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, XHTML, and CSS pages, to 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 files to point at 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.
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 of -o log you can write -olog.
You may put several options that do not require arguments together,
wget -drc <URL>
This is completely equivalent to:
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:
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
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 = on" in .wgetrc makes Wget
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.
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
Log all messages to logfile. The messages are normally reported to
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 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
Output bandwidth as type. The only accepted value is bits.
Read URLs from a local or external 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. If --force-html is not specified, then file should
consist of a series of URLs, one per line.
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.
If the file is an external one, the document will be automatically
treated as html if the Content-Type matches text/html.
Furthermore, the file's location will be implicitly used as base
href if none was specified.
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.
Resolves relative links using URL as the point of reference, when
reading links from an HTML file specified via the -i/--input-file
option (together with --force-html, or when the input file was
fetched remotely from a server describing it as HTML). This is
equivalent to the presence of a "BASE" tag in the HTML input file,
with URL as the value for the "href" attribute.
Set number of tries 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.
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 -.)
Use of -O is not intended to mean simply "use the name file instead
of the one in the URL;" rather, it is analogous to shell
redirection: wget -O file http://foo is intended to work like wget
-O - http://foo > file; file will be truncated immediately, and all
downloaded content will be written there.
For this reason, -N (for timestamp-checking) is not supported in
combination with -O: since file is always newly created, it will
always have a very new timestamp. A warning will be issued if this
combination is used.
Similarly, using -r or -p with -O may not work as you expect: Wget
won't just download the first file to file and then download the
rest to their normal names: all downloaded content will be placed
in file. This was disabled in version 1.11, but has been reinstated
(with a warning) in 1.11.2, as there are some cases where this
behavior can actually have some use.
Note that a combination with -k is only permitted when downloading
a single document, as in that case it will just convert all
relative URIs to external ones; -k makes no sense for multiple URIs
when they're all being downloaded to a single file; -k can be used
only when the output is a regular file.
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, -r, or -p, 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. (This is also the behavior with -nd, even if -r or -p
are in effect.) 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
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 .html or
.htm will be loaded from the local disk and parsed as if they had
been retrieved from the Web.
Before (over)writing a file, back up an existing file by adding a
.1 suffix (_1 on VMS) to the file name. Such backup files are
rotated to .2, .3, and so on, up to backups (and lost beyond that).
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
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
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
-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
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 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). If "mega" is not enough then you can use the "giga"
style---each dot represents 1M retrieved, there are eight dots in a
cluster, and 32 dots on each line (so each line contains 32M).
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.
Don't set the local file's timestamp by the one on the server.
By default, when a file is downloaded, its timestamps are set to
match those from the remote file. This allows the use of
--timestamping on subsequent invocations of wget. However, it is
sometimes useful to base the local file's timestamp on when it was
actually downloaded; for that purpose, the
--no-use-server-timestamps option has been provided.
This feature needs much more work for Wget to get close to the
functionality of real web spiders.
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
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 to 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
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
This option allows the use of decimal numbers, usually in
conjunction with power suffixes; for example, --limit-rate=2.5k is
a legal value.
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. The waiting interval specified by this function is
influenced by "--random-wait", which see.
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.
By default, Wget will assume a value of 10 seconds.
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 0.5 and 1.5 * wait seconds,
where wait was specified using the --wait option, in order to mask
Wget's presence from such analysis.
A 2001 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
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.
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
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
If you don't understand exactly what this option does, you probably
won't need it.
Change which characters found in remote URLs must be escaped during
generation of local filenames. 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.
This option may also be used to force all alphabetical cases to be
either lower- or uppercase.
By default, Wget escapes the characters that are not valid or safe
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, perhaps because you are downloading to
a non-native partition, or because you want to disable escaping of
the control characters, or you want to further restrict characters
to only those in the ASCII range of values.
The modes are a comma-separated set of text values. The acceptable
values are unix, windows, nocontrol, ascii, lowercase, and
uppercase. The values unix and windows are mutually exclusive (one
will override the other), as are lowercase and uppercase. Those
last are special cases, as they do not change the set of characters
that would be escaped, but rather force local file paths to be
converted either to lower- or uppercase.
When "unix" is specified, Wget escapes the character / and the
control characters in the ranges 0--31 and 128--159. This is the
default on Unix-like operating systems.
When "windows" is given, 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 specify nocontrol, then the escaping of the control
characters is also switched off. This option may make sense when
you are downloading URLs whose names contain UTF-8 characters, on a
system which can save and display filenames in UTF-8 (some possible
byte values used in UTF-8 byte sequences fall in the range of
-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 try 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. The address order returned by
DNS is used without change 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 18.104.22.168. 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.
