Monday, March 21, 2016

Downloading Files Using the Command Line

If you're used to using a GUI, you probably never think about how to download content from the Internet or a local server. Downloading content using the command line, however, takes a little more conscious effort. Luckily, its pretty easy to do once you get the hang of it. For me, there are two commands that I like to use most of the time and they are wget and curl.

wget is a petty straight forward in how it works: it downloads things. It can be used to download files using HTTP, HTTPs, and FTP. I find wget useful for either downloading files to a server that might not have a GUI or if I want to script something. As an example, to download the latest version (as of this writing) of Firefox
$ wget

curl downloads and tries to process the target all in one action. curl also supports a lot more protocols than wget. This tool is great if you want read a file stored on a server (among other things). My favorite use for it is actually pretty simple: seeing my external IP address
$ curl

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