wget(1) -- Linux man page



Wget - The non-interactive network downloader.  


wget [option]... [URL]...  


GNU Wget is a free utility for non-interactive download of files from the Web. It supports HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP protocols, as well as retrieval through HTTP proxies.

Wget is non-interactive, meaning that it can work in the background, while the user is not logged on. This allows you to start a retrieval and disconnect from the system, letting Wget finish the work. By contrast, most of the Web browsers require constant user's presence, which can be a great hindrance when transferring a lot of data.

Wget can follow links in HTML and XHTML pages and create local versions of remote web sites, fully recreating the directory structure of the original site. This is sometimes referred to as ``recursive downloading.'' While doing that, Wget respects the Robot Exclusion Standard (/robots.txt). Wget can be instructed to convert the links in downloaded HTML files to the local files for offline viewing.

Wget has been designed for robustness over slow or unstable network connections; if a download fails due to a network problem, it will keep retrying until the whole file has been retrieved. If the server supports regetting, it will instruct the server to continue the download from where it left off.  



Option Syntax

Since Wget uses GNU getopt to process command-line arguments, every option has a long form along with the short one. Long options are more convenient to remember, but take time to type. You may freely mix different option styles, or specify options after the command-line arguments. Thus you may write:

        wget -r --tries=10 http://fly.srk.fer.hr/ -o log

The space between the option accepting an argument and the argument may be omitted. Instead -o log you can write -olog.

You may put several options that do not require arguments together, like:

        wget -drc <URL>

This is a complete equivalent of:

        wget -d -r -c <URL>

Since the options can be specified after the arguments, you may terminate them with --. So the following will try to download URL -x, reporting failure to log:

        wget -o log -- -x

The options that accept comma-separated lists all respect the convention that specifying an empty list clears its value. This can be useful to clear the .wgetrc settings. For instance, if your .wgetrc sets "exclude_directories" to /cgi-bin, the following example will first reset it, and then set it to exclude /~nobody and /~somebody. You can also clear the lists in .wgetrc.

        wget -X '' -X /~nobody,/~somebody

Most options that do not accept arguments are boolean options, so named because their state can be captured with a yes-or-no (``boolean'') variable. For example, --follow-ftp tells Wget to follow FTP links from HTML files and, on the other hand, --no-glob tells it not to perform file globbing on FTP URLs. A boolean option is either affirmative or negative (beginning with --no). All such options share several properties.

Unless stated otherwise, it is assumed that the default behavior is the opposite of what the option accomplishes. For example, the documented existence of --follow-ftp assumes that the default is to not follow FTP links from HTML pages.

Affirmative options can be negated by prepending the --no- to the option name; negative options can be negated by omitting the --no- prefix. This might seem superfluous---if the default for an affirmative option is to not do something, then why provide a way to explicitly turn it off? But the startup file may in fact change the default. For instance, using "follow_ftp = off" in .wgetrc makes Wget not follow FTP links by default, and using --no-follow-ftp is the only way to restore the factory default from the command line.  

Basic Startup Options

Display the version of Wget.
Print a help message describing all of Wget's command-line options.
Go to background immediately after startup. If no output file is specified via the -o, output is redirected to wget-log.
-e command
--execute command
Execute command as if it were a part of .wgetrc. A command thus invoked will be executed after the commands in .wgetrc, thus taking precedence over them. If you need to specify more than one wgetrc command, use multiple instances of -e.

Logging and Input File Options

-o logfile
Log all messages to logfile. The messages are normally reported to standard error.
-a logfile
Append to logfile. This is the same as -o, only it appends to logfile instead of overwriting the old log file. If logfile does not exist, a new file is created.
Turn on debug output, meaning various information important to the developers of Wget if it does not work properly. Your system administrator may have chosen to compile Wget without debug support, in which case -d will not work. Please note that compiling with debug support is always safe---Wget compiled with the debug support will not print any debug info unless requested with -d.
Turn off Wget's output.
Turn on verbose output, with all the available data. The default output is verbose.
Turn off verbose without being completely quiet (use -q for that), which means that error messages and basic information still get printed.
-i file
Read URLs from file. If - is specified as file, URLs are read from the standard input. (Use ./- to read from a file literally named -.)

If this function is used, no URLs need be present on the command line. If there are URLs both on the command line and in an input file, those on the command lines will be the first ones to be retrieved. The file need not be an HTML document (but no harm if it is)---it is enough if the URLs are just listed sequentially.

However, if you specify --force-html, the document will be regarded as html. In that case you may have problems with relative links, which you can solve either by adding "<base href="url">" to the documents or by specifying --base=url on the command line.

When input is read from a file, force it to be treated as an HTML file. This enables you to retrieve relative links from existing HTML files on your local disk, by adding "<base href="url">" to HTML, or using the --base command-line option.
Prepends URL to relative links read from the file specified with the -i option.

Download Options

When making client TCP/IP connections, bind to ADDRESS on the local machine. ADDRESS may be specified as a hostname or IP address. This option can be useful if your machine is bound to multiple IPs.
-t number
Set number of retries to number. Specify 0 or inf for infinite retrying. The default is to retry 20 times, with the exception of fatal errors like ``connection refused'' or ``not found'' (404), which are not retried.
-O file
The documents will not be written to the appropriate files, but all will be concatenated together and written to file. If - is used as file, documents will be printed to standard output, disabling link conversion. (Use ./- to print to a file literally named -.)

Note that a combination with -k is only well-defined for downloading a single document.

If a file is downloaded more than once in the same directory, Wget's behavior depends on a few options, including -nc. In certain cases, the local file will be clobbered, or overwritten, upon repeated download. In other cases it will be preserved.

When running Wget without -N, -nc, or -r, downloading the same file in the same directory will result in the original copy of file being preserved and the second copy being named file.1. If that file is downloaded yet again, the third copy will be named file.2, and so on. When -nc is specified, this behavior is suppressed, and Wget will refuse to download newer copies of file. Therefore, ``"no-clobber"'' is actually a misnomer in this mode---it's not clobbering that's prevented (as the numeric suffixes were already preventing clobbering), but rather the multiple version saving that's prevented.

When running Wget with -r, but without -N or -nc, re-downloading a file will result in the new copy simply overwriting the old. Adding -nc will prevent this behavior, instead causing the original version to be preserved and any newer copies on the server to be ignored.

When running Wget with -N, with or without -r, the decision as to whether or not to download a newer copy of a file depends on the local and remote timestamp and size of the file. -nc may not be specified at the same time as -N.

Note that when -nc is specified, files with the suffixes .php or .htm will be loaded from the local disk and parsed as if they had been retrieved from the Web.

Continue getting a partially-downloaded file. This is useful when you want to finish up a download started by a previous instance of Wget, or by another program. For instance:

        wget -c ftp://sunsite.doc.ic.ac.uk/ls-lR.Z

If there is a file named ls-lR.Z in the current directory, Wget will assume that it is the first portion of the remote file, and will ask the server to continue the retrieval from an offset equal to the length of the local file.

Note that you don't need to specify this option if you just want the current invocation of Wget to retry downloading a file should the connection be lost midway through. This is the default behavior. -c only affects resumption of downloads started prior to this invocation of Wget, and whose local files are still sitting around.

Without -c, the previous example would just download the remote file to ls-lR.Z.1, leaving the truncated ls-lR.Z file alone.

Beginning with Wget 1.7, if you use -c on a non-empty file, and it turns out that the server does not support continued downloading, Wget will refuse to start the download from scratch, which would effectively ruin existing contents. If you really want the download to start from scratch, remove the file.

Also beginning with Wget 1.7, if you use -c on a file which is of equal size as the one on the server, Wget will refuse to download the file and print an explanatory message. The same happens when the file is smaller on the server than locally (presumably because it was changed on the server since your last download attempt)---because ``continuing'' is not meaningful, no download occurs.

On the other side of the coin, while using -c, any file that's bigger on the server than locally will be considered an incomplete download and only "(length(remote) - length(local))" bytes will be downloaded and tacked onto the end of the local file. This behavior can be desirable in certain cases---for instance, you can use wget -c to download just the new portion that's been appended to a data collection or log file.

However, if the file is bigger on the server because it's been changed, as opposed to just appended to, you'll end up with a garbled file. Wget has no way of verifying that the local file is really a valid prefix of the remote file. You need to be especially careful of this when using -c in conjunction with -r, since every file will be considered as an ``incomplete download'' candidate.

Another instance where you'll get a garbled file if you try to use -c is if you have a lame HTTP proxy that inserts a ``transfer interrupted'' string into the local file. In the future a ``rollback'' option may be added to deal with this case.

Note that -c only works with FTP servers and with HTTP servers that support the "Range" header.

Select the type of the progress indicator you wish to use. Legal indicators are ``dot'' and ``bar''.

The ``bar'' indicator is used by default. It draws an ASCII progress bar graphics (a.k.a ``thermometer'' display) indicating the status of retrieval. If the output is not a TTY, the ``dot'' bar will be used by default.

Use --progress=dot to switch to the ``dot'' display. It traces the retrieval by printing dots on the screen, each dot representing a fixed amount of downloaded data.

When using the dotted retrieval, you may also set the style by specifying the type as dot:style. Different styles assign different meaning to one dot. With the "default" style each dot represents 1K, there are ten dots in a cluster and 50 dots in a line. The "binary" style has a more ``computer''-like orientation---8K dots, 16-dots clusters and 48 dots per line (which makes for 384K lines). The "mega" style is suitable for downloading very large files---each dot represents 64K retrieved, there are eight dots in a cluster, and 48 dots on each line (so each line contains 3M).

Note that you can set the default style using the "progress" command in .wgetrc. That setting may be overridden from the command line. The exception is that, when the output is not a TTY, the ``dot'' progress will be favored over ``bar''. To force the bar output, use --progress=bar:force.

Turn on time-stamping.
Print the headers sent by HTTP servers and responses sent by FTP servers.
When invoked with this option, Wget will behave as a Web spider, which means that it will not download the pages, just check that they are there. For example, you can use Wget to check your bookmarks:

        wget --spider --force-html -i bookmarks.php

This feature needs much more work for Wget to get close to the functionality of real web spiders.

-T seconds
Set the network timeout to seconds seconds. This is equivalent to specifying --dns-timeout, --connect-timeout, and --read-timeout, all at the same time.

When interacting with the network, Wget can check for timeout and abort the operation if it takes too long. This prevents anomalies like hanging reads and infinite connects. The only timeout enabled by default is a 900-second read timeout. Setting a timeout to 0 disables it altogether. Unless you know what you are doing, it is best not to change the default timeout settings.

All timeout-related options accept decimal values, as well as subsecond values. For example, 0.1 seconds is a legal (though unwise) choice of timeout. Subsecond timeouts are useful for checking server response times or for testing network latency.

Set the DNS lookup timeout to seconds seconds. DNS lookups that don't complete within the specified time will fail. By default, there is no timeout on DNS lookups, other than that implemented by system libraries.
Set the connect timeout to seconds seconds. TCP connections that take longer to establish will be aborted. By default, there is no connect timeout, other than that implemented by system libraries.
Set the read (and write) timeout to seconds seconds. The ``time'' of this timeout refers idle time: if, at any point in the download, no data is received for more than the specified number of seconds, reading fails and the download is restarted. This option does not directly affect the duration of the entire download.

Of course, the remote server may choose to terminate the connection sooner than this option requires. The default read timeout is 900 seconds.

Limit the download speed to amount bytes per second. Amount may be expressed in bytes, kilobytes with the k suffix, or megabytes with the m suffix. For example, --limit-rate=20k will limit the retrieval rate to 20KB/s. This is useful when, for whatever reason, you don't want Wget to consume the entire available bandwidth.

This option allows the use of decimal numbers, usually in conjunction with power suffixes; for example, --limit-rate=2.5k is a legal value.

Note that Wget implements the limiting by sleeping the appropriate amount of time after a network read that took less time than specified by the rate. Eventually this strategy causes the TCP transfer to slow down to approximately the specified rate. However, it may take some time for this balance to be achieved, so don't be surprised if limiting the rate doesn't work well with very small files.

