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Ismael Luceno fcf60e10dc doc: Fix manpage reproducibility issue 3 weeks ago
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INSTALL Updated the INSTALL file 3 years ago Makefile: Convert doc/ to Automake 1 month ago
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acinclude.m4 po: Fix errors due to missing mkinstalldirs 1 month ago configure: Require gettext 0.11.1 1 month ago


Axel - Lightweight CLI download accelerator

1. Help this project

Axel needs your help. If you are a programmer and if you wants to help a nice project, this is your opportunity.

Axel was imported from its old repository1 to GitHub (the original homepage and developers are inactive).

If you are interested to help Axel, read the file.

Additionally, there is a group to discuss and to coordinate the development process3. You can also find other developers in the #axel channel on freenode.

2. What is Axel?

Axel tries to accelerate the download process by using multiple connections per file, and can also balance the load between different servers.

Axel tries to be as light as possible, so it might be useful on byte-critical systems.

Axel supports HTTP, HTTPS, FTP and FTPS protocols.

Axel was originally developed by Wilmer van der Gaast. Thanks for your efforts. Over time, Axel got several contributions from people. Please, see AUTHORS and CREDITS files in source code.

Building from source

Release tarballs contain a pre-generated buildsystem, but if you need to edit/patch it, or you’re building from a copy of the repository, then you may need to run autoreconf -i to generate it. Further instructions are provided in the INSTALL file. The basic actions for most users are:

./configure && make && make install

To build without SSL/TLS support, use ./configure --without-ssl.

Dependencies for release tarballs

  • gettext (or gettext-tiny)
  • pkg-config


  • libssl (OpenSSL, LibreSSL or compatible) -- for SSL/TLS support.

Extra dependencies for building from snapshots

  • autoconf-archive
  • autoconf
  • automake
  • autopoint
  • txt2man

Building on Ubuntu from Git


  • build-essential
  • autoconf
  • autoconf-archive
  • automake
  • autopoint
  • gettext
  • libssl-dev
  • pkg-config

Build instructions

$ autoreconf -fiv
$ ./configure && make && sudo make install

Mac OS X

Install with Homebrew

brew install axel


Install the following homebrew packages:

brew install autoconf-archive automake gettext openssl

You’ll need to provide some extra options to autotools so it can find gettext and openssl.


autoreconf -fiv -I$GETTEXT/share/aclocal/

CFLAGS="-I$GETTEXT/include -I$OPENSSL/include" \
LDFLAGS=-L$GETTEXT/lib ./configure

You can just run make as usual after these steps.


Axel is under GPL-2+ with OpenSSL exception.