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gnunet-download - a command line interface for downloading files from GNUnet


gnunet-download [OPTIONS] -- GNUNET_URI


Download files from GNUnet.

-a LEVEL, --anonymity=LEVEL
set desired level of receiver anonymity. Default is 1.

use config file (defaults: ~/.config/gnunet.conf)

-D, --delete-incomplete
causes gnunet-download to delete incomplete downloads when aborted with CTRL-C.
Note that complete files that are part of an incomplete recursive download will not
be deleted even with this option. Without this option, terminating gnunet-download
with a signal will cause incomplete downloads to stay on disk. If gnunet-download
runs to (normal) completion finishing the download, this option has no effect.

-h, --help
print help page

Change the loglevel. Possible values for LOGLEVEL are ERROR, WARNING, INFO and

-n, --no-network
Only search locally, do not forward requests to other peers.

write the file to FILENAME. Hint: when recursively downloading a directory, append
a '/' to the end of the FILENAME to create a directory of that name. If no
FILENAME is specified, gnunet-download constructs a temporary ID from the URI of
the file. The final filename is constructed based on meta-data extracted using
libextractor (if available).

-p DOWNLOADS, --parallelism=DOWNLOADS
set the maximum number of parallel downloads that is allowed. More parallel
downloads can, to some extent, improve the overall time to download content.
However, parallel downloads also take more memory (see also option -r which can be
used to limit memory utilization) and more sockets. This option is used to limit
the number of files that are downloaded in parallel (-r can be used to limit the
number of blocks that are concurrently requested). As a result, the value only
matters for recursive downloads. The default value is 32.

-r REQUESTS, --request-parallelism=REQUESTS
set the maximum number of parallel requests that is allowed. If multiple files are
downloaded, gnunet-download will not run them in parallel if this would cause the
number of pending requests to possibly exceed the given value. This is useful
since, for example, downloading dozens of multi-gigabyte files in parallel could
exhaust memory resources and would hardly improve performance. Note that the
limit only applies to this specific process and that other download activities by
other processes are not included in this limit. Consider raising this limit for
large recursive downloads with many large files if memory and network bandwidth are
not fully utilized and if the parallelism limit (-p option) is not reached. This
option also only matters for recursive downloads. The default value is 4092.

-R, --recursive
download directories recursively (and in parallel); note that the URI must belong
to a GNUnet directory and that the filename given must end with a '/' -- otherwise,
only the file corresponding to the URI will be downloaded. Note that in addition
to using '-R', you must also specify a filename ending in '.gnd' so that the code
realizes that the top-level file is a directory (since we have no meta data).

-v, --version
print the version number

-V, --verbose
print progress information


The GNUNET_URI is typically obtained from gnunet-search. gnunet-fs-gtk can also be used
instead of gnunet-download. If you ever have to abort a download, you can at any time
continue it by re-issuing gnunet-download with the same filename. In that case GNUnet will
not download blocks again that are already present. GNUnet's file-encoding will ensure
file integrity, even if the existing file was not downloaded from GNUnet in the first
place. Temporary information will be appended to the target file until the download is


The -a option can be used to specify additional anonymity constraints. If set to 0, GNUnet
will try to download the file as fast as possible, including using non-anonymous methods.
If you set it to 1 (default), you use the standard anonymous routing algorithm (which does
not explicitly leak your identity). However, a powerful adversary may still be able to
perform traffic analysis (statistics) to over time infer data about your identity. You
can gain better privacy by specifying a higher level of anonymity, which increases the
amount of cover traffic your own traffic will get, at the expense of performance. Note
that your download performance is not only determined by your own anonymity level, but
also by the anonymity level of the peers publishing the file. So even if you download
with anonymity level 0, the peers publishing the data might be sharing with a higher
anonymity level, which in this case will determine performance. Also, peers that cache
content in the network always use anonymity level 1.

This option can be used to limit requests further than that. In particular, you can
require GNUnet to receive certain amounts of traffic from other peers before sending your
queries. This way, you can gain very high levels of anonymity - at the expense of much
more traffic and much higher latency. So set it only if you really believe you need it.

The definition of ANONYMITY-RECEIVE is the following. 0 means no anonymity is required.
Otherwise a value of 'v' means that 1 out of v bytes of "anonymous" traffic can be from
the local user, leaving 'v-1' bytes of cover traffic per byte on the wire. Thus, if
GNUnet routes n bytes of messages from foreign peers (using anonymous routing), it may
originate n/(v-1) bytes of queries in the same time-period. The time-period is twice the
average delay that GNUnet defers forwarded queries.

The default is 1 and this should be fine for most users. Also notice that if you choose
very large values, you may end up having no throughput at all, especially if many of your
fellow GNUnet-peers all do the same.

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