Copyright © 1996–2005 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 the Invariant Sections being “GNU General Public License” and “GNU Free Documentation License”, 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”.
This manual documents version 1.10 of GNU Wget, the freely available utility for network downloads.
Copyright © 1996–2005 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This chapter is a partial overview of Wget's features.
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 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
downloading.” While doing that, Wget respects the Robot Exclusion
Standard (/robots.txt). Wget can be instructed to convert the
links in downloaded html files to the local files for offline
- File name wildcard matching and recursive mirroring of directories are
available when retrieving via ftp. Wget can read the time-stamp
information given by both http and ftp servers, and store it
locally. Thus Wget can see if the remote file has changed since last
retrieval, and automatically retrieve the new version if it has. This
makes Wget suitable for mirroring of ftp sites, as well as home
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.
- Wget supports proxy servers, which can lighten the network load, speed
up retrieval and provide access behind firewalls. However, if you are
behind a firewall that requires that you use a socks style gateway,
you can get the socks library and build Wget with support for socks. Wget uses the passive ftp downloading by default, active ftp
being an option.
- Wget supports IP version 6, the next generation of IP. IPv6 is autodetected at compile-time, and can be disabled at either build or
run time. Binaries built with IPv6 support work well in both
IPv4-only and dual family environments.
- Built-in features offer mechanisms to tune which links you wish to follow
(see Following Links).
- The progress of individual downloads is traced using a progress gauge.
Interactive downloads are tracked using a “thermometer”-style gauge,
whereas non-interactive ones are traced with dots, each dot
representing a fixed amount of data received (1KB by default). Either
gauge can be customized to your preferences.
- Most of the features are fully configurable, either through command line
options, or via the initialization file .wgetrc (see Startup File). Wget allows you to define global startup files
(/usr/local/etc/wgetrc by default) for site settings.
- Finally, GNU Wget is free software. This means that everyone may use it, redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License, as published by the Free Software Foundation (see Copying).
wget [option]... [URL]...
Wget will simply download all the urls specified on the command line. URL is a Uniform Resource Locator, as defined below.
However, you may wish to change some of the default parameters of Wget. You can do it two ways: permanently, adding the appropriate command to .wgetrc (see Startup File), or specifying it on the command line.
2.1 URL Format
URL is an acronym for Uniform Resource Locator. A uniform resource locator is a compact string representation for a resource available via the Internet. Wget recognizes the url syntax as per rfc1738. This is the most widely used form (square brackets denote optional parts):
You can also encode your username and password within a url:
Either user or password, or both, may be left out. If you leave out either the http username or password, no authentication will be sent. If you leave out the ftp username, anonymous will be used. If you leave out the ftp password, your email address will be supplied as a default password.1
Important Note: if you specify a password-containing url
on the command line, the username and password will be plainly visible
to all users on the system, by way of
ps. On multi-user systems,
this is a big security risk. To work around it, use
wget -i -
and feed the urls to Wget's standard input, each on a separate
line, terminated by C-d.
You can encode unsafe characters in a url as %xy,
being the hexadecimal representation of the character's ascii
value. Some common unsafe characters include % (quoted as
%25), : (quoted as %3A), and @ (quoted as
%40). Refer to rfc1738 for a comprehensive list of unsafe
Wget also supports the
type feature for ftp urls. By
default, ftp documents are retrieved in the binary mode (type
i), which means that they are downloaded unchanged. Another
useful mode is the a (ASCII) mode, which converts the line
delimiters between the different operating systems, and is thus useful
for text files. Here is an example:
Two alternative variants of url specification are also supported, because of historical (hysterical?) reasons and their widespreaded use.
ftp-only syntax (supported by
http-only syntax (introduced by
These two alternative forms are deprecated, and may cease being supported in the future.
If you do not understand the difference between these notations, or do
not know which one to use, just use the plain ordinary format you use
with your favorite browser, like
2.2 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 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 -o log you can write -olog.
You may put several options that do not require arguments together, like:
wget -drc URL
This is a complete equivalent of:
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:
wget -o log -- -x
The options that accept comma-separated lists all respect the convention
that specifying an empty list clears its value. This can be useful to
clear the .wgetrc settings. For instance, if your .wgetrc
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
(see Wgetrc Syntax).
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”) 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 several properties.
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 = 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.
2.3 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 (see Startup File). 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.
2.4 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 logfile 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 support, 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. See Reporting Bugs, for more information on how to use -d for sending bug reports.
- Turn off Wget's output.
- Turn on verbose output, with all the available data. The default output
- Non-verbose output—turn off verbose without being completely quiet (use -q for that), which means that error messages and basic information still get printed.
- -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.
- -B URL
- When used in conjunction with -F, prepends URL to relative links in the file specified by -i.
2.5 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 -.)
Note that a combination with -k is only well-defined for downloading a single document.
- 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, or -r, 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 clobbering that's prevented (as the numeric suffixes were already preventing clobbering), but rather the multiple version saving that's prevented.
When running Wget with -r, but without -N or -nc, re-downloading 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, 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 (see Time-Stamping). -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 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 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 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 occurs.
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 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 garbled file. Wget has no way of verifying that the local file is really a valid prefix of the remote file. You need to be especially careful of this when using -c in conjunction with -r, since every file will be considered as an "incomplete download" candidate.
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 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
- 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 different meaning to one dot. With the
defaultstyle each dot represents 1K, there are ten dots in a cluster and 50 dots in a line. The
binarystyle has a more “computer”-like orientation—8K dots, 16-dots clusters and 48 dots per line (which makes for 384K lines). The
megastyle 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
progresscommand 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. See Time-Stamping, for details.
- Print the headers sent by http servers and responses sent by ftp servers.
- 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 bookmarks:
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 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 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 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 seconds.
- 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 bandwidth.
This option allows the use of decimal numbers, usually in conjunction with power suffixes; for example, --limit-rate=2.5k is a legal value.
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. However, 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
msuffix, in hours using
hsuffix, or in days using
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.
- 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. Therefore,
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 file.
- 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 and 2 * wait seconds, where wait was
specified using the --wait option, in order to mask Wget's
presence from such analysis.
A recent 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 recommendation to block many unrelated users from a web site due to the actions of one.
- Don't use proxies, even if the appropriate
*_proxyenvironment variable is defined.
For more information about the use of proxies with Wget, See Proxies.
- -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 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 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
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 NSCD.
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
By default, Wget escapes the characters that are not valid 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, 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 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 append ,nocontrol to the mode, as in unix,nocontrol, escaping 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 specifies both an A record and an AAAA record, Wget will try them in sequence until it finds one it can connect to.
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 in the same command. 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
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 126.96.36.199. 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.
2.6 Directory Options
- 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
- 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
Take, for example, the directory at ftp://ftp.xemacs.org/pub/xemacs/. If you retrieve it with -r, it will be saved locally under ftp.xemacs.org/pub/xemacs/. While the -nH option can remove the ftp.xemacs.org/ 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 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.
- -P prefix
- 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 current directory).
2.7 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 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 application/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 X.orig (see Recursive Retrieval Options).
- 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) or the
Another way to specify username and password is in the url itself (see URL Format). 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.
server-side state. The server sends the client a cookie using the
- --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
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 cookie files in different locations:
- Netscape 4.x.
- The cookies are in ~/.netscape/cookies.txt.
- Mozilla and Netscape 6.x.
- Mozilla's cookie file is also named cookies.txt, located
somewhere under ~/.mozilla, in the directory of your profile.
The full path usually ends up looking somewhat like
- Internet Explorer.
- 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.
- Other browsers.
- 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 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,
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 --keep-session-cookies again.
- Unfortunately, some http servers (cgi programs, to be more
precise) send out bogus
Content-Lengthheaders, 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-Lengthheader—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' http://fly.srk.fer.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 otherwise generated automatically. This example instructs Wget to connect to localhost, but to specify foo.bar in the
wget --header="Host: foo.bar" http://localhost/
In versions of Wget prior to 1.10 such use of --header caused sending of duplicate headers.
- Specify the username user and password password for
authentication on a proxy server. Wget will encode them using the
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.
- -U agent-string
- Identify as agent-string to the http server.
The http protocol allows the clients to identify themselves using a
User-Agentheader 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-Agentline 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-Agentheader in http requests.
- Use POST as the method for all HTTP requests and send the specified data
in the request body.
--post-datasends string as data, whereas
--post-filesends 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-filemust 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: 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 regular page, which does not desire or accept POST. It is not completely 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 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' http://server.com/auth.php # Now grab the page or pages we care about. wget --load-cookies cookies.txt -p http://server.com/interesting/article.php
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.
2.8 HTTPS (SSL/TLS) Options
- 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 support for SSLv3 and TLSv1. This is the default.
Specifying SSLv2, SSLv3, or TLSv1 forces the use of the corresponding 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 rare.
- 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 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
- 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 format.
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 processing a
certificate directory with the
c_rehashutility 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
$RANDFILEor, 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 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 keys.
OpenSSL allows the user to specify his own source of entropy using the
RAND_FILEenvironment 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 option.
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.
2.9 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
Another way to specify username and password is in the url itself (see URL Format). 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
rootto 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,
rootshould 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
rootto 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
By default, globbing will be turned on if the url contains a globbing character. This option may be used to turn globbing on or off permanently.
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
- Disable the use of the passive FTP transfer mode. Passive FTP
mandates 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=offin 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 filesystem. The
pointed-to file will not be downloaded unless this recursive retrieval
would have encountered it separately and downloaded it anyway.
When --retr-symlinks is specified, however, symbolic links are traversed 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 this.
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.
2.10 Recursive Retrieval Options
- Turn on recursive retrieving. See Recursive Download, for more
- -l depth
- Specify recursion maximum depth level depth (see Recursive Download). 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 http://whatever.com/~popular/page/
The -r option is to retrieve recursively, and -nd to not create directories.
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
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 transformation works reliably for arbitrary combinations of directories.
- 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.
- 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.
- When converting a file, back up the original version with a .orig
suffix. Affects the behavior of -N (see HTTP Time-Stamping Internals).
- 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 number.
If one executes the command:
wget -r -l 2 http://site/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 command:
wget -r -l 2 -p http://site/1.html
all the above files and 3.html's requisite 3.gif will be downloaded. Similarly,
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
<AREA>tag, or a
<LINK>tag other than
- 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 resulted in missing links in many web pages that displayed fine in browsers, but had the misfortune of containing non-compliant comments. 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.
2.11 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 (see Types of Files for more details).
- -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. (see Spanning Hosts).
- 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.
- Enable spanning across hosts when doing recursive retrieving
(see Spanning Hosts).
- Follow relative links only. Useful for retrieving a specific home page
without any distractions, not even those from the same hosts
(see Relative Links).
- -I list
- Specify a comma-separated list of directories you wish to follow when
downloading (see Directory-Based Limits for more details.) Elements
of list may contain wildcards.
- -X list
- Specify a comma-separated list of directories you wish to exclude from
download (see Directory-Based Limits for more details.) 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. See Directory-Based Limits, for more details.
3 Recursive Download
With http urls, Wget retrieves and parses the html from
the given url, documents, retrieving the files the html
document was referring to, through markup like
src. If the freshly downloaded file is also of type
application/xhtml+xml, it will be parsed and
Recursive retrieval of http and html content is breadth-first. This means that Wget first downloads the requested html document, then the documents linked from that document, then the documents linked by them, and so on. In other words, Wget first downloads the documents at depth 1, then those at depth 2, and so on until the specified maximum depth.
The maximum depth to which the retrieval may descend is specified with the -l option. The default maximum depth is five layers.
When retrieving an ftp url recursively, Wget will retrieve all
the data from the given directory tree (including the subdirectories up
to the specified depth) on the remote server, creating its mirror image
locally. ftp retrieval is also limited by the
parameter. Unlike http recursion, ftp recursion is performed
By default, Wget will create a local directory tree, corresponding to the one found on the remote server.
Recursive retrieving can find a number of applications, the most important of which is mirroring. It is also useful for www presentations, and any other opportunities where slow network connections should be bypassed by storing the files locally.
You should be warned that recursive downloads can overload the remote servers. Because of that, many administrators frown upon them and may ban access from your site if they detect very fast downloads of big amounts of content. When downloading from Internet servers, consider using the -w option to introduce a delay between accesses to the server. The download will take a while longer, but the server administrator will not be alarmed by your rudeness.
Of course, recursive download may cause problems on your machine. If left to run unchecked, it can easily fill up the disk. If downloading from local network, it can also take bandwidth on the system, as well as consume memory and CPU.
Try to specify the criteria that match the kind of download you are trying to achieve. If you want to download only one page, use --page-requisites without any additional recursion. If you want to download things under one directory, use -np to avoid downloading things from other directories. If you want to download all the files from one directory, use -l 1 to make sure the recursion depth never exceeds one. See Following Links, for more information about this.
Recursive retrieval should be used with care. Don't say you were not warned.
4 Following Links
When retrieving recursively, one does not wish to retrieve loads of unnecessary data. Most of the time the users bear in mind exactly what they want to download, and want Wget to follow only specific links.
For example, if you wish to download the music archive from fly.srk.fer.hr, you will not want to download all the home pages that happen to be referenced by an obscure part of the archive.
Wget possesses several mechanisms that allows you to fine-tune which links it will follow.
4.1 Spanning Hosts
Wget's recursive retrieval normally refuses to visit hosts different than the one you specified on the command line. This is a reasonable default; without it, every retrieval would have the potential to turn your Wget into a small version of google.
However, visiting different hosts, or host spanning, is sometimes a useful option. Maybe the images are served from a different server. Maybe you're mirroring a site that consists of pages interlinked between three servers. Maybe the server has two equivalent names, and the html pages refer to both interchangeably.
- Span to any host—-H
The -H option turns on host spanning, thus allowing Wget's
recursive run to visit any host referenced by a link. Unless sufficient
recursion-limiting criteria are applied depth, these foreign hosts will
typically link to yet more hosts, and so on until Wget ends up sucking
up much more data than you have intended.
- Limit spanning to certain domains—-D
The -D option allows you to specify the domains that will be
followed, thus limiting the recursion only to the hosts that belong to
these domains. Obviously, this makes sense only in conjunction with
-H. A typical example would be downloading the contents of
www.server.com, but allowing downloads from
wget -rH -Dserver.com http://www.server.com/
You can specify more than one address by separating them with a comma, e.g. -Ddomain1.com,domain2.com.
- Keep download off certain domains—--exclude-domains
If there are domains you want to exclude specifically, you can do it
with --exclude-domains, which accepts the same type of arguments
of -D, but will exclude all the listed domains. For
example, if you want to download all the hosts from foo.edu
domain, with the exception of sunsite.foo.edu, you can do it like
wget -rH -Dfoo.edu --exclude-domains sunsite.foo.edu http://www.foo.edu/
4.2 Types of Files
When downloading material from the web, you will often want to restrict the retrieval to only certain file types. For example, if you are interested in downloading gifs, you will not be overjoyed to get loads of PostScript documents, and vice versa.
Wget offers two options to deal with this problem. Each option description lists a short name, a long name, and the equivalent command in .wgetrc.
- -A acclist
- --accept acclist
- accept = acclist
- --accept acclist
- The argument to --accept option is a list of file suffixes or
patterns that Wget will download during recursive retrieval. A suffix
is the ending part of a file, and consists of “normal” letters,
e.g. gif or .jpg. A matching pattern contains shell-like
wildcards, e.g. books* or zelazny*196[0-9]*.
So, specifying wget -A gif,jpg will make Wget download only the files ending with gif or jpg, i.e. gifs and jpegs. On the other hand, wget -A "zelazny*196[0-9]*" will download only files beginning with zelazny and containing numbers from 1960 to 1969 anywhere within. Look up the manual of your shell for a description of how pattern matching works.
Of course, any number of suffixes and patterns can be combined into a comma-separated list, and given as an argument to -A.
- -R rejlist
- --reject rejlist
- reject = rejlist
- --reject rejlist
- The --reject option works the same way as --accept, only
its logic is the reverse; Wget will download all files except the
ones matching the suffixes (or patterns) in the list.
So, if you want to download a whole page except for the cumbersome mpegs and .au files, you can use wget -R mpg,mpeg,au. Analogously, to download all files except the ones beginning with bjork, use wget -R "bjork*". The quotes are to prevent expansion by the shell.
The -A and -R options may be combined to achieve even better fine-tuning of which files to retrieve. E.g. wget -A "*zelazny*" -R .ps will download all the files having zelazny as a part of their name, but not the PostScript files.
Note that these two options do not affect the downloading of html files; Wget must load all the htmls to know where to go at all—recursive retrieval would make no sense otherwise.
4.3 Directory-Based Limits
Regardless of other link-following facilities, it is often useful to place the restriction of what files to retrieve based on the directories those files are placed in. There can be many reasons for this—the home pages may be organized in a reasonable directory structure; or some directories may contain useless information, e.g. /cgi-bin or /dev directories.
Wget offers three different options to deal with this requirement. Each option description lists a short name, a long name, and the equivalent command in .wgetrc.
- -I list
- --include list
- include_directories = list
- --include list
- -I option accepts a comma-separated list of directories included
in the retrieval. Any other directories will simply be ignored. The
directories are absolute paths.
So, if you wish to download from http://host/people/bozo/ following only links to bozo's colleagues in the /people directory and the bogus scripts in /cgi-bin, you can specify:
wget -I /people,/cgi-bin http://host/people/bozo/
- -X list
- --exclude list
- exclude_directories = list
- --exclude list
- -X option is exactly the reverse of -I—this is a list of
directories excluded from the download. E.g. if you do not want
Wget to download things from /cgi-bin directory, specify -X
/cgi-bin on the command line.
The same as with -A/-R, these two options can be combined to get a better fine-tuning of downloading subdirectories. E.g. if you want to load all the files from /pub hierarchy except for /pub/worthless, specify -I/pub -X/pub/worthless.
- no_parent = on
- The simplest, and often very useful way of limiting directories is
disallowing retrieval of the links that refer to the hierarchy
above than the beginning directory, i.e. disallowing ascent to the
The --no-parent option (short -np) is useful in this case. Using it guarantees that you will never leave the existing hierarchy. Supposing you issue Wget with:
wget -r --no-parent http://somehost/~luzer/my-archive/
You may rest assured that none of the references to /~his-girls-homepage/ or /~luzer/all-my-mpegs/ will be followed. Only the archive you are interested in will be downloaded. Essentially, --no-parent is similar to -I/~luzer/my-archive, only it handles redirections in a more intelligent fashion.
4.4 Relative Links
<a href="foo.gif"> <a href="foo/bar.gif"> <a href="../foo/bar.gif">
These links are not relative:
<a href="/foo.gif"> <a href="/foo/bar.gif"> <a href="http://www.server.com/foo/bar.gif">
Using this option guarantees that recursive retrieval will not span hosts, even without -H. In simple cases it also allows downloads to “just work” without having to convert links.
This option is probably not very useful and might be removed in a future release.
4.5 Following FTP Links
The rules for ftp are somewhat specific, as it is necessary for them to be. ftp links in html documents are often included for purposes of reference, and it is often inconvenient to download them by default.
To have ftp links followed from html documents, you need to specify the --follow-ftp option. Having done that, ftp links will span hosts regardless of -H setting. This is logical, as ftp links rarely point to the same host where the http server resides. For similar reasons, the -L options has no effect on such downloads. On the other hand, domain acceptance (-D) and suffix rules (-A and -R) apply normally.
Also note that followed links to ftp directories will not be retrieved recursively further.
Downloading the whole archive again and again, just to replace a few changed files is expensive, both in terms of wasted bandwidth and money, and the time to do the update. This is why all the mirroring tools offer the option of incremental updating.
Such an updating mechanism means that the remote server is scanned in search of new files. Only those new files will be downloaded in the place of the old ones.
A file is considered new if one of these two conditions are met:
- A file of that name does not already exist locally.
- A file of that name does exist, but the remote file was modified more recently than the local file.
To implement this, the program needs to be aware of the time of last modification of both local and remote files. We call this information the time-stamp of a file.
The time-stamping in GNU Wget is turned on using --timestamping
(-N) option, or through
timestamping = on directive in
.wgetrc. With this option, for each file it intends to download,
Wget will check whether a local file of the same name exists. If it
does, and the remote file is older, Wget will not download it.
If the local file does not exist, or the sizes of the files do not match, Wget will download the remote file no matter what the time-stamps say.
5.1 Time-Stamping Usage
wget -S http://www.gnu.ai.mit.edu/
ls -l shows that the time stamp on the local file equals
the state of the
Last-Modified header, as returned by the server.
As you can see, the time-stamping info is preserved locally, even
without -N (at least for http).
Several days later, you would like Wget to check if the remote file has changed, and download it if it has.
wget -N http://www.gnu.ai.mit.edu/
Wget will ask the server for the last-modified date. If the local file has the same timestamp as the server, or a newer one, the remote file will not be re-fetched. However, if the remote file is more recent, Wget will proceed to fetch it.
The same goes for ftp. For example:
(The quotes around that URL are to prevent the shell from trying to interpret the *.)
After download, a local directory listing will show that the timestamps match those on the remote server. Reissuing the command with -N will make Wget re-fetch only the files that have been modified since the last download.
If you wished to mirror the GNU archive every week, you would use a command like the following, weekly:
wget --timestamping -r ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/
Note that time-stamping will only work for files for which the server
gives a timestamp. For http, this depends on getting a
Last-Modified header. For ftp, this depends on getting a
directory listing with dates in a format that Wget can parse
(see FTP Time-Stamping Internals).
5.2 HTTP Time-Stamping Internals
Time-stamping in http is implemented by checking of the
Last-Modified header. If you wish to retrieve the file
foo.html through http, Wget will check whether
foo.html exists locally. If it doesn't, foo.html will be
If the file does exist locally, Wget will first check its local
time-stamp (similar to the way
ls -l checks it), and then send a
HEAD request to the remote server, demanding the information on
the remote file.
Last-Modified header is examined to find which file was
modified more recently (which makes it “newer”). If the remote file
is newer, it will be downloaded; if it is older, Wget will give
When --backup-converted (-K) is specified in conjunction with -N, server file X is compared to local file X.orig, if extant, rather than being compared to local file X, which will always differ if it's been converted by --convert-links (-k).
Arguably, http time-stamping should be implemented using the
5.3 FTP Time-Stamping Internals
If an ftp download is recursive or uses globbing, Wget will use the
LIST command to get a file listing for the directory
containing the desired file(s). It will try to analyze the listing,
treating it like Unix
ls -l output, extracting the time-stamps.
The rest is exactly the same as for http. Note that when
retrieving individual files from an ftp server without using
globbing or recursion, listing files will not be downloaded (and thus
files will not be time-stamped) unless -N is specified.
Assumption that every directory listing is a Unix-style listing may sound extremely constraining, but in practice it is not, as many non-Unix ftp servers use the Unixoid listing format because most (all?) of the clients understand it. Bear in mind that rfc959 defines no standard way to get a file list, let alone the time-stamps. We can only hope that a future standard will define this.
Another non-standard solution includes the use of
that is supported by some ftp servers (including the popular
wu-ftpd), which returns the exact time of the specified file.
Wget may support this command in the future.
6 Startup File
Once you know how to change default settings of Wget through command line arguments, you may wish to make some of those settings permanent. You can do that in a convenient way by creating the Wget startup file—.wgetrc.
Besides .wgetrc is the “main” initialization file, it is convenient to have a special facility for storing passwords. Thus Wget reads and interprets the contents of $HOME/.netrc, if it finds it. You can find .netrc format in your system manuals.
Wget reads .wgetrc upon startup, recognizing a limited set of commands.
6.1 Wgetrc Location
When initializing, Wget will look for a global startup file, /usr/local/etc/wgetrc by default (or some prefix other than /usr/local, if Wget was not installed there) and read commands from there, if it exists.
Then it will look for the user's file. If the environmental variable
WGETRC is set, Wget will try to load that file. Failing that, no
further attempts will be made.
WGETRC is not set, Wget will try to load $HOME/.wgetrc.
The fact that user's settings are loaded after the system-wide ones means that in case of collision user's wgetrc overrides the system-wide wgetrc (in /usr/local/etc/wgetrc by default). Fascist admins, away!
6.2 Wgetrc Syntax
variable = value
The variable will also be called command. Valid values are different for different commands.
The commands are case-insensitive and underscore-insensitive. Thus DIr__PrefiX is the same as dirprefix. Empty lines, lines beginning with # and lines containing white-space only are discarded.
Commands that expect a comma-separated list will clear the list on an empty command. So, if you wish to reset the rejection list specified in global wgetrc, you can do it with:
6.3 Wgetrc Commands
The complete set of commands is listed below. Legal values are listed after the =. Simple Boolean values can be set or unset using on and off or 1 and 0. A fancier kind of Boolean allowed in some cases is the lockable Boolean, which may be set to on, off, always, or never. If an option is set to always or never, that value will be locked in for the duration of the Wget invocation—command-line options will not override.
Some commands take pseudo-arbitrary values. address values can be hostnames or dotted-quad IP addresses. n can be any positive integer, or inf for infinity, where appropriate. string values can be any non-empty string.
Most of these commands have direct command-line equivalents. Also, any wgetrc command can be specified on the command line using the --execute switch (see Basic Startup Options.)
- accept/reject = string
- Same as -A/-R (see Types of Files).
- add_hostdir = on/off
- Enable/disable host-prefixed file names. -nH disables it.
- continue = on/off
- If set to on, force continuation of preexistent partially retrieved
files. See -c before setting it.
- background = on/off
- Enable/disable going to background—the same as -b (which
- backup_converted = on/off
- Enable/disable saving pre-converted files with the suffix
.orig—the same as -K (which enables it).
- base = string
- Consider relative urls in url input files forced to be
interpreted as html as being relative to string—the same as
- bind_address = address
- Bind to address, like the --bind-address=address.
- ca_certificate = file
- Set the certificate authority bundle file to file. The same
- ca_directory = directory
- Set the directory used for certificate authorities. The same as
- cache = on/off
- When set to off, disallow server-caching. See the --no-cache
- certificate = file
- Set the client certificate file name to file. The same as
- certificate_type = string
- Specify the type of the client certificate, legal values being
PEM (the default) and DER (aka ASN1). The same as
- check_certificate = on/off
- If this is set to off, the server certificate is not checked against
the specified client authorities. The default is “on”. The same as
- convert_links = on/off
- Convert non-relative links locally. The same as -k.
- cookies = on/off
- When set to off, disallow cookies. See the --cookies option.
- connect_timeout = n
- Set the connect timeout—the same as --connect-timeout.
- cut_dirs = n
- Ignore n remote directory components. Equivalent to
- debug = on/off
- Debug mode, same as -d.
- delete_after = on/off
- Delete after download—the same as --delete-after.
- dir_prefix = string
- Top of directory tree—the same as -P string.
- dirstruct = on/off
- Turning dirstruct on or off—the same as -x or -nd,
- dns_cache = on/off
- Turn DNS caching on/off. Since DNS caching is on by default, this
option is normally used to turn it off and is equivalent to
- dns_timeout = n
- Set the DNS timeout—the same as --dns-timeout.
- domains = string
- Same as -D (see Spanning Hosts).
- dot_bytes = n
- Specify the number of bytes “contained” in a dot, as seen throughout
the retrieval (1024 by default). You can postfix the value with
k or m, representing kilobytes and megabytes,
respectively. With dot settings you can tailor the dot retrieval to
suit your needs, or you can use the predefined styles
(see Download Options).
- dots_in_line = n
- Specify the number of dots that will be printed in each line throughout
the retrieval (50 by default).
- dot_spacing = n
- Specify the number of dots in a single cluster (10 by default).
- egd_file = file
- Use string as the EGD socket file name. The same as
- exclude_directories = string
- Specify a comma-separated list of directories you wish to exclude from
download—the same as -X string (see Directory-Based Limits).
- exclude_domains = string
- Same as --exclude-domains=string (see Spanning Hosts).
- follow_ftp = on/off
- Follow ftp links from html documents—the same as
- follow_tags = string
- Only follow certain html tags when doing a recursive retrieval,
just like --follow-tags=string.
- force_html = on/off
- If set to on, force the input filename to be regarded as an html
document—the same as -F.
- ftp_password = string
- Set your ftp password to string. Without this setting, the
password defaults to -wget@, which is a useful default for
anonymous ftp access.
This command used to be named
passwdprior to Wget 1.10.
- ftp_proxy = string
- Use string as ftp proxy, instead of the one specified in
- ftp_user = string
- Set ftp user to string.
This command used to be named
loginprior to Wget 1.10.
- glob = on/off
- Turn globbing on/off—the same as --glob and --no-glob.
- header = string
- Define a header for HTTP doewnloads, like using
- html_extension = on/off
- Add a .html extension to text/html or
application/xhtml+xml files without it, like -E.
- http_keep_alive = on/off
- Turn the keep-alive feature on or off (defaults to on). Turning it
off is equivalent to --no-http-keep-alive.
- http_password = string
- Set http password, equivalent to
- http_proxy = string
- Use string as http proxy, instead of the one specified in
- http_user = string
- Set http user to string, equivalent to
- ignore_length = on/off
- When set to on, ignore
Content-Lengthheader; the same as --ignore-length.
- ignore_tags = string
- Ignore certain html tags when doing a recursive retrieval, like
- include_directories = string
- Specify a comma-separated list of directories you wish to follow when
downloading—the same as -I string.
- inet4_only = on/off
- Force connecting to IPv4 addresses, off by default. You can put this
in the global init file to disable Wget's attempts to resolve and
connect to IPv6 hosts. Available only if Wget was compiled with IPv6
support. The same as --inet4-only or -4.
- inet6_only = on/off
- Force connecting to IPv6 addresses, off by default. Available only if
Wget was compiled with IPv6 support. The same as --inet6-only
- input = file
- Read the urls from string, like -i file.
- kill_longer = on/off
- Consider data longer than specified in content-length header as invalid
(and retry getting it). The default behavior is to save as much data
as there is, provided there is more than or equal to the value in
- limit_rate = rate
- Limit the download speed to no more than rate bytes per second.
The same as --limit-rate=rate.
- load_cookies = file
- Load cookies from file. See --load-cookies file.
- logfile = file
- Set logfile to file, the same as -o file.
- mirror = on/off
- Turn mirroring on/off. The same as -m.
- netrc = on/off
- Turn reading netrc on or off.
- noclobber = on/off
- Same as -nc.
- no_parent = on/off
- Disallow retrieving outside the directory hierarchy, like
--no-parent (see Directory-Based Limits).
- no_proxy = string
- Use string as the comma-separated list of domains to avoid in
proxy loading, instead of the one specified in environment.
- output_document = file
- Set the output filename—the same as -O file.
- page_requisites = on/off
- Download all ancillary documents necessary for a single html page to
display properly—the same as -p.
- passive_ftp = on/off/always/never
- Change setting of passive ftp, equivalent to the --passive-ftp option. Some scripts and .pm (Perl module) files download files using wget --passive-ftp. If your firewall does not allow this, you can set passive_ftp = never to override the command-line.
- password = string
- Specify password string for both ftp and http file retrieval.
This command can be overridden using the ftp_password and
http_password command for ftp and http respectively.
- post_data = string
- Use POST as the method for all HTTP requests and send string in
the request body. The same as --post-data=string.
- post_file = file
- Use POST as the method for all HTTP requests and send the contents of
file in the request body. The same as
- prefer_family = IPv4/IPv6/none
- When given a choice of several addresses, connect to the addresses
with specified address family first. IPv4 addresses are preferred by
default. The same as --prefer-family, which see for a detailed
discussion of why this is useful.
- private_key = file
- Set the private key file to file. The same as
- private_key_type = string
- Specify the type of the private key, legal values being PEM
(the default) and DER (aka ASN1). The same as
- progress = string
- Set the type of the progress indicator. Legal types are dot
and bar. Equivalent to --progress=string.
- protocol_directories = on/off
- When set, use the protocol name as a directory component of local file
names. The same as --protocol-directories.
- proxy_user = string
- Set proxy authentication user name to string, like
- proxy_password = string
- Set proxy authentication password to string, like
- quiet = on/off
- Quiet mode—the same as -q.
- quota = quota
- Specify the download quota, which is useful to put in the global
wgetrc. When download quota is specified, Wget will stop
retrieving after the download sum has become greater than quota. The
quota can be specified in bytes (default), kbytes k appended) or
mbytes (m appended). Thus quota = 5m will set the quota
to 5 megabytes. Note that the user's startup file overrides system
- random_file = file
- Use file as a source of randomness on systems lacking
- read_timeout = n
- Set the read (and write) timeout—the same as
- reclevel = n
- Recursion level (depth)—the same as -l n.
- recursive = on/off
- Recursive on/off—the same as -r.
- referer = string
- Set HTTP Referer: header just like
--referer=string. (Note it was the folks who wrote the
http spec who got the spelling of “referrer” wrong.)
- relative_only = on/off
- Follow only relative links—the same as -L (see Relative Links).
- remove_listing = on/off
- If set to on, remove ftp listings downloaded by Wget. Setting it
to off is the same as --no-remove-listing.
- restrict_file_names = unix/windows
- Restrict the file names generated by Wget from URLs. See
--restrict-file-names for a more detailed description.
- retr_symlinks = on/off
- When set to on, retrieve symbolic links as if they were plain files; the
same as --retr-symlinks.
- retry_connrefused = on/off
- When set to on, consider “connection refused” a transient
error—the same as --retry-connrefused.
- robots = on/off
- Specify whether the norobots convention is respected by Wget, “on” by
default. This switch controls both the /robots.txt and the
nofollow aspect of the spec. See Robot Exclusion, for more
details about this. Be sure you know what you are doing before turning
- save_cookies = file
- Save cookies to file. The same as --save-cookies
- secure_protocol = string
- Choose the secure protocol to be used. Legal values are auto
(the default), SSLv2, SSLv3, and TLSv1. The same
- server_response = on/off
- Choose whether or not to print the http and ftp server
responses—the same as -S.
- span_hosts = on/off
- Same as -H.
- strict_comments = on/off
- Same as --strict-comments.
- timeout = n
- Set all applicable timeout values to n, the same as -T
- timestamping = on/off
- Turn timestamping on/off. The same as -N (see Time-Stamping).
- tries = n
- Set number of retries per url—the same as -t n.
- use_proxy = on/off
- When set to off, don't use proxy even when proxy-related environment
variables are set. In that case it is the same as using
- user = string
- Specify username string for both ftp and http file retrieval.
This command can be overridden using the ftp_user and
http_user command for ftp and http respectively.
- verbose = on/off
- Turn verbose on/off—the same as -v/-nv.
- wait = n
- Wait n seconds between retrievals—the same as -w
- waitretry = n
- Wait up to n seconds between retries of failed retrievals
only—the same as --waitretry=n. Note that this is
turned on by default in the global wgetrc.
- randomwait = on/off
- Turn random between-request wait times on or off. The same as --random-wait.
6.4 Sample Wgetrc
This is the sample initialization file, as given in the distribution. It is divided in two section—one for global usage (suitable for global startup file), and one for local usage (suitable for $HOME/.wgetrc). Be careful about the things you change.
Note that almost all the lines are commented out. For a command to have any effect, you must remove the # character at the beginning of its line.
### ### Sample Wget initialization file .wgetrc ### ## You can use this file to change the default behaviour of wget or to ## avoid having to type many many command-line options. This file does ## not contain a comprehensive list of commands -- look at the manual ## to find out what you can put into this file. ## ## Wget initialization file can reside in /usr/local/etc/wgetrc ## (global, for all users) or $HOME/.wgetrc (for a single user). ## ## To use the settings in this file, you will have to uncomment them, ## as well as change them, in most cases, as the values on the ## commented-out lines are the default values (e.g. "off"). ## ## Global settings (useful for setting up in /usr/local/etc/wgetrc). ## Think well before you change them, since they may reduce wget's ## functionality, and make it behave contrary to the documentation: ## # You can set retrieve quota for beginners by specifying a value # optionally followed by 'K' (kilobytes) or 'M' (megabytes). The # default quota is unlimited. #quota = inf # You can lower (or raise) the default number of retries when # downloading a file (default is 20). #tries = 20 # Lowering the maximum depth of the recursive retrieval is handy to # prevent newbies from going too "deep" when they unwittingly start # the recursive retrieval. The default is 5. #reclevel = 5 # Many sites are behind firewalls that do not allow initiation of # connections from the outside. On these sites you have to use the # `passive' feature of FTP. If you are behind such a firewall, you # can turn this on to make Wget use passive FTP by default. #passive_ftp = off # The "wait" command below makes Wget wait between every connection. # If, instead, you want Wget to wait only between retries of failed # downloads, set waitretry to maximum number of seconds to wait (Wget # will use "linear backoff", waiting 1 second after the first failure # on a file, 2 seconds after the second failure, etc. up to this max). waitretry = 10 ## ## Local settings (for a user to set in his $HOME/.wgetrc). It is ## *highly* undesirable to put these settings in the global file, since ## they are potentially dangerous to "normal" users. ## ## Even when setting up your own ~/.wgetrc, you should know what you ## are doing before doing so. ## # Set this to on to use timestamping by default: #timestamping = off # It is a good idea to make Wget send your email address in a `From:' # header with your request (so that server administrators can contact # you in case of errors). Wget does *not* send `From:' by default. #header = From: Your Name <email@example.com> # You can set up other headers, like Accept-Language. Accept-Language # is *not* sent by default. #header = Accept-Language: en # You can set the default proxies for Wget to use for http and ftp. # They will override the value in the environment. #http_proxy = http://proxy.yoyodyne.com:18023/ #ftp_proxy = http://proxy.yoyodyne.com:18023/ # If you do not want to use proxy at all, set this to off. #use_proxy = on # You can customize the retrieval outlook. Valid options are default, # binary, mega and micro. #dot_style = default # Setting this to off makes Wget not download /robots.txt. Be sure to # know *exactly* what /robots.txt is and how it is used before changing # the default! #robots = on # It can be useful to make Wget wait between connections. Set this to # the number of seconds you want Wget to wait. #wait = 0 # You can force creating directory structure, even if a single is being # retrieved, by setting this to on. #dirstruct = off # You can turn on recursive retrieving by default (don't do this if # you are not sure you know what it means) by setting this to on. #recursive = off # To always back up file X as X.orig before converting its links (due # to -k / --convert-links / convert_links = on having been specified), # set this variable to on: #backup_converted = off # To have Wget follow FTP links from HTML files by default, set this # to on: #follow_ftp = off
7.1 Simple Usage
- Say you want to download a url. Just type:
- But what will happen if the connection is slow, and the file is lengthy?
The connection will probably fail before the whole file is retrieved,
more than once. In this case, Wget will try getting the file until it
either gets the whole of it, or exceeds the default number of retries
(this being 20). It is easy to change the number of tries to 45, to
insure that the whole file will arrive safely:
wget --tries=45 http://fly.srk.fer.hr/jpg/flyweb.jpg
- Now let's leave Wget to work in the background, and write its progress
to log file log. It is tiring to type --tries, so we
shall use -t.
wget -t 45 -o log http://fly.srk.fer.hr/jpg/flyweb.jpg &
The ampersand at the end of the line makes sure that Wget works in the background. To unlimit the number of retries, use -t inf.
- The usage of ftp is as simple. Wget will take care of login and
- If you specify a directory, Wget will retrieve the directory listing,
parse it and convert it to html. Try:
wget ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/ links index.html
7.2 Advanced Usage
- You have a file that contains the URLs you want to download? Use the
wget -i file
If you specify - as file name, the urls will be read from standard input.
- Create a five levels deep mirror image of the GNU web site, with the
same directory structure the original has, with only one try per
document, saving the log of the activities to gnulog:
wget -r http://www.gnu.org/ -o gnulog
- The same as the above, but convert the links in the html files to
point to local files, so you can view the documents off-line:
wget --convert-links -r http://www.gnu.org/ -o gnulog
- Retrieve only one html page, but make sure that all the elements needed
for the page to be displayed, such as inline images and external style
sheets, are also downloaded. Also make sure the downloaded page
references the downloaded links.
wget -p --convert-links http://www.server.com/dir/page.html
The html page will be saved to www.server.com/dir/page.html, and the images, stylesheets, etc., somewhere under www.server.com/, depending on where they were on the remote server.
- The same as the above, but without the www.server.com/ directory.
In fact, I don't want to have all those random server directories
anyway—just save all those files under a download/
subdirectory of the current directory.
wget -p --convert-links -nH -nd -Pdownload http://www.server.com/dir/page.html
- Retrieve the index.html of www.lycos.com, showing the original
wget -S http://www.lycos.com/
- Save the server headers with the file, perhaps for post-processing.
wget --save-headers http://www.lycos.com/ more index.html
- Retrieve the first two levels of wuarchive.wustl.edu, saving them
wget -r -l2 -P/tmp ftp://wuarchive.wustl.edu/
- You want to download all the gifs from a directory on an http
server. You tried wget http://www.server.com/dir/*.gif, but that
didn't work because http retrieval does not support globbing. In
that case, use:
wget -r -l1 --no-parent -A.gif http://www.server.com/dir/
More verbose, but the effect is the same. -r -l1 means to retrieve recursively (see Recursive Download), with maximum depth of 1. --no-parent means that references to the parent directory are ignored (see Directory-Based Limits), and -A.gif means to download only the gif files. -A "*.gif" would have worked too.
- Suppose you were in the middle of downloading, when Wget was
interrupted. Now you do not want to clobber the files already present.
It would be:
wget -nc -r http://www.gnu.org/
- If you want to encode your own username and password to http or
ftp, use the appropriate url syntax (see URL Format).
Note, however, that this usage is not advisable on multi-user systems because it reveals your password to anyone who looks at the output of
- You would like the output documents to go to standard output instead of
wget -O - http://jagor.srce.hr/ http://www.srce.hr/
You can also combine the two options and make pipelines to retrieve the documents from remote hotlists:
wget -O - http://cool.list.com/ | wget --force-html -i -
7.3 Very Advanced Usage
- If you wish Wget to keep a mirror of a page (or ftp
subdirectories), use --mirror (-m), which is the shorthand
for -r -l inf -N. You can put Wget in the crontab file asking it
to recheck a site each Sunday:
crontab 0 0 * * 0 wget --mirror http://www.gnu.org/ -o /home/me/weeklog
- In addition to the above, you want the links to be converted for local
viewing. But, after having read this manual, you know that link
conversion doesn't play well with timestamping, so you also want Wget to
back up the original html files before the conversion. Wget invocation
would look like this:
wget --mirror --convert-links --backup-converted http://www.gnu.org/ -o /home/me/weeklog
- But you've also noticed that local viewing doesn't work all that well
when html files are saved under extensions other than .html,
perhaps because they were served as index.cgi. So you'd like
Wget to rename all the files served with content-type text/html
or application/xhtml+xml to name.html.
wget --mirror --convert-links --backup-converted --html-extension -o /home/me/weeklog http://www.gnu.org/
Or, with less typing:
wget -m -k -K -E http://www.gnu.org/ -o /home/me/weeklog
Proxies are special-purpose http servers designed to transfer data from remote servers to local clients. One typical use of proxies is lightening network load for users behind a slow connection. This is achieved by channeling all http and ftp requests through the proxy which caches the transferred data. When a cached resource is requested again, proxy will return the data from cache. Another use for proxies is for companies that separate (for security reasons) their internal networks from the rest of Internet. In order to obtain information from the Web, their users connect and retrieve remote data using an authorized proxy.
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:
- This variable should contain the url of the proxy for http
- 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_proxyis .mit.edu, proxy will not be used to retrieve documents from MIT.
In addition to the environment variables, proxy location and settings may be specified from within Wget itself.
- proxy = on/off
- This option and the corresponding command may be used to suppress the
use of proxy, even if the appropriate environment variables are set.
- http_proxy = URL
- ftp_proxy = URL
- no_proxy = string
- ftp_proxy = URL
- These startup file variables allow you to override the proxy settings specified by the environment.
Some proxy servers require authorization to enable you to use them. The
authorization consists of username and password, which must
be sent by Wget. As with http authorization, several
authentication schemes exist. For proxy authorization only the
Basic authentication scheme is currently implemented.
You may specify your username and password either through the proxy url or through the command-line options. Assuming that the company's proxy is located at proxy.company.com at port 8001, a proxy url location containing authorization data might look like this:
Alternatively, you may use the proxy-user and
proxy-password options, and the equivalent .wgetrc
proxy_password to set the proxy
username and password.
Like all GNU utilities, the latest version of Wget can be found at the master GNU archive site ftp.gnu.org, and its mirrors. For example, Wget 1.10 can be found at ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/wget/wget-1.10.tar.gz
8.3 Mailing List
There are several Wget-related mailing lists, all hosted by SunSITE.dk. The general discussion list is at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is the preferred place for bug reports and suggestions, as well as for discussion of development. You are invited to subscribe.
To subscribe, simply send mail to email@example.com and follow the instructions. Unsubscribe by mailing to firstname.lastname@example.org. The mailing list is archived at http://www.mail-archive.com/wget%40sunsite.dk/ and at http://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.web.wget.general.
The second mailing list is at email@example.com, and is used to submit patches for review by Wget developers. A “patch” is a textual representation of change to source code, readable by both humans and programs. The file PATCHES that comes with Wget covers the creation and submitting of patches in detail. Please don't send general suggestions or bug reports to wget-patches; use it only for patch submissions.
To subscribe, simply send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow the instructions. Unsubscribe by mailing to email@example.com. The mailing list is archived at http://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.web.wget.patches.
Finally, there is a read-only list at firstname.lastname@example.org that tracks commits to the Wget CVS repository. To subscribe to that list, send mail to email@example.com. The list is not archived.
8.4 Reporting Bugs
You are welcome to send bug reports about GNU Wget to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before actually submitting a bug report, please try to follow a few simple guidelines.
- 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.
- Try to repeat the bug in as simple circumstances as possible. E.g. if
Wget crashes while downloading wget -rl0 -kKE -t5 -Y0
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.
- 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 information from the debug log before sending it to the bug address. The
-dwon'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.
- If Wget has crashed, try to run it in a debugger, e.g.
gdb `which wget` coreand type
whereto get the backtrace. This may not work if the system administrator has disabled core files, but it is safe to try.
Like all GNU software, Wget works on the GNU system. However, since it uses GNU Autoconf for building and configuring, and mostly avoids using “special” features of any particular Unix, it should compile (and work) on all common Unix flavors.
Various Wget versions have been compiled and tested under many kinds of Unix systems, including GNU/Linux, Solaris, SunOS 4.x, OSF (aka Digital Unix or Tru64), Ultrix, *BSD, IRIX, AIX, and others. Some of those systems are no longer in widespread use and may not be able to support recent versions of Wget. If Wget fails to compile on your system, we would like to know about it.
Thanks to kind contributors, this version of Wget compiles and works on 32-bit Microsoft Windows platforms. It has been compiled successfully using MS Visual C++ 6.0, Watcom, Borland C, and GCC compilers. Naturally, it is crippled of some features available on Unix, but it should work as a substitute for people stuck with Windows. Note that Windows-specific portions of Wget are not guaranteed to be supported in the future, although this has been the case in practice for many years now. All questions and problems in Windows usage should be reported to Wget mailing list at email@example.com where the volunteers who maintain the Windows-related features might look at them.
Since the purpose of Wget is background work, it catches the hangup
SIGHUP) and ignores it. If the output was on standard
output, it will be redirected to a file named wget-log.
SIGHUP is ignored. This is convenient when you wish
to redirect the output of Wget after having started it.
$ wget http://www.gnus.org/dist/gnus.tar.gz & ... $ kill -HUP %% SIGHUP received, redirecting output to `wget-log'.
Other than that, Wget will not try to interfere with signals in any way.
kill -TERM and
kill -KILL should kill it alike.
This chapter contains some references I consider useful.
9.1 Robot Exclusion
As long as Wget is only retrieving static pages, and doing it at a
reasonable rate (see the --wait option), there's not much of a
problem. The trouble is that Wget can't tell the difference between the
smallest static page and the most demanding CGI. A site I know has a
section handled by a CGI Perl script that converts Info files to html on
the fly. The script is slow, but works well enough for human users
viewing an occasional Info file. However, when someone's recursive Wget
download stumbles upon the index page that links to all the Info files
through the script, the system is brought to its knees without providing
anything useful to the user (This task of converting Info files could be
done locally and access to Info documentation for all installed GNU
software on a system is available from the
To avoid this kind of accident, as well as to preserve privacy for documents that need to be protected from well-behaved robots, the concept of robot exclusion was invented. The idea is that the server administrators and document authors can specify which portions of the site they wish to protect from robots and those they will permit access.
The most popular mechanism, and the de facto standard supported by all the major robots, is the “Robots Exclusion Standard” (RES) written by Martijn Koster et al. in 1994. It specifies the format of a text file containing directives that instruct the robots which URL paths to avoid. To be found by the robots, the specifications must be placed in /robots.txt in the server root, which the robots are expected to download and parse.
Although Wget is not a web robot in the strictest sense of the word, it can downloads large parts of the site without the user's intervention to download an individual page. Because of that, Wget honors RES when downloading recursively. For instance, when you issue:
wget -r http://www.server.com/
First the index of www.server.com will be downloaded. If Wget finds that it wants to download more documents from that server, it will request http://www.server.com/robots.txt and, if found, use it for further downloads. robots.txt is loaded only once per each server.
Until version 1.8, Wget supported the first version of the standard, written by Martijn Koster in 1994 and available at http://www.robotstxt.org/wc/norobots.html. As of version 1.8, Wget has supported the additional directives specified in the internet draft <draft-koster-robots-00.txt> titled “A Method for Web Robots Control”. The draft, which has as far as I know never made to an rfc, is available at http://www.robotstxt.org/wc/norobots-rfc.txt.
This manual no longer includes the text of the Robot Exclusion Standard.
The second, less known mechanism, enables the author of an individual
document to specify whether they want the links from the file to be
followed by a robot. This is achieved using the
META tag, like
<meta name="robots" content="nofollow">
This is explained in some detail at http://www.robotstxt.org/wc/meta-user.html. Wget supports this method of robot exclusion in addition to the usual /robots.txt exclusion.
If you know what you are doing and really really wish to turn off the
robot exclusion, set the
robots variable to off in your
.wgetrc. You can achieve the same effect from the command line
-e switch, e.g. wget -e robots=off url....
9.2 Security Considerations
- The passwords on the command line are visible using
ps. The best way around it is to use
wget -i -and feed the urls to Wget's standard input, each on a separate line, terminated by C-d. Another workaround is to use .netrc to store passwords; however, storing unencrypted passwords is also considered a security risk.
- Using the insecure basic authentication scheme, unencrypted passwords are transmitted through the network routers and gateways.
- The ftp passwords are also in no way encrypted. There is no good solution for this at the moment.
- Although the “normal” output of Wget tries to hide the passwords, debugging logs show them, in all forms. This problem is avoided by being careful when you send debug logs (yes, even when you send them to me).
GNU Wget was written by Hrvoje Niksic firstname.lastname@example.org. However, its development could never have gone as far as it has, were it not for the help of many people, either with bug reports, feature proposals, patches, or letters saying “Thanks!”.
Special thanks goes to the following people (no particular order):
- Karsten Thygesen—donated system resources such as the mailing list, web space, and ftp space, along with a lot of time to make these actually work.
- Shawn McHorse—bug reports and patches.
- Kaveh R. Ghazi—on-the-fly
ansi2knr-ization. Lots of portability fixes.
- Gordon Matzigkeit—.netrc support.
- Zlatko Calusic, Tomislav Vujec and Drazen Kacar—feature suggestions and “philosophical” discussions.
- Darko Budor—initial port to Windows.
- Antonio Rosella—help and suggestions, plus the Italian translation.
- Tomislav Petrovic, Mario Mikocevic—many bug reports and suggestions.
- Francois Pinard—many thorough bug reports and discussions.
- Karl Eichwalder—lots of help with internationalization and other things.
- Junio Hamano—donated support for Opie and http
- The people who provided donations for development, including Brian Gough.
The following people have provided patches, bug/build reports, useful suggestions, beta testing services, fan mail and all the other things that make maintenance so much fun:
Ian Abbott Tim Adam, Adrian Aichner, Martin Baehr, Dieter Baron, Roger Beeman, Dan Berger, T. Bharath, Christian Biere, Paul Bludov, Daniel Bodea, Mark Boyns, John Burden, Wanderlei Cavassin, Gilles Cedoc, Tim Charron, Noel Cragg, Kristijan Conkas, John Daily, Andreas Damm, Ahmon Dancy, Andrew Davison, Bertrand Demiddelaer, Andrew Deryabin, Ulrich Drepper, Marc Duponcheel, Damir Dzeko, Alan Eldridge, Hans-Andreas Engel, Aleksandar Erkalovic, Andy Eskilsson, Christian Fraenkel, David Fritz, Charles C. Fu, FUJISHIMA Satsuki, Masashi Fujita, Howard Gayle, Marcel Gerrits, Lemble Gregory, Hans Grobler, Mathieu Guillaume, Dan Harkless, Aaron Hawley, Herold Heiko, Jochen Hein, Karl Heuer, HIROSE Masaaki, Ulf Harnhammar, Gregor Hoffleit, Erik Magnus Hulthen, Richard Huveneers, Jonas Jensen, Larry Jones, Simon Josefsson, Mario Juric, Hack Kampbjorn, Const Kaplinsky, Goran Kezunovic, Igor Khristophorov, Robert Kleine, KOJIMA Haime, Fila Kolodny, Alexander Kourakos, Martin Kraemer, Sami Krank, Simos KSenitellis, Christian Lackas, Hrvoje Lacko, Daniel S. Lewart, Nicolas Lichtmeier, Dave Love, Alexander V. Lukyanov, Thomas Lussnig, Andre Majorel, Aurelien Marchand, Matthew J. Mellon, Jordan Mendelson, Lin Zhe Min, Jan Minar, Tim Mooney, Keith Moore, Adam D. Moss, Simon Munton, Charlie Negyesi, R. K. Owen, Leonid Petrov, Simone Piunno, Andrew Pollock, Steve Pothier, Jan Prikryl, Marin Purgar, Csaba Raduly, Keith Refson, Bill Richardson, Tyler Riddle, Tobias Ringstrom, Juan Jose Rodriguez, Maciej W. Rozycki, Edward J. Sabol, Heinz Salzmann, Robert Schmidt, Nicolas Schodet, Andreas Schwab, Chris Seawood, Dennis Smit, Toomas Soome, Tage Stabell-Kulo, Philip Stadermann, Daniel Stenberg, Sven Sternberger, Markus Strasser, John Summerfield, Szakacsits Szabolcs, Mike Thomas, Philipp Thomas, Mauro Tortonesi, Dave Turner, Gisle Vanem, Russell Vincent, Zeljko Vrba, Charles G Waldman, Douglas E. Wegscheid, YAMAZAKI Makoto, Jasmin Zainul, Bojan Zdrnja, Kristijan Zimmer.
Apologies to all who I accidentally left out, and many thanks to all the subscribers of the Wget mailing list.
GNU Wget is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL), which makes it free software. Please note that “free” in “free software” refers to liberty, not price. As some people like to point out, it's the “free” of “free speech”, not the “free” of “free beer”.
The exact and legally binding distribution terms are spelled out below. The GPL guarantees that you have the right (freedom) to run and change GNU Wget and distribute it to others, and even—if you want—charge money for doing any of those things. With these rights comes the obligation to distribute the source code along with the software and to grant your recipients the same rights and impose the same restrictions.
This licensing model is also known as open source because it, among other things, makes sure that all recipients will receive the source code along with the program, and be able to improve it. The GNU project prefers the term “free software” for reasons outlined at http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-software-for-freedom.html.
The exact license terms are defined by this paragraph and the GNU General Public License it refers to:
GNU Wget is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
GNU Wget is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.
A copy of the GNU General Public License is included as part of this manual; if you did not receive it, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
In addition to this, this manual is free in the same sense:
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 the Invariant Sections being “GNU General Public License” and “GNU Free Documentation License”, 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”.
The full texts of the GNU General Public License and of the GNU Free Documentation License are available below.
10.1 GNU General Public License
Copyright © 1989, 1991 Free Software Foundation, Inc. 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.
The licenses for most software are designed to take away your freedom to share and change it. By contrast, the GNU General Public License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change free software—to make sure the software is free for all its users. This General Public License applies to most of the Free Software Foundation's software and to any other program whose authors commit to using it. (Some other Free Software Foundation software is covered by the GNU Library General Public License instead.) You can apply it to your programs, too.
When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price. Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for this service if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it if you want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new free programs; and that you know you can do these things.
To protect your rights, we need to make restrictions that forbid anyone to deny you these rights or to ask you to surrender the rights. These restrictions translate to certain responsibilities for you if you distribute copies of the software, or if you modify it.
For example, if you distribute copies of such a program, whether gratis or for a fee, you must give the recipients all the rights that you have. You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the source code. And you must show them these terms so they know their rights.
We protect your rights with two steps: (1) copyright the software, and (2) offer you this license which gives you legal permission to copy, distribute and/or modify the software.
Also, for each author's protection and ours, we want to make certain that everyone understands that there is no warranty for this free software. If the software is modified by someone else and passed on, we want its recipients to know that what they have is not the original, so that any problems introduced by others will not reflect on the original authors' reputations.
Finally, any free program is threatened constantly by software patents. We wish to avoid the danger that redistributors of a free program will individually obtain patent licenses, in effect making the program proprietary. To prevent this, we have made it clear that any patent must be licensed for everyone's free use or not licensed at all.
The precise terms and conditions for copying, distribution and modification follow.
- This License applies to any program or other work which contains
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- If the distribution and/or use of the Program is restricted in certain countries either by patents or by copyrighted interfaces, the original copyright holder who places the Program under this License may add an explicit geographical distribution limitation excluding those countries, so that distribution is permitted only in or among countries not thus excluded. In such case, this License incorporates the limitation as if written in the body of this License.
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of promoting the sharing and reuse of software generally.
- BECAUSE THE PROGRAM IS LICENSED FREE OF CHARGE, THERE IS NO WARRANTY FOR THE PROGRAM, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW. EXCEPT WHEN OTHERWISE STATED IN WRITING THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND/OR OTHER PARTIES PROVIDE THE PROGRAM “AS IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. THE ENTIRE RISK AS TO THE QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE OF THE PROGRAM IS WITH YOU. SHOULD THE PROGRAM PROVE DEFECTIVE, YOU ASSUME THE COST OF ALL NECESSARY SERVICING, REPAIR OR CORRECTION.
- IN NO EVENT UNLESS REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE LAW OR AGREED TO IN WRITING WILL ANY COPYRIGHT HOLDER, OR ANY OTHER PARTY WHO MAY MODIFY AND/OR REDISTRIBUTE THE PROGRAM AS PERMITTED ABOVE, BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR DAMAGES, INCLUDING ANY GENERAL, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE THE PROGRAM (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO LOSS OF DATA OR DATA BEING RENDERED INACCURATE OR LOSSES SUSTAINED BY YOU OR THIRD PARTIES OR A FAILURE OF THE PROGRAM TO OPERATE WITH ANY OTHER PROGRAMS), EVEN IF SUCH HOLDER OR OTHER PARTY HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
How to Apply These Terms to Your New Programs
If you develop a new program, and you want it to be of the greatest possible use to the public, the best way to achieve this is to make it free software which everyone can redistribute and change under these terms.
To do so, attach the following notices to the program. It is safest to attach them to the start of each source file to most effectively convey the exclusion of warranty; and each file should have at least the “copyright” line and a pointer to where the full notice is found.
one line to give the program's name and an idea of what it does. Copyright (C) 20yy name of author This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details. You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
Also add information on how to contact you by electronic and paper mail.
If the program is interactive, make it output a short notice like this when it starts in an interactive mode:
Gnomovision version 69, Copyright (C) 20yy name of author Gnomovision comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY; for details type `show w'. This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it under certain conditions; type `show c' for details.
The hypothetical commands show w and show c should show the appropriate parts of the General Public License. Of course, the commands you use may be called something other than show w and show c; they could even be mouse-clicks or menu items—whatever suits your program.
You should also get your employer (if you work as a programmer) or your school, if any, to sign a “copyright disclaimer” for the program, if necessary. Here is a sample; alter the names:
Yoyodyne, Inc., hereby disclaims all copyright interest in the program `Gnomovision' (which makes passes at compilers) written by James Hacker. signature of Ty Coon, 1 April 1989 Ty Coon, President of Vice
This General Public License does not permit incorporating your program into proprietary programs. If your program is a subroutine library, you may consider it more useful to permit linking proprietary applications with the library. If this is what you want to do, use the GNU Library General Public License instead of this License.
10.2 GNU Free Documentation License
Copyright © 2000,2001,2002 Free Software Foundation, Inc. 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.
The purpose of this License is to make a manual, textbook, or other functional and useful document free in the sense of freedom: to assure everyone the effective freedom to copy and redistribute it, with or without modifying it, either commercially or noncommercially. Secondarily, this License preserves for the author and publisher a way to get credit for their work, while not being considered responsible for modifications made by others.
This License is a kind of “copyleft”, which means that derivative works of the document must themselves be free in the same sense. It complements the GNU General Public License, which is a copyleft license designed for free software.
We have designed this License in order to use it for manuals for free software, because free software needs free documentation: a free program should come with manuals providing the same freedoms that the software does. But this License is not limited to software manuals; it can be used for any textual work, regardless of subject matter or whether it is published as a printed book. We recommend this License principally for works whose purpose is instruction or reference.
- APPLICABILITY AND DEFINITIONS
This License applies to any manual or other work, in any medium, that contains a notice placed by the copyright holder saying it can be distributed under the terms of this License. Such a notice grants a world-wide, royalty-free license, unlimited in duration, to use that work under the conditions stated herein. The “Document”, below, refers to any such manual or work. Any member of the public is a licensee, and is addressed as “you”. You accept the license if you copy, modify or distribute the work in a way requiring permission under copyright law.
A “Modified Version” of the Document means any work containing the Document or a portion of it, either copied verbatim, or with modifications and/or translated into another language.
A “Secondary Section” is a named appendix or a front-matter section of the Document that deals exclusively with the relationship of the publishers or authors of the Document to the Document's overall subject (or to related matters) and contains nothing that could fall directly within that overall subject. (Thus, if the Document is in part a textbook of mathematics, a Secondary Section may not explain any mathematics.) The relationship could be a matter of historical connection with the subject or with related matters, or of legal, commercial, philosophical, ethical or political position regarding them.
The “Invariant Sections” are certain Secondary Sections whose titles are designated, as being those of Invariant Sections, in the notice that says that the Document is released under this License. If a section does not fit the above definition of Secondary then it is not allowed to be designated as Invariant. The Document may contain zero Invariant Sections. If the Document does not identify any Invariant Sections then there are none.
The “Cover Texts” are certain short passages of text that are listed, as Front-Cover Texts or Back-Cover Texts, in the notice that says that the Document is released under this License. A Front-Cover Text may be at most 5 words, and a Back-Cover Text may be at most 25 words.
A “Transparent” copy of the Document means a machine-readable copy, represented in a format whose specification is available to the general public, that is suitable for revising the document straightforwardly with generic text editors or (for images composed of pixels) generic paint programs or (for drawings) some widely available drawing editor, and that is suitable for input to text formatters or for automatic translation to a variety of formats suitable for input to text formatters. A copy made in an otherwise Transparent file format whose markup, or absence of markup, has been arranged to thwart or discourage subsequent modification by readers is not Transparent. An image format is not Transparent if used for any substantial amount of text. A copy that is not “Transparent” is called “Opaque”.
Examples of suitable formats for Transparent copies include plain ascii without markup, Texinfo input format, LaTeX input format, SGML or XML using a publicly available DTD, and standard-conforming simple HTML, PostScript or PDF designed for human modification. Examples of transparent image formats include PNG, XCF and JPG. Opaque formats include proprietary formats that can be read and edited only by proprietary word processors, SGML or XML for which the DTD and/or processing tools are not generally available, and the machine-generated HTML, PostScript or PDF produced by some word processors for output purposes only.
The “Title Page” means, for a printed book, the title page itself, plus such following pages as are needed to hold, legibly, the material this License requires to appear in the title page. For works in formats which do not have any title page as such, “Title Page” means the text near the most prominent appearance of the work's title, preceding the beginning of the body of the text.
A section “Entitled XYZ” means a named subunit of the Document whose title either is precisely XYZ or contains XYZ in parentheses following text that translates XYZ in another language. (Here XYZ stands for a specific section name mentioned below, such as “Acknowledgements”, “Dedications”, “Endorsements”, or “History”.) To “Preserve the Title” of such a section when you modify the Document means that it remains a section “Entitled XYZ” according to this definition.
The Document may include Warranty Disclaimers next to the notice which states that this License applies to the Document. These Warranty Disclaimers are considered to be included by reference in this License, but only as regards disclaiming warranties: any other implication that these Warranty Disclaimers may have is void and has no effect on the meaning of this License.
- VERBATIM COPYING
You may copy and distribute the Document in any medium, either commercially or noncommercially, provided that this License, the copyright notices, and the license notice saying this License applies to the Document are reproduced in all copies, and that you add no other conditions whatsoever to those of this License. You may not use technical measures to obstruct or control the reading or further copying of the copies you make or distribute. However, you may accept compensation in exchange for copies. If you distribute a large enough number of copies you must also follow the conditions in section 3.
You may also lend copies, under the same conditions stated above, and you may publicly display copies.
- COPYING IN QUANTITY
If you publish printed copies (or copies in media that commonly have printed covers) of the Document, numbering more than 100, and the Document's license notice requires Cover Texts, you must enclose the copies in covers that carry, clearly and legibly, all these Cover Texts: Front-Cover Texts on the front cover, and Back-Cover Texts on the back cover. Both covers must also clearly and legibly identify you as the publisher of these copies. The front cover must present the full title with all words of the title equally prominent and visible. You may add other material on the covers in addition. Copying with changes limited to the covers, as long as they preserve the title of the Document and satisfy these conditions, can be treated as verbatim copying in other respects.
If the required texts for either cover are too voluminous to fit legibly, you should put the first ones listed (as many as fit reasonably) on the actual cover, and continue the rest onto adjacent pages.
If you publish or distribute Opaque copies of the Document numbering more than 100, you must either include a machine-readable Transparent copy along with each Opaque copy, or state in or with each Opaque copy a computer-network location from which the general network-using public has access to download using public-standard network protocols a complete Transparent copy of the Document, free of added material. If you use the latter option, you must take reasonably prudent steps, when you begin distribution of Opaque copies in quantity, to ensure that this Transparent copy will remain thus accessible at the stated location until at least one year after the last time you distribute an Opaque copy (directly or through your agents or retailers) of that edition to the public.
It is requested, but not required, that you contact the authors of the Document well before redistributing any large number of copies, to give them a chance to provide you with an updated version of the Document.
You may copy and distribute a Modified Version of the Document under the conditions of sections 2 and 3 above, provided that you release the Modified Version under precisely this License, with the Modified Version filling the role of the Document, thus licensing distribution and modification of the Modified Version to whoever possesses a copy of it. In addition, you must do these things in the Modified Version:
- Use in the Title Page (and on the covers, if any) a title distinct from that of the Document, and from those of previous versions (which should, if there were any, be listed in the History section of the Document). You may use the same title as a previous version if the original publisher of that version gives permission.
- List on the Title Page, as authors, one or more persons or entities responsible for authorship of the modifications in the Modified Version, together with at least five of the principal authors of the Document (all of its principal authors, if it has fewer than five), unless they release you from this requirement.
- State on the Title page the name of the publisher of the Modified Version, as the publisher.
- Preserve all the copyright notices of the Document.
- Add an appropriate copyright notice for your modifications adjacent to the other copyright notices.
- Include, immediately after the copyright notices, a license notice giving the public permission to use the Modified Version under the terms of this License, in the form shown in the Addendum below.
- Preserve in that license notice the full lists of Invariant Sections and required Cover Texts given in the Document's license notice.
- Include an unaltered copy of this License.
- Preserve the section Entitled “History”, Preserve its Title, and add to it an item stating at least the title, year, new authors, and publisher of the Modified Version as given on the Title Page. If there is no section Entitled “History” in the Document, create one stating the title, year, authors, and publisher of the Document as given on its Title Page, then add an item describing the Modified Version as stated in the previous sentence.
- Preserve the network location, if any, given in the Document for public access to a Transparent copy of the Document, and likewise the network locations given in the Document for previous versions it was based on. These may be placed in the “History” section. You may omit a network location for a work that was published at least four years before the Document itself, or if the original publisher of the version it refers to gives permission.
- For any section Entitled “Acknowledgements” or “Dedications”, Preserve the Title of the section, and preserve in the section all the substance and tone of each of the contributor acknowledgements and/or dedications given therein.
- Preserve all the Invariant Sections of the Document, unaltered in their text and in their titles. Section numbers or the equivalent are not considered part of the section titles.
- Delete any section Entitled “Endorsements”. Such a section may not be included in the Modified Version.
- Do not retitle any existing section to be Entitled “Endorsements” or to conflict in title with any Invariant Section.
- Preserve any Warranty Disclaimers.
If the Modified Version includes new front-matter sections or appendices that qualify as Secondary Sections and contain no material copied from the Document, you may at your option designate some or all of these sections as invariant. To do this, add their titles to the list of Invariant Sections in the Modified Version's license notice. These titles must be distinct from any other section titles.
You may add a section Entitled “Endorsements”, provided it contains nothing but endorsements of your Modified Version by various parties—for example, statements of peer review or that the text has been approved by an organization as the authoritative definition of a standard.
You may add a passage of up to five words as a Front-Cover Text, and a passage of up to 25 words as a Back-Cover Text, to the end of the list of Cover Texts in the Modified Version. Only one passage of Front-Cover Text and one of Back-Cover Text may be added by (or through arrangements made by) any one entity. If the Document already includes a cover text for the same cover, previously added by you or by arrangement made by the same entity you are acting on behalf of, you may not add another; but you may replace the old one, on explicit permission from the previous publisher that added the old one.
The author(s) and publisher(s) of the Document do not by this License give permission to use their names for publicity for or to assert or imply endorsement of any Modified Version.
- COMBINING DOCUMENTS
You may combine the Document with other documents released under this License, under the terms defined in section 4 above for modified versions, provided that you include in the combination all of the Invariant Sections of all of the original documents, unmodified, and list them all as Invariant Sections of your combined work in its license notice, and that you preserve all their Warranty Disclaimers.
The combined work need only contain one copy of this License, and multiple identical Invariant Sections may be replaced with a single copy. If there are multiple Invariant Sections with the same name but different contents, make the title of each such section unique by adding at the end of it, in parentheses, the name of the original author or publisher of that section if known, or else a unique number. Make the same adjustment to the section titles in the list of Invariant Sections in the license notice of the combined work.
