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Wget 1.17.1

on May 11, 2016

GNU Wget 1.17.1
The non-interactive download utility
Updated for Wget 1.17.1, 10 December 2015
by Hrvoje Nikˇ si´ c and others
This file documents the GNU Wget utility for downloading network data.
Copyright c ? 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009,
2010, 2011, 2015 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this manual provided the copy-
right 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 1.3 or any later version published by the Free
Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, 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
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Overview 1
1 Overview
GNU Wget is a free utility for non-interactive download of files from the Web. It supports http,
https, and ftp protocols, as well as retrieval through http proxies.
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, xhtml, and css pages, to 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 files
to point at the local files, for offline viewing.
• File name wildcard matching and recursive mirroring of directories are available when re-
trieving 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 pages.
• 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. 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 hundefinedi
[Following Links], page hundefinedi).
• 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 hundefinedi [Startup File], page hundefinedi). Wget allows
you to define global startup files (‘/usr/local/etc/wgetrc’ by default) for site settings.
You can also specify the location of a startup file with the –config option.
• 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 the file ‘COPYING’ that came with GNU Wget, for details).
Chapter 2: Invoking 2
2 Invoking
By default, Wget is very simple to invoke. The basic syntax is:
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 hundefinedi [Startup
File], page hundefinedi), 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 user-
name 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’, 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 characters.
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 (hys-
terical?) reasons and their widespreaded use.
ftp-only syntax (supported by NcFTP):
http-only syntax (introduced by Netscape):
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 Lynx or
If you have a ‘.netrc’ file in your home directory, password will also be searched for there.
Chapter 2: Invoking 3
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 of ‘-o log’ you can write ‘-olog’.
You may put several options that do not require arguments together, like:
wget -drc URL
This is completely equivalent to:
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’ sets exclude_directories to ‘/cgi-bin’, the following example will first reset
it, and then set it to exclude ‘/~nobody’ and ‘/~somebody’. You can also clear the lists in
‘.wgetrc’ (see hundefinedi [Wgetrc Syntax], page hundefinedi).
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
= on in ‘.wgetrc’ makes Wget 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.
‘--help’ 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’.
Chapter 2: Invoking 4
‘-e command’
‘--execute command’
Execute command as if it were a part of ‘.wgetrc’ (see hundefinedi [Startup File],
page hundefinedi). 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.
‘--debug’ 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 hundefinedi
[Reporting Bugs], page hundefinedi, for more information on how to use ‘-d’ for
sending bug reports.
‘--quiet’ Turn off Wget’s output.
Turn on verbose output, with all the available data. The default output is verbose.
Turn off verbose without being completely quiet (use ‘-q’ for that), which means
that error messages and basic information still get printed.
Output bandwidth as type. The only accepted value is ‘bits’.
‘-i file’
Read urls from a local or external 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. If ‘--force-html’ is not specified, then file
should consist of a series of URLs, one per line.
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.
Chapter 2: Invoking 5
If the file is an external one, the document will be automatically treated as ‘html’
if the Content-Type matches ‘text/html’. Furthermore, the file’s location will be
implicitly used as base href if none was specified.
Downloads files covered in local Metalink file. Metalink version 3 and 4 are sup-
Issues HTTP HEAD request instead of GET and extracts Metalink metadata from
response headers. Then it switches to Metalink download. If no valid Metalink
metadata is found, it falls back to ordinary HTTP download.
Set preferred location for Metalink resources. This has effect if multiple resources
with same priority are available.
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’
Resolves relative links using URL as the point of reference, when reading links
from an HTML file specified via the ‘-i’/‘--input-file’ option (together with
‘--force-html’, or when the input file was fetched remotely from a server describing
it as html). This is equivalent to the presence of a BASE tag in the html input file,
with URL as the value for the href attribute.
For instance, if you specify ‘http://foo/bar/a.html’ for URL, and
Wget reads ‘../baz/b.html’ from the input file, it would be resolved to
Specify the location of a startup file you wish to use.
Logs all URL rejections to logfile as comma separated values. The values include
the reason of rejection, the URL and the parent URL it was found in.
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 tries 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 concate-
nated together and written to file. If ‘-’ is used as file, documents will be printed
Chapter 2: Invoking 6
to standard output, disabling link conversion. (Use ‘./-’ to print to a file literally
named ‘-’.)
Use of ‘-O’ is not intended to mean simply “use the name file instead of the one in
the URL;” rather, it is analogous to shell redirection: ‘wget -O file http://foo’
is intended to work like ‘wget -O - http://foo > file’; ‘file’ will be truncated
immediately, and all downloaded content will be written there.
For this reason, ‘-N’ (for timestamp-checking) is not supported in combination with
‘-O’: since file is always newly created, it will always have a very new timestamp.
A warning will be issued if this combination is used.
Similarly, using ‘-r’ or ‘-p’ with ‘-O’ may not work as you expect: Wget won’t just
download the first file to file and then download the rest to their normal names: all
downloaded content will be placed in file. This was disabled in version 1.11, but
has been reinstated (with a warning) in 1.11.2, as there are some cases where this
behavior can actually have some use.
A combination with ‘-nc’ is only accepted if the given output file does not exist.
Note that a combination with ‘-k’ is only permitted when downloading a single
document, as in that case it will just convert all relative URIs to external ones; ‘-k’
makes no sense for multiple URIs when they’re all being downloaded to a single file;
‘-k’ can be used only when the output is a regular file.
If a file is downloaded more than once in the same directory, Wget’s behavior de-
pends 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 pre-
When running Wget without ‘-N’, ‘-nc’, ‘-r’, or ‘-p’, downloading the same file in
the same directory will result in the original copy of file being preserved and the
second copy being named ‘file.1’. If that file is downloaded yet again, the third
copy will be named ‘file.2’, and so on. (This is also the behavior with ‘-nd’, even
if ‘-r’ or ‘-p’ are in effect.) 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’ or ‘-p’, but without ‘-N’, ‘-nd’, 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’ or ‘-p’, the decision as to
whether or not to download a newer copy of a file depends on the local and remote
timestamp and size of the file (see hundefinedi [Time-Stamping], page hundefinedi).
‘-nc’ may not be specified at the same time as ‘-N’.
A combination with ‘-O’/‘--output-document’ is only accepted if the given output
file does not exist.
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.
Chapter 2: Invoking 7
Before (over)writing a file, back up an existing file by adding a ‘.1’ suffix (‘_1’ on
VMS) to the file name. Such backup files are rotated to ‘.2’, ‘.3’, and so on, up to
backups (and lost beyond that).
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 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 explana-
tory message. The same happens when the file is smaller on the server than lo-
cally (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
    Range header.
    Start downloading at zero-based position OFFSET. Offset may be expressed in
    bytes, kilobytes with the ‘k’ suffix, or megabytes with the ‘m’ suffix, etc.
    Chapter 2: Invoking 8
    ‘--start-pos’ has higher precedence over ‘--continue’. When ‘--start-pos’
    and ‘--continue’ are both specified, wget will emit a warning then proceed as
    if ‘--continue’ was absent.
    Server support for continued download is required, otherwise ‘--start-pos’ cannot
    help. See ‘-c’ for details.
    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
    The progress type can also take one or more parameters. The parameters vary based
    on the type selected. Parameters to type are passed by appending them to the type
    sperated by a colon (:) like this: ‘--progress=type:parameter1:parameter2’.
    When using the dotted retrieval, you may 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 clusters
    and 48 dots per line (which makes for 384K lines). The mega style is suitable for
    downloading 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). If mega is not enough
    then you can use the giga style—each dot represents 1M retrieved, there are eight
    dots in a cluster, and 32 dots on each line (so each line contains 32M).
    With ‘--progress=bar’, there are currently two possible parameters, force and
    When the output is not a TTY, the progress bar always falls back to “dot”, even
    if ‘--progress=bar’ was passed to Wget during invokation. This behaviour can
    be overridden and the “bar” output forced by using the “force” parameter as
    By default, the ‘bar’ style progress bar scroll the name of the file from left to right
    for the file being downloaded if the filename exceeds the maximum length allotted
    for its display. In certain cases, such as with ‘--progress=bar:force’, one may not
    want the scrolling filename in the progress bar. By passing the “noscroll” parameter,
    Wget can be forced to display as much of the filename as possible without scrolling
    through it.
    Note that you can set the default style using the progress command in ‘.wgetrc’.
    That setting may be overridden from the command line. For example, to force the
    bar output without scrolling, use ‘--progress=bar:force:noscroll’.
    Force wget to display the progress bar in any verbosity.
    By default, wget only displays the progress bar in verbose mode. One may however,
    want wget to display the progress bar on screen in conjunction with any other
    verbosity modes like ‘--no-verbose’ or ‘--quiet’. This is often a desired a property
    when invoking wget to download several small/large files. In such a case, wget could
    simply be invoked with this parameter to get a much cleaner output on the screen.
    Chapter 2: Invoking 9
    This option will also force the progress bar to be printed to ‘stderr’ when used
    alongside the ‘--logfile’ option.
    Turn on time-stamping. See hundefinedi [Time-Stamping], page hundefinedi, for
    Do not send If-Modified-Since header in ‘-N’ mode. Send preliminary HEAD request
    instead. This has only effect in ‘-N’ mode.
    Don’t set the local file’s timestamp by the one on the server.
    By default, when a file is downloaded, its timestamps are set to match those from
    the remote file. This allows the use of ‘--timestamping’ on subsequent invocations
    of wget. However, it is sometimes useful to base the local file’s timestamp on when
    it was actually downloaded; for that purpose, the ‘--no-use-server-timestamps’
    option has been provided.
    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
    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.
    Chapter 2: Invoking 10
    Set the read (and write) timeout to seconds seconds. The “time” of this timeout
    refers to idle time: if, at any point in the download, no data is received for more
    than the specified number of seconds, reading fails and the download is restarted.
    This option does not directly affect the duration of the entire download.
    Of course, the remote server may choose to terminate the connection sooner than
    this option requires. The default read timeout is 900 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 m suffix, in
    hours using h suffix, or in days using d suffix.
    Specifying a large value for this option is useful if the network or the destination
    host is down, so that Wget can wait long enough to reasonably expect the network
    error to be fixed before the retry. The waiting interval specified by this function is
    influenced by --random-wait, which see.
    If you don’t want Wget to wait between every retrieval, but only between retries of
    failed downloads, you can use this option. Wget will use linear backoff, waiting 1
    second after the first failure on a given file, then waiting 2 seconds after the second
    failure on that file, up to the maximum number of seconds you specify.
    By default, Wget will assume a value of 10 seconds.
    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 0.5 and 1.5 wait seconds,
    where wait was specified using the ‘--wait’ option, in order to mask Wget’s presence
    from such analysis.
    A 2001 article in a publication devoted to development on a popular consumer
    platform provided code to perform this analysis on the fly. Its author suggested
    blocking at the class C address level to ensure automated retrieval programs were
    blocked despite changing DHCP-supplied addresses.
    The ‘--random-wait’ option was inspired by this ill-advised recommendation to
    block many unrelated users from a web site due to the actions of one.
    Don’t use proxies, even if the appropriate
    _proxy environment variable is defined.
    Chapter 2: Invoking 11
    See hundefinedi [Proxies], page hundefinedi, for more information about the use of
    proxies with Wget.
    ‘-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 down-
    loaded. The same goes even when several urls are specified on the command-line.
    However, quota is respected when retrieving either recursively, or from an input file.
    Thus you may safely type ‘wget -Q2m -i sites’—download will be aborted when
    the quota is exceeded.
    Setting quota to 0 or to ‘inf’ unlimits the download quota.
    Turn off caching of DNS lookups. Normally, Wget remembers the IP addresses it
    looked up from DNS so it doesn’t have to repeatedly contact the DNS server for the
    same (typically small) set of hosts it retrieves from. This cache exists in memory
    only; a new Wget run will contact DNS again.
    However, it has been reported that in some situations it is not desirable to cache host
    names, even for the duration of a short-running application like Wget. With this
    option Wget issues a new DNS lookup (more precisely, a new call to gethostbyname
    or getaddrinfo) each time it makes a new connection. Please note that this option
    will not affect caching that might be performed by the resolving library or by an
    external caching layer, such as NSCD.
    If you don’t understand exactly what this option does, you probably won’t need it.
    Change which characters found in remote URLs must be escaped during generation
    of local filenames. Characters that are restricted by this option are escaped, i.e.
    replaced with ‘%HH’, where ‘HH’ is the hexadecimal number that corresponds to the
    restricted character. This option may also be used to force all alphabetical cases to
    be either lower- or uppercase.
    By default, Wget escapes the characters that are not valid or safe 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, perhaps because you
    are downloading to a non-native partition, or because you want to disable escaping
    of the control characters, or you want to further restrict characters to only those in
    the ascii range of values.
    The modes are a comma-separated set of text values. The acceptable values are
    ‘unix’, ‘windows’, ‘nocontrol’, ‘ascii’, ‘lowercase’, and ‘uppercase’. The values
    ‘unix’ and ‘windows’ are mutually exclusive (one will override the other), as are
    ‘lowercase’ and ‘uppercase’. Those last are special cases, as they do not change
    the set of characters that would be escaped, but rather force local file paths to be
    converted either to lower- or uppercase.
    When “unix” is specified, Wget escapes the character ‘/’ and the control characters
    in the ranges 0–31 and 128–159. This is the default on Unix-like operating systems.
    When “windows” is given, Wget escapes the characters ‘\’, ‘|’, ‘/’, ‘:’, ‘?’, ‘"’,
    ‘*’, ‘<’, ‘>’, and the control characters in the ranges 0–31 and 128–159. In addi-
    tion to this, Wget in Windows mode uses ‘+’ instead of ‘:’ to separate host and
    Chapter 2: Invoking 12
    port in local file names, and uses ‘@’ instead of ‘?’ to separate the query por-
    tion 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 specify ‘nocontrol’, then the escaping of the control characters is also
    switched off. This option may make sense when you are downloading URLs whose
    names contain UTF-8 characters, on a system which can save and display filenames
    in UTF-8 (some possible byte values used in UTF-8 byte sequences fall in the range
    of values designated by Wget as “controls”).
    The ‘ascii’ mode is used to specify that any bytes whose values are outside the
    range of ascii characters (that is, greater than 127) shall be escaped. This can be
    useful when saving filenames whose encoding does not match the one used locally.
    Force connecting to IPv4 or IPv6 addresses. With ‘--inet4-only’ or ‘-4’, Wget
    will only connect to IPv4 hosts, ignoring AAAA records in DNS, and refusing to
    connect to IPv6 addresses specified in URLs. Conversely, with ‘--inet6-only’ or
    ‘-6’, Wget will only connect to IPv6 hosts and ignore A records and IPv4 addresses.
    Neither options should be needed normally. By default, an IPv6-aware Wget will
    use the address family specified by the host’s DNS record. If the DNS responds with
    both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, Wget will try them in sequence until it finds one it
    can connect to. (Also see --prefer-family option described below.)
    These options can be used to deliberately force the use of IPv4 or IPv6 address
    families on dual family systems, usually to aid debugging or to deal with broken
    network configuration. Only one of ‘--inet6-only’ and ‘--inet4-only’ may be
    specified at the same time. Neither option is available in Wget compiled without
    IPv6 support.
    When given a choice of several addresses, connect to the addresses with specified
    address family first. The address order returned by DNS is used without change 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 ‘’.
    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
    Chapter 2: Invoking 13
    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.
    Prompt for a password for each connection established. Cannot be specified when
    ‘--password’ is being used, because they are mutually exclusive.
    Turn off internationalized URI (IRI) support. Use ‘--iri’ to turn it on. IRI support
    is activated by default.
    You can set the default state of IRI support using the iri command in ‘.wgetrc’.
    That setting may be overridden from the command line.
    Force Wget to use encoding as the default system encoding. That affects how Wget
    converts URLs specified as arguments from locale to utf-8 for IRI support.
    Wget use the function nl_langinfo() and then the CHARSET environment variable
    to get the locale. If it fails, ascii is used.
    You can set the default local encoding using the local_encoding command in
    ‘.wgetrc’. That setting may be overridden from the command line.
    Force Wget to use encoding as the default remote server encoding. That affects
    how Wget converts URIs found in files from remote encoding to utf-8 during a
    recursive fetch. This options is only useful for IRI support, for the interpretation of
    non-ascii characters.
    For HTTP, remote encoding can be found in HTTP Content-Type header and in
    HTML Content-Type http-equiv meta tag.
    You can set the default encoding using the remoteencoding command in ‘.wgetrc’.
    That setting may be overridden from the command line.
    Force Wget to unlink file instead of clobbering existing file. This option is useful
    for downloading to the directory with hardlinks.
    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 ‘fly.srk.fer.hr/robots.txt’.
    Chapter 2: Invoking 14
    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.
    Use the protocol name as a directory component of local file names. For example,
    with this option, ‘wget -r http://host’ will save to ‘http/host/...’ rather than
    just to ‘host/...’.
    Ignore number directory components. This is useful for getting a fine-grained control
    over the directory where recursive retrieval will be saved.
    Take, for example, the directory at ‘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
    Use name as the default file name when it isn’t known (i.e., for URLs that end in a
    slash), instead of ‘index.html’.
    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 in-
    stance, 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 ‘article.cgi?25.html’.
    Chapter 2: Invoking 15
    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’.
    As of version 1.12, Wget will also ensure that any downloaded files of type ‘text/css’
    end in the suffix ‘.css’, and the option was renamed from ‘--html-extension’, to
    better reflect its new behavior. The old option name is still acceptable, but should
    now be considered deprecated.
    At some point in the future, this option may well be expanded to include suffixes
    for other types of content, including content types that are not parsed by Wget.
    Specify the username user and password password on an http server. According to
    the type of the challenge, Wget will encode them using either the basic (insecure),
    the digest, or the Windows NTLM authentication scheme.
    Another way to specify username and password is in the url itself (see hundefinedi
    [URL Format], page hundefinedi). 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.
    See hundefinedi [Security Considerations], page hundefinedi, for more information
    about security issues with Wget.
    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.
    Disable server-side cache. In this case, Wget will send the remote server an ap-
    propriate directive (‘Pragma: no-cache’) to get the file from the remote service,
    rather than returning the cached version. This is especially useful for retrieving and
    flushing out-of-date documents on proxy servers.
    Caching is allowed by default.
    Disable the use of cookies. Cookies are a mechanism for maintaining 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 cookies; however,
    storing cookies is not on by default.
    ‘--load-cookies file’
    Load cookies from file before the first HTTP retrieval. file is a textual file in the
    format originally used by Netscape’s ‘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
    Chapter 2: Invoking 16
    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 ‘~/.mozilla/default/some-
    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
    wget --no-cookies --header "Cookie: name=value"
    ‘--save-cookies file’
    Save cookies to file before exiting. This will not save cookies that have ex-
    pired or that have no expiry time (so-called “session cookies”), but also see
    When specified, causes ‘--save-cookies’ to also save session cookies. Session cook-
    ies are normally not saved because they are meant to be kept in memory and for-
    gotten 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’
    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
    Chapter 2: Invoking 17
    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 ex-
    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 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-
    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 Host header:
    wget --header="Host: foo.bar" http://localhost/
    In versions of Wget prior to 1.10 such use of ‘--header’ caused sending of duplicate
    Specifies the maximum number of redirections to follow for a resource. The default
    is 20, which is usually far more than necessary. However, on those occasions where
    you want to allow more (or fewer), this is the option to use.
    Specify the username user and password password for authentication on a proxy
    server. Wget will encode them using the basic authentication scheme.
    Security considerations similar to those with ‘--http-password’ pertain here as
    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-Agent
    header field. This enables distinguishing the www software, usually for statis-
    tical purposes or for tracing of protocol violations. Wget normally identifies as
    ‘Wget/version’, version being the current version number of Wget.
    Chapter 2: Invoking 18
    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-Agent line issued by Wget. Use of this option
    is discouraged, unless you really know what you are doing.
    Specifying empty user agent with ‘--user-agent=""’ instructs Wget not to send
    the User-Agent header in http requests.
    Use POST as the method for all HTTP requests and send the specified data in the
    request body. ‘--post-data’ sends string as data, whereas ‘--post-file’ sends the
    contents of file. Other than that, they work in exactly the same way. In particular,
    they both expect content of the form key1=value1&key2=value2, with percent-
    encoding for special characters; the only difference is that one expects its content as
    a command-line parameter and the other accepts its content from a file. In particu-
    lar, ‘--post-file’ is not for transmitting files as form attachments: those must ap-
    pear as key=value data (with appropriate percent-coding) just like everything else.
    Wget does not currently support multipart/form-data for transmitting POST
    data; only application/x-www-form-urlencoded. Only one of ‘--post-data’ and
    ‘--post-file’ should be specified.
    Please note that wget does not require the content to be of the form
    key1=value1&key2=value2, and neither does it test for it. Wget will simply
    transmit whatever data is provided to it. Most servers however expect the POST
    data to be in the above format when processing HTML Forms.
    When sending a POST request using the ‘--post-file’ option, Wget treats the file
    as a binary file and will send every character in the POST request without stripping
    trailing newline or formfeed characters. Any other control characters in the text
    will also be sent as-is in the POST request.
    Please be aware that Wget needs to know the size of the POST data in advance.
    Therefore the argument to --post-file must be a 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: As of version 1.15 if Wget is redirected after the POST request is completed,
    its behaviour will depend on the response code returned by the server. In case of a
    301 Moved Permanently, 302 Moved Temporarily or 307 Temporary Redirect, Wget
    will, in accordance with RFC2616, continue to send a POST request. In case a
    server wants the client to change the Request method upon redirection, it should
    send a 303 See Other response code.
    This example shows how to log in to a server using POST and then proceed to
    download the desired pages, presumably only accessible to authorized users:
    Chapter 2: Invoking 19

    Log in to the server. This can be done only once.

    wget --save-cookies cookies.txt \
    --post-data ’user=foo&password=bar’ \

    Now grab the page or pages we care about.

    wget --load-cookies cookies.txt \
    -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.
    For the purpose of RESTful scripting, Wget allows sending of other HTTP Methods
    without the need to explicitly set them using ‘--header=Header-Line’. Wget will
    use whatever string is passed to it after ‘--method’ as the HTTP Method to the
    Must be set when additional data needs to be sent to the server along with the
    Method specified using ‘--method’. ‘--body-data’ sends string as data, whereas
    ‘--body-file’ sends the contents of file. Other than that, they work in exactly the
    same way.
    Currently, ‘--body-file’ is not for transmitting files as a whole. Wget does not cur-
    rently support multipart/form-data for transmitting data; only application/x-
    www-form-urlencoded. In the future, this may be changed so that wget sends the
    ‘--body-file’ as a complete file instead of sending its contents to the server. Please
    be aware that Wget needs to know the contents of BODY Data in advance, and hence
    the argument to ‘--body-file’ should be a regular file. See ‘--post-file’ for a
    more detailed explanation. Only one of ‘--body-data’ and ‘--body-file’ should
    be specified.
    If Wget is redirected after the request is completed, Wget will suspend the current
    method and send a GET request till the redirection is completed. This is true
    for all redirection response codes except 307 Temporary Redirect which is used to
    explicitly specify that the request method should not change. Another exception is
    when the method is set to POST, in which case the redirection rules specified under
    ‘--post-data’ are followed.
    If this is set to on, experimental (not fully-functional) support for Content-
    Disposition headers is enabled. This can currently result in extra round-trips
    to the server for a HEAD request, and is known to suffer from a few bugs, which is
    why it is not currently enabled by default.
    This option is useful for some file-downloading CGI programs that use Content-
    Disposition headers to describe what the name of a downloaded file should be.
    If this is set to on, wget will not skip the content when the server responds with a
    http status code that indicates error.
    Chapter 2: Invoking 20
    If this is set to on, on a redirect the last component of the redirection URL will be
    used as the local file name. By default it is used the last component in the original
    If this option is given, Wget will send Basic HTTP authentication information
    (plaintext username and password) for all requests, just like Wget 1.10.2 and prior
    did by default.
    Use of this option is not recommended, and is intended only to support some few
    obscure servers, which never send HTTP authentication challenges, but accept un-
    solicited auth info, say, in addition to form-based authentication.
    2.8 HTTPS (SSL/TLS) Options
    To support encrypted HTTP (HTTPS) downloads, Wget must be compiled with an external
    SSL library. The current default is GnuTLS. In addition, Wget also supports HSTS (HTTP
    Strict Transport Security). If Wget is compiled without SSL support, none of these options are
    Choose the secure protocol to be used. Legal values are ‘auto’, ‘SSLv2’, ‘SSLv3’,
    ‘TLSv1’, ‘TLSv11’, ‘TLSv1_2’ and ‘PFS’. If ‘auto’ is used, the SSL library is given
    the liberty of choosing the appropriate protocol automatically, which is achieved by
    sending a TLSv1 greeting. This is the default.
    Specifying ‘SSLv2’, ‘SSLv3’, ‘TLSv1’, ‘TLSv1_1’ or ‘TLSv1_2’ forces the use of the
    corresponding protocol. This is useful when talking to old and buggy SSL server
    implementations that make it hard for the underlying SSL library to choose the
    correct protocol version. Fortunately, such servers are quite rare.
    Specifying ‘PFS’ enforces the use of the so-called Perfect Forward Security cipher
    suites. In short, PFS adds security by creating a one-time key for each SSL con-
    nection. It has a bit more CPU impact on client and server. We use known to be
    secure ciphers (e.g. no MD4) and the TLS protocol.
    When in recursive mode, only HTTPS links are followed.
    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
    As of Wget 1.10, the default is to verify the server’s certificate against the recog-
    nized 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, particu-
    larly 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 verifi-
    cation 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
    Chapter 2: Invoking 21
    transmitting confidential or important data. For self-signed/internal certificates,
    you should download the certificate and verify against that instead of forcing this
    insecure mode. If you are really sure of not desiring any certificate verification, you
    can specify –check-certificate=quiet to tell wget to not print any warning about
    invalid certificates, albeit in most cases this is the wrong thing to do.
    Use the client certificate stored in file. This is needed for servers that are configured
    to require certificates from the clients that connect to them. Normally a certificate
    is not required and this switch is optional.
    Specify the type of the client certificate. Legal values are ‘PEM’ (assumed by default)
    and ‘DER’, also known as ‘ASN1’.
    Read the private key from file. This allows you to provide the private key in a file
    separate from the certificate.
    Specify the type of the private key. Accepted values are ‘PEM’ (the default) and
    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 cer-
    tificate. This is achieved by processing a certificate directory with the c_rehash
    utility 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.
    Specifies a CRL file in file. This is needed for certificates that have been revocated
    by the CAs.
    [OpenSSL and LibreSSL only] Use file as the source of random data for seeding the
    pseudo-random number generator on systems without ‘/dev/urandom’.
    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 $RANDFILE or, if that is unset, in ‘$HOME/.rnd’.
    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.
    [OpenSSL only] Use file as the EGD socket. EGD stands for Entropy Gathering
    Daemon, a user-space program that collects data from various unpredictable system
    Chapter 2: Invoking 22
    sources and makes it available to other programs that might need it. Encryption
    software, such as the SSL library, needs sources of non-repeating randomness to seed
    the random number generator used to produce cryptographically strong keys.
    OpenSSL allows the user to specify his own source of entropy using the RAND

    FILE environment variable. If this variable is unset, or if the specified file does not
    produce enough randomness, OpenSSL will read random data from EGD socket
    specified using this 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
    Wget supports HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security, RFC 6797) by default. Use
    ‘--no-hsts’ to make Wget act as a non-HSTS-compliant UA. As a consequence,
    Wget would ignore all the Strict-Transport-Security headers, and would not
    enforce any existing HSTS policy.
    By default, Wget stores its HSTS database in ‘~/.wget-hsts’. You can use
    ‘--hsts-file’ to override this. Wget will use the supplied file as the HSTS data-
    base. Such file must conform to the correct HSTS database format used by Wget.
    If Wget cannot parse the provided file, the behaviour is unspecified.
    The Wget’s HSTS database is a plain text file. Each line contains an HSTS entry
    (ie. a site that has issued a Strict-Transport-Security header and that therefore
    has specified a concrete HSTS policy to be applied). Lines starting with a dash (#)
    are ignored by Wget. Please note that in spite of this convenient human-readability
    hand-hacking the HSTS database is generally not a good idea.
    An HSTS entry line consists of several fields separated by one or more whitespace:
    SP [] SP SP SP
    The hostname and port fields indicate the hostname and port to which the given
    HSTS policy applies. The port field may be zero, and it will, in most of the cases.
    That means that the port number will not be taken into account when deciding
    whether such HSTS policy should be applied on a given request (only the host-
    name will be evaluated). When port is different to zero, both the target hostname
    and the port will be evaluated and the HSTS policy will only be applied if both
    of them match. This feature has been included for testing/development purposes
    only. The Wget testsuite (in ‘testenv/’) creates HSTS databases with explicit ports
    with the purpose of ensuring Wget’s correct behaviour. Applying HSTS policies to
    ports other than the default ones is discouraged by RFC 6797 (see Appendix B
    "Differences between HSTS Policy and Same-Origin Policy"). Thus, this function-
    ality should not be used in production environments and port will typically be zero.
    The last three fields do what they are expected to. The field include subdomains
    can either be 1 or 0 and it signals whether the subdomains of the target domain
    should be part of the given HSTS policy as well. The created and max-age fields
    hold the timestamp values of when such entry was created (first seen by Wget)
    and the HSTS-defined value ’max-age’, which states how long should that HSTS
    policy remain active, measured in seconds elapsed since the timestamp stored in
    created. Once that time has passed, that HSTS policy will no longer be valid and
    will eventually be removed from the database.
    If you supply your own HSTS database via ‘--hsts-file’, be aware that Wget may
    modify the provided file if any change occurs between the HSTS policies requested
    Chapter 2: Invoking 23
    by the remote servers and those in the file. When Wget exists, it effectively updates
    the HSTS database by rewriting the database file with the new entries.
    If the supplied file does not exist, Wget will create one. This file will contain the new
    HSTS entries. If no HSTS entries were generated (no Strict-Transport-Security
    headers were sent by any of the servers) then no file will be created, not even an
    empty one. This behaviour applies to the default database file (‘~/.wget-hsts’) as
    well: it will not be created until some server enforces an HSTS policy.
    Care is taken not to override possible changes made by other Wget processes at the
    same time over the HSTS database. Before dumping the updated HSTS entries on
    the file, Wget will re-read it and merge the changes.
    Using a custom HSTS database and/or modifying an existing one is discouraged. For
    more information about the potential security threats arised from such practice, see
    section 14 "Security Considerations" of RFC 6797, specially section 14.9 "Creative
    Manipulation of HSTS Policy Store".
    Use file as the destination WARC file.
    Use string into as the warcinfo record.
    Set the maximum size of the WARC files to size.
    Write CDX index files.
    Do not store records listed in this CDX file.
    Do not compress WARC files with GZIP.
    Do not calculate SHA1 digests.
    Do not store the log file in a WARC record.
    Specify the location for temporary files created by the WARC writer.
    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 FTP.
    Another way to specify username and password is in the url itself (see hundefinedi
    [URL Format], page hundefinedi). 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.
    See hundefinedi [Security Considerations], page hundefinedi, for more information
    about security issues with Wget.
    Chapter 2: Invoking 24
    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 root to run Wget in his or her directory.
    Depending on the options used, either Wget will refuse to write to ‘.listing’, mak-
    ing 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, root should never run Wget
    in a non-trusted user’s directory. A user could do something as simple as linking
    ‘index.html’ to ‘/etc/passwd’ and asking root to run Wget with ‘-N’ or ‘-r’ so
    the file will be overwritten.
    Turn off ftp globbing. Globbing refers to the use of shell-like special characters
    (wildcards), like ‘’, ‘?’, ‘[’ and ‘]’ to retrieve more than one file from the same
    directory at once, like:
    wget ftp://gnjilux.srk.fer.hr/
    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 ls
    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=off in your init file.
    Preserve remote file permissions instead of permissions set by umask.
    By default, when retrieving ftp directories recursively and a symbolic link is encoun-
    tered, the symbolic link is traversed and the pointed-to files are retrieved. Currently,
    Wget does not traverse symbolic links to directories to download them recursively,
    though this feature may be added in the future.
    When ‘--retr-symlinks=no’ is specified, the linked-to file is not downloaded. In-
    stead, a matching symbolic link is created on the local filesystem. The pointed-to
    file will not be retrieved unless this recursive retrieval would have encountered it
    separately and downloaded it anyway. This option poses a security risk where a
    Chapter 2: Invoking 25
    malicious FTP Server may cause Wget to write to files outside of the intended
    directories through a specially crafted .listing file.
    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.
    2.10 FTPS Options
    This option tells Wget to use FTPS implicitly. Implicit FTPS consists of initializing
    SSL/TLS from the very beginning of the control connection. This option does not
    send an AUTH TLS command: it assumes the server speaks FTPS and directly starts
    an SSL/TLS connection. If the attempt is successful, the session continues just
    like regular FTPS (PBSZ and PROT are sent, etc.). Implicit FTPS is no longer a
    requirement for FTPS implementations, and thus many servers may not support it.
    If ‘--ftps-implicit’ is passed and no explicit port number specified, the default
    port for implicit FTPS, 990, will be used, instead of the default port for the "normal"
    (explicit) FTPS which is the same as that of FTP, 21.
    Do not resume the SSL/TLS session in the data channel. When starting a data
    connection, Wget tries to resume the SSL/TLS session previously started in the
    control connection. SSL/TLS session resumption avoids performing an entirely new
    handshake by reusing the SSL/TLS parameters of a previous session. Typically,
    the FTPS servers want it that way, so Wget does this by default. Under rare
    circumstances however, one might want to start an entirely new SSL/TLS session
    in every data connection. This is what ‘--no-ftps-resume-ssl’ is for.
    All the data connections will be in plain text. Only the control connection will be
    under SSL/TLS. Wget will send a PROT C command to achieve this, which must be
    approved by the server.
    Fall back to FTP if FTPS is not supported by the target server. For security reasons,
    this option is not asserted by default. The default behaviour is to exit with an error.
    If a server does not successfully reply to the initial AUTH TLS command, or in the
    case of implicit FTPS, if the initial SSL/TLS connection attempt is rejected, it is
    considered that such server does not support FTPS.
    2.11 Recursive Retrieval Options
    Turn on recursive retrieving. See hundefinedi [Recursive Download], page hunde-
    finedi, for more details. The default maximum depth is 5.
    ‘-l depth’
    Specify recursion maximum depth level depth (see hundefinedi [Recursive Down-
    load], page hundefinedi).
    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.:
    Chapter 2: Invoking 26
    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 is-
    sue the ‘DELE’ command to remote FTP sites, for instance. Also note that when
    ‘--delete-after’ is specified, ‘--convert-links’ is ignored, so ‘.orig’ files are
    simply not created in the first place.
    After the download is complete, convert the links in the document to make them
    suitable for local viewing. This affects not only the visible hyperlinks, but any part
    of the document that links to external content, such as embedded images, links to
    style sheets, hyperlinks to non-html content, etc.
    Each link will be changed in one of the two ways:
    • The links to files that have been downloaded by Wget will be changed to refer
    to the file they point to as a relative link.
    Example: if the downloaded file ‘/foo/doc.html’ links to ‘/bar/img.gif’,
    also downloaded, then the link in ‘doc.html’ will be modified to point to
    ‘../bar/img.gif’. This kind of 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
    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.
    This option converts only the filename part of the URLs, leaving the rest of the
    URLs untouched. This filename part is sometimes referred to as the "basename",
    although we avoid that term here in order not to cause confusion.
    It works particularly well in conjunction with ‘--adjust-extension’, although this
    coupling is not enforced. It proves useful to populate Internet caches with files
    downloaded from different hosts.
    Example: if some link points to ‘//foo.com/bar.cgi?xyz’ with
    ‘--adjust-extension’ asserted and its local destination is intended to
    be ‘./foo.com/bar.cgi?xyz.css’, then the link would be converted to
    ‘//foo.com/bar.cgi?xyz.css’. Note that only the filename part has been
    modified. The rest of the URL has been left untouched, including the net path
    (//) which would otherwise be processed by Wget and converted to the effective
    scheme (ie. http://).
    Chapter 2: Invoking 27
    When converting a file, back up the original version with a ‘.orig’ suffix. Affects
    the behavior of ‘-N’ (see hundefinedi [HTTP Time-Stamping Internals], page hun-
    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 cur-
    rently 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
    For instance, say document ‘1.html’ contains an tag referencing ‘1.gif’ and
    an tag pointing to external document ‘2.html’. Say that ‘2.html’ is similar
    but that its image is ‘2.gif’ and it links to ‘3.html’. Say this continues up to some
    arbitrarily high number.
    If one executes the command:
    wget -r -l 2
    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
    Chapter 2: Invoking 28
    To finish off this topic, it’s worth knowing that Wget’s idea of an external document
    link is any URL specified in an tag, an tag, or a tag other than
    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, ‘’ is a valid comment, and so is ‘’, but ‘’ is not.
    On the other hand, most html writers don’t perceive comments as anything other
    than text delimited with ‘’, which is not quite the same. For example,
    something like ‘’ works as a valid comment as long as the number
    of dashes is a multiple of four (!). If not, the comment technically lasts until the
    next ‘--’, which may be at the other end of the document. Because of this, many
    popular browsers completely ignore the specificationand implement what users have
    come to expect: comments delimited with ‘’.
    Until version 1.9, Wget interpreted comments strictly, which resulted in missing
    links in many web pages that displayed fine in browsers, but had the misfortune of
    containing non-compliant 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
    2.12 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 hundefinedi [Types of Files], page hundefinedi). Note that if any of the wildcard
    characters, ‘’, ‘?’, ‘[’ or ‘]’, appear in an element of acclist or rejlist, it will be
    treated as a pattern, rather than a suffix. In this case, you have to enclose the
    pattern into quotes to prevent your shell from expanding it, like in ‘-A "
    .mp3"’ or
    ‘-A ’.mp3’’.
    ‘--accept-regex urlregex’
    ‘--reject-regex urlregex’
    Specify a regular expression to accept or reject the complete URL.
    ‘--regex-type regextype’
    Specify the regular expression type. Possible types are ‘posix’ or ‘pcre’. Note that
    to be able to use ‘pcre’ type, wget has to be compiled with libpcre support.
    ‘-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 hundefinedi [Spanning Hosts],
    page hundefinedi).
    Chapter 2: Invoking 29
    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
    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
    However, the author of this option came across a page with tags like and came to the realization that specifying tags to ignore
    was not enough. One can’t just tell Wget to ignore , because then stylesheets
    will not be downloaded. Now the best bet for downloading a single page and its
    requisites is the dedicated ‘--page-requisites’ option.
    Ignore case when matching files and directories. This influences the behavior of -R,
    -A, -I, and -X options, as well as globbing implemented when downloading from
    FTP sites. For example, with this option, ‘-A "
    .txt"’ will match ‘file1.txt’,
    but also ‘file2.TXT’, ‘file3.TxT’, and so on. The quotes in the example are to
    prevent the shell from expanding the pattern.
    Enable spanning across hosts when doing recursive retrieving (see hundefinedi [Span-
    ning Hosts], page hundefinedi).
    Follow relative links only. Useful for retrieving a specific home page without any
    distractions, not even those from the same hosts (see hundefinedi [Relative Links],
    page hundefinedi).
    ‘-I list’
    Specify a comma-separated list of directories you wish to follow when downloading
    (see hundefinedi [Directory-Based Limits], page hundefinedi). Elements of list may
    contain wildcards.
    ‘-X list’
    Specify a comma-separated list of directories you wish to exclude from download
    (see hundefinedi [Directory-Based Limits], page hundefinedi). Elements of list may
    contain wildcards.
    Chapter 2: Invoking 30
    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 hundefinedi [Directory-Based Limits], page hundefinedi, for more
    2.13 Exit Status
    Wget may return one of several error codes if it encounters problems.
    0 No problems occurred.
    1 Generic error code.
    2 Parse error—for instance, when parsing command-line options, the ‘.wgetrc’ or
    3 File I/O error.
    4 Network failure.
    5 SSL verification failure.
    6 Username/password authentication failure.
    7 Protocol errors.
    8 Server issued an error response.
    With the exceptions of 0 and 1, the lower-numbered exit codes take precedence over higher-
    numbered ones, when multiple types of errors are encountered.
    In versions of Wget prior to 1.12, Wget’s exit status tended to be unhelpful and incon-
    sistent. Recursive downloads would virtually always return 0 (success), regardless of any is-
    sues encountered, and non-recursive fetches only returned the status corresponding to the most
    recently-attempted download.
    Chapter 3: Recursive Download 31
    3 Recursive Download
    GNU Wget is capable of traversing parts of the Web (or a single http or ftp server), following
    links and directory structure. We refer to this as to recursive retrieval, or recursion.
    With http urls, Wget retrieves and parses the html or css from the given url, retrieving
    the files the document refers to, through markup like href or src, or css uri values specified
    using the ‘url()’ functional notation. If the freshly downloaded file is also of type text/html,
    application/xhtml+xml, or text/css, it will be parsed and followed further.
    Recursive retrieval of http and html/css content is breadth-first. This means that Wget
    first downloads the requested 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 depth parameter. Unlike
    http recursion, ftp recursion is performed depth-first.
    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 mir-
    roring. 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 hundefinedi [Following Links], page hundefinedi,
    for more information about this.
    Recursive retrieval should be used with care. Don’t say you were not warned.
    Chapter 4: Following Links 32
    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
    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 ‘images.server.com’,
    wget -rH -Dserver.com http://www.server.com/
    You can specify more than one address by separating them with a comma, e.g.
    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 this:
    wget -rH -Dfoo.edu --exclude-domains sunsite.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’.
    Chapter 4: Following Links 33
    ‘-A acclist’
    ‘--accept acclist’
    ‘accept = acclist’
    ‘--accept-regex urlregex’
    ‘accept-regex = urlregex’
    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 ‘zelazny196[0-9]’.
    So, specifying ‘wget -A gif,jpg’ will make Wget download only the files end-
    ing with ‘gif’ or ‘jpg’, i.e. gifs and jpegs. On the other hand, ‘wget -A
    196[0-9]"’ will download only files beginning with ‘zelazny’ and con-
    taining 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’.
    The argument to ‘--accept-regex’ option is a regular expression which is matched
    against the complete URL.
    ‘-R rejlist’
    ‘--reject rejlist’
    ‘reject = rejlist’
    ‘--reject-regex urlregex’
    ‘reject-regex = urlregex’
    The ‘--reject’ option works the same way as ‘--accept’, only its logic is the re-
    verse; 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 argument to ‘--accept-regex’ option is a regular expression which is matched against
    the complete URL.
    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 (as determined by
    a ‘.htm’ or ‘.html’ filename prefix). This behavior may not be desirable for all users, and may
    be changed for future versions of Wget.
    Note, too, that query strings (strings at the end of a URL beginning with a question mark
    (‘?’) are not included as part of the filename for accept/reject rules, even though these will
    actually contribute to the name chosen for the local file. It is expected that a future version of
    Wget will provide an option to allow matching against query strings.
    Finally, it’s worth noting that the accept/reject lists are matched twice against downloaded
    files: once against the URL’s filename portion, to determine if the file should be downloaded
    in the first place; then, after it has been accepted and successfully downloaded, the local file’s
    name is also checked against the accept/reject lists to see if it should be removed. The rationale
    was that, since ‘.htm’ and ‘.html’ files are always downloaded regardless of accept/reject rules,
    they should be removed after being downloaded and scanned for links, if they did match the
    accept/reject lists. However, this can lead to unexpected results, since the local filenames can
    Chapter 4: Following Links 34
    differ from the original URL filenames in the following ways, all of which can change whether
    an accept/reject rule matches:
    • If the local file already exists and ‘--no-directories’ was specified, a numeric suffix will
    be appended to the original name.
    • If ‘--adjust-extension’ was specified, the local filename might have ‘.html’ appended
    to it. If Wget is invoked with ‘-E -A.php’, a filename such as ‘index.php’ will match be
    accepted, but upon download will be named ‘index.php.html’, which no longer matches,
    and so thefile will be deleted.
    • Query strings do not contribute to URL matching, but are included in local filenames, and
    so do contribute to filename matching.
    This behavior, too, is considered less-than-desirable, and may change in a future version of
    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’
    ‘-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’
    ‘-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 parent directory/directories.
    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/
    Chapter 4: Following Links 35
    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.
    Note that, for HTTP (and HTTPS), the trailing slash is very important to
    ‘--no-parent’. HTTP has no concept of a “directory”—Wget relies on you to
    indicate what’s a directory and what isn’t. In ‘http://foo/bar/’, Wget will con-
    sider ‘bar’ to be a directory, while in ‘http://foo/bar’ (no trailing slash), ‘bar’
    will be considered a filename (so ‘--no-parent’ would be meaningless, as its parent
    is ‘/’).
    4.4 Relative Links
    When ‘-L’ is turned on, only the relative links are ever followed. Relative links are here defined
    those that do not refer to the web server root. For example, these links are relative:

    These links are not relative:

    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.
    Chapter 5: Time-Stamping 36
    5 Time-Stamping
    One of the most important aspects of mirroring information from the Internet is updating your
    Downloading the whole archive again and again, just to replace a few changed files is expen-
    sive, 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
    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 not newer, 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
    The usage of time-stamping is simple. Say you would like to download a file so that it keeps its
    date of modification.
    wget -S http://www.gnu.ai.mit.edu/
    A simple 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:
    wget "ftp://ftp.ifi.uio.no/pub/emacs/gnus/"
    (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 hundefinedi [FTP Time-
    Stamping Internals], page hundefinedi).
    Chapter 5: Time-Stamping 37
    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 retrieved unconditionally.
    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.
    The 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 up. 1
    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 If-Modified-Since re-
    5.3 FTP Time-Stamping Internals
    In theory, ftp time-stamping works much the same as http, only ftp has no headers—time-
    stamps must be ferreted out of directory listings.
    If an ftp download is recursive or uses globbing, Wget will use the ftp 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 con-
    straining, 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 MDTM command 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.
    As an additional check, Wget will look at the Content-Length header, and compare the sizes; if they are not
    the same, the remote file will be downloaded no matter what the time-stamp says.
    Chapter 6: Startup File 38
    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 ‘$HOME/.netrc’, if it
    finds it. You can find ‘.netrc’ format in your system manuals.
    Wget reads ‘.wgetrc’ upon startup, recognizing a limited set of commands.
    6.1 Wgetrc Location
    When initializing, Wget will look for a global startup file, ‘/usr/local/etc/wgetrc’ by default
    (or some prefix other than ‘/usr/local’, if Wget was not installed there) and read commands
    from there, if it exists.
    Then it will look for the user’s file. If the environmental variable WGETRC is set, Wget will
    try to load that file. Failing that, no further attempts will be made.
    If WGETRC is not set, Wget will try to load ‘$HOME/.wgetrc’.
    The fact that user’s settings are loaded after the system-wide ones means that in case of col-
    lision user’s wgetrc overrides the system-wide wgetrc (in ‘/usr/local/etc/wgetrc’ by default).
    Fascist admins, away!
    6.2 Wgetrc Syntax
    The syntax of a wgetrc command is simple:
    variable = value
    The variable will also be called command. Valid values are different for different commands.
    The commands are case-, underscore- and minus-insensitive. Thus ‘DIr__PrefiX’,
    ‘DIr-PrefiX’ and ‘dirprefix’ are the same. 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:
    reject =
    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’.
    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 hundefinedi [Basic
    Startup Options], page hundefinedi.)
    accept/reject = string
    Same as ‘-A’/‘-R’ (see hundefinedi [Types of Files], page hundefinedi).
    add hostdir = on/off
    Enable/disable host-prefixed file names. ‘-nH’ disables it.
    Chapter 6: Startup File 39
    ask password = on/off
    Prompt for a password for each connection established. Cannot be specified when
    ‘--password’ is being used, because they are mutually exclusive. Equivalent to
    auth no challenge = on/off
    If this option is given, Wget will send Basic HTTP authentication information
    (plaintext username and password) for all requests. See ‘--auth-no-challenge’.
    background = on/off
    Enable/disable going to background—the same as ‘-b’ (which enables it).
    backup converted = on/off
    Enable/disable saving pre-converted files with the suffix ‘.orig’—the same as ‘-K’
    (which enables it).
    backups = number
    Use up to number backups for a file. Backups are rotated by adding an incremental
    counter that starts at ‘1’. The default is ‘0’.
    base = string
    Consider relative urls in input files (specified via the ‘input’ command or the
    ‘--input-file’/‘-i’ option, together with ‘force_html’ or ‘--force-html’) as be-
    ing relative to string—the same as ‘--base=string’.
    bind address = address
    Bind to address, like the ‘--bind-address=address’.
    ca certificate = file
    Set the certificate authority bundle file to file. The same as
    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’ option.
    certificate = file
    Set the client certificate file name to file. The same as ‘--certificate=file’.
    certificate type = string
    Specify the type of the client certificate, legal values being ‘PEM’ (the default) and
    ‘DER’ (aka ASN1). The same as ‘--certificate-type=string’.
    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 ‘--check-certificate’.
    connect timeout = n
    Set the connect timeout—the same as ‘--connect-timeout’.
    content disposition = on/off
    Turn on recognition of the (non-standard) ‘Content-Disposition’ HTTP header—
    if set to ‘on’, the same as ‘--content-disposition’.
    trust server names = on/off
    If set to on, use the last component of a redirection URL for the local file name.
    Chapter 6: Startup File 40
    continue = on/off
    If set to on, force continuation of preexistent partially retrieved files. See ‘-c’ before
    setting it.
    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.
    cut dirs = n
    Ignore n remote directory components. Equivalent to ‘--cut-dirs=n’.
    debug = on/off
    Debug mode, same as ‘-d’.
    default page = string
    Default page name—the same as ‘--default-page=string’.
    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’, respectively.
    dns cache = on/off
    Turn DNS caching on/off. Since DNS caching is on by default, this option is nor-
    mally used to turn it off and is equivalent to ‘--no-dns-cache’.
    dns timeout = n
    Set the DNS timeout—the same as ‘--dns-timeout’.
    domains = string
    Same as ‘-D’ (see hundefinedi [Spanning Hosts], page hundefinedi).
    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 hundefinedi [Download
    Options], page hundefinedi).
    dot spacing = n
    Specify the number of dots in a single cluster (10 by default).
    dots in line = n
    Specify the number of dots that will be printed in each line throughout the retrieval
    (50 by default).
    egd file = file
    Use string as the EGD socket file name. The same as ‘--egd-file=file’.
    exclude directories = string
    Specify a comma-separated list of directories you wish to exclude from download—
    the same as ‘-X string’ (see hundefinedi [Directory-Based Limits], page hunde-
    exclude domains = string
    Same as ‘--exclude-domains=string’ (see hundefinedi [Spanning Hosts], page hun-
    Chapter 6: Startup File 41
    follow ftp = on/off
    Follow ftp links from html documents—the same as ‘--follow-ftp’.
    follow tags = string
    Only follow certain html tags when doing a recursive retrieval, just like
    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 passwd prior to Wget 1.10.
    ftp proxy = string
    Use string as ftp proxy, instead of the one specified in environment.
    ftp user = string
    Set ftp user to string.
    This command used to be named login prior 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 downloads, like using ‘--header=string’.
    adjust extension = on/off
    Add a ‘.html’ extension to ‘text/html’ or ‘application/xhtml+xml’ files that lack
    one, or a ‘.css’ extension to ‘text/css’ files that lack one, like ‘-E’. Previously
    named ‘html_extension’ (still acceptable, but deprecated).
    http keep alive = on/off
    Turn the keep-alive feature on or off (defaults to on). Turning it off is equivalent to
    http password = string
    Set http password, equivalent to ‘--http-password=string’.
    http proxy = string
    Use string as http proxy, instead of the one specified in environment.
    http user = string
    Set http user to string, equivalent to ‘--http-user=string’.
    https only = on/off
    When in recursive mode, only HTTPS links are followed (defaults to off).
    https proxy = string
    Use string as https proxy, instead of the one specified in environment.
    ignore case = on/off
    When set to on, match files and directories case insensitively; the same as
    ignore length = on/off
    When set to on, ignore Content-Length header; the same as ‘--ignore-length’.
    Chapter 6: Startup File 42
    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’.
    iri = on/off
    When set to on, enable internationalized URI (IRI) support; the same as ‘--iri’.
    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’ or ‘-6’.
    input = file
    Read the urls from string, like ‘-i file’.
    keep session cookies = on/off
    When specified, causes ‘save_cookies = on’ to also save session cookies. See
    limit rate = rate
    Limit the download speed to no more than rate bytes per second. The same as
    load cookies = file
    Load cookies from file. See ‘--load-cookies file’.
    local encoding = encoding
    Force Wget to use encoding as the default system encoding. See
    logfile = file
    Set logfile to file, the same as ‘-o file’.
    max redirect = number
    Specifies the maximum number of redirections to follow for a resource. See
    mirror = on/off
    Turn mirroring on/off. The same as ‘-m’.
    netrc = on/off
    Turn reading netrc on or off.
    no clobber = on/off
    Same as ‘-nc’.
    no parent = on/off
    Disallow retrieving outside the directory hierarchy, like ‘--no-parent’ (see hunde-
    finedi [Directory-Based Limits], page hundefinedi).
    no proxy = string
    Use string as the comma-separated list of domains to avoid in proxy loading, instead
    of the one specified in environment.
    Chapter 6: Startup File 43
    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
    Change setting of passive ftp, equivalent to the ‘--passive-ftp’ option.
    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 ‘--post-file=file’.
    prefer family = none/IPv4/IPv6
    When given a choice of several addresses, connect to the addresses with specified
    address family first. The address order returned by DNS is used without change 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=file’.
    private key type = string
    Specify the type of the private key, legal values being ‘PEM’ (the default) and ‘DER’
    (aka ASN1). The same as ‘--private-type=string’.
    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 password = string
    Set proxy authentication password to string, like ‘--proxy-password=string’.
    proxy user = string
    Set proxy authentication user name to string, like ‘--proxy-user=string’.
    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 settings.
    Chapter 6: Startup File 44
    random file = file
    Use file as a source of randomness on systems lacking ‘/dev/random’.
    random wait = on/off
    Turn random between-request wait times on or off. The same as ‘--random-wait’.
    read timeout = n
    Set the read (and write) timeout—the same as ‘--read-timeout=n’.
    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 that 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 hundefinedi [Relative Links],
    page hundefinedi).
    remote encoding = encoding
    Force Wget to use encoding as the default remote server encoding. See
    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
    retry connrefused = on/off
    When set to on, consider “connection refused” a transient error—the same as
    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 hundefinedi [Robot Exclusion], page hundefinedi, for more details about this.
    Be sure you know what you are doing before turning this off.
    save cookies = file
    Save cookies to file. The same as ‘--save-cookies file’.
    save headers = on/off
    Same as ‘--save-headers’.
    secure protocol = string
    Choose the secure protocol to be used. Legal values are ‘auto’ (the default), ‘SSLv2’,
    ‘SSLv3’, and ‘TLSv1’. The same as ‘--secure-protocol=string’.
    server response = on/off
    Choose whether or not to print the http and ftp server responses—the same as
    Chapter 6: Startup File 45
    show all dns entries = on/off
    When a DNS name is resolved, show all the IP addresses, not just the first three.
    span hosts = on/off
    Same as ‘-H’.
    spider = on/off
    Same as ‘--spider’.
    strict comments = on/off
    Same as ‘--strict-comments’.
    timeout = n
    Set all applicable timeout values to n, the same as ‘-T n’.
    timestamping = on/off
    Turn timestamping on/off. The same as ‘-N’ (see hundefinedi [Time-Stamping],
    page hundefinedi).
    use server timestamps = on/off
    If set to ‘off’, Wget won’t set the local file’s timestamp by the one on the server
    (same as ‘--no-use-server-timestamps’).
    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 ‘--no-proxy’.
    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
    user agent = string
    User agent identification sent to the HTTP Server—the same as
    verbose = on/off
    Turn verbose on/off—the same as ‘-v’/‘-nv’.
    wait = n Wait n seconds between retrievals—the same as ‘-w n’.
    wait retry = 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’.
    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

