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Wget Command Examples
In this tutorial, we will show you how to use the Wget utility through practical examples and detailed explanations of the most common Wget options.
What is Wget?
GNU Wget is command line utility for downloading files from the web. With Wget you can download files using HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP protocols. Wget provides a number of options allowing you to download multiple files, resume downloads, limit the bandwidth, recursive downloads, download in a background, mirror a website and much more.
The wget package is pre-installed on most Linux distributions today.
To check whether the Wget package is installed on your system, open up your console, type
wget and press enter. If you have wget installed the system will print
wget: missing URL, otherwise it will print
wget command not found.
If Wget is not installed you can easily install it using the package manager of your distro.
Install Wget on Ubuntu and Debian
sudo apt install wget
Install Wget on CentOS and Fedora
sudo yum install wget
Wget Command Syntax
Before going into how to use the wget command, let’s start by reviewing the basic syntax.
The wget utility expressions take the following form:
wget [options] [url]
options- The Wget options
url- URL of the file or directory you want to download or synchronize
How to download a file with Wget
In it’s simplest form when used without any option, wget will download the resource specified in the [url] to the current directory.
In the following example we are downloading the Linux kernel tar archive:
As you can see from the image above wget starts by resolving the IP address of the domain, then connects to the remote server and starts the transfer.
During the download, wget shows the progress bar alongside with the file name, file size, download speed and the estimated time to complete the download. Once the download is complete you can find the downloaded file in your current working directory.
To turn off Wget’s output use the
If the file already exists Wget will add .N (number) at the end of the file name.
How to save the downloaded file under different name with Wget
To change the name of the downloaded file you’ll need to pass the
wget -O latest-hugo.zip https://github.com/gohugoio/hugo/archive/master.zip
The command above will save the latest hugo zip file from GitHub as
How to download a file to a specific directory with Wget
By default Wget will save the downloaded file in the current working directory. To save the file to a specific location you would use the
wget -P /mnt/iso http://mirrors.mit.edu/centos/7/isos/x86_64/CentOS-7-x86_64-Minimal-1804.iso
With the command above we are telling Wget to save the CentOS iso file to the
How to limit the download speed with Wget
To limit the download speed use the
--limit-rate flag. The value can be expressed in bytes, kilobytes with the
k suffix and megabytes with the
The following command will download the Go binary and limit the download speed to 1mb:
wget --limit-rate=1m https://dl.google.com/go/go1.10.3.linux-amd64.tar.gz
This option is useful when you don’t want Wget to consume all the available bandwidth.
How to resume a download with Wget
You can resume a download by using the
-c flag. This is useful if your connection drops during a download of a large file and instead of staring the download from scratch you can continue the previous one.
In the following example we are resuming the download of the Ubuntu 18.04 iso file:
wget -c http://releases.ubuntu.com/18.04/ubuntu-18.04-live-server-amd64.iso
If the remote server does not support resuming downloads, Wget will start the download from the beginning and overwrite the existing file.
How to download in background with Wget
To download in the background use the
-b flag. This is useful when you are downloading large files. In the following example we are downloading the OpenSuse iso file in the background:
wget -b https://download.opensuse.org/tumbleweed/iso/openSUSE-Tumbleweed-DVD-x86_64-Current.iso
By default the output is redirected to
wget-log file in the current directory. To check the status of the download you can use
tail -f wget-log.
How to change the Wget User-Agent of Wget
Somethimes when downloading a file the remote server may be set to block the Wget User-Agent. In situations like this to emulate a different browser pass the
wget --user-agent="Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/60.0" http://wget-forbidden.com/
The command above will emulate Firefox 60 requesting the page from
How to Download Multiple files with Wget
If you want to download multiple files at once use the
-i flag followed by the path to a local or external file containing a list of the URLs to be downloaded. Each URL needs to be on a separate line.
In the following example we are downloading the Arch Linux, Debian and Fedora iso files with URLs specified in the
wget -i linux-distros.txt
http://mirrors.edge.kernel.org/archlinux/iso/2018.06.01/archlinux-2018.06.01-x86_64.iso https://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/current/amd64/iso-cd/debian-9.4.0-amd64-netinst.iso https://download.fedoraproject.org/pub/fedora/linux/releases/28/Server/x86_64/iso/Fedora-Server-dvd-x86_64-28-1.1.iso
If you specify
- as a filename, URLs will be read from the standard input.
How to download via FTP with Wget
To download a file from a password protected FTP server you need to specify the username and password as show bellow:
wget --ftp-user=FTP_USERNAME --ftp-password=FTP_PASSWORD ftp://ftp.example.com/filename.tar.gz
How to create a mirror of a website with Wget
To create a mirror of a website with Wget you would use the
wget -m https://example.com
If you want to use the downloaded website for local browsing, you will need to pass few extra arguments to the command above.
wget -m -k -p https://example.com
-k flag will cause Wget to convert the links in the downloaded documents to make them suitable for local viewing and the
-p flag will tell wget to download all necessary files for displaying the HTML page.
How to skip certificate check with Wget
If you want to download a file over HTTPS from a host that has an invalid SSL certificate use the
wget --no-check-certificate https://domain-with-invalid-ss.com
How to download to standard output with Wget
In the following example Wget will quietly ( flag
-q) download and output the latest WordPress version to stdout ( flag
-O -) and pipe it to the
tar utility which will extract the archive to the
wget -q -O - "http://wordpress.org/latest.tar.gz" | tar -xzf - -C /var/www
By now you should have a good understanding of the most common Wget options, and you should be able to use Wget to download multiple files, resume partial downloads, mirror websites and combine the Wget options according to your needs.
If you want to learn more about Wget visit the GNU wget Manual page.