Downloading Ubuntu Metalinks with aria2c

The v9.04 Ubuntu release happened recently and as always I found myself battling to get the occasional ISO that wouldn’t come down cleanly via BitTorrent.

I thought I’d give the metalink versions a try with aria2c. Unfortunately the Ubuntu defaults to having a ‘maxconnections’ of one – which, as far as I can tell from the metalink spec, means you’ll only make 1 connection to a server (which will probably end up just being the torrent anyway, as it has the highest priority).

If you naughtily download the metalink file you can, of course, edit the resources section in the XML to be whatever maxconnections you want. I feel justified in doing this because a) I don’t think it will duly unburden the servers and b) I’m doing this to reduce the overall load by providing another mirror alternative, but morally I still feel a bit squeamish about it.

Anyway, my download speed went from like several hundred kilobytes a second via BitTorrent only to the following:

[#2 SIZE:409.6MiB/695.8MiB(58%) CN:113 SPD:5017.71KiB/s UP:18.86KiB/s(800.0KiB) ETA:58s]

So, it made 113 connections (a big chunk of them were BitTorrent ones obviously), and I ended up getting the file at around 5mbytes/sec. Nice!

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