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Lincoln Bell
Lincoln Bell

Download 533K Zip

The --head (or -I) option also gives you basic information about a remote file without actually downloading it. As shown in the screenshot below, when you use curl with a remote file URL, it displays various headers to give you information about the remote file.

Download 533K zip

The Content-Length header indicates the size of the file (in bytes), Content-Type reveals the media type of the file (for instance image/png, text/htm), Server indicates the type of server application (Apache, Gunicron, etc.), Last-Modified shows the date when file was last changed on the server, and the Accept-Ranges header indicates the support of partial requests from the client for downloads, which essentially means you can resume an interrupted download.

You can use curl with the --remote-name option (or -O, in short) to download a file and save it with the same name as on the server. The following command downloads the latest version of curl for Windows from the official website:

The presence of Accept-Ranges: bytes in the response header literally means that the server supports resumable downloads. To resume an interrupted download, you can use --continue-at (or -C), which accepts an offset (in bytes). Generally, specifying an offset is tricky, so curl offers an easy way of resuming an interrupted download:

As you can see in the screenshot, I was downloading an Ubuntu iso file, which was interrupted. When I ran the curl command again with the -C option, the transfer was resumed from the byte range where it was interrupted. The minus sign (-) next to -C allows the curl to automatically figure out how and where to resume the interrupted download.

Curl also supports authentication, allowing you to download a protected file by supplying credentials with the --user (or -u) option, which accepts a username and password in the username:password format. If you skip typing the password, curl will prompt you to type it in no-echo mode.

As already discussed, curl supports various methods based on the underlying protocol being used. You can send additional commands using --quote (or -Q) to perform a particular operation either before or after the regular curl operation; for instance, if you want to download a file from a remote server using the FTPS protocol and want the file to be removed from the server once it has been downloaded successfully. To do this, you can run the command shown below:

Here, I downloaded the file from an FTPS server with the help of the -O option. After the -Q option, I added a minus sign (-) just before the DELE command, which tells the curl to send the DELE command immediately after the file is downloaded successfully. Likewise, if you want to send a command to the server before performing the actual curl operation, use a plus (+) sign instead of a minus sign. 041b061a72


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