What is wget and curl command?

What is wget and curl command?

Hey Everyone In today's blog we are going to understand what is wget and curl command. Why we need this command and why it makes our life easier in many ways.

What is wget?

wget stands for "web get" and is a command-line tool used to download files from the internet. It's commonly used in Unix-like operating systems (such as Linux) to fetch files from websites or servers.

In a very simple way, you can think of wget as a tool that lets you tell your computer to go to a specific web address and grab a file from there. For instance, if you want to download a picture from a website, you can use wget like this:

wget https://i.pinimg.com/564x/72/71/0b/72710bd4197858702e983cbecb18b6d7.jpg

This command tells wget to go to the URL "https://i.pinimg.com/564x/72/71/0b/72710bd4197858702e983cbecb18b6d7.jpg" and save the file "image.jpg" onto your computer.

Remember, wget is primarily used through the command line, so you'll need to open a terminal or command prompt on your computer to use it.

Let's take an example

wget command to download the Docker installation script for Linux. This example assumes you're using a Linux-based system, as Docker is commonly used on such platforms.

  1. Open a terminal on your Linux system.

  2. Use the wget command to download the Docker installation script. The script will install Docker and its dependencies. The URL of the script might change over time, so be sure to check the official Docker website for the latest installation script URL.

wget https://get.docker.com/ -O install-docker.sh

In this command:

  1. Once the download is complete, you can make the script executable using the chmod command:
chmod +x install-docker.sh
  1. Run the installation script:
sudo ./install-docker.sh

Here's what each step does:

  • Step 1: Downloads the Docker installation script from the specified URL and saves it as install-docker.sh.

  • Step 2: Makes the script executable so that you can run it.

  • Step 3: Runs the installation script with superuser privileges (using sudo). The script will install Docker and its dependencies on your system.

What is curl Command for?

The curl command is another command-line tool used to work with URLs and perform various tasks involving data transfer. It's often used to fetch files or data from the internet, just like wget. However, curl can do more than just simple downloads; it can also send data, interact with APIs, and perform more complex operations.

Here's a simple example of how you might use the curl command:

Let's say you want to download a text file from a website:

curl -o output.txt https://www.example.com/textfile.txt

In this command:

  • -o output.txt specifies the name of the output file where the downloaded content will be saved. In this case, it's named output.txt.

  • https://www.example.com/textfile.txt is the URL of the text file you want to download.

So, curl is like a versatile Swiss Army knife for working with URLs, allowing you to download files, upload data, and interact with web services in a command-line environment.

Let's take an example

Here's a practical example of how you can use the curl command to get weather information from a weather API:

Suppose you want to fetch the current weather in a specific city using the OpenWeatherMap API. The API endpoint for this task is https://api.openweathermap.org/data/2.5/weather, and you need to provide an API key and the city name as parameters.

curl "https://api.openweathermap.org/data/2.5/weather?q=NewYork&appid=YOUR_API_KEY"

In this example:

  • https://api.openweathermap.org/data/2.5/weather is the API endpoint for weather data.

  • q=NewYork specifies the city for which you want weather information (New York in this case).

  • appid=YOUR_API_KEY is where you would replace YOUR_API_KEY with an actual API key you've obtained from OpenWeatherMap.

When you run the above curl command in your terminal, the API will respond with weather data in JSON format, including information like temperature, humidity, and weather conditions.

Please note that this example requires an API key, which you need to obtain by signing up on the OpenWeatherMap website. This is a simplified example, and in real-world scenarios, you might want to parse the JSON response for specific data or integrate this into a larger script or application.

Difference between wget and curl

In a very simple way:

  • wget: Focuses on downloading files from the internet. It's like telling your computer to "grab that file" from a web address.

  • curl: This is like a versatile data transfer tool. It can not only download files but also send data, interact with APIs, and perform more complex tasks involving URLs. It's like a "communication tool" that can handle a wider range of tasks beyond just downloading files.


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