-w seconds
Wait the specified number of seconds between the retrievals. Use of this option is recommended, as it lightens the server load by making the requests less frequent. Instead of in seconds, the time can be specified in minutes using the "m" suffix, in hours using "h" suffix, or in days using "d" suffix.

Specifying a large value for this option is useful if the network or the destination host is down, so that Wget can wait long enough to reasonably expect the network error to be fixed before the retry.

If you don't want Wget to wait between every retrieval, but only between retries of failed downloads, you can use this option. Wget will use linear backoff, waiting 1 second after the first failure on a given file, then waiting 2 seconds after the second failure on that file, up to the maximum number of seconds you specify. Therefore, a value of 10 will actually make Wget wait up to (1 + 2 + ... + 10) = 55 seconds per file.

Note that this option is turned on by default in the global wgetrc file.

Some web sites may perform log analysis to identify retrieval programs such as Wget by looking for statistically significant similarities in the time between requests. This option causes the time between requests to vary between 0 and 2 * wait seconds, where wait was specified using the --wait option, in order to mask Wget's presence from such analysis.

A recent article in a publication devoted to development on a popular consumer platform provided code to perform this analysis on the fly. Its author suggested blocking at the class C address level to ensure automated retrieval programs were blocked despite changing DHCP-supplied addresses.

The --random-wait option was inspired by this ill-advised recommendation to block many unrelated users from a web site due to the actions of one.

Don't use proxies, even if the appropriate *_proxy environment variable is defined.
-Q quota
Specify download quota for automatic retrievals. The value can be specified in bytes (default), kilobytes (with k suffix), or megabytes (with m suffix).

Note that quota will never affect downloading a single file. So if you specify wget -Q10k ftp://wuarchive.wustl.edu/ls-lR.gz, all of the ls-lR.gz will be downloaded. The same goes even when several URLs are specified on the command-line. However, quota is respected when retrieving either recursively, or from an input file. Thus you may safely type wget -Q2m -i sites---download will be aborted when the quota is exceeded.

Setting quota to 0 or to inf unlimits the download quota.

Turn off caching of DNS lookups. Normally, Wget remembers the IP addresses it looked up from DNS so it doesn't have to repeatedly contact the DNS server for the same (typically small) set of hosts it retrieves from. This cache exists in memory only; a new Wget run will contact DNS again.

However, it has been reported that in some situations it is not desirable to cache host names, even for the duration of a short-running application like Wget. With this option Wget issues a new DNS lookup (more precisely, a new call to "gethostbyname" or "getaddrinfo") each time it makes a new connection. Please note that this option will not affect caching that might be performed by the resolving library or by an external caching layer, such as NSCD.

If you don't understand exactly what this option does, you probably won't need it.

Change which characters found in remote URLs may show up in local file names generated from those URLs. Characters that are restricted by this option are escaped, i.e. replaced with %HH, where HH is the hexadecimal number that corresponds to the restricted character.

By default, Wget escapes the characters that are not valid as part of file names on your operating system, as well as control characters that are typically unprintable. This option is useful for changing these defaults, either because you are downloading to a non-native partition, or because you want to disable escaping of the control characters.

When mode is set to ``unix'', Wget escapes the character / and the control characters in the ranges 0--31 and 128--159. This is the default on Unix-like OS'es.

When mode is set to ``windows'', Wget escapes the characters \, |, /, :, ?, ", *, <, >, and the control characters in the ranges 0--31 and 128--159. In addition to this, Wget in Windows mode uses + instead of : to separate host and port in local file names, and uses
 @  instead of  ?  to separate the query portion of the file name from the rest. Therefore, a URL that would be saved as www.xemacs.org:4300/search.pl?input=blah in Unix mode would be saved as www.xemacs.org+4300/search.pl@input=blah in Windows mode. This mode is the default on Windows.

If you append ,nocontrol to the mode, as in unix,nocontrol, escaping of the control characters is also switched off. You can use --restrict-file-names=nocontrol to turn off escaping of control characters without affecting the choice of the OS to use as file name restriction mode.

Force connecting to IPv4 or IPv6 addresses. With --inet4-only or -4, Wget will only connect to IPv4 hosts, ignoring AAAA records in DNS, and refusing to connect to IPv6 addresses specified in URLs. Conversely, with --inet6-only or -6, Wget will only connect to IPv6 hosts and ignore A records and IPv4 addresses.

Neither options should be needed normally. By default, an IPv6-aware Wget will use the address family specified by the host's DNS record. If the DNS responds with both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, Wget will them in sequence until it finds one it can connect to. (Also see "--prefer-family" option described below.)

These options can be used to deliberately force the use of IPv4 or IPv6 address families on dual family systems, usually to aid debugging or to deal with broken network configuration. Only one of --inet6-only and --inet4-only may be specified at the same time. Neither option is available in Wget compiled without IPv6 support.

When given a choice of several addresses, connect to the addresses with specified address family first. IPv4 addresses are preferred by default.

This avoids spurious errors and connect attempts when accessing hosts that resolve to both IPv6 and IPv4 addresses from IPv4 networks. For example, www.kame.net resolves to 2001:200:0:8002:203:47ff:fea5:3085 and to When the preferred family is "IPv4", the IPv4 address is used first; when the preferred family is "IPv6", the IPv6 address is used first; if the specified value is "none", the address order returned by DNS is used without change.

Unlike -4 and -6, this option doesn't inhibit access to any address family, it only changes the order in which the addresses are accessed. Also note that the reordering performed by this option is stable---it doesn't affect order of addresses of the same family. That is, the relative order of all IPv4 addresses and of all IPv6 addresses remains intact in all cases.

Consider ``connection refused'' a transient error and try again. Normally Wget gives up on a URL when it is unable to connect to the site because failure to connect is taken as a sign that the server is not running at all and that retries would not help. This option is for mirroring unreliable sites whose servers tend to disappear for short periods of time.
Specify the username user and password password for both FTP and HTTP file retrieval. These parameters can be overridden using the --ftp-user and --ftp-password options for FTP connections and the --http-user and --http-password options for HTTP connections.

