How to Install and Use Curl on Ubuntu 20.04

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curl is a command-line utility for transferring data from or to a remote server. With curl, you can download or upload data using one of the supported protocols, including HTTP, HTTPS, SCP, SFTP, and FTP.

This article explains how to install Curl on Ubuntu 20.04.

Installing Curl on Ubuntu

If you get an error message saying curl command not found when trying to download a file with curl, it means that the curl package is not installed on your Ubuntu machine.

curl is included in the default Ubuntu 20.04 repositories. The installation is pretty straightforward:

sudo apt updatesudo apt install curl

Once the installation is complete, verify it by typing curl in your terminal:

curl

The output will look something like this:

curl: try 'curl --help' or 'curl --manual' for more information

That’s it! You have successfully installed curl on your Ubuntu machine, and you can start using it.

Using curl

When used without any option, curl prints the source code of the URL specified as an argument to the standard output.

For example, the following command will print the source of the gnu.org homepage in your terminal window:

curl https://gnu.org

To download a file with curl, use either the -o or -O options.

The lowercase -o option allows you to specify the name of the saved file:

curl -o linux.tar.xz https://cdn.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v5.x/linux-5.0.5.tar.xz

When invoked with uppercase -O, curl saves the file with its original filename:

curl -O https://cdn.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v5.x/linux-5.0.5.tar.xz

With curl you can also fetch only the HTTP headers of the specified URL:

curl -I https://www.gnu.org/
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2020 07:10:35 GMT
Server: Apache/2.4.7
Content-Location: home.html
Vary: negotiate,accept-language,Accept-Encoding
TCN: choice
Strict-Transport-Security: max-age=63072000
Access-Control-Allow-Origin: (null)
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Cache-Control: max-age=0
Expires: Mon, 29 Jun 2020 07:10:35 GMT
Content-Type: text/html
Content-Language: en

Another common use case of curl is to download files from password-protected FTP servers:

curl -u FTP_USERNAME:FTP_PASSWORD ftp://ftp.example.com/file.tar.gz

Conclusion

Curl is a versatile tool that allows you to send and receive data over the network. Installing Curl on Ubuntu is a pretty simple task.

For more information about how to use this tool, visit Curl Command Examples.

If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment.