How to Use Raspberry Pi as a Standalone Download Manager

Downloading large files is very risky, especially if you have an unreliable internet connection. While there are ways to avoid interrupting the boot process (for example, leaving your laptop or desktop computer on for an extended period of time), they won’t solve your boot speed problems.

For large files, downloading may take too long. In many cases this takes all night. This means that you need to stay awake to monitor the progress and make sure that the download progress, however slow, is not interrupted.

Just thinking about all the steps and preventative measures you need to take is exhausting. Fortunately, this problem is not without solution.

You can trust the Raspberry Pi for your downloads because it is always online. If you are not familiar with the Raspberry Pi, it is a small computer the size of a credit card that can perform many tasks. Whether it’s streaming, gaming, encoding or streaming downloads now.

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know to enjoy downloading files with your Raspberry Pi.

1. Preparation of required equipment

Here’s a list to help you gather and cross off what you already have:

  • Raspberry Pi
  • Power supply for Raspberry Pi
  • Micro SD Card for Raspberry Pi (>= 16 GB)
  • USB micro SD memory card reader
  • Network cable for Raspberry Pi or WLAN adapter
  • USB stick or external hard drive to store large files for download (optional)

2. Software preparation

If you already have the necessary hardware, it’s time to install the software. We will primarily be using DietPi to configure our Raspberry Pi, but you will also need to download the following programs:

3. DietPi adaptation

DietPi is the operating system of the Raspberry Pi, so it is very important. Before you begin configuring your DietPi, make sure it is properly installed.

Instructions on how to install DietPi can be found here:

To install DietPi

Perform steps 1 to 3.

The Raspberry Pi should then work with the DietPi system at startup. The next step is to connect the Raspberry Pi directly to a keyboard or monitor to use it. Another possibility is to connect via SSH. Simply scan your IP address with the Advanced IP Scanner software.

4. Connecting the Raspberry Pi via SSH

Not everyone will want or have an extra keyboard and monitor with which to connect a Raspberry Pi. So if you are using your home computer, you can connect via Putty. Once you have started Putty, proceed as follows:

  • Enter the IP address of your Raspberry Pi in the Host name line.
  • Enter 22 in the field labeled Port for SSH.
  • Select SSH as the connection type
  • Enter the login details when the login screen appears.

USERNAME : root

PASSWORD : dietpi

  • Wait for the update to complete
  • When another pop-up window appears on the screen, choose the option that suits you best. Then just confirm the following steps until you get to the very last pop-up window.

5. Install the download management tool

After all the above steps, your Raspberry Pi is now properly installed and ready to use. Now it’s time to install and configure our boot manager, Aria 2.

  • To get started, use Putty again, find the Software Optimized category and select Aria2 from the list that appears.
  • Click Install and wait for the download and installation process to complete.

Now the installation can be completed, but there are still a few things we need to do to configure Aria2 properly.

  • After installation, download the additional files from this link: BitTorrent and download tools
  • Open the Aria2 web interface here: http:///aria2/docs
  • Click Settings, then select Connection Settings from the drop-down menu.
  • Enter your DietPi password in the Enter Secret Token tab at the bottom of the window.
  • Then you can continue with the download.

6. Download

In the tabs at the top of the Aria2 window, you will see a drop down menu for Add. There are three options, but choose the very first one – By URL. If you select this option, you can only download via links. Best of all, you can upload multiple files by adding multiple links.

An empty field will appear where you can paste all your URLs for the download. When you are satisfied, just click the Start button below the field.

Making the changes permanent

One problem you may encounter is that your settings are reset the next time you use Aria2. This is because you have rebooted the Raspberry Pi, which is an inevitable step.  However, there is a way to save the changes forever. You only need to make changes in your Aria2 configuration file.

To do this, open Putty and enter the following command: systemctl stop aria2. This is done to temporarily stop the working of Aria2. You can then enter this command on Putty: [email protected]:~# nano/mnt/dietpi_userdata/aria2/aria2.conf

The text list reappears in the window.  Search for #RPC and verify that the settings are correct.  Once you have made all the changes, you can press CTRL + X to confirm your changes. You can then restart Aria2 by executing the following command: systemctl start aria2

All changes are permanently saved! You don’t have to worry about configuring and setting up Aria2 every time you reboot your Raspberry Pi.

Managing uploaded files

Where are our files stored after downloading? Like every download manager, Aria2 comes with a predefined download folder. The question is whether you can access it from your local system. Don’t worry, because there are two ways to do this:

  • Install a file server, such as. B. FileZilla, which allows your downloads to be accessed by any system connected to your local network.
  • Use an external hard drive or USB stick to save the downloaded files, and then just copy them to your PC.

If you want to use a file server, although we have given the example of FileZilla, it is still best to choose one that suits you. Fortunately, here we have a ready-made list for you to choose from: File server

However, if you want to save the files to a portable hard drive or USB stick, you need to format them in NTFS or FAT32 so that you can use them later in a Windows system. Follow the steps below to do this:

  • Connect the USB key to the Raspberry Pi.
  • Start the DietPi launcher by typing [email protected]:~#dietpi-launcher
  • When the window appears, select DietPi-Drive_Manager from the list.
  • Then you will see two options: sda and sdb. The first stands for SD card and the second for USB.
  • Mount the sdb device by selecting sdb and pressing mount.
  • Select a snap point. You can follow the system’s recommendations or choose your own path, which is easier to remember. Make sure no other devices are connected to the path you have selected.
  • When your USB device is attached you can open Aria2 and paste the path you selected in the Dir panel.
  • Click on Save Settings.

That’s it! It’s done! After following all the above steps, you can now enjoy a smooth and efficient download from your Raspberry Pi.

Check out the full and detailed guide on using the Raspberry Pi as a download manager, or visit the Train Your Skills website for more tips and advice on optimizing your Raspberry Pi and other technology tutorials.

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