Directory Options

Do not create a hierarchy of directories when retrieving recursively. With this option turned on, all files will get saved to the current directory, without clobbering (if a name shows up more than once, the filenames will get extensions .n).
The opposite of -nd---create a hierarchy of directories, even if one would not have been created otherwise. E.g. wget -x http://fly.srk.fer.hr/robots.txt will save the downloaded file to fly.srk.fer.hr/robots.txt.
Disable generation of host-prefixed directories. By default, invoking Wget with -r http://fly.srk.fer.hr/ will create a structure of directories beginning with fly.srk.fer.hr/. This option disables such behavior.
Use the protocol name as a directory component of local file names. For example, with this option, wget -r http://host will save to http/host/... rather than just to host/....
Ignore number directory components. This is useful for getting a fine-grained control over the directory where recursive retrieval will be saved.

Take, for example, the directory at ftp://ftp.xemacs.org/pub/xemacs/. If you retrieve it with -r, it will be saved locally under ftp.xemacs.org/pub/xemacs/. While the -nH option can remove the ftp.xemacs.org/ part, you are still stuck with pub/xemacs. This is where --cut-dirs comes in handy; it makes Wget not ``see'' number remote directory components. Here are several examples of how --cut-dirs option works.

        No options        -> ftp.xemacs.org/pub/xemacs/
        -nH               -> pub/xemacs/
        -nH --cut-dirs=1  -> xemacs/
        -nH --cut-dirs=2  -> .

        --cut-dirs=1      -> ftp.xemacs.org/xemacs/

If you just want to get rid of the directory structure, this option is similar to a combination of -nd and -P. However, unlike -nd, --cut-dirs does not lose with subdirectories---for instance, with -nH --cut-dirs=1, a beta/ subdirectory will be placed to xemacs/beta, as one would expect.

-P prefix
Set directory prefix to prefix. The directory prefix is the directory where all other files and subdirectories will be saved to, i.e. the top of the retrieval tree. The default is . (the current directory).

HTTP Options

If a file of type application/xhtml+xml or text/html is downloaded and the URL does not end with the regexp \.[Hh][Tt][Mm][Ll]?, this option will cause the suffix .php to be appended to the local filename. This is useful, for instance, when you're mirroring a remote site that uses .asp pages, but you want the mirrored pages to be viewable on your stock Apache server. Another good use for this is when you're downloading CGI-generated materials. A URL like http://site.com/article.cgi?25 will be saved as article.cgi?25.php.

Note that filenames changed in this way will be re-downloaded every time you re-mirror a site, because Wget can't tell that the local X.php file corresponds to remote URL X (since it doesn't yet know that the URL produces output of type text/html or application/xhtml+xml. To prevent this re-downloading, you must use -k and -K so that the original version of the file will be saved as X.orig.

Specify the username user and password password on an HTTP server. According to the type of the challenge, Wget will encode them using either the "basic" (insecure) or the "digest" authentication scheme.

Another way to specify username and password is in the URL itself. Either method reveals your password to anyone who bothers to run "ps". To prevent the passwords from being seen, store them in .wgetrc or .netrc, and make sure to protect those files from other users with "chmod". If the passwords are really important, do not leave them lying in those files either---edit the files and delete them after Wget has started the download.

Disable server-side cache. In this case, Wget will send the remote server an appropriate directive (Pragma: no-cache) to get the file from the remote service, rather than returning the cached version. This is especially useful for retrieving and flushing out-of-date documents on proxy servers.

Caching is allowed by default.

Disable the use of cookies. Cookies are a mechanism for maintaining server-side state. The server sends the client a cookie using the "Set-Cookie" header, and the client responds with the same cookie upon further requests. Since cookies allow the server owners to keep track of visitors and for sites to exchange this information, some consider them a breach of privacy. The default is to use cookies; however, storing cookies is not on by default.
--load-cookies file
Load cookies from file before the first HTTP retrieval. file is a textual file in the format originally used by Netscape's cookies.txt file.

You will typically use this option when mirroring sites that require that you be logged in to access some or all of their content. The login process typically works by the web server issuing an HTTP cookie upon receiving and verifying your credentials. The cookie is then resent by the browser when accessing that part of the site, and so proves your identity.

Mirroring such a site requires Wget to send the same cookies your browser sends when communicating with the site. This is achieved by --load-cookies---simply point Wget to the location of the cookies.txt file, and it will send the same cookies your browser would send in the same situation. Different browsers keep textual cookie files in different locations:

Netscape 4.x.
The cookies are in ~/.netscape/cookies.txt.
Mozilla and Netscape 6.x.
Mozilla's cookie file is also named cookies.txt, located somewhere under ~/.mozilla, in the directory of your profile. The full path usually ends up looking somewhat like ~/.mozilla/default/some-weird-string/cookies.txt.
Internet Explorer.
You can produce a cookie file Wget can use by using the File menu, Import and Export, Export Cookies. This has been tested with Internet Explorer 5; it is not guaranteed to work with earlier versions.
Other browsers.
If you are using a different browser to create your cookies, --load-cookies will only work if you can locate or produce a cookie file in the Netscape format that Wget expects.

If you cannot use --load-cookies, there might still be an alternative. If your browser supports a ``cookie manager'', you can use it to view the cookies used when accessing the site you're mirroring. Write down the name and value of the cookie, and manually instruct Wget to send those cookies, bypassing the ``official'' cookie support:

        wget --no-cookies --header "Cookie: <name>=<value>"

--save-cookies file
Save cookies to file before exiting. This will not save cookies that have expired or that have no expiry time (so-called ``session cookies''), but also see --keep-session-cookies.
When specified, causes --save-cookies to also save session cookies. Session cookies are normally not saved because they are meant to be kept in memory and forgotten when you exit the browser. Saving them is useful on sites that require you to log in or to visit the home page before you can access some pages. With this option, multiple Wget runs are considered a single browser session as far as the site is concerned.

Since the cookie file format does not normally carry session cookies, Wget marks them with an expiry timestamp of 0. Wget's --load-cookies recognizes those as session cookies, but it might confuse other browsers. Also note that cookies so loaded will be treated as other session cookies, which means that if you want --save-cookies to preserve them again, you must use --keep-session-cookies again.

Unfortunately, some HTTP servers (CGI programs, to be more precise) send out bogus "Content-Length" headers, which makes Wget go wild, as it thinks not all the document was retrieved. You can spot this syndrome if Wget retries getting the same document again and again, each time claiming that the (otherwise normal) connection has closed on the very same byte.

With this option, Wget will ignore the "Content-Length" header---as if it never existed.

Send header-line along with the rest of the headers in each HTTP request. The supplied header is sent as-is, which means it must contain name and value separated by colon, and must not contain newlines.

You may define more than one additional header by specifying --header more than once.

        wget --header='Accept-Charset: iso-8859-2' \
             --header='Accept-Language: hr'        \

Specification of an empty string as the header value will clear all previous user-defined headers.

As of Wget 1.10, this option can be used to override headers otherwise generated automatically. This example instructs Wget to connect to localhost, but to specify foo.bar in the "Host" header:

        wget --header="Host: foo.bar" http://localhost/

In versions of Wget prior to 1.10 such use of --header caused sending of duplicate headers.

Specify the username user and password password for authentication on a proxy server. Wget will encode them using the "basic" authentication scheme.

Security considerations similar to those with --http-password pertain here as well.

Include `Referer: url' header in HTTP request. Useful for retrieving documents with server-side processing that assume they are always being retrieved by interactive web browsers and only come out properly when Referer is set to one of the pages that point to them.
Save the headers sent by the HTTP server to the file, preceding the actual contents, with an empty line as the separator.
-U agent-string
Identify as agent-string to the HTTP server.

The HTTP protocol allows the clients to identify themselves using a "User-Agent" header field. This enables distinguishing the WWW software, usually for statistical purposes or for tracing of protocol violations. Wget normally identifies as Wget/version, version being the current version number of Wget.

However, some sites have been known to impose the policy of tailoring the output according to the "User-Agent"-supplied information. While this is not such a bad idea in theory, it has been abused by servers denying information to clients other than (historically) Netscape or, more frequently, Microsoft Internet Explorer. This option allows you to change the "User-Agent" line issued by Wget. Use of this option is discouraged, unless you really know what you are doing.

Specifying empty user agent with --user-agent="" instructs Wget not to send the "User-Agent" header in HTTP requests.

Use POST as the method for all HTTP requests and send the specified data in the request body. "--post-data" sends string as data, whereas "--post-file" sends the contents of file. Other than that, they work in exactly the same way.

Please be aware that Wget needs to know the size of the POST data in advance. Therefore the argument to "--post-file" must be a regular file; specifying a FIFO or something like /dev/stdin won't work. It's not quite clear how to work around this limitation inherent in HTTP/1.0. Although HTTP/1.1 introduces chunked transfer that doesn't require knowing the request length in advance, a client can't use chunked unless it knows it's talking to an HTTP/1.1 server. And it can't know that until it receives a response, which in turn requires the request to have been completed --- a chicken-and-egg problem.

Note: if Wget is redirected after the POST request is completed, it will not send the POST data to the redirected URL. This is because URLs that process POST often respond with a redirection to a regular page, which does not desire or accept POST. It is not completely clear that this behavior is optimal; if it doesn't work out, it might be changed in the future.

This example shows how to log to a server using POST and then proceed to download the desired pages, presumably only accessible to authorized users:

        # Log in to the server.  This can be done only once.
        wget --save-cookies cookies.txt \
             --post-data 'user=foo&password=bar' \

        # Now grab the page or pages we care about.
        wget --load-cookies cookies.txt \
             -p http://server.com/interesting/article.php

If the server is using session cookies to track user authentication, the above will not work because --save-cookies will not save them (and neither will browsers) and the cookies.txt file will be empty. In that case use --keep-session-cookies along with --save-cookies to force saving of session cookies.



To support encrypted HTTP (HTTPS) downloads, Wget must be compiled with an external SSL library, currently OpenSSL. If Wget is compiled without SSL support, none of these options are available.
Choose the secure protocol to be used. Legal values are auto, SSLv2, SSLv3, and TLSv1. If auto is used, the SSL library is given the liberty of choosing the appropriate protocol automatically, which is achieved by sending an SSLv2 greeting and announcing support for SSLv3 and TLSv1. This is the default.

Specifying SSLv2, SSLv3, or TLSv1 forces the use of the corresponding protocol. This is useful when talking to old and buggy SSL server implementations that make it hard for OpenSSL to choose the correct protocol version. Fortunately, such servers are quite rare.

Don't check the server certificate against the available certificate authorities. Also don't require the URL host name to match the common name presented by the certificate.

As of Wget 1.10, the default is to verify the server's certificate against the recognized certificate authorities, breaking the SSL handshake and aborting the download if the verification fails. Although this provides more secure downloads, it does break interoperability with some sites that worked with previous Wget versions, particularly those using self-signed, expired, or otherwise invalid certificates. This option forces an ``insecure'' mode of operation that turns the certificate verification errors into warnings and allows you to proceed.

If you encounter ``certificate verification'' errors or ones saying that ``common name doesn't match requested host name'', you can use this option to bypass the verification and proceed with the download. Only use this option if you are otherwise convinced of the site's authenticity, or if you really don't care about the validity of its certificate. It is almost always a bad idea not to check the certificates when transmitting confidential or important data.

Use the client certificate stored in file. This is needed for servers that are configured to require certificates from the clients that connect to them. Normally a certificate is not required and this switch is optional.
Specify the type of the client certificate. Legal values are PEM (assumed by default) and DER, also known as ASN1.
Read the private key from file. This allows you to provide the private key in a file separate from the certificate.
Specify the type of the private key. Accepted values are PEM (the default) and DER.
Use file as the file with the bundle of certificate authorities (``CA'') to verify the peers. The certificates must be in PEM format.

Without this option Wget looks for CA certificates at the system-specified locations, chosen at OpenSSL installation time.

Specifies directory containing CA certificates in PEM format. Each file contains one CA certificate, and the file name is based on a hash value derived from the certificate. This is achieved by processing a certificate directory with the "c_rehash" utility supplied with OpenSSL. Using --ca-directory is more efficient than --ca-certificate when many certificates are installed because it allows Wget to fetch certificates on demand.

Without this option Wget looks for CA certificates at the system-specified locations, chosen at OpenSSL installation time.

