10 Wget (Linux File Downloader) Command Examples in Linux


In this article, we are going to review the wget utility which retrieves files from World Wide Web (WWW) using widely used protocols like HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, and FTPS.

Wget is a free command-line utility and network file downloader, which comes with many features that make file downloads easy, including:

  • Download large files or mirror complete web or FTP sites.
  • Download multiple files at once.
  • Set bandwidth and speed limit for downloads.
  • Download files through proxies.
  • Can resume aborted downloads.
  • Recursively mirror directories.
  • Runs on most UNIX-like operating systems as well as Windows.
  • Unattended / background operation.
  • Support for persistent HTTP connections.
  • Support for SSL/TLS for encrypted downloads using the OpenSSL or GnuTLS library.
  • Support for IPv4 and IPv6 downloads.

The basic syntax of Wget is:

$ wget [option] [URL]

First, check whether the wget utility is already installed or not in your Linux box, using the following command.

$ rpm -q wget         [On RHEL/CentOS/Fedora and Rocky Linux/AlmaLinux]
$ dpkg -l | grep wget [On Debian, Ubuntu and Mint]

Install Wget in Linux

If Wget is not installed, you can install it using your Linux system’s default package manager as shown.

$ sudo apt install wget -y      [On Debian, Ubuntu and Mint]
$ sudo yum install wget -y      [On RHEL/CentOS/Fedora and Rocky Linux/AlmaLinux]
$ sudo emerge -a net-misc/wget  [On Gentoo Linux]
$ sudo pacman -Sy wget           [On Arch Linux]
$ sudo zypper install wget      [On OpenSUSE]    

The -y option used here is to prevent confirmation prompts before installing any package. For more YUM and APT command examples and options read our articles on:

1. Download a File with Wget

The command will download a single file and store it in a current directory. It also shows download progress, size, date, and time while downloading.

# wget http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/wget/wget2-2.0.0.tar.gz

--2021-12-10 04:15:16--  http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/wget/wget2-2.0.0.tar.gz
Resolving ftp.gnu.org (ftp.gnu.org)... 209.51.188.20, 2001:470:142:3::b
Connecting to ftp.gnu.org (ftp.gnu.org)|209.51.188.20|:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 3565643 (3.4M) [application/x-gzip]
Saving to: ‘wget2-2.0.0.tar.gz’

wget2-2.0.0.tar.gz      100%[==========>]   3.40M  2.31MB/s    in 1.5s    

2021-12-10 04:15:18 (2.31 MB/s) - ‘wget2-2.0.0.tar.gz’ saved [3565643/3565643]

2. Wget Download File with Different Name

Using -O (uppercase) option, downloads files with the different file names. Here we have given the wget.zip file name as shown below.

# wget -O wget.zip http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/wget/wget2-2.0.0.tar.gz

--2021-12-10 04:20:19--  http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/wget/wget-1.5.3.tar.gz
Resolving ftp.gnu.org (ftp.gnu.org)... 209.51.188.20, 2001:470:142:3::b
Connecting to ftp.gnu.org (ftp.gnu.org)|209.51.188.20|:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 446966 (436K) [application/x-gzip]
Saving to: ‘wget.zip’

wget.zip      100%[===================>] 436.49K   510KB/s    in 0.9s    

2021-12-10 04:20:21 (510 KB/s) - ‘wget.zip’ saved [446966/446966]

3. Wget Download Multiple Files with HTTP and FTP Protocol

Here we see how to download multiple files using HTTP and FTP protocol with the wget command at once.

$ wget http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/wget/wget2-2.0.0.tar.gz ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/wget/wget2-2.0.0.tar.gz.sig

--2021-12-10 06:45:17--  http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/wget/wget2-2.0.0.tar.gz
Resolving ftp.gnu.org (ftp.gnu.org)... 209.51.188.20, 2001:470:142:3::b
Connecting to ftp.gnu.org (ftp.gnu.org)|209.51.188.20|:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 3565643 (3.4M) [application/x-gzip]
Saving to: ‘wget2-2.0.0.tar.gz’

wget2-2.0.0.tar.gz      100%[==========>]   4.40M  4.31MB/s    in 1.1s    

2021-12-10 06:46:10 (2.31 MB/s) - ‘wget2-2.0.0.tar.gz’ saved [3565643/3565643]

4. Wget Download Multiple Files From a File

To download multiple files at once, use the -i option with the location of the file that contains the list of URLs to be downloaded. Each URL needs to be added on a separate line as shown.