Force Wget to use encoding as the default system encoding. That
affects how Wget converts URLs specified as arguments from locale
to UTF-8 for IRI support.
Wget use the function "nl_langinfo()" and then the "CHARSET"
environment variable to get the locale. If it fails, ASCII is used.
You can set the default local encoding using the "local_encoding"
command in .wgetrc. That setting may be overridden from the command
Force Wget to use encoding as the default remote server encoding.
That affects how Wget converts URIs found in files from remote
encoding to UTF-8 during a recursive fetch. This options is only
useful for IRI support, for the interpretation of non-ASCII
For HTTP, remote encoding can be found in HTTP "Content-Type"
header and in HTML "Content-Type http-equiv" meta tag.
You can set the default encoding using the "remoteencoding" command
in .wgetrc. That setting may be overridden from the command line.
Force Wget to unlink file instead of clobbering existing file. This
option is useful for downloading to the directory with hardlinks.
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
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
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.
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
Use name as the default file name when it isn't known (i.e., for
URLs that end in a slash), instead of index.html.
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 .html 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
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.html file corresponds to remote URL X (since it doesn't yet know
that the URL produces output of type text/html or
As of version 1.12, Wget will also ensure that any downloaded files
of type text/css end in the suffix .css, and the option was renamed
from --html-extension, to better reflect its new behavior. The old
option name is still acceptable, but should now be considered
At some point in the future, this option may well be expanded to
"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.
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
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.
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
Load cookies from file before the first HTTP retrieval. file is a
textual file in the format originally used by Netscape's
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
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
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 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
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
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.
Specifies the maximum number of redirections to follow for a
resource. The default is 20, which is usually far more than
necessary. However, on those occasions where you want to allow more
(or fewer), this is the option to use.
Specify the username user and password password for authentication
on a proxy server. Wget will encode them using the "basic"
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.
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
encoding for special characters; the only difference is that one
expects its content as a command-line parameter and the other
accepts its content from a file. In particular, --post-file is not
for transmitting files as form attachments: those must appear as
"key=value" data (with appropriate percent-coding) just like
everything else. Wget does not currently support
"multipart/form-data" for transmitting POST data; only
"application/x-www-form-urlencoded". Only one of --post-data and
--post-file should be specified.
Please note that wget does not require the content to be of the
form "key1=value1&key2=value2", and neither does it test for it.
Wget will simply transmit whatever data is provided to it. Most
servers however expect the POST data to be in the above format when
processing HTML Forms.
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: As of version 1.15 if Wget is redirected after the POST
request is completed, its behaviour will depend on the response
code returned by the server. In case of a 301 Moved Permanently,
302 Moved Temporarily or 307 Temporary Redirect, Wget will, in
accordance with RFC2616, continue to send a POST request. In case
a server wants the client to change the Request method upon
redirection, it should send a 303 See Other response code.
This example shows how to log in 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 \
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.
Currently, --body-file is not for transmitting files as a whole.
Wget does not currently support "multipart/form-data" for
transmitting data; only "application/x-www-form-urlencoded". In the
future, this may be changed so that wget sends the --body-file as a
complete file instead of sending its contents to the server. Please
be aware that Wget needs to know the contents of BODY Data in
advance, and hence the argument to --body-file should be a regular
file. See --post-file for a more detailed explanation. Only one of
--body-data and --body-file should be specified.
If Wget is redirected after the request is completed, Wget will
suspend the current method and send a GET request till the
redirection is completed. This is true for all redirection
response codes except 307 Temporary Redirect which is used to
explicitly specify that the request method should not change.
Another exception is when the method is set to "POST", in which
case the redirection rules specified under --post-data are
If this is set to on, experimental (not fully-functional) support
for "Content-Disposition" headers is enabled. This can currently
result in extra round-trips to the server for a "HEAD" request, and
is known to suffer from a few bugs, which is why it is not
currently enabled by default.
This option is useful for some file-downloading CGI programs that
use "Content-Disposition" headers to describe what the name of a
downloaded file should be.
If this is set to on, wget will not skip the content when the
server responds with a http status code that indicates error.
If this is set to on, on a redirect the last component of the
redirection URL will be used as the local file name. By default it
is used the last component in the original URL.
If this option is given, Wget will send Basic HTTP authentication
information (plaintext username and password) for all requests,
just like Wget 1.10.2 and prior did by default.
Use of this option is not recommended, and is intended only to
support some few obscure servers, which never send HTTP
authentication challenges, but accept unsolicited auth info, say,
in addition to form-based authentication.
HTTPS (SSL/TLS) Options
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.
