Every browser can download files, and for small files this is fine. If you’re downloading a large file however, your browser may not be the right tool for the job. You might restart your browser, or your browser may crash, causing you to lose all progress on your file. With your browser’s downloading tool the result is a download you need to restart, wasting precious bandwidth.
This is when download managers come in handy. These programs handle large downloads so your browser doesn’t have to, and SteadyFlow is a download manager for Linux that tries to stay out of your way.
Clean, Usable Interface
Fire up SteadyFlow and you’ll quickly see a very clean window:
Here you can see your current downloads. You can also add and remove downloads, and pause downloads in progress. If this seems simple, that’s because it is; that’s part of the point of this program. Close the SteadyFlow window and it will continue its progress in the system tray. You’ll even get notifications when a download is done.
Preferences are kept simple, but there are a few things you can do. For example, you can tell the software where to put your downloads and what to do when a file is completely finished.
Close SteadyFlow and it will remember where it left off.
You can download a very simple Chrome plugin for SteadyFlow, if you wish. This add a new menu option when you right-click a file.
Click this button and you’ll be shown a couple of options.
Set where you want the file to go and what you want to have happen when it’s done. Then get back to browsing, knowing your download is running outside of your browser session.
Ready to install SteadyFlow? Doing so in Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based variants is easy; just add the SteadyFlow PPA to your installation and install the “steadyflow” package. The simplest way to do this is with the command line and these three commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:sikon/steadyflow sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install steadyflow
Users of other Linux distros will have to settle for source code for now; find it at the SteadyFlow Launchpad page to get started. If you’re not sure how to compile software you may be out of luck; sorry about that.
More To Come
Of course, there’s a good chance SteadyFlow will be in your distro’s package manager very soon. There are also certain to be many improvements to SteadyFlow, which I’m excited about: this is already a very useful piece of software.
Know of something better? Share it in the comments below, along with your thoughts about SteadyFlow. Oh, and if you’re not a Linux user, check out these alternative download managers for Windows and Mac OS X: