Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Wget Manual

WGET(1) GNU Wget WGET(1)

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 con-
trast, 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 download-
ing." While doing that, Wget respects the Robot Exclusion Standard
(/robots.txt). Wget can be instructed to convert the links in down-
loaded 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 sup-
ports 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 dif-
ferent option styles, or specify options after the command-line argu-
ments. Thus you may write:

wget -r --tries=10 -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

This is a complete equivalent of:

wget -d -r -c

Since the options can be specified after the arguments, you may termi-
nate 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 conven-
tion that specifying an empty list clears its value. This can be use-
ful 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") vari-
able. 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 proper-

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- pre-
fix. 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 log-
file 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 sup-
port, 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

-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 "" 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 "" 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 -.)

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 redirec-
tion: 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.

Note that a combination with -k is only permitted when downloading
a single document, and combination with any of -r, -p, or -N is not

If a file is downloaded more than once in the same directory,
Wget's behavior depends on a few options, including -nc. In cer-
tain 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. 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 clob-
bering that's prevented (as the numeric suffixes were already pre-
venting clobbering), but rather the multiple version saving that's

When running Wget with -r or -p, but without -N or -nc, re-down-
loading 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 or -p, 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 .html 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

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 behav-
ior. -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 down-
load 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 big-
ger 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 behav-
ior 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 gar-
bled file. Wget has no way of verifying that the local file is
really a valid prefix of the remote file. You need to be espe-
cially careful of this when using -c in conjunction with -r, since
every file will be considered as an "incomplete download" candi-

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 inter-
rupted" 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 differ-
ent meaning to one dot. With the "default" style each dot repre-
sents 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" com-
mand 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 out-
put, use --progress=bar:force.

Turn on time-stamping.

Print the headers sent by HTTP servers and responses sent by FTP

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 book-

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

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 sub-
second 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 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 rea-
son, you don't want Wget to consume the entire available bandwidth.

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

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. How-
ever, 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. The waiting interval specified by this function is influ-
enced 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. There-
fore, 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

Some web sites may perform log analysis to identify retrieval pro-
grams such as Wget by looking for statistically significant simi-
larities 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
DHCP-supplied addresses.

The --random-wait option was inspired by this ill-advised recommen-
dation 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, 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

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 charac-
ters 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 in Unix mode would be
saved as in Windows mode.
This mode is the default on Windows.

If you append ,nocontrol to the mode, as in unix,nocontrol, escap-
ing 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 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 debug-
ging 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 net-
works. For example, 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 fam-
ily. 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 recur-
sively. 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 will save the downloaded file to

Disable generation of host-prefixed directories. By default,
invoking Wget with -r will create a struc-
ture of directories beginning with 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 If you retrieve it with -r, it
will be saved locally under While the
-nH option can remove the 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 sev-
eral examples of how --cut-dirs option works.

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

--cut-dirs=1 ->

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 direc-
tory where all other files and subdirectories will be saved to,
i.e. the top of the retrieval tree. The default is . (the current

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 .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 will be saved as arti-

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 applica-
tion/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

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), the "digest", or the Windows "NTLM"
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 maintain-
ing 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 own-
ers to keep track of visitors and for sites to exchange this infor-
mation, 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 cook-
ies.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 con-
tent. 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 cook-
ies.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:

The cookies are in ~/.netscape/cookies.txt.

Mozilla's cookie file is also named cookies.txt, located some-
where under ~/.mozilla, in the directory of your profile. The
full path usually ends up looking somewhat like

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.

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 alterna-
tive. 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 sup-

wget --no-cookies --header "Cookie: ="

--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, mul-
tiple 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 cook-
ies, 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-ses-
sion-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

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 other-
wise generated automatically. This example instructs Wget to con-
nect to localhost, but to specify in the "Host" header:

wget --header="Host:" http://localhost/

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

Specifies the maximum number of redirections to follow for a
resource. The default is 20, which is usually far more than neces-
sary. 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" authen-
tication scheme.

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

Include `Referer: url' header in HTTP request. Useful for retriev-
ing 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

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 proto-
col 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 tailor-
ing 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 reg-
ular 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 trans-
fer 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 regu-
lar page, which does not desire or accept POST. It is not com-
pletely 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 pro-
ceed 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 authentica-
tion, 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.

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 cur-
rently 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.


To support encrypted HTTP (HTTPS) downloads, Wget must be compiled with
an external SSL library, currently OpenSSL. If Wget is compiled with-
out 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 sup-
port for SSLv3 and TLSv1. This is the default.

Specifying SSLv2, SSLv3, or TLSv1 forces the use of the correspond-
ing 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

Don't check the server certificate against the available certifi-
cate 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 inter-
operability with some sites that worked with previous Wget ver-
sions, 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 warn-
ings 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 down-
load. 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 for-

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 pro-
cessing a certificate directory with the "c_rehash" utility sup-
plied 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 random-
ness 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 Dae-
mon, a user-space program that collects data from various unpre-
dictable 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

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 list-
ings 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 sym-
bolic 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 glob-
bing character. This option may be used to turn globbing on or off

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 man-
dates 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 filesys-
tem. The pointed-to file will not be downloaded unless this recur-
sive retrieval would have encountered it separately and downloaded
it anyway.

When --retr-symlinks is specified, however, symbolic links are tra-
versed 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

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

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
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.html links to
/bar/img.gif, also downloaded, then the link in doc.html will
be modified to point to ../bar/img.gif. This kind of transfor-
mation works reliably for arbitrary combinations of directo-

* The links to files that have not been downloaded by Wget will
be changed to include host name and absolute path of the loca-
tion 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 neces-
sary 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 doc-
uments that may be needed to display it properly are not down-
loaded. 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

For instance, say document 1.html contains an "" tag referenc-
ing 1.gif and an "" 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 number.

If one executes the command:

wget -r -l 2 http:///1.html

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

wget -r -l 2 -p http:///1.html

all the above files and 3.html's requisite 3.gif will be down-
loaded. Similarly,

wget -r -l 1 -p http:///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:///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:///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:///

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

Turn on strict parsing of HTML comments. The default is to termi-
nate 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 , that may contain comments
between a pair of -- delimiters. HTML comments are "empty declara-
tions", SGML declarations without any non-comment text. Therefore,
is a valid comment, and so is , but
is not.

On the other hand, most HTML writers don't perceive comments as
anything other than text delimited with , 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

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 com-
ments. 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. 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.

-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 con-
sidered, 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, spec-
ify 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:///

However, the author of this option came across a page with tags
like "" and came to the realization that
specifying tags to ignore was not enough. One can't just tell Wget
to ignore "", because then stylesheets will not be down-
loaded. 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
the behavior of -R, -A, -I, and -X options, as well as globbing
implemented when downloading from FTP sites. For example, with
this option, -A *.txt will match file1.txt, but also file2.TXT,
file3.TxT, and so on.

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 recur-
sively. This is a useful option, since it guarantees that only the
files below a certain hierarchy will be downloaded.

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
simple guidelines.

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 docu-
mented, 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 mail-
ing lists.

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 -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 proba-
bly 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
support on.

Note: please make sure to remove any potentially sensitive informa-
tion 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 commu-
nication 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.

4. 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.

This is not the complete manual for GNU Wget. For more complete infor-
mation, including more detailed explanations of some of the options,
and a number of commands available for use with .wgetrc files and the
-e option, see the GNU Info entry for wget.

Originally written by Hrvoje Niksic . Currently
maintained by Micah Cowan .

Copyright (c) 1996--2008 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 no
Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A
copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Docu-
mentation License".

GNU Wget 1.11 2008-03-19 WGET(1)