For example, the following file ‘download-linux.txt‘ file contains the list of URLs to be downloaded.

# cat download-linux.txt 

https://releases.ubuntu.com/20.04.3/ubuntu-20.04.3-desktop-amd64.iso
https://download.rockylinux.org/pub/rocky/8/isos/x86_64/Rocky-8.5-x86_64-dvd1.iso
https://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/current/amd64/iso-dvd/debian-11.2.0-amd64-DVD-1.iso
# wget -i download-linux.txt

--2021-12-10 04:52:40--  https://releases.ubuntu.com/20.04.3/ubuntu-20.04.3-desktop-amd64.iso
Resolving releases.ubuntu.com (releases.ubuntu.com)... 91.189.88.248, 91.189.88.247, 91.189.91.124, ...
Connecting to releases.ubuntu.com (releases.ubuntu.com)|91.189.88.248|:443... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 3071934464 (2.9G) [application/x-iso9660-image]
Saving to: ‘ubuntu-20.04.3-desktop-amd64.iso’

ubuntu-20.04.3-desktop-amd64   4%[=>      ] 137.71M  11.2MB/s    eta 3m 30s
...

If your URL list has a particular numbering pattern, you can add curly braces to fetch all the URLs that match the pattern. For example, if you want to download a series of Linux kernels starting from version 5.1.1 to 5.1.15, you can do the following.

$ wget https://mirrors.edge.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v5.x/linux-5.1.{1..15}.tar.gz

--2021-12-10 05:46:59--  https://mirrors.edge.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v5.x/linux-5.1.1.tar.gz
Resolving mirrors.edge.kernel.org (mirrors.edge.kernel.org)... 147.75.95.133, 2604:1380:3000:1500::1
Connecting to mirrors.edge.kernel.org (mirrors.edge.kernel.org)|147.75.95.133|:443... connected.
WARNING: The certificate of ‘mirrors.edge.kernel.org’ is not trusted.
WARNING: The certificate of ‘mirrors.edge.kernel.org’ is not yet activated.
The certificate has not yet been activated
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 164113671 (157M) [application/x-gzip]
Saving to: ‘linux-5.1.1.tar.gz’

linux-5.1.1.tar.gz      100%[===========>] 156.51M  2.59MB/s    in 61s     

2021-12-10 05:48:01 (2.57 MB/s) - ‘linux-5.1.1.tar.gz’ saved [164113671/164113671]

--2021-12-10 05:48:01--  https://mirrors.edge.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v5.x/linux-5.1.2.tar.gz
Reusing existing connection to mirrors.edge.kernel.org:443.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 164110470 (157M) [application/x-gzip]
Saving to: ‘linux-5.1.2.tar.gz’

linux-5.1.2.tar.gz     19%[===========]  30.57M  2.58MB/s    eta 50s

5. Wget Resume Uncompleted Download

In case of big file download, it may happen sometimes to stop download in that case we can resume downloading the same file where it was left off with -c option.

But when you start downloading files without specifying -c an option wget will add .1 extension at the end of the file, considered as a fresh download. So, it’s good practice to add -c switch when you download big files.

# wget -c https://releases.ubuntu.com/20.04.3/ubuntu-20.04.3-desktop-amd64.iso

--2021-12-10 05:27:59--  https://releases.ubuntu.com/20.04.3/ubuntu-20.04.3-desktop-amd64.iso
Resolving releases.ubuntu.com (releases.ubuntu.com)... 91.189.88.247, 91.189.91.123, 91.189.91.124, ...
Connecting to releases.ubuntu.com (releases.ubuntu.com)|91.189.88.247|:443... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 206 Partial Content
Length: 3071934464 (2.9G), 2922987520 (2.7G) remaining [application/x-iso9660-image]
Saving to: ‘ubuntu-20.04.3-desktop-amd64.iso’

ubuntu-20.04.3-desktop-amd64.iso        5%[++++++> ]   167.93M  11.1MB/s               
^C
[[email protected] ~]# wget -c https://releases.ubuntu.com/20.04.3/ubuntu-20.04.3-desktop-amd64.iso
--2021-12-10 05:28:03--  https://releases.ubuntu.com/20.04.3/ubuntu-20.04.3-desktop-amd64.iso
Resolving releases.ubuntu.com (releases.ubuntu.com)... 91.189.88.248, 91.189.91.124, 91.189.91.123, ...
Connecting to releases.ubuntu.com (releases.ubuntu.com)|91.189.88.248|:443... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 206 Partial Content
Length: 3071934464 (2.9G), 2894266368 (2.7G) remaining [application/x-iso9660-image]
Saving to: ‘ubuntu-20.04.3-desktop-amd64.iso’

ubuntu-20.04.3-desktop-amd64.iso        10%[+++++++=====> ] 296.32M  17.2MB/s    eta 2m 49s ^

6. Wget Mirror Entire Website

To download or mirror or copy an entire website for offline viewing, you can use use the following command that will make a local copy of the website along with all the assets (JavaScript, CSS, Images).

