Varia is a new, open-source download manager for Linux based on Aria2, a powerful command-line download utility.
As the user interface is built with GTK 4 and libadwaita, Varia looks perfectly in-keeping with other modern GTK apps Ubuntu offers:
Of course, it’s 2023 and we all (apparently) live in a world of blazing fast internet connections, where giant files download in seconds, and everything else gets streamed or accessed on-demand.
Are dedicated desktop download managers still useful?
If you need to download a large file over an unreliable internet connection (or if your computer dies mid-way through said transfer) most download managers let you resume interrupted downloads. This saves time and bandwidth, and keeps cortisol levels nice a low.
I used Varia to download Ubuntu 23.10 for my Raspberry Pi 5 — which was delivered today, after a fair delay #humblebrag — and intentionally powered my laptop off midway through. Sure enough, when I opened Varia after logging back in, it picked up where it left off and completed the download.
Admittedly, most web browsers do have pretty decent download management features built-in thesedays, but I don’t find them as reliable as dedicated tools, and the Aria2 backend that powers Varia (hence its name) is tailored made for the task.
Varia Download Manager is *Super* New
However, because Varia is a brand new app (it only put out its first release this week) the feature set is a little sparse:
- Add URLs to download
- Download up to 5 files at the same time
- Pause or cancel active downloads (individually or all)
- Resume incomplete downloads on launch
- Total download speed shown in header bar
But for a first release, the basics are covered.
I don’t think adding advanced features from Linux download managers like uGet is necessary, but a few of the more universally-useful ones would be nice, such as setting a download speed limit and being able to prioritise downloads/reorder the queue.
Anyway, if you’ve been pining for a modern-looking, dedicated download manage to use on Ubuntu, give Varia a try.
• Get Varia on Flathub