The Linux curl command is a way to download a file from a given URL, but it is also a bit more than just that. It can also be used to make various kinds of http requests from the command line such a POST requests, and can also be used as an FTP client, along with many other various use cases.
So the curl command is a helpful little command to be aware of when it comes to getting data from a public URL, or anything to that effect outside of a web browser. So in this post I will be going over just a few quick, simple use case examples of the Linux curl command just for the sake of getting started with it.
One way to use curl is to use it to just download a file from a public URL. To do this I often just need to pass the URL as the first argument. Just passing the URL alone will result in curl downloading that resource and spiting out the results to the standard output of the console. So to save the file I will need to pipe that output to something that will save the file, or use the output option of curl to save to a file
So say I just want to pull the index file of my website I can just call curl and pass the URL to that index file.
Which will result in the HTML being loaded to the standard out of the console. To save the file I can use the output option of curl to do so. This option works by using --output or just -o followed by the filename that I would like to save the file as.
Another option is the output option but with an uppercase -O this should just save file file as the filename in the URL
When using curl it would seem that I often get a process bar in the standard output. This could cause problems when it comes to piping what I am getting to some other command. If I am getting some data I would wan to pipe the results to another command rather than the process bar. So there is of course an option to silent that kind of output, and for that there is the silent option.
So the Linux curl command is there to work with when it comes to doing many tasks that have to do with getting data from the open web, or pushing data up to it. The data of a file at a URL can be pulled down and save to a file, or piped to another command when it comes to the basic use of Linux curl. However the Linux curl command can also be used to simulate POST requests, and I am sure it has many other functions when it comes to really learning a thing or two about how to use it.
The Linux curl command does have some limitations though and it is not necessary a replacement for other commands such as wget, and git. One draw back is that I do not know of a way to go about downloading more than one file by having curl look at tags in an html file for example. In addition I still need to use git as a way to work with source control as git is not one of the protocols used when it comes to pushing an pulling data from github. Still if I just want to pull a single file, or simulate an http request from the command line the Linux curl command seems to work just fine for those kinds of situations.
I might get around to expanding this post a little at some point in the future, as I am thinking that I should focus more so on editing an expanding my Linux content more. However I have to say that I am not using the curl command that often at this time, so that may or may not happen at this time.