curl Man Page – Linux

Transfer data from or to a server, using one of the protocols: HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, FTPS, SCP, SFTP, TFTP, DICT, TELNET, LDAP or FILE. (To transfer multiple files use wget or FTP.)

curl [options] [URL…]

url One or multiple URLs that will be fetched in sequence.

Multiple URLs or parts of URLs can be specified by writing part sets within braces as in:


or get sequences of alphanumeric series by using [] as in:[1-100].txt[001-100].txt (with leading zeros)[a-z].txt

-A “agent string
–user-agent “agent string
Specify the User-Agent string to send to the HTTP server.
To encode blanks in the string, surround the string with single
quote marks. This can also be set with -H, –header option. (HTTP)

-b name=data
–cookie name=data
Send the data to the HTTP server as a cookie. It is supposedly the data
previously received from the server in a “Set-Cookie:” line.
The data should be in the format “NAME1=VALUE1; NAME2=VALUE2”.

-c filename
–cookie-jar file name
Save cookies to file after a completed operation.
Curl writes all cookies previously read from a specified file
as well as all cookies received from remote server(s).
If no cookies are known, no file will be written.
TO write to stdout, set the file name to a single dash, “-”

Request a compressed response using one of the algorithms
curl supports (gzip), and save the uncompressed document.
If this option is used and the server sends an unsupported encoding,
curl will report an error.(HTTP)

-d @file
-d “string
–data “string
Send the specified data in an (HTTP) POST request, in the same way that a
web browser does.
This will pass the data using the content-type
application/x-www-form-urlencoded. Compare to -F, –form.

-d, –data is the same as –data-ascii. To post data in pure binary, use –data-binary.
To URL-encode the value of a form field you may use –data-urlencode.

Multiple date options will be merged together.
Thus, using ‘-d name=daniel -d skill=lousy’ would generate a post
that looks like ‘name=daniel&skill=lousy’.

If the data starts with @, the rest should be a filename containing the data.

-F name=@file
-F name=content
–form name=content
Emulate a filled-in form in which a user has pressed the submit button.
This will POST data using the Content-Type multipart/form-data according
to RFC 2388. This enables uploading of binary files etc.

If the data starts with @, the rest should be a filename.
To just get the content part from a file, prefix the file name with the
symbol <. The difference between @ and < is that @ makes a file get attached in the post as a file upload, while the speed Specify the maximum transfer rate. This feature is useful if you have a limited pipe and you'd like your transfer not to use your entire bandwidth. The given speed is measured in bytes/second, unless a suffix is appended. Appending 'k' or 'K' will count the number as kilobytes/sec, 'm' or M' megabytes, while 'g' or 'G' makes it gigabytes/sec. Eg: 200K, 3m, 1G. -m seconds
–max-time seconds
Maximum time that you allow the whole operation to take.
This is useful for preventing your batch jobs from hanging for hours due to
slow networks or links going down. See also the –connect-timeout option.

-o file
–output file
Write output to file instead of stdout. If you are using {} or [] to fetch
multiple documents, you can use ‘#’ followed by a number in the file specifier.
That variable will be replaced with the current string for the URL being fetched.
Like in:
curl -o “file_#1.txt”
or use several variables like:
curl https://.host[1-5].com -o “#1_#2”
You may use this option as many times as the number of URLs you have.

See also –create-dirs option to create the local directories dynamically.
Specify ‘-‘ to force the output to stdout.

Write output to a local file named like the remote file we get.
(Only the file part of the remote file is used, the path is cut off.)
The remote file name to use for saving is extracted from the given URL, nothing else.
Consequentially, the file will be saved in the current working directory.

Silent or quiet mode. Don’t show progress meter or error messages.

–trace-ascii file
Enable a full trace dump of all incoming and outgoing data, including
descriptive information, to the given output file.
Use “-” as filename to have the output sent to stdout.
This option overrides previous uses of -v, –verbose or –trace-ascii.
If this option is used several times, the last one will be used.

-T file
–upload-file file
Transfer the specified local file to the remote URL. PUT
If there is no file part in the specified URL, Curl will append the local
file name. You must use a trailing / on the last directory to really prove
to Curl that there is no file name or curl will think that the last
directory name is the remote file name to use.
Use the file name “-” to use stdin

You can specify one -T for each URL on the command line. Each -T
+ URL pair specifies what to upload and to where. curl also supports “globbing”
of the -T argument, meaning that you can upload multiple files to a single URL
like this:

curl -T “”
or even
curl -T “img[1-1000].png”

Fetch the HTTP-header only! (HTTP/FTP/FILE)
HTTP-servers feature the command HEAD which this uses to get nothing but
the header of a document. When used on an FTP or FILE file, curl displays
the file size and last modification time only.

-u user:password
–user user:password
The username and password to use for server authentication.
Overrides -n, –netrc and –netrc-optional.

If you just give the user name (without entering a colon) curl will prompt
for a password.

If you use an SSPI-enabled curl binary and do NTLM authentication, you can
force curl to pick up the username and password from your environment by
specifying a single colon with this option: “-u :”.

If this option is used several times, the last one will be used.

–write-out format
Define extra info to display on stdout after a completed and successful operation.
The format is a string that may contain plain text mixed with any
number of variables. The format string can be specified as “string“, or to
read from a file specify “@filename”
to read the format from stdin use “@-“.

Various variables may be included in the format and will be substituted by
curl (file size, ip address etc see man curl for details).
variables are specified as %{variable_name}

Output a newline using n, a carriage return with r and a tab space with t.

-x host:port
-x [protocol://][user:password@]proxyhost[:port]
–proxy [protocol://][user:password@]proxyhost[:port]
Use the specified HTTP proxy.
If the port number is not specified, it is assumed at port 1080.

-H “name: value
–header “name: value
Add Header when getting a web page.
You may specify any number of extra headers.

-H “name:”
–header “name:”
Remove Header, remove an internal header.

Follow redirects if the server reports that the requested page has moved
(indicated with a Location: header and a 3XX response code)

Make more verbose/talkative. Mostly useful for debugging.

This page is a heavily abbreviated selection of the full options, for more detail including return codes, run man curl

curl is a powerful tool, please use it responsibly.

The return status is zero if no errors occur, non-zero otherwise.


Retrieve a web page and display in the terminal, use –include (-i) option to also display header information:

$ curl
$ curl -i

Retrieve a web page and save to a file
$ curl -o ss64.html

Retrieve a web page, or its redirected target:
$ curl
$ curl –location

Limit the rate of data transfer to 1 Kilobytes/sec:
$ curl –limit-rate 1k -o ss64.html

Download via a proxy server:
$ curl -x

“We are shallow because we have become enslaved by gross materialism, the glitter of gold and its equivalents, for which reason we think that only the material goods of this earth can satisfy us and we must therefore grab as much as can while we are able” ~ F. Sionil Jose

Related linux commands:

curl home page
HTTPie – http command for testing and debugging HTTP servers.
ftp – File Transfer Protocol.

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