Use a simple download manager – wget

(Side note: This is based loosely on a previous tutorial about getting PCLinuxOS, which was lacking some important detail and needed to be adapted to more general purposes.  This is the improved result.)

One very common operation in the GNU/Linux world is downloading of the ISO (CD or DVD image) for a given GNU/Linux distribution. Typically, this is around 650 or 700 MB – a sizable download. One of the biggest wastes of bandwidth – not to mention your time and patience – happens when an ISO download (or any other large download, for that matter) is interrupted or mysteriously quits… especially if it occurs when your download was almost complete. If you’re not using a download manager, you’re stuck downloading it all over again from the beginning.

There are a number of graphical download managers available at no cost. Ease of use varies, and importantly, so does freedom of use. That is, some of them are free/libre (also known as open source) software and some are not. The free/libre applications are safer security-wise to use on your system, since their source code is available for the public to scrutinize and ensure that they don’t do anything they shouldn’t be (such as collecting your information and sending it to someone without your knowledge or permission.) But the simplest one of all, in my opinion, is wget from the GNU Project, a well-trusted organization dedicated to producing and promoting free/libre software.  It is safe and also very simple to use, even for those who are scared of the command prompt. There are no unnecessary frills, nag screens, advertisements, registration forms, restrictions, or user agreements in legalese.  It comes with your GNU/Linux distribution and is almost always installed by default.  That makes it very convenient to use.

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PCLinuxOS 2009 is out! Here’s how to get it.

I’ve been taking it for a test drive and it’s awesome!  It’s a beautiful operating system in both form and function.  More than ever, things just work.

You might want to use wget or a download manager, so that if your connection is interrupted it will retry instead of just failing and quitting.   For example, you can use:

wget -c http://ftp.jaist.ac.jp/pub/Linux/PCLinuxOS/live-cd/english/preview/pclinuxos-2009.1.iso

The -c option tells wget to resume getting a partially-downloaded file.  There is also a download page with a list of mirrors – but before you rush over to download it, be advised that the ibiblio server is used to update the mirrors and should not be used.  Here’s the link.

To use wget as I have above, but with a different mirror, use your browser to go to the link above and browse to the location of the ISO you want.  Right click the ISO name and select Copy Link Location. Now open a terminal window, type wget and paste the URL in by holding down the <shift> key and tapping <insert>.  Hit <enter> and it will download to whatever directory you’re in.

There is also a torrent here.

In the spirit of community, you should keep your torrent program open for a while after your download is complete, to help others get the file too.

For convenience’s sake, and for load-balancing purposes, I’ve composed a list of wget commands for other servers. You can copy one of these lines and paste it into a terminal window and it should download for you:

PCLinuxOS 2009.1

wget -c http://ftp.sh.cvut.cz/MIRRORS/pclinuxos/live-cd/english/preview/pclinuxos-2009.1.iso

wget -c http://ftp.heanet.ie/pub/pclinuxos/live-cd/english/preview/pclinuxos-2009.1.iso

wget -c http://ftp.nl.freebsd.org/os/Linux/distr/texstar/pclinuxos/live-cd/english/preview/pclinuxos-2009.1.iso

wget -c http://ftp.jaist.ac.jp/pub/Linux/PCLinuxOS/live-cd/english/preview/pclinuxos-2009.1.iso

wget -c ftp://ftp.pbone.net/pub/pclinuxos/live-cd/english/preview/pclinuxos-2009.1.iso

wget -c ftp://na.mirror.garr.it/mirrors/pclinuxos/live-cd/english/preview/pclinuxos-2009.1.iso

wget -c http://mirrors.lastdot.org:1280/pclos/live-cd/english/preview/pclinuxos-2009.1.iso

PCLinuxOS Gnome 2009.1

wget -c http://ftp.sh.cvut.cz/MIRRORS/pclinuxos/live-cd/english/preview/pclinuxos-gnome-2009.1.iso

wget -c http://ftp.heanet.ie/pub/pclinuxos/live-cd/english/preview/pclinuxos-gnome-2009.1.iso

wget -c http://ftp.nl.freebsd.org/os/Linux/distr/texstar/pclinuxos/live-cd/english/preview/pclinuxos-gnome-2009.1.iso

wget -c http://ftp.jaist.ac.jp/pub/Linux/PCLinuxOS/live-cd/english/preview/pclinuxos-gnome-2009.1.iso

wget -c ftp://ftp.pbone.net/pub/pclinuxos/live-cd/english/preview/pclinuxos-gnome-2009.1.iso

wget -c ftp://na.mirror.garr.it/mirrors/pclinuxos/live-cd/english/preview/pclinuxos-gnome-2009.1.iso

wget -c http://mirrors.lastdot.org:1280/pclos/live-cd/english/preview/pclinuxos-gnome-2009.1.iso

Now don’t forget to use checksums to verify that the ISO downloaded correctly and that the CD burned properly!  It’s worth the headaches it saves.  I have a tutorial on it here.

Have fun!

Ω