WGET(1) GNU Wget WGET(1)
wget - GNU Wget Manual
wget [option]... [URL]...
GNU Wget is a free utility for non-interactive download of files from the Web. It sup-
ports HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP protocols, as well as retrieval through HTTP proxies.
Wget is non-interactive, meaning that it can work in the background, while the user is not
logged on. This allows you to start a retrieval and disconnect from the system, letting
Wget finish the work. By contrast, most of the Web browsers require constant user's pres-
ence, which can be a great hindrance when transferring a lot of data.
Wget can follow links in HTML 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 viewing.
Wget has been designed for robustness over slow or unstable network connections; if a
download fails due to a network problem, it will keep retrying until the whole file has
been retrieved. If the server supports regetting, it will instruct the server to continue
the download from where it left off.
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.
Execute command as if it were a part of .wgetrc. A command thus invoked will be exe-
cuted after the commands in .wgetrc, thus taking precedence over them.
Logging and Input File Options
Log all messages to logfile. The messages are normally reported to standard error.
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 compil-
ing with debug support is always safe---Wget compiled with the debug support will not
print any debug info unless requested with -d.
Turn off Wget's output.
Turn on verbose output, with all the available data. The default output is verbose.
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.
Read URLs from file, in which case no URLs need to be 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
"<base href="url">" 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
"<base href="url">" to HTML, or using the --base command-line option.
When used in conjunction with -F, prepends URL to relative links in the file specified
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.
Set number of retries to number. Specify 0 or inf for infinite retrying.
The documents will not be written to the appropriate files, but all will be concate-
nated together and written to file. If file already exists, it will be overwritten.
If the file is -, the documents will be written to standard output. Including this
option automatically sets the number of tries to 1.
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 direc-
tory 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 suf-
fixes were already preventing clobbering), but rather the multiple version saving
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. -nc may not be specified at the same time as -N.
Note that when -nc is specified, files with the suffixes .html or (yuck) .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
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 invoca-
tion 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 mes-
sage. The same happens when the file is smaller on the server than locally (presum-
ably 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 espe-
cially 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 "default"
style each dot represents 1K, there are ten dots in a cluster and 50 dots in a line.
The "binary" style has a more ``computer''-like orientation---8K dots, 16-dots clus-
ters and 48 dots per line (which makes for 384K lines). The "mega" style is suitable
for downloading very large files---each dot represents 64K retrieved, there are eight
dots in a cluster, and 48 dots on each line (so each line contains 3M).
Note that you can set the default style using the "progress" command in .wgetrc. That
setting may be overridden from the command line. The exception is that, when the out-
put 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.
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. You can use it to check
your bookmarks, e.g. with:
wget --spider --force-html -i bookmarks.html
This feature needs much more work for Wget to get close to the functionality of real
Set the read timeout to seconds seconds. Whenever a network read is issued, the file
descriptor is checked for a timeout, which could otherwise leave a pending connection
(uninterrupted read). The default timeout is 900 seconds (fifteen minutes). Setting
timeout to 0 will disable checking for timeouts.
Please do not lower the default timeout value with this option unless you know what
you are doing.
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 kind of thing is use-
ful when, for whatever reason, you don't want Wget to consume the entire evailable
Note that Wget implementeds 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 takes some time for this balance to be achieved, so don't be surprised if
limiting the rate doesn't work with very small files. Also, the "sleeping" strategy
will misfire when an extremely small bandwidth, say less than 1.5KB/s, is specified.
Wait the specified number of seconds between the retrievals. Use of this option is
recommended, as it lightens the server load by making the requests less frequent.
Instead of in seconds, the time can be specified in minutes using the "m" suffix, in
hours using "h" suffix, or in days using "d" suffix.
Specifying a large value for this option is useful if the network or the destination
host is down, so that Wget can wait long enough to reasonably expect the network error
to be fixed before the retry.
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 sec-
ond 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
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 -w or --wait options, in order to mask Wget's presence
from such analysis.
A recent article in a publication devoted to development on a popular consumer plat-
form 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.
Turn proxy support on or off. The proxy is on by default if the appropriate environ-
mental variable is defined.
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.
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 clobber-
ing (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 fly.srk.fer.hr/robots.txt.
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 such behavior.
Ignore number directory components. This is useful for getting a fine-grained control
over the directory where recursive retrieval will be saved.
Take, for example, the directory at 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 subdi-
rectories---for instance, with -nH --cut-dirs=1, a beta/ subdirectory will be placed
to xemacs/beta, as one would expect.
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).
If a file of type 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 the output of
CGIs. A URL like http://site.com/article.cgi?25 will be saved as article.cgi?25.html.
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. 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.
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 "digest" authentication scheme.