$ wget --recursive --page-requisites --adjust-extension --span-hosts --convert-links --restrict-file-names=windows --domains yoursite.com --no-parent yoursite.com

Explanation of the above command.

wget \
     --recursive \ # Download the whole site.
     --page-requisites \ # Get all assets/elements (CSS/JS/images).
     --adjust-extension \ # Save files with .html on the end.
     --span-hosts \ # Include necessary assets from offsite as well.
     --convert-links \ # Update links to still work in the static version.
     --restrict-file-names=windows \ # Modify filenames to work in Windows as well.
     --domains yoursite.com \ # Do not follow links outside this domain.
     --no-parent \ # Don't follow links outside the directory you pass in.
         yoursite.com/whatever/path # The URL to download

7. Wget Download Files in Background

With -b option you can send download in the background immediately after download start and logs are written in wget.log file.

$ wget -b wget.log https://releases.ubuntu.com/20.04.3/ubuntu-20.04.3-desktop-amd64.iso

Continuing in background, pid 8999.
Output will be written to ‘wget.log’.

8. Wget Set File Download Speed Limits

With option --limit-rate=100k, the download speed limit is restricted to 100k and the logs will be created under wget.log as shown below.

$ wget -c --limit-rate=100k -b wget.log https://releases.ubuntu.com/20.04.3/ubuntu-20.04.3-desktop-amd64.iso

Continuing in background, pid 9108.
Output will be written to ‘wget-log’.

View the wget.log file and check the download speed of the wget.

$ tail -f wget-log 

 5600K .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  0%  104K 8h19m
 5650K .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  0%  103K 8h19m
 5700K .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  0%  105K 8h19m
 5750K .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  0%  104K 8h18m
 5800K .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  0%  104K 8h18m
 5850K .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  0%  105K 8h18m
 5900K .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  0%  103K 8h18m
 5950K .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  0%  105K 8h18m
 6000K .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  0% 69.0K 8h20m
 6050K .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  0%  106K 8h19m
 6100K .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  0% 98.5K 8h20m
 6150K .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  0%  110K 8h19m
 6200K .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  0%  104K 8h19m
 6250K .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........  0%  104K 8h19m
...

9. Wget Download Password Protected Files via FTP and HTTP

To download a file from a password-protected FTP server, you can use the options --ftp-user=username and --ftp-password=password as shown.

$ wget --ftp-user=narad --ftp-password=password ftp://ftp.example.com/filename.tar.gz

To download a file from a password-protected HTTP server, you can use the options --http-user=username and --http-password=password as shown.

$ wget --http-user=narad --http-password=password http://http.example.com/filename.tar.gz

10. Wget Ignore SSL Certificate Check

To ignore SSL certificate check while downloading files over HTTPS, you can use the --no-check-certificate option:

$ wget --no-check-certificate https://mirrors.edge.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v5.x/linux-5.1.1.tar.gz

--2021-12-10 06:21:21--  https://mirrors.edge.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v5.x/linux-5.1.1.tar.gz
Resolving mirrors.edge.kernel.org (mirrors.edge.kernel.org)... 147.75.95.133, 2604:1380:3000:1500::1
Connecting to mirrors.edge.kernel.org (mirrors.edge.kernel.org)|147.75.95.133|:443... connected.
WARNING: The certificate of ‘mirrors.edge.kernel.org’ is not trusted.
WARNING: The certificate of ‘mirrors.edge.kernel.org’ is not yet activated.
The certificate has not yet been activated
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 164113671 (157M) [application/x-gzip]
Saving to: ‘linux-5.1.1.tar.gz’
...

11. Wget Version and Help

With options --version and --help you can view the version and help as needed.

$ wget --version
$ wget --help

In this article, we have covered Linux wget commands with options for daily administrative tasks. Do man wget if you want to know more about it. Kindly share through our comment box or if we’ve missed out on anything, do let us know.

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