    Chapter 6: Startup File 46

    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. You can find this here:

    $ info wget.info ’Startup File’

    Or online here:



    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").


    Command are case-, underscore- and minus-insensitive.

    For example ftp_proxy, ftp-proxy and ftpproxy are the same.


    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

    By default Wget uses "passive FTP" transfer where the client

    initiates the data connection to the server rather than the other

    way around. That is required on systems behind NAT where the client

    computer cannot be easily reached from the Internet. However, some

    firewalls software explicitly supports active FTP and in fact has

    problems supporting passive transfer. If you are in such

    environment, use "passive_ftp = off" to revert to active FTP.

    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).

    Chapter 6: Startup File 47

    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 username@site.domain

    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, https, and ftp.

    They will override the value in the environment.

    https_proxy = http://proxy.yoyodyne.com:18023/

    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.

    Chapter 6: Startup File 48

    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

    To try ipv6 addresses first:

    prefer-family = IPv6

    Set default IRI support state

    iri = off

    Force the default system encoding

    localencoding = UTF-8

    Force the default remote server encoding

    remoteencoding = UTF-8

    Turn on to prevent following non-HTTPS links when in recursive mode

    httpsonly = off

    Tune HTTPS security (auto, SSLv2, SSLv3, TLSv1, PFS)

    secureprotocol = auto

    Chapter 7: Examples 49
    7 Examples
    The examples are divided into three sections loosely based on their complexity.
    7.1 Simple Usage
    • Say you want to download a url. Just type:
    wget http://fly.srk.fer.hr/
    • 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 password.
    wget ftp://gnjilux.srk.fer.hr/welcome.msg
    • 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 ‘-i’ switch:
    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 downloaded 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 \
    Chapter 7: Examples 50
    • Retrieve the index.html of ‘www.lycos.com’, showing the original server headers:
    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 to ‘/tmp’.
    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 hunde-
    finedi [Recursive Download], page hundefinedi), with maximum depth of 1. ‘--no-parent’
    means that references to the parent directory are ignored (see hundefinedi [Directory-Based
    Limits], page hundefinedi), and ‘-A.gif’ means to download only the gif files. ‘-A "
    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 hundefinedi [URL Format], page hundefinedi).
    wget ftp://hniksic:mypassword@unix.server.com/.emacs
    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.
    • 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
    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:
    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’.
    Chapter 7: Examples 51
    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
    Chapter 8: Various 52
    8 Various
    This chapter contains all the stuff that could not fit anywhere else.
    8.1 Proxies
    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:
    If set, the http_proxy and https_proxy variables should contain the urls of the
    proxies for http and https connections respectively.
    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.
    no_proxy This variable should contain a comma-separated list of domain extensions proxy
    should not be used for. For instance, if the value of no_proxy is ‘.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’
    ‘https_proxy = URL’
    ‘ftp_proxy = URL’
    ‘no_proxy = string’
    These startup file variables allow you to override the proxy settings specified by the
    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 equiv-
    alent ‘.wgetrc’ settings proxy_user and proxy_password to set the proxy username and pass-
    Chapter 8: Various 53
    8.2 Distribution
    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 1.17.1 can be found at
    8.3 Web Site
    The official web site for GNU Wget is at http://www.gnu.org/software/wget/. However,
    most useful information resides at “The Wget Wgiki”, http://wget.addictivecode.org/.
    8.4 Mailing Lists
    Primary List
    The primary mailinglist for discussion, bug-reports, or questions about GNU Wget is at
    bug-wget@gnu.org. To subscribe, send an email to bug-wget-join@gnu.org, or visit
    You do not need to subscribe to send a message to the list; however, please note that unsub-
    scribed messages are moderated, and may take a while before they hit the list—usually around
    a day. If you want your message to show up immediately, please subscribe to the list before
    posting. Archives for the list may be found at http://lists.gnu.org/pipermail/bug-wget/.
    An NNTP/Usenettish gateway is also available via Gmane. You can see the Gmane archives
    at http://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.web.wget.general. Note that the Gmane archives
    conveniently include messages from both the current list, and the previous one. Messages also
    show up in the Gmane archives sooner than they do at lists.gnu.org.
    Bug Notices List
    Additionally, there is the wget-notify@addictivecode.org mailing list. This is a
    non-discussion list that receives bug report notifications from the bug-tracker. To
    subscribe to this list, send an email to wget-notify-join@addictivecode.org, or visit
    Obsolete Lists
    Previously, the mailing list wget@sunsite.dk was used as the main discussion list, and another
    list, wget-patches@sunsite.dk was used for submitting and discussing patches to GNU Wget.
    Messages from wget@sunsite.dk are archived at
    http://www.mail-archive.com/wget%40sunsite.dk/ and at
    http://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.web.wget.general (which also continues to archive
    the current list, bug-wget@gnu.org).
    Messages from wget-patches@sunsite.dk are archived at
    8.5 Internet Relay Chat
    In addition to the mailinglists, we also have a support channel set up via IRC at
    irc.freenode.org, #wget. Come check it out!
    8.6 Reporting Bugs
    You are welcome to submit bug reports via the GNU Wget bug tracker (see
    Before actually submitting a bug report, please try to follow a few simple guidelines.
    Chapter 8: Various 54
  • 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, but you might want
    to double-check the documentation and the mailing lists (see hundefinedi [Mailing Lists],
    page hundefinedi).
  • Try to repeat the bug in as simple circumstances as possible. E.g. if Wget crashes while
    downloading ‘wget -rl0 -kKE -t5 --no-proxy 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 op-
    tions. 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 -d won’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
  • If Wget has crashed, try to run it in a debugger, e.g. gdb ‘which wget‘ core and type
    where to get the backtrace. This may not work if the system administrator has disabled
    core files, but it is safe to try.
    8.7 Portability
    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, Mac OS 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 wget@sunsite.dk where the volunteers who maintain the
    Windows-related features might look at them.
    Support for building on MS-DOS via DJGPP has been contributed by Gisle Vanem; a port
    to VMS is maintained by Steven Schweda, and is available at http://antinode.org/.
    Chapter 8: Various 55
    8.8 Signals
    Since the purpose of Wget is background work, it catches the hangup signal (SIGHUP) and
    ignores it. If the output was on standard output, it will be redirected to a file named ‘wget-log’.
    Otherwise, 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. C-c, kill -TERM
    and kill -KILL should kill it alike.
    Chapter 9: Appendices 56
    9 Appendices
    This chapter contains some references I consider useful.
    9.1 Robot Exclusion
    It is extremely easy to make Wget wander aimlessly around a web site, sucking all the available
    data in progress. ‘wget -r site’, and you’re set. Great? Not for the server admin.
    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 info command).
    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 download 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 down-
    load 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 ‘’ titled “A Method for Web Robots
    Control”. The draft, which has as far as I know never made to an rfc, is available at
    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 this:

