See http://axel.alioth.debian.org/ for Axel's new home. Giridhar Appaji Nag Y will take over Axel development from me. I don't use the program myself anymore for ages, so I'm sure he'll be a better maintainer than I was.
Axel does the same thing any other accelerator does: it opens more than one HTTP/FTP connection per download and each connection transfers its own, separate, part of the file. It may sound weird, but it works very well in practice. For example, some FTP sites limit the speed of each connection, therefore opening more than one connection at a time multiplies the allowable bandwidth. Be forewarned that some FTP operators don't like it when you do this. It is better to open the additional connections on several servers and download from all of them simultaneously. Axel >=0.97 supports this. You may either specify a list of mirrors to use or tell the program to search for mirrors.
The difference between Axel and other (mostly Windows-based) accelerators is that it does not write data to separate files and join them later. Axel puts all the data in the right file, in the right order, at download time. This is possible, because most Unix file systems allow you to write data after the end-of-file. Axel is console-based and uses few system resources.
- The program should work on all Linux systems, as far as I know.
- Mac OS X is supported as well. You can compile your own binary from sources or you can use the version which is in Fink.
- At least FreeBSD should work, other BSD's shouldn't be much of a problem either.
- Win32 systems, using Cygwin.
- Sun Solaris 8 and probably other versions.
- The old 0.96 version can be compiled without threading, which allows you to compile the program for AtheOS. I will try to port the more recent 0.99 version to this system as well. Because AtheOS has its own threads API, it might take some time.
Current version: Axel 1.0b
If you really want a non-threaded version, you can download the 0.96b version instead. It's not really supported anymore, but it might be useful on systems which don't support pthreads.
- Version 1.0b brings you:
- Besides a security fix, not much.
- Version 1.0a brings you:
- Support for downloading using more than one local interface
- An alternative scp-alike progress indicator
- HTTP URL handling improved (% escapes)
- Fixed problems with downloading forwarding HTTP URL's
- Version 1.0 brings you:
- Support for Sun Solaris and Win32
- Updated build system
- Small reconnection bugfix
- Version 0.99 brings you:
- Improved speed limiter
- Corrected some problems with some odd FTP/HTTP servers
- Small HTTP bug from 0.99 fixed (0.99a)
- Restored internationalization support (0.99b)
- Version 0.98 brings you:
- A better-working percentage indicator. (Previous one was incorrect for larger downloads.)
- Bugfixes for some HTTP/FTP servers.
- Fixes to make it work on Darwin again.
- Version 0.97 brings you:
- A major redesign. A lot of bugs fixed. The CHANGES entry doesn't fit on my screen so I will spare you the details. And I did quite some testing this time...