Use file as the source of random data for seeding the pseudo-random number generator on systems without /dev/random.

On such systems the SSL library needs an external source of randomness to initialize. Randomness may be provided by EGD (see --egd-file below) or read from an external source specified by the user. If this option is not specified, Wget looks for random data in $RANDFILE or, if that is unset, in $HOME/.rnd. If none of those are available, it is likely that SSL encryption will not be usable.

If you're getting the ``Could not seed OpenSSL PRNG; disabling SSL.'' error, you should provide random data using some of the methods described above.

Use file as the EGD socket. EGD stands for Entropy Gathering Daemon, a user-space program that collects data from various unpredictable system sources and makes it available to other programs that might need it. Encryption software, such as the SSL library, needs sources of non-repeating randomness to seed the random number generator used to produce cryptographically strong keys.

OpenSSL allows the user to specify his own source of entropy using the "RAND_FILE" environment variable. If this variable is unset, or if the specified file does not produce enough randomness, OpenSSL will read random data from EGD socket specified using this option.

If this option is not specified (and the equivalent startup command is not used), EGD is never contacted. EGD is not needed on modern Unix systems that support /dev/random.


FTP Options

Specify the username user and password password on an FTP server. Without this, or the corresponding startup option, the password defaults to -wget@, normally used for anonymous FTP.

Another way to specify username and password is in the URL itself. Either method reveals your password to anyone who bothers to run "ps". To prevent the passwords from being seen, store them in .wgetrc or .netrc, and make sure to protect those files from other users with "chmod". If the passwords are really important, do not leave them lying in those files either---edit the files and delete them after Wget has started the download.

Don't remove the temporary .listing files generated by FTP retrievals. Normally, these files contain the raw directory listings received from FTP servers. Not removing them can be useful for debugging purposes, or when you want to be able to easily check on the contents of remote server directories (e.g. to verify that a mirror you're running is complete).

Note that even though Wget writes to a known filename for this file, this is not a security hole in the scenario of a user making .listing a symbolic link to /etc/passwd or something and asking "root" to run Wget in his or her directory. Depending on the options used, either Wget will refuse to write to .listing, making the globbing/recursion/time-stamping operation fail, or the symbolic link will be deleted and replaced with the actual .listing file, or the listing will be written to a .listing.number file.

Even though this situation isn't a problem, though, "root" should never run Wget in a non-trusted user's directory. A user could do something as simple as linking index.php to /etc/passwd and asking "root" to run Wget with -N or -r so the file will be overwritten.

Turn off FTP globbing. Globbing refers to the use of shell-like special characters (wildcards), like *, ?, [ and ] to retrieve more than one file from the same directory at once, like:

        wget ftp://gnjilux.srk.fer.hr/*.msg

By default, globbing will be turned on if the URL contains a globbing character. This option may be used to turn globbing on or off permanently.

You may have to quote the URL to protect it from being expanded by your shell. Globbing makes Wget look for a directory listing, which is system-specific. This is why it currently works only with Unix FTP servers (and the ones emulating Unix "ls" output).

Disable the use of the passive FTP transfer mode. Passive FTP mandates that the client connect to the server to establish the data connection rather than the other way around.

If the machine is connected to the Internet directly, both passive and active FTP should work equally well. Behind most firewall and NAT configurations passive FTP has a better chance of working. However, in some rare firewall configurations, active FTP actually works when passive FTP doesn't. If you suspect this to be the case, use this option, or set "passive_ftp=off" in your init file.

Usually, when retrieving FTP directories recursively and a symbolic link is encountered, the linked-to file is not downloaded. Instead, a matching symbolic link is created on the local filesystem. The pointed-to file will not be downloaded unless this recursive retrieval would have encountered it separately and downloaded it anyway.

When --retr-symlinks is specified, however, symbolic links are traversed and the pointed-to files are retrieved. At this time, this option does not cause Wget to traverse symlinks to directories and recurse through them, but in the future it should be enhanced to do this.

Note that when retrieving a file (not a directory) because it was specified on the command-line, rather than because it was recursed to, this option has no effect. Symbolic links are always traversed in this case.

Turn off the ``keep-alive'' feature for HTTP downloads. Normally, Wget asks the server to keep the connection open so that, when you download more than one document from the same server, they get transferred over the same TCP connection. This saves time and at the same time reduces the load on the server.

This option is useful when, for some reason, persistent (keep-alive) connections don't work for you, for example due to a server bug or due to the inability of server-side scripts to cope with the connections.


Recursive Retrieval Options

Turn on recursive retrieving.
-l depth
Specify recursion maximum depth level depth. The default maximum depth is 5.
This option tells Wget to delete every single file it downloads, after having done so. It is useful for pre-fetching popular pages through a proxy, e.g.:

        wget -r -nd --delete-after http://whatever.com/~popular/page/

The -r option is to retrieve recursively, and -nd to not create directories.

Note that --delete-after deletes files on the local machine. It does not issue the DELE command to remote FTP sites, for instance. Also note that when --delete-after is specified, --convert-links is ignored, so .orig files are simply not created in the first place.

After the download is complete, convert the links in the document to make them suitable for local viewing. This affects not only the visible hyperlinks, but any part of the document that links to external content, such as embedded images, links to style sheets, hyperlinks to non-HTML content, etc.

Each link will be changed in one of the two ways:

The links to files that have been downloaded by Wget will be changed to refer to the file they point to as a relative link.

Example: if the downloaded file /foo/doc.php links to /bar/img.gif, also downloaded, then the link in doc.php will be modified to point to ../bar/img.gif. This kind of transformation works reliably for arbitrary combinations of directories.

The links to files that have not been downloaded by Wget will be changed to include host name and absolute path of the location they point to.

Example: if the downloaded file /foo/doc.php links to /bar/img.gif (or to ../bar/img.gif), then the link in doc.php will be modified to point to http://hostname/bar/img.gif.

Because of this, local browsing works reliably: if a linked file was downloaded, the link will refer to its local name; if it was not downloaded, the link will refer to its full Internet address rather than presenting a broken link. The fact that the former links are converted to relative links ensures that you can move the downloaded hierarchy to another directory.