Another way to specify username and password is in the URL itself. Either method
reveals your password to anyone who bothers to run "ps". To prevent the passwords
from being seen, store them in .wgetrc or .netrc, and make sure to protect those files
from other users with "chmod". If the passwords are really important, do not leave
them lying in those files either---edit the files and delete them after Wget has
started the download.
For more information about security issues with Wget,
When set to off, 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 "Set-Cookie"
header, and the client responds with the same cookie upon further requests. Since
cookies allow the server owners to keep track of visitors and for sites to exchange
this information, some consider them a breach of privacy. The default is to use cook-
ies; however, storing cookies is not on by default.
Load cookies from file before the first HTTP retrieval. file is a textual file in the
format originally used by Netscape's cookies.txt file.
You will typically use this option when mirroring sites that require that you be
logged in to access some or all of their content. The login process typically works
by the web server issuing an HTTP cookie upon receiving and verifying your creden-
tials. 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:
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 look-
ing somewhat like ~/.mozilla/default/some-weird-string/cookies.txt.
You can produce a cookie file Wget can use by using the File menu, Import and
Export, Export Cookies. This has been tested with Internet Explorer 5; it is not
guaranteed to work with earlier versions.
If you are using a different browser to create your cookies, --load-cookies will
only work if you can locate or produce a cookie file in the Netscape format that
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 sup-
wget --cookies=off --header "Cookie: I<name>=I<value>"
Save cookies from file at the end of session. Cookies whose expiry time is not speci-
fied, or those that have already expired, are not saved.
Unfortunately, some HTTP servers (CGI programs, to be more precise) send out bogus
"Content-Length" headers, which makes Wget go wild, as it thinks not all the document
was retrieved. You can spot this syndrome if Wget retries getting the same document
again and again, each time claiming that the (otherwise normal) connection has closed
on the very same byte.
With this option, Wget will ignore the "Content-Length" header---as if it never
Define an additional-header to be passed to the HTTP servers. Headers must contain a
: preceded by one or more non-blank characters, and must not contain newlines.
You may define more than one additional header by specifying --header more than once.
wget --header='Accept-Charset: iso-8859-2' \
--header='Accept-Language: hr' \
Specification of an empty string as the header value will clear all previous user-
Specify the username user and password password for authentication on a proxy server.
Wget will encode them using the "basic" authentication scheme.
Security considerations similar to those with --http-passwd 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
Save the headers sent by the HTTP server to the file, preceding the actual contents,
with an empty line as the separator.
Identify as agent-string to the HTTP server.
The HTTP protocol allows the clients to identify themselves using a "User-Agent"
header field. This enables distinguishing the WWW software, usually for statistical
purposes or for tracing of protocol violations. Wget normally identifies as Wget/ver-
sion, 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 conceptually this is not
such a bad idea, it has been abused by servers denying information to clients other
than "Mozilla" or Microsoft "Internet Explorer". This option allows you to change the
"User-Agent" line issued by Wget. Use of this option is discouraged, unless you
really know what you are doing.
Don't remove the temporary .listing files generated by FTP retrievals. Normally,
these files contain the raw directory listings received from FTP servers. Not remov-
ing them can be useful for debugging purposes, or when you want to be able to easily
check on the contents of remote server directories (e.g. to verify that a mirror
you're running is complete).
Note that even though Wget writes to a known filename for this file, this is not a
security hole in the scenario of a user making .listing a symbolic link to /etc/passwd
or something and asking "root" to run Wget in his or her directory. Depending on the
options used, either Wget will refuse to write to .listing, making the globbing/recur-
sion/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
Even though this situation isn't a problem, though, "root" should never run Wget in a
non-trusted user's directory. A user could do something as simple as linking
index.html to /etc/passwd and asking "root" to run Wget with -N or -r so the file will
Turn FTP globbing on or off. Globbing means you may use the shell-like special char-
acters (wildcards), like *, ?, [ and ] to retrieve more than one file from the same
directory at once, like:
By default, globbing will be turned on if the URL contains a 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. Glob-
bing makes Wget look for a directory listing, which is system-specific. This is why
it currently works only with Unix FTP servers (and the ones emulating Unix "ls" out-
Use the passive FTP retrieval scheme, in which the client initiates the data connec-
tion. This is sometimes required for FTP to work behind firewalls.
Usually, when retrieving FTP directories recursively and a symbolic link is encoun-
tered, 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 any-
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 tra-
verse 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
commandline, rather than because it was recursed to, this option has no effect. Sym-
bolic links are always traversed in this case.
Recursive Retrieval Options
Turn on recursive retrieving.
Specify recursion maximum depth level depth. The default maximum depth is 5.
This option tells Wget to delete every single file it downloads, after having done so.