Fortunately, such servers are quite rare.
Specifying PFS enforces the use of the so-called Perfect Forward
Security cipher suites. In short, PFS adds security by creating a
one-time key for each SSL connection. It has a bit more CPU impact
on client and server. We use known to be secure ciphers (e.g. no
MD4) and the TLS protocol.
When in recursive mode, only HTTPS links are followed.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
Use file as the destination WARC file.
Use string into as the warcinfo record.
Set the maximum size of the WARC files to size.
Write CDX index files.
Specify the location for temporary files created by the WARC
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.html 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:
By default, globbing will be turned on if the URL contains a
globbing character. This option may be used to turn globbing on or
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
case, use this option, or set "passive_ftp=off" in your init file.
Preserve remote file permissions instead of permissions set by
By default, when retrieving FTP directories recursively and a
symbolic link is encountered, the symbolic link is traversed and
the pointed-to files are retrieved. Currently, Wget does not
traverse symbolic links to directories to download them
recursively, though this feature may be added in the future.
When --retr-symlinks=no is specified, 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 retrieved unless
this recursive retrieval would have encountered it separately and
downloaded it anyway. This option poses a security risk where a
malicious FTP Server may cause Wget to write to files outside of
the intended directories through a specially crafted .LISTING file.
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.
Recursive Retrieval Options
Turn on recursive retrieving. The default maximum depth is 5.
Specify recursion maximum depth level depth.
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
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
transformation works reliably for arbitrary combinations of
o 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.html links to
/bar/img.gif (or to ../bar/img.gif), then the link in doc.html
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.html contains an "<IMG>" tag
referencing 1.gif and an "<A>" tag pointing to external document
2.html. Say that 2.html is similar but that its image is 2.gif and
it links to 3.html. Say this continues up to some arbitrarily high
If one executes the command:
wget -r -l 1 -p http://<site>/1.html
will cause 1.html, 1.gif, 2.html, and 2.gif to be downloaded. One
might think that:
wget -r -l 0 -p http://<site>/1.html
would download just 1.html 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.html
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
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
Specify comma-separated lists of file name suffixes or patterns to
accept or reject. Note that if any of the wildcard characters, *,
?, [ or ], appear in an element of acclist or rejlist, it will be
treated as a pattern, rather than a suffix. In this case, you have
to enclose the pattern into quotes to prevent your shell from
expanding it, like in -A "*.mp3" or -A '*.mp3'.
Specify a regular expression to accept or reject the complete URL.
Specify the regular expression type. Possible types are posix or
pcre. Note that to be able to use pcre type, wget has to be
compiled with libpcre support.
Set domains to be followed. domain-list is a comma-separated list
of domains. Note that it does not turn on -H.
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.
Ignore case when matching files and directories. This influences
Follow relative links only. Useful for retrieving a specific home
page without any distractions, not even those from the same hosts.
Specify a comma-separated list of directories you wish to follow
when downloading. Elements of list may contain wildcards.
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.
Wget supports proxies for both HTTP and FTP retrievals. The standard
way to specify proxy location, which Wget recognizes, is using the
following environment variables:
If set, the http_proxy and https_proxy variables should contain the
URLs of the proxies for HTTP and HTTPS connections respectively.
This variable should contain the URL of the proxy for FTP
connections. It is quite common that http_proxy and ftp_proxy are
set to the same URL.
This variable should contain a comma-separated list of domain
extensions proxy should not be used for. For instance, if the
value of no_proxy is .mit.edu, proxy will not be used to retrieve
documents from MIT.
Wget may return one of several error codes if it encounters problems.
0 No problems occurred.
1 Generic error code.
2 Parse error---for instance, when parsing command-line options, the
.wgetrc or .netrc...
3 File I/O error.
4 Network failure.
In versions of Wget prior to 1.12, Wget's exit status tended to be
unhelpful and inconsistent. Recursive downloads would virtually always
return 0 (success), regardless of any issues encountered, and non-
recursive fetches only returned the status corresponding to the most
Default location of the global startup file.
User startup file.
You are welcome to submit bug reports via the GNU Wget bug tracker (see
Before actually submitting a bug report, please try to follow a few
1. 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, but you might want to double-check the documentation and the
2. Try to repeat the bug in as simple circumstances as possible. E.g.
if Wget crashes while downloading wget -rl0 -kKE -t5 --no-proxy
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.
3. 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
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.
Originally written by Hrvoje Niksic <email@example.com>.
Copyright (c) 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004,
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or
any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no
Invariant Sections, 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".
GNU Wget 1.15 2018-05-08 WGET(1)
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All Rights Reserved.