In the combination, you must combine any sections Entitled “History” in the various original documents, forming one section Entitled “History”; likewise combine any sections Entitled “Acknowledgements”, and any sections Entitled “Dedications”. You must delete all sections Entitled “Endorsements.”
- COLLECTIONS OF DOCUMENTS
You may make a collection consisting of the Document and other documents released under this License, and replace the individual copies of this License in the various documents with a single copy that is included in the collection, provided that you follow the rules of this License for verbatim copying of each of the documents in all other respects.
You may extract a single document from such a collection, and distribute it individually under this License, provided you insert a copy of this License into the extracted document, and follow this License in all other respects regarding verbatim copying of that document.
- AGGREGATION WITH INDEPENDENT WORKS
A compilation of the Document or its derivatives with other separate and independent documents or works, in or on a volume of a storage or distribution medium, is called an “aggregate” if the copyright resulting from the compilation is not used to limit the legal rights of the compilation's users beyond what the individual works permit. When the Document is included in an aggregate, this License does not apply to the other works in the aggregate which are not themselves derivative works of the Document.
If the Cover Text requirement of section 3 is applicable to these copies of the Document, then if the Document is less than one half of the entire aggregate, the Document's Cover Texts may be placed on covers that bracket the Document within the aggregate, or the electronic equivalent of covers if the Document is in electronic form. Otherwise they must appear on printed covers that bracket the whole aggregate.
Translation is considered a kind of modification, so you may distribute translations of the Document under the terms of section 4. Replacing Invariant Sections with translations requires special permission from their copyright holders, but you may include translations of some or all Invariant Sections in addition to the original versions of these Invariant Sections. You may include a translation of this License, and all the license notices in the Document, and any Warranty Disclaimers, provided that you also include the original English version of this License and the original versions of those notices and disclaimers. In case of a disagreement between the translation and the original version of this License or a notice or disclaimer, the original version will prevail.
If a section in the Document is Entitled “Acknowledgements”, “Dedications”, or “History”, the requirement (section 4) to Preserve its Title (section 1) will typically require changing the actual title.
You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Document except as expressly provided for under this License. Any other attempt to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Document is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License. However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such parties remain in full compliance.
- FUTURE REVISIONS OF THIS LICENSE
The Free Software Foundation may publish new, revised versions of the GNU Free Documentation License from time to time. Such new versions will be similar in spirit to the present version, but may differ in detail to address new problems or concerns. See http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/.
Each version of the License is given a distinguishing version number. If the Document specifies that a particular numbered version of this License “or any later version” applies to it, you have the option of following the terms and conditions either of that specified version or of any later version that has been published (not as a draft) by the Free Software Foundation. If the Document does not specify a version number of this License, you may choose any version ever published (not as a draft) by the Free Software Foundation.
10.2.1 ADDENDUM: How to use this License for your documents
To use this License in a document you have written, include a copy of the License in the document and put the following copyright and license notices just after the title page:
Copyright (C) year your name. 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 Documentation License''.
If you have Invariant Sections, Front-Cover Texts and Back-Cover Texts, replace the “with...Texts.” line with this:
with the Invariant Sections being list their titles, with the Front-Cover Texts being list, and with the Back-Cover Texts being list.
If you have Invariant Sections without Cover Texts, or some other combination of the three, merge those two alternatives to suit the situation.
If your document contains nontrivial examples of program code, we recommend releasing these examples in parallel under your choice of free software license, such as the GNU General Public License, to permit their use in free software.
- .html extension: HTTP Options
- .listing files, removing: FTP Options
- .netrc: Startup File
- .wgetrc: Startup File
- accept directories: Directory-Based Limits
- accept suffixes: Types of Files
- accept wildcards: Types of Files
- append to log: Logging and Input File Options
- arguments: Invoking
- authentication: HTTP Options
- authentication: Download Options
- backing up converted files: Recursive Retrieval Options
- bandwidth, limit: Download Options
- base for relative links in input file: Logging and Input File Options
- bind address: Download Options
- bug reports: Reporting Bugs
- bugs: Reporting Bugs
- cache: HTTP Options
- caching of DNS lookups: Download Options
- client IP address: Download Options
- clobbering, file: Download Options
- command line: Invoking
- comments, html: Recursive Retrieval Options
- connect timeout: Download Options
- Content-Length, ignore: HTTP Options
- continue retrieval: Download Options
- contributors: Contributors
- conversion of links: Recursive Retrieval Options
- cookies: HTTP Options
- cookies, loading: HTTP Options
- cookies, saving: HTTP Options
- cookies, session: HTTP Options
- copying: Copying
- cut directories: Directory Options
- debug: Logging and Input File Options
- delete after retrieval: Recursive Retrieval Options
- directories: Directory-Based Limits
- directories, exclude: Directory-Based Limits
- directories, include: Directory-Based Limits
- directory limits: Directory-Based Limits
- directory prefix: Directory Options
- DNS cache: Download Options
- DNS timeout: Download Options
- dot style: Download Options
- downloading multiple times: Download Options
- EGD: HTTPS (SSL/TLS) Options
- entropy, specifying source of: HTTPS (SSL/TLS) Options
- examples: Examples
- exclude directories: Directory-Based Limits
- execute wgetrc command: Basic Startup Options
- FDL, GNU Free Documentation License: GNU Free Documentation License
- features: Overview
- file names, restrict: Download Options
- filling proxy cache: Recursive Retrieval Options
- follow FTP links: Recursive Accept/Reject Options
- following ftp links: FTP Links
- following links: Following Links
- force html: Logging and Input File Options
- free software: Copying
- ftp authentication: FTP Options
- ftp password: FTP Options
- ftp time-stamping: FTP Time-Stamping Internals
- ftp user: FTP Options
- GFDL: Copying
- globbing, toggle: FTP Options
- GPL: Copying
- hangup: Signals
- header, add: HTTP Options
- hosts, spanning: Spanning Hosts
- html comments: Recursive Retrieval Options
- http password: HTTP Options
- http referer: HTTP Options
- http time-stamping: HTTP Time-Stamping Internals
- http user: HTTP Options
- ignore length: HTTP Options
- include directories: Directory-Based Limits
- incomplete downloads: Download Options
- incremental updating: Time-Stamping
- input-file: Logging and Input File Options
- invoking: Invoking
- IP address, client: Download Options
- IPv6: Download Options
- Keep-Alive, turning off: FTP Options
- latest version: Distribution
- limit bandwidth: Download Options
- link conversion: Recursive Retrieval Options
- links: Following Links
- list: Mailing List
- loading cookies: HTTP Options
- location of wgetrc: Wgetrc Location
- log file: Logging and Input File Options
- mailing list: Mailing List
- mirroring: Very Advanced Usage
- no parent: Directory-Based Limits
- no warranty: GNU General Public License
- no-clobber: Download Options
- nohup: Invoking
- number of retries: Download Options
- operating systems: Portability
- option syntax: Option Syntax
- output file: Logging and Input File Options
- overview: Overview
- page requisites: Recursive Retrieval Options
- passive ftp: FTP Options
- password: Download Options
- pause: Download Options
- Persistent Connections, disabling: FTP Options
- portability: Portability
- POST: HTTP Options
- progress indicator: Download Options
- proxies: Proxies
- proxy: HTTP Options
- proxy: Download Options
- proxy authentication: HTTP Options
- proxy filling: Recursive Retrieval Options
- proxy password: HTTP Options
- proxy user: HTTP Options
- quiet: Logging and Input File Options
- quota: Download Options
- random wait: Download Options
- randomness, specifying source of: HTTPS (SSL/TLS) Options
- rate, limit: Download Options
- read timeout: Download Options
- recursion: Recursive Download
- recursive download: Recursive Download
- redirecting output: Advanced Usage
- referer, http: HTTP Options
- reject directories: Directory-Based Limits
- reject suffixes: Types of Files
- reject wildcards: Types of Files
- relative links: Relative Links
- reporting bugs: Reporting Bugs
- required images, downloading: Recursive Retrieval Options
- resume download: Download Options
- retries: Download Options
- retries, waiting between: Download Options
- retrieving: Recursive Download
- robot exclusion: Robot Exclusion
- robots.txt: Robot Exclusion
- sample wgetrc: Sample Wgetrc
- saving cookies: HTTP Options
- security: Security Considerations
- server maintenance: Robot Exclusion
- server response, print: Download Options
- server response, save: HTTP Options
- session cookies: HTTP Options
- signal handling: Signals
- spanning hosts: Spanning Hosts
- spider: Download Options
- SSL: HTTPS (SSL/TLS) Options
- SSL certificate: HTTPS (SSL/TLS) Options
- SSL certificate authority: HTTPS (SSL/TLS) Options
- SSL certificate type, specify: HTTPS (SSL/TLS) Options
- SSL certificate, check: HTTPS (SSL/TLS) Options
- SSL protocol, choose: HTTPS (SSL/TLS) Options
- startup: Startup File
- startup file: Startup File
- suffixes, accept: Types of Files
- suffixes, reject: Types of Files
- symbolic links, retrieving: FTP Options
- syntax of options: Option Syntax
- syntax of wgetrc: Wgetrc Syntax
- tag-based recursive pruning: Recursive Accept/Reject Options
- time-stamping: Time-Stamping
- time-stamping usage: Time-Stamping Usage
- timeout: Download Options
- timeout, connect: Download Options
- timeout, DNS: Download Options
- timeout, read: Download Options
- timestamping: Time-Stamping
- tries: Download Options
- types of files: Types of Files
- updating the archives: Time-Stamping
- URL: URL Format
- URL syntax: URL Format
- usage, time-stamping: Time-Stamping Usage
- user: Download Options
- user-agent: HTTP Options
- various: Various
- verbose: Logging and Input File Options
- wait: Download Options
- wait, random: Download Options
- waiting between retries: Download Options
- Wget as spider: Download Options
- wgetrc: Startup File
- wgetrc commands: Wgetrc Commands
- wgetrc location: Wgetrc Location
- wgetrc syntax: Wgetrc Syntax
- wildcards, accept: Types of Files
- wildcards, reject: Types of Files
- Windows file names: Download Options
Table of Contents
- Wget 1.10
- 1 Overview
- 2 Invoking
- 3 Recursive Download
- 4 Following Links
- 5 Time-Stamping
- 6 Startup File
- 7 Examples
- 8 Various
- 9 Appendices
- 10 Copying
- Concept Index