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:

Varia download manager for Linux
Varia’s first release running in Fedora 39

Of course, it’s 2023 and we all (apparently) live in a world of blazing fast internet connections, where giant files download via web browsers in seconds, and anything else we need can be 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) download managers let you resume interrupted downloads. This saves time and bandwidth, and help keep your cortisol levels nice and low 😉.

I tested this in Varia by downloading Ubuntu 23.10 for my Raspberry Pi 5. I intentionally powered my laptop off midway through the transfer. Sure enough, when I opened Varia after logging back in, the app picked up where things had left off, completing the download.

Admittedly, most web browsers have decent download management features built-in. Even so, I don’t find them as reliable as dedicated tools, and the Aria2 backend that powers Varia (hence its name) is tailored made for this 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

download manager

GTK Apps