What is the curl command

· Thomas Taylor

Curl is a command line utility that was created in 1998 for transferring data using URLs. Fundamentally, curl allows users to create network requests to a server by specifying a location in the form of a URL and adding optional data.

curl (short for “Client URL”) is powered by libcurl – a portable client-side URL transfer library written in C.

Why use the curl command?

Common use cases for curl include:

Base curl command usage

The basic syntax for a curl command is:

1curl [OPTIONS] [URL]

Perform a GET request

The simplest usage is a default GET request for a website or API:




Download a file

Downloading a file using the same name as the remote server:

1curl -O

Downloading a file and specifying a new name:

1curl -o curl.tar.gz


curl is a powerful and versatile command line utility that offers a wide range of supporting features: multiple protocols, multiple options, data types, etc.


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