Note that only at the end of the download can Wget know which links have been downloaded. Because of that, the work done by -k will be performed at the end of all the downloads.

When converting a file, back up the original version with a .orig suffix. Affects the behavior of -N.
Turn on options suitable for mirroring. This option turns on recursion and time-stamping, sets infinite recursion depth and keeps FTP directory listings. It is currently equivalent to -r -N -l inf --no-remove-listing.
This option causes Wget to download all the files that are necessary to properly display a given HTML page. This includes such things as inlined images, sounds, and referenced stylesheets.

Ordinarily, when downloading a single HTML page, any requisite documents that may be needed to display it properly are not downloaded. Using -r together with -l can help, but since Wget does not ordinarily distinguish between external and inlined documents, one is generally left with ``leaf documents'' that are missing their requisites.

For instance, say document 1.php contains an "<IMG>" tag referencing 1.gif and an "<A>" tag pointing to external document 2.php. Say that 2.php is similar but that its image is 2.gif and it links to 3.php. Say this continues up to some arbitrarily high number.

If one executes the command:

        wget -r -l 2 http://<site>/1.php

then 1.php, 1.gif, 2.php, 2.gif, and 3.php will be downloaded. As you can see, 3.php is without its requisite 3.gif because Wget is simply counting the number of hops (up to 2) away from 1.php in order to determine where to stop the recursion. However, with this command:

        wget -r -l 2 -p http://<site>/1.php

all the above files and 3.php's requisite 3.gif will be downloaded. Similarly,

        wget -r -l 1 -p http://<site>/1.php

will cause 1.php, 1.gif, 2.php, and 2.gif to be downloaded. One might think that:

        wget -r -l 0 -p http://<site>/1.php

would download just 1.php and 1.gif, but unfortunately this is not the case, because -l 0 is equivalent to -l inf---that is, infinite recursion. To download a single HTML page (or a handful of them, all specified on the command-line or in a -i URL input file) and its (or their) requisites, simply leave off -r and -l:

        wget -p http://<site>/1.php

Note that Wget will behave as if -r had been specified, but only that single page and its requisites will be downloaded. Links from that page to external documents will not be followed. Actually, to download a single page and all its requisites (even if they exist on separate websites), and make sure the lot displays properly locally, this author likes to use a few options in addition to -p:

        wget -E -H -k -K -p http://<site>/<document>

To finish off this topic, it's worth knowing that Wget's idea of an external document link is any URL specified in an "<A>" tag, an "<AREA>" tag, or a "<LINK>" tag other than "<LINK REL="stylesheet">".

Turn on strict parsing of HTML comments. The default is to terminate comments at the first occurrence of -->.

According to specifications, HTML comments are expressed as SGML declarations. Declaration is special markup that begins with <! and ends with >, such as <!DOCTYPE ...>, that may contain comments between a pair of -- delimiters. HTML comments are ``empty declarations'', SGML declarations without any non-comment text. Therefore, <!--foo---> is a valid comment, and so is <!--one--- --two--->, but <!--1--2--> is not.

On the other hand, most HTML writers don't perceive comments as anything other than text delimited with <!-- and -->, which is not quite the same. For example, something like <!------------> works as a valid comment as long as the number of dashes is a multiple of four (!). If not, the comment technically lasts until the next --, which may be at the other end of the document. Because of this, many popular browsers completely ignore the specification and implement what users have come to expect: comments delimited with <!-- and -->.

Until version 1.9, Wget interpreted comments strictly, which resulted in missing links in many web pages that displayed fine in browsers, but had the misfortune of containing non-compliant comments. Beginning with version 1.9, Wget has joined the ranks of clients that implements ``naive'' comments, terminating each comment at the first occurrence of -->.

If, for whatever reason, you want strict comment parsing, use this option to turn it on.


Recursive Accept/Reject Options

-A acclist --accept acclist
-R rejlist --reject rejlist
Specify comma-separated lists of file name suffixes or patterns to accept or reject..
-D domain-list
Set domains to be followed. domain-list is a comma-separated list of domains. Note that it does not turn on -H.
--exclude-domains domain-list
Specify the domains that are not to be followed..
Follow FTP links from HTML documents. Without this option, Wget will ignore all the FTP links.
Wget has an internal table of HTML tag / attribute pairs that it considers when looking for linked documents during a recursive retrieval. If a user wants only a subset of those tags to be considered, however, he or she should be specify such tags in a comma-separated list with this option.
This is the opposite of the --follow-tags option. To skip certain HTML tags when recursively looking for documents to download, specify them in a comma-separated list.

In the past, this option was the best bet for downloading a single page and its requisites, using a command-line like:

        wget --ignore-tags=a,area -H -k -K -r http://<site>/<document>

However, the author of this option came across a page with tags like "<LINK REL="home" HREF="/">" and came to the realization that specifying tags to ignore was not enough. One can't just tell Wget to ignore "<LINK>", because then stylesheets will not be downloaded. Now the best bet for downloading a single page and its requisites is the dedicated --page-requisites option.

Enable spanning across hosts when doing recursive retrieving.
Follow relative links only. Useful for retrieving a specific home page without any distractions, not even those from the same hosts.
-I list
Specify a comma-separated list of directories you wish to follow when downloading. Elements of list may contain wildcards.
-X list
Specify a comma-separated list of directories you wish to exclude from download. Elements of list may contain wildcards.
Do not ever ascend to the parent directory when retrieving recursively. This is a useful option, since it guarantees that only the files below a certain hierarchy will be downloaded.


The examples are divided into three sections loosely based on their complexity.  

Simple Usage

Say you want to download a URL. Just type:

        wget http://fly.srk.fer.hr/

But what will happen if the connection is slow, and the file is lengthy? The connection will probably fail before the whole file is retrieved, more than once. In this case, Wget will try getting the file until it either gets the whole of it, or exceeds the default number of retries (this being 20). It is easy to change the number of tries to 45, to insure that the whole file will arrive safely:

        wget --tries=45 http://fly.srk.fer.hr/jpg/flyweb.jpg

Now let's leave Wget to work in the background, and write its progress to log file log. It is tiring to type --tries, so we shall use -t.

        wget -t 45 -o log http://fly.srk.fer.hr/jpg/flyweb.jpg &

The ampersand at the end of the line makes sure that Wget works in the background. To unlimit the number of retries, use -t inf.

