuned, and I will be back with more!


:wizardball: Wizard

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