|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (November 2010)|
Example output from
|Original author(s)||Daniel Stenberg|
|Developer(s)||Contributors to the cURL project|
|Stable release||7.44.0 (August 12, 2015) [±]|
|Type||FTP client / HTTP client|
|License||Free Software: MIT/X derivate license|
cURL (/kə:(r)l/.) is a computer software project providing a library and command-line tool for transferring data using various protocols. The cURL project produces two products, libcurl and cURL. It was first released in 1997. The name originally stood for "see URL".
libcurl is a free client-side URL transfer library, supporting FTP, FTPS, Gopher, HTTP, HTTPS, SCP, SFTP, TFTP, Telnet, DICT, the file URI scheme, LDAP, LDAPS, IMAP, POP3, SMTP and RTSP. The library supports HTTPS certificates, HTTP POST, HTTP PUT, FTP uploading, Kerberos, HTTP form-based upload, proxies, cookies, user-plus-password authentication, file transfer resume, and HTTP proxy tunneling.
The libcurl library is portable. It builds and works identically on several platforms, including Solaris, NetBSD, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Darwin, HPUX, IRIX, AIX, Tru64, Linux, UnixWare, HURD, Windows, Symbian, AmigaOS, OS/2, BeOS, Mac OS X, Apple iOS, Android, Ultrix, QNX Neutrino, BlackBerry Tablet OS and BlackBerry 10, OpenVMS, RISC OS, Novell NetWare, DOS and more.
A command line tool for getting or sending files using URL syntax.
Since cURL uses libcurl, it supports a range of common Internet protocols, currently including HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, FTPS, SCP, SFTP, TFTP, LDAP, DAP, DICT, TELNET, FILE, IMAP, POP3, SMTP and RTSP (the last four only in versions newer than 7.20.0 or 9 February 2010).
Examples of cURL use from command line
Basic use of cURL involves simply typing curl at the command line, followed by the URL of the output to retrieve.
To retrieve the example.com homepage, type:
cURL defaults to displaying the output it retrieves to the standard output specified on the system (usually the terminal window). So running the command above would, on most systems, display the www.example.com source-code in the terminal window.
cURL can write the output it retrieves to a file with the -o flag, thus:
curl -o example.html www.example.com
This will store the source code for www.example.com into a file named example.html. While retrieving output, cURL will display a progress bar showing how much of the output has downloaded. Note however that cURL does not show a progress bar when preparing to display the output in the terminal window, since a progress bar is likely to interfere with the display of the output.
To download output to a file that has the same name as on the system it originates from, use the -O flag, for example:
curl -O www.example.com/example.html
If the server responds that the file (example.html) is moved to a different location (indicated with a Location: header and a 3XX response code), use the -L flag, for example:
curl -OL www.example.com/example.html
Curl offers many other features such as proxy support, user authentication, FTP upload, HTTP post, SSL connections, cookies, file transfer resume, Metalink, as well as various other features.
- Stenberg, Daniel (20 March 2015). "curl, 17 years old today". daniel.haxx.se. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
- cURL History Page
- "cURL - Changes". 2015-06-17. Retrieved 2015-08-12.
- cURL - Frequently Asked Questions
- Open Source Components for the Native SDK for BlackBerry Tablet OS
- cURL website
- cURL manual
- Comparison of cURL vs other open source download tools
- Comparison of cURL vs wget