    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 using the -e switch, e.g. ‘wget -e robots=off url...’.
    Chapter 9: Appendices 57
    9.2 Security Considerations
    When using Wget, you must be aware that it sends unencrypted passwords through the network,
    which may present a security problem. Here are the main issues, and some solutions.
  • 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
  • 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).
    9.3 Contributors
    GNU Wget was written by Hrvoje Nikˇ si´ c hniksic@xemacs.org,
    However, the development of Wget 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
    Special thanks goes to the following people (no particular order):
    • Dan Harkless—contributed a lot of code and documentation of extremely high quality, as
    well as the --page-requisites and related options. He was the principal maintainer for
    some time and released Wget 1.6.
    • Ian Abbott—contributed bug fixes, Windows-related fixes, and provided a prototype im-
    plementation of the breadth-first recursive download. Co-maintained Wget during the 1.8
    release cycle.
    • The dotsrc.org crew, in particular Karsten Thygesen—donated system resources such as
    the mailing list, web space, ftp space, and version control repositories, along with a lot of
    time to make these actually work. Christian Reiniger was of invaluable help with setting
    up Subversion.
    • Heiko Herold—provided high-quality Windows builds and contributed bug and build reports
    for many years.
    • Shawn McHorse—bug reports and patches.
    • Kaveh R. Ghazi—on-the-fly ansi2knr-ization. Lots of portability fixes.
    • Gordon Matzigkeit—‘.netrc’ support.
    • Zlatko
    Caluˇ si´ c, Tomislav Vujec and Draˇ zen Kaˇ car—feature suggestions and “philosophical”
    • Darko Budor—initial port to Windows.
    • Antonio Rosella—help and suggestions, plus the initial Italian translation.
    • Tomislav Petrovi´ c, Mario Mikoˇ cevi´ c—many bug reports and suggestions.
    • Fran¸ cois Pinard—many thorough bug reports and discussions.
    • Karl Eichwalder—lots of help with internationalization, Makefile layout and many other
    • Junio Hamano—donated support for Opie and http Digest authentication.
    • Mauro Tortonesi—improved IPv6 support, adding support for dual family systems. Refac-
    tored and enhanced FTP IPv6 code. Maintained GNU Wget from 2004–2007.
    Chapter 9: Appendices 58
    • Christopher G. Lewis—maintenance of the Windows version of GNU WGet.
    • Gisle Vanem—many helpful patches and improvements, especially for Windows and MS-
    DOS support.
    • Ralf Wildenhues—contributed patches to convert Wget to use Automake as part of its build
    process, and various bugfixes.
    • Steven Schubiger—Many helpful patches, bugfixes and improvements. Notably, conversion
    of Wget to use the Gnulib quotes and quoteargs modules, and the addition of password
    prompts at the console, via the Gnulib getpasswd-gnu module.
    • Ted Mielczarek—donated support for CSS.
    • Saint Xavier—Support for IRIs (RFC 3987).
    • People who provided donations for development—including Brian Gough.
    The following people have provided patches, bug/build reports, useful suggestions, beta test-
    ing services, fan mail and all the other things that make maintenance so much fun:
    Tim Adam, Adrian Aichner, Martin Baehr, Dieter Baron, Roger Beeman, Dan Berger, T.
    Bharath, Christian Biere, Paul Bludov, Daniel Bodea, Mark Boyns, John Burden, Julien Buty,
    Wanderlei Cavassin, Gilles Cedoc, Tim Charron, Noel Cragg, Kristijan
    Conkaˇ s, John Daily, An-
    dreas Damm, Ahmon Dancy, Andrew Davison, Bertrand Demiddelaer, Alexander Dergachev,
    Andrew Deryabin, Ulrich Drepper, Marc Duponcheel, Damir Dˇ zeko, Alan Eldridge, Hans-
    Andreas Engel, Aleksandar Erkalovi´ c, Andy Eskilsson, Jo~ ao Ferreira, Christian Fraenkel, David
    Fritz, Mike Frysinger, Charles C. Fu, FUJISHIMA Satsuki, Masashi Fujita, Howard Gayle, Mar-
    cel Gerrits, Lemble Gregory, Hans Grobler, Alain Guibert, Mathieu Guillaume, Aaron Hawley,
    Jochen Hein, Karl Heuer, Madhusudan Hosaagrahara, HIROSE Masaaki, Ulf Harnhammar, Gre-
    gor Hoffleit, Erik Magnus Hulthen, Richard Huveneers, Jonas Jensen, Larry Jones, Simon Josef-
    sson, Mario Juri´ c, Hack Kampbjørn, Const Kaplinsky, Goran Kezunovi´ c, Igor Khristophorov,
    Robert Kleine, KOJIMA Haime, Fila Kolodny, Alexander Kourakos, Martin Kraemer, Sami
    Krank, Jay Krell, (Simos KSenitellis), Christian Lackas, Hrvoje Lacko, Daniel S. Lewart,
    Nicolás Lichtmeier, Dave Love, Alexander V. Lukyanov, Thomas Lußnig, Andre Majorel, Au-
    relien Marchand, Matthew J. Mellon, Jordan Mendelson, Ted Mielczarek, Robert Millan, Lin
    Zhe Min, Jan Minar, Tim Mooney, Keith Moore, Adam D. Moss, Simon Munton, Charlie Ne-
    gyesi, R. K. Owen, Jim Paris, Kenny Parnell, Leonid Petrov, Simone Piunno, Andrew Pollock,
    Steve Pothier, Jan Pˇ rikryl, Marin Purgar, Csaba Ráduly, Keith Refson, Bill Richardson, Tyler
    Riddle, Tobias Ringstrom, Jochen Roderburg, Juan Jos´ e Rodr´ıguez, Maciej W. Rozycki, Ed-
    ward J. Sabol, Heinz Salzmann, Robert Schmidt, Nicolas Schodet, Benno Schulenberg, Andreas
    Schwab, Steven M. Schweda, Chris Seawood, Pranab Shenoy, 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, Rabin Vincent, Russell Vincent,
    Zeljko Vrba, Charles G Waldman, Dou-
    glas E. Wegscheid, Ralf Wildenhues, Joshua David Williams, Benjamin Wolsey, Saint Xavier,
    YAMAZAKI Makoto, Jasmin Zainul, Bojan
    Zdrnja, Kristijan Zimmer, Xin Zou.
    Apologies to all who I accidentally left out, and many thanks to all the subscribers of the
    Wget mailing list.
    Appendix A: Copying this manual 59
    Appendix A Copying this manual
    A.1 GNU Free Documentation License
    Version 1.3, 3 November 2008
    Copyright c ? 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008, 2015 Free Software
    Foundation, Inc.
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    Appendix A: Copying this manual 60
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    Appendix A: Copying this manual 61
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    Appendix A: Copying this manual 62
    H. Include an unaltered copy of this License.
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    Appendix A: Copying this manual 63
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    Appendix A: Copying this manual 64
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    Appendix A: Copying this manual 65
    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 1.3
    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’’.
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    Concept Index 66
    Concept Index
    (Index is nonexistent)
    Table of Contents
    1 Overview ....................................................... 1
    2 Invoking........................................................ 2
    2.1 URL Format ...................................................................... 2
    2.2 Option Syntax..................................................................... 3
    2.3 Basic Startup Options............................................................. 3
    2.4 Logging and Input File Options.................................................... 4
    2.5 Download Options................................................................. 5
    2.6 Directory Options................................................................ 13
    2.7 HTTP Options................................................................... 14
    2.8 HTTPS (SSL/TLS) Options...................................................... 20
    2.9 FTP Options..................................................................... 23
    2.10 FTPS Options .................................................................. 25
    2.11 Recursive Retrieval Options ..................................................... 25
    2.12 Recursive Accept/Reject Options................................................ 28
    2.13 Exit Status ..................................................................... 30
    3 Recursive Download ......................................... 31
    4 Following Links............................................... 32
    4.1 Spanning Hosts .................................................................. 32
    4.2 Types of Files.................................................................... 32
    4.3 Directory-Based Limits........................................................... 34
    4.4 Relative Links.................................................................... 35
    4.5 Following FTP Links............................................................. 35
    5 Time-Stamping............................................... 36
    5.1 Time-Stamping Usage............................................................ 36
    5.2 HTTP Time-Stamping Internals.................................................. 37
    5.3 FTP Time-Stamping Internals.................................................... 37
    6 Startup File................................................... 38
    6.1 Wgetrc Location ................................................................. 38
    6.2 Wgetrc Syntax ................................................................... 38
    6.3 Wgetrc Commands............................................................... 38
    6.4 Sample Wgetrc................................................................... 45
    7 Examples...................................................... 49
    7.1 Simple Usage..................................................................... 49
    7.2 Advanced Usage.................................................................. 49
    7.3 Very Advanced Usage ............................................................ 50
    8 Various........................................................ 52
    8.1 Proxies........................................................................... 52
    8.2 Distribution...................................................................... 53
    8.3 Web Site......................................................................... 53
    8.4 Mailing Lists..................................................................... 53
    Primary List ....................................................................... 53
    Bug Notices List ................................................................... 53
    Obsolete Lists...................................................................... 53
    8.5 Internet Relay Chat .............................................................. 53
    8.6 Reporting Bugs .................................................................. 53
    8.7 Portability ....................................................................... 54
    8.8 Signals........................................................................... 55
    9 Appendices ................................................... 56
    9.1 Robot Exclusion.................................................................. 56
    9.2 Security Considerations........................................................... 57
    9.3 Contributors ..................................................................... 57
    Appendix A Copying this manual ............................ 59
    A.1 GNU Free Documentation License ............................................... 59
    Concept Index.................................................... 66

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