I am Hack Sparrow
Captain of the Internets.

Sourceforge download does not start – Force it anyway

How to force file download from a slow Sourceforge

It is common experience that Sourceforge downloads are frequently slow as hell. Whatever may be the cause, most of the time one can bear the slow download, but when the download itself doesn't start you have a big problem. You click the download link and all you get is an infinitely busy browser - the server never times out, but your download doesn't start either.

Solution: Install an ad blocking extension for your browser or disable JavaScript temporarily.

If you try downloading now, you will find that the download starts, although it may be very very slow. Hey but atleast you can download now!

Wasn't that a strange and seemingly unrelated solution to Sourceforge's download not starting? So how did it fix the problem? Let's analyze the fix.

Sourceforge uses HTTP meta refresh to send the actual binary download from the download page. In the download page it displays ads. The HTTP meta refresh won't happen unless everything on the download page is loaded - including the ads! By using an ad blocker or disabling JavaScript, we bypass the ads and facilitate the HTTP meta refresh to happen.

Non-starting of downloads is most definitely caused by problem in loading the ads. If you see your browser stuck at "Waiting for ad.doubleclick.net...", you can be sure the problem is caused by ads, and the above solution will work.

I am not sure if it is intentional but the current ads and download policy on sourceforge.net seems to say "If you don't view our ads, you can't download nothing!". It's ok, we can hack our way out.

On a side note, Sourceforge is slow as hell, developers should consider moving their projects to GitHub.

Make a Comment