Graphical user interface (GUI) for bulk downloading run/analysis files from ENA via FTP.
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ENA File Downloader version 1.2

Graphical user interface (GUI) for bulk downloading of run/analysis files from ENA via FTP or Aspera.


Copyright 2017 EMBL - European Bioinformatics Institute Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at: Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.


Not including the runtime

Download the latest release (ena-file-downloader-v1.2.2.jar file) from the Releases section of the GitHub project and save it to a location of your choice. The file is an executable jar which contains all dependencies, except for the Java runtime.


Requires Java 8 runtime environment.

Note for OpenJDK users (If you have Oracle Java, please ignore this)

Please note that this application is written using JavaFX and requires the JavaFX libraries to be available in your Java runtime. If your installation of OpenJDK does not include the JavaFX libraries by default, you would either need to install the OpenJFX libraries using

sudo apt-get install openjfx

(or the equivalent for your Operating System) ,


install and use the Oracle Java runtime


Download an artifact which includes the Oracle java runtime as described below.


The jar is an executable file. In Windows you should be able to run it via a double-click. Alternatively, on all platforms you can use the command line:

java -jar [path-to-file]/ena-file-downloader-[version].jar

Including the runtime

Some users using Linux with OpenJDK have reported that installing openjfx is not an option or is not working for them. Therefor we have made available packages which include the Oracle java runtime.

Please download the file and extract it. Then double-click on the ena-file-downloader-v1.2.2 file to run.

Or download and install the .deb or .rpm package that suits your environment.


yum install
to show where the app is installed: rpm -ql -ena-file-downloader-vxxx
the app usually installs into /opt dir and a shortcut is added to the app menu.


dpkg -i
to show where the app is installed: dpkg -L ena-file-downloader-vxxx
the app usually installs into /opt dir and a shortcut is added to the app menu.

Search Window


Choose how to download file. Options are FTP (default) and Aspera. If you select Aspera, a panel will open where you can enter the paths to your Aspera Connect client installation. If you choose to "Save Settings", a file containing the entered configuration will be created in the same location as the ena-file-downloader jar. If the File Downloader finds such a saved configuration file, it will load the settings on start.

Download By Accession

Enter a valid study, project, run, experiment, analysis, submission or sample accession into the Accession field and click Search. The Results window will be loaded with the available files in Fastq, Submitted or SRA types (one tab for each type).

Download By Report File

Click the Load Report File button to select a previously generated report file. The file will be parsed and the available file data will be listed in the Results window.


  1. The report file is a plain text file with the contents in Tab Separated fomat

  2. The report file must contain the column headers

  3. The report file should contain at least one of the following file URL columns, depending on the download method.

For FTP Downloads

  • fastq_ftp
  • submitted_ftp
  • sra_ftp

For Aspera Downloads

  • fastq_aspera
  • submitted_aspera
  • sra_aspera
  1. Additionally, we recommend that when you generate the report file you include the support columns for whichever file type/s you want to download. Note that if these columns are not available in the report, the File Downloader will not be able to display progress bars and do file integrity checks.
  • [format]_bytes : The length of the file in bytes. Allows the Downloader to track how much space is required for the download and to show the download progress for each file.
  • [format]_md5 : The MD5 checksum of the file. Allows the Downloader to calculate the MD5 checksum of the file after downloading it and compare it to the original MD5 to verify that the file has been downloaded without errors.


  • fastq_bytes
  • fastq_md5
  • submitted_bytes
  • submitted_md5
  • sra_bytes
  • sra_md5

Note: The order of the columns in the report file is insignificant.

Download By Search

Type in a query string, choose the required file type and click "Portal Search" to perform a Warehouse search against ENA Portal API

Results Window

Local Download Folder

In order to download your files you must select a location on your file system which you have write access to. You can either use the "Browse" button to select your download directory or manually enter a path into the text field. If the provided directory does not exist, the Downloader will attempt to create it for you. The total size of the files selected for downloading will be calculated and there will be a local filesystem check to ensure there is enough free space. If there isn't sufficient space, the download will not begin and an error message will be displayed.

Note: remember that if you are using the report file option and have failed to include they file size columns, this pre-download capacity check will not be performed.

Create subfolders per accession

Check this checkbox to create a subfolder for each unique accession under the save location selected above. Files belonging to a given accession will be saved in the subfolder for said accession.

Remote Files

The available files are separated into three tabs, based on the file type: FASTQ, submitted, SRA. If there are no files available of a given type, the corresponding tab will be disabled.

To download the required files, indidually select the files of interest, or use the "Select All" button. The files will start downloading as soon as you click on "Start Download". You can stop the download at any time, and if you choose to restart it, it will continue from the point it was paused.

Note: Download only acts on the files selected in the current tab. To download files in a different tab, please wait for the current downloads to complete.

If a file you've selected for downloading already exists in the selected download directory, and if the MD5 information for the file is available the Downloader will compute the MD5 checksum of the existing file and compare it against the target MD5. If the MD5 is verified, the Downloader will mark the file as successfully downloaded and move on, if not it will re-download the file.

Error Handling

In case of a failed/partial download, the Downloader will attempt to clean up any remnants. It is recommended that you ensure the file download destination is cleaned of any partial files before you re-attempt downloads.

Should you have any problems please contact us at with "File Downloader problem" in the subject line.


Uses for packaging Oracle JDK runtime for OpenJDK users on Linux. Run the jfxNative task to generate .deb & .rpm pacakges in build/pacakges/native folder.