Did you know you can easily download plugins from Magento Connect without using the (terrifying) Magento Connect Downloader?
Well yes, you can! Magento has a bash script named “pear” that will allow you to interact with Magento’s Pear repositories. The script is found in your Magento base dir. For this post I’ll assume your base magento install directory is “magento/”
$ cd magento/ $ chmod u+x pear $ ./pear download [Connect 1.0 Key]
If you get an error stating something like ‘unknown channel “magento-community”‘ then your Magento Pear settings are not properly initialized. Run the following commands:
$ chmod -R 777 lib/pear $ ./mage-setup ## this may result in a metric buttload of PHP warnings if you're running PHP 5.3.
Now try your download again.