libaria2: C++ library interface to aria2


The API has not been frozen yet. It will be changed on the course of the development.

The libaria2 is a C++ library and offers the core functionality of aria2. The library takes care of all networking and downloading stuff, so its usage is very straight forward right now. See the following Tutorial section to see how to use API.


This section is a step by step guide to create a program to download files using libaria2. The complete source is located at in examples directory.

The libaria2ex program takes one or more URIs and downloads each of them in parallel. The usage is:

Usage: libaria2ex URI [URI...]

  Download given URIs in parallel in the current directory.

The source code uses C++11 features, so C++11 enabled compiler is required. GCC 4.7 works well here.

OK, let's look into the source code. First, include aria2.h header file:

#include <aria2/aria2.h>

Skip to the main() function. After checking command-line arguments, we initialize libaria2:


And create aria2 session object:

aria2::Session* session;
// Create default configuration. The libaria2 takes care of signal
// handling.
aria2::SessionConfig config;
// Add event callback
config.downloadEventCallback = downloadEventCallback;
session = aria2::sessionNew(aria2::KeyVals(), config);

Session session is an aria2 session object. You need this object through out the download process. Please keep in mind that only one Session object can be allowed per process due to the heavy use of static objects in aria2 code base. Session object is not safe for concurrent accesses from multiple threads. It must be used from one thread at a time. In general, libaria2 is not entirely thread-safe. SessionConfig config holds configuration for the session object. The constructor initializes it with the default values. In this setup, SessionConfig::keepRunning is false which means run() returns when all downloads are processed, just like aria2c utility without RPC enabled. And SessionConfig::useSignalHandler is true, which means libaria2 will setup signal handlers and catches certain signals to halt download process gracefully. We also setup event handler callback function downloadEventCallback. It will be called when an event occurred such as download is started, completed, etc. In this example program, we handle 2 events: download completion and error. For each event, we print the GID of the download and several other information:

int downloadEventCallback(aria2::Session* session, aria2::DownloadEvent event,
                          const aria2::A2Gid& gid, void* userData)
  switch(event) {
    std::cerr << "COMPLETE";
    std::cerr << "ERROR";
    return 0;
  std::cerr << " [" << aria2::gidToHex(gid) << "] ";

The userData object is specified by SessionConfig::userData. In this example, we don't specify it, so it is nullptr.

The first argument to sessionNew() is aria2::KeyVals(). This type is used in API to specify vector of key/value pairs, mostly representing aria2 options. For example, specify an option file-allocation to none:

aria2::KeyVals options;
options.push_back(std::pair<std::string, std::string> ("file-allocation", "none"));

The first argument of sessionNew() is analogous to the command-line argument to aria2c program. In the example program, we provide no options, so just pass empty vector.

After the creation of session object, let's add downloads given in the command-line:

// Add download item to session
for(int i = 1; i < argc; ++i) {
  std::vector<std::string> uris = {argv[i]};
  aria2::KeyVals options;
  rv = aria2::addUri(session, nullptr, uris, options);
  if(rv < 0) {
    std::cerr << "Failed to add download " << uris[0] << std::endl;

We iterate command-line arguments and add each of them as a separate download. addUri() can take one or more URIs to download several sources, just like aria2c does, but in this example, we just give just one URI. We provide no particular option for the download, so pass the empty vector as options. The second argument of addUri() takes a pointer to A2Gid. If it is not NULL, the function assigns the GID of the new download to it. In this example code, we have no interest for it, so just pass nullptr.

We have set up everything at this stage. So let's start download. To perform the download, call run() repeatedly until it returns the value other than 1:

for(;;) {
  rv = aria2::run(session, aria2::RUN_ONCE);
  if(rv != 1) {

Here, we call run() with RUN_ONCE. It means run() returns after one event polling and its action handling or polling timeout (which is approximately 1 second). If run() returns 1, it means the download is in progress and the application must call it again. If it returns 0, then no download is left (or it is stopped by signal handler or shutdown()). If the function catches error, it returns -1. The good point of using RUN_ONCE is that the application can use libaria2 API when run() returns. In the example program, we print the progress of the download in every no less than 500 millisecond:

// Print progress information once per 500ms
if(count >= 500) {
  start = now;
  aria2::GlobalStat gstat = aria2::getGlobalStat(session);
  std::cerr << "Overall #Active:" << gstat.numActive
            << " #waiting:" << gstat.numWaiting
            << " D:" << gstat.downloadSpeed/1024 << "KiB/s"
            << " U:"<< gstat.uploadSpeed/1024 << "KiB/s " << std::endl;
  std::vector<aria2::A2Gid> gids = aria2::getActiveDownload(session);
  for(const auto& gid : gids) {
    aria2::DownloadHandle* dh = aria2::getDownloadHandle(session, gid);
    if(dh) {
      std::cerr << "    [" << aria2::gidToHex(gid) << "] "
                << dh->getCompletedLength() << "/"
                << dh->getTotalLength() << "("
                << (dh->getTotalLength() > 0 ?
                    : 0) << "%)"
                << " D:"
                << dh->getDownloadSpeed()/1024 << "KiB/s, U:"
                << dh->getUploadSpeed()/1024 << "KiB/s"
                << std::endl;

We first call getGlobalStat() function to get global statistics of the downloads. Then, call getActiveDownload() function to get the vector of active download's GID. For each GID, we retrieve DownloadHandle object using getDownloadHandle() function and get detailed information. Please don't forget to delete DownloadHandle after the use and before the next call of run(). Keep in mind that the life time of DownloadHandle object is before the next call of run() function.

After the loop, finalize download calling sessionFinal() function and call libraryDeinit() to release resources for the library:

rv = aria2::sessionFinal(session);
return rv;

Calling sessionFinal() is important because it performs post-download action, including saving sessions and destroys session object. So failing to call this function will lead to lose the download progress and memory leak. The sessionFinal() returns the code defined in EXIT STATUS. aria2c program also returns the same value as exist status, so do the same in this tiny example program.

See also which uses wx GUI component as UI and use background thread to run download.

API Reference

To use the API function, include aria2/aria2.h:

#include <aria2/aria2.h>

All enums, types and functions are under aria2 namespace. To link with libaria2, use linker flag -laria2.