It is useful for pre-fetching popular pages through a proxy, e.g.:
wget -r -nd --delete-after 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
After the download is complete, convert the links in the document to make them suit-
able for local viewing. This affects not only the visible hyperlinks, but any part of
the document that links to external content, such as embedded images, links to style
sheets, hyperlinks to non-HTML content, etc.
Each link will be changed in one of the two ways:
o 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 down-
loaded, 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 directo-
o 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
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 down-
loaded. Because of that, the work done by -k will be performed at the end of all the
When converting a file, back up the original version with a .orig suffix. Affects the
behavior of -N.
Turn on options suitable for mirroring. This option turns on recursion and
time-stamping, sets infinite recursion depth and keeps FTP directory listings. It is
currently equivalent to -r -N -l inf -nr.
This option causes Wget to download all the files that are necessary to properly dis-
play a given HTML page. This includes such things as inlined images, sounds, and ref-
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
If one executes the command:
wget -r -l 2 http://I<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://I<site>/1.html
all the above files and 3.html's requisite 3.gif will be downloaded. Similarly,
wget -r -l 1 -p http://I<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://I<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 commandline or in a -i URL input
file) and its (or their) requisites, simply leave off -r and -l:
wget -p http://I<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://I<site>/I<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 "<A>" tag, an "<AREA>" tag, or a "<LINK>" tag other
than "<LINK REL="stylesheet">".
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.
Set domains to be followed. domain-list is a comma-separated list of domains. Note
that it does not turn on -H.
Specify the domains that are not to be followed..
Follow FTP links from HTML documents. Without this option, Wget will ignore all the
Wget has an internal table of HTML tag / attribute pairs that it considers when look-
ing 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, the -G option was the best bet for downloading a single page and its req-
uisites, using a commandline like:
wget -Ga,area -H -k -K -r http://I<site>/I<document>
However, the author of this option came across a page with tags like "<LINK REL="home"
HREF="/">" and came to the realization that -G 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-req-
Enable spanning across hosts when doing recursive retrieving.
Follow relative links only. Useful for retrieving a specific home page without any
distractions, not even those from the same hosts.
Specify a comma-separated list of directories you wish to follow when downloading
Elements of list may contain wildcards.
Specify a comma-separated list of directories you wish to exclude from download Ele-
ments 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
The examples are divided into three sections loosely based on their complexity.
o Say you want to download a URL. Just type:
o But what will happen if the connection is slow, and the file is lengthy? The connec-
tion 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
o 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.
o The usage of FTP is as simple. Wget will take care of login and password.
o If you specify a directory, Wget will retrieve the directory listing, parse it and
convert it to HTML. Try:
o You have a file that contains the URLs you want to download? Use the -i switch:
wget -i I<file>
If you specify - as file name, the URLs will be read from standard input.
o 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
o 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
o 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.
o 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 \
o Retrieve the index.html of www.lycos.com, showing the original server headers:
wget -S http://www.lycos.com/
o Save the server headers with the file, perhaps for post-processing.
wget -s http://www.lycos.com/
o Retrieve the first two levels of wuarchive.wustl.edu, saving them to /tmp.
wget -r -l2 -P/tmp ftp://wuarchive.wustl.edu/
o 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, with
maximum depth of 1. --no-parent means that references to the parent directory are
ignored, and -A.gif means to download only the GIF files. -A "*.gif" would have
o 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/
o If you want to encode your own username and password to HTTP or FTP, use the appropri-
ate URL syntax.
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 "ps".
o You would like the output documents to go to standard output instead of to files?
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
wget -O - http://cool.list.com/ | wget --force-html -i -
Very Advanced Usage
o 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:
0 0 * * 0 wget --mirror http://www.gnu.org/ -o /home/me/weeklog
o 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 con-
version. Wget invocation would look like this:
wget --mirror --convert-links --backup-converted \
http://www.gnu.org/ -o /home/me/weeklog
o 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 to name.html.
wget --mirror --convert-links --backup-converted \
--html-extension -o /home/me/weeklog \
Or, with less typing:
wget -m -k -K -E http://www.gnu.org/ -o /home/me/weeklog
Default location of the global startup file.
User startup file.
You are welcome to send bug reports about GNU Wget to <"email@example.com">.
Before actually submitting a bug report, please try to follow a few simple guidelines.
1. Please try to ascertain that the behaviour 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.
2. 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
3. Please start Wget with -d option and send the log (or the relevant parts of it). If
Wget was compiled without debug support, recompile it. It is much easier to trace
bugs with debug support on.
4. If Wget has crashed, try to run it in a debugger, e.g. "gdb `which wget` core" and
type "where" to get the backtrace.
GNU Info entry for wget.
Originally written by Hrvoje Niksic <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Copyright (c) 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001 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 1.1 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
GNU Wget 1.8.2 2003-01-25 WGET(1)