W-getting Ubuntu distros

If you already have Linux installed, wget is a very useful command with which to download an updated version from the web. Since the file to be downloaded is so big, wget provides the ability to resume the download in the event that the connection is lost part way through the process.

The use of the wget command, and the problems with some Internet connections, were discussed in some detail in Exploring Linux – Part 10, Ottawa PC News, June, 2008:

“Now, obtaining the new version should be simplicity itself. Point Firefox at the Ubuntu web site, hit download, select a mirror, and wait patiently while the 699 MB ISO file is transferred. But, of course, in my Linux world, nothing is ever simple. A flaky Internet connection resulted in in the high-speed file transfer being aborted – a problem that was resolved with the wget command.”


You need to track down the path to the ISO file of interest. For example, the current version of Ubuntu 10.04, Lucid Lynx, is available from the University of Waterloo’s Computer Science Club at http://mirror.csclub.uwaterloo.ca/ubuntu-releases/lucid/. If I right-click on “PC (Intel x86) desktop CD” and “Copy link location”, I capture the string “http://mirror.csclub.uwaterloo.ca/ubuntu-releases/lucid/ubuntu-10.04.1-desktop-i386.iso” to the clipboard. The wget command to enter into Terminal is thus:

wget http://mirror.csclub.uwaterloo.ca/ubuntu-releases/lucid/ubuntu-10.04.1-desktop-i386.iso

This is a really easy way to obtain Linux distros – just set it and forget it – the file will be downloaded while you make that much-needed cup of coffee!


Introduction to GNU Wget

GNU Wget – Manual


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