The usage of FTP is as simple. Wget will take care of login and password.

        wget ftp://gnjilux.srk.fer.hr/welcome.msg

If you specify a directory, Wget will retrieve the directory listing, parse it and convert it to HTML. Try:

        wget ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/
        links index.php


Advanced Usage

You have a file that contains the URLs you want to download? Use the -i switch:

        wget -i <file>

If you specify - as file name, the URLs will be read from standard input.

Create a five levels deep mirror image of the GNU web site, with the same directory structure the original has, with only one try per document, saving the log of the activities to gnulog:

        wget -r http://www.gnu.org/ -o gnulog

The same as the above, but convert the links in the HTML files to point to local files, so you can view the documents off-line:

        wget --convert-links -r http://www.gnu.org/ -o gnulog

Retrieve only one HTML page, but make sure that all the elements needed for the page to be displayed, such as inline images and external style sheets, are also downloaded. Also make sure the downloaded page references the downloaded links.

        wget -p --convert-links http://www.server.com/dir/page.php

The HTML page will be saved to www.server.com/dir/page.php, and the images, stylesheets, etc., somewhere under www.server.com/, depending on where they were on the remote server.

The same as the above, but without the www.server.com/ directory. In fact, I don't want to have all those random server directories anyway---just save all those files under a download/ subdirectory of the current directory.

        wget -p --convert-links -nH -nd -Pdownload \

Retrieve the index.php of www.lycos.com, showing the original server headers:

        wget -S http://www.lycos.com/

Save the server headers with the file, perhaps for post-processing.

        wget --save-headers http://www.lycos.com/
        more index.php

Retrieve the first two levels of wuarchive.wustl.edu, saving them to /tmp.

        wget -r -l2 -P/tmp ftp://wuarchive.wustl.edu/

You want to download all the GIFs from a directory on an HTTP server. You tried wget http://www.server.com/dir/*.gif, but that didn't work because HTTP retrieval does not support globbing. In that case, use:

        wget -r -l1 --no-parent -A.gif http://www.server.com/dir/

More verbose, but the effect is the same. -r -l1 means to retrieve recursively, with maximum depth of 1. --no-parent means that references to the parent directory are ignored, and -A.gif means to download only the GIF files. -A ``*.gif'' would have worked too.

Suppose you were in the middle of downloading, when Wget was interrupted. Now you do not want to clobber the files already present. It would be:

        wget -nc -r http://www.gnu.org/

If you want to encode your own username and password to HTTP or FTP, use the appropriate URL syntax.

        wget ftp://hniksic:mypassword@unix.server.com/.emacs

Note, however, that this usage is not advisable on multi-user systems because it reveals your password to anyone who looks at the output of "ps".

You would like the output documents to go to standard output instead of to files?

        wget -O - http://jagor.srce.hr/ http://www.srce.hr/

You can also combine the two options and make pipelines to retrieve the documents from remote hotlists:

        wget -O - http://cool.list.com/ | wget --force-html -i -


Very Advanced Usage

If you wish Wget to keep a mirror of a page (or FTP subdirectories), use --mirror (-m), which is the shorthand for -r -l inf -N. You can put Wget in the crontab file asking it to recheck a site each Sunday:

        0 0 * * 0 wget --mirror http://www.gnu.org/ -o /home/me/weeklog

In addition to the above, you want the links to be converted for local viewing. But, after having read this manual, you know that link conversion doesn't play well with timestamping, so you also want Wget to back up the original HTML files before the conversion. Wget invocation would look like this:

        wget --mirror --convert-links --backup-converted  \
             http://www.gnu.org/ -o /home/me/weeklog

But you've also noticed that local viewing doesn't work all that well when HTML files are saved under extensions other than .php, perhaps because they were served as index.cgi. So you'd like Wget to rename all the files served with content-type text/html or application/xhtml+xml to name.php.

        wget --mirror --convert-links --backup-converted \
             --html-extension -o /home/me/weeklog        \

Or, with less typing:

        wget -m -k -K -E http://www.gnu.org/ -o /home/me/weeklog



Default location of the global startup file.
User startup file.


You are welcome to send bug reports about GNU Wget to <bug-wget@gnu.org>.

Before actually submitting a bug report, please try to follow a few simple guidelines.

Please try to ascertain that the behavior you see really is a bug. If Wget crashes, it's a bug. If Wget does not behave as documented, it's a bug. If things work strange, but you are not sure about the way they are supposed to work, it might well be a bug.
Try to repeat the bug in as simple circumstances as possible. E.g. if Wget crashes while downloading wget -rl0 -kKE -t5 -Y0 http://yoyodyne.com -o /tmp/log, you should try to see if the crash is repeatable, and if will occur with a simpler set of options. You might even try to start the download at the page where the crash occurred to see if that page somehow triggered the crash.

Also, while I will probably be interested to know the contents of your .wgetrc file, just dumping it into the debug message is probably a bad idea. Instead, you should first try to see if the bug repeats with .wgetrc moved out of the way. Only if it turns out that .wgetrc settings affect the bug, mail me the relevant parts of the file.

Please start Wget with -d option and send us the resulting output (or relevant parts thereof). If Wget was compiled without debug support, recompile it---it is much easier to trace bugs with debug support on.

Note: please make sure to remove any potentially sensitive information from the debug log before sending it to the bug address. The "-d" won't go out of its way to collect sensitive information, but the log will contain a fairly complete transcript of Wget's communication with the server, which may include passwords and pieces of downloaded data. Since the bug address is publically archived, you may assume that all bug reports are visible to the public.

If Wget has crashed, try to run it in a debugger, e.g. "gdb `which wget` core" and type "where" to get the backtrace. This may not work if the system administrator has disabled core files, but it is safe to try.


GNU Info entry for wget.  


Originally written by Hrvoje Niksic <hniksic@xemacs.org>.  


Copyright (c) 1996--2005 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this manual provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are preserved on all copies.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with the Invariant Sections being ``GNU General Public License'' and ``GNU Free Documentation License'', with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled ``GNU Free Documentation License''.