FTP Downloads and website mirroring with Wget


Article from Issue 62/2006

Wget downloads files and even whole websites from the command line.

Any number of GUI-based download managers allow users to download files and whole websites. At the command line, you’ll need a tool like Wget. Wget handles downloads quickly and without a lot of pointing and clicking. Wget "speaks" HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP; it can continue interrupted transfers, and it even has an update function that only updates files that have changed. All-Rounder

The generic syntax for Wget is as follows:

wget URL

Wget gives you command line output to let you know what it is doing (Figure 1): in our example, the tool is establishing a connection to a web server (standard port 80) and downloading the index.html file to a local directory, ignoring embedded images and not following links. If you do not want to view the fairly verbose output at the console, you might like to specify the -q (for quiet) option. As this tells Wget to suppress the output of error messages and basic information, however, you might prefer a compromise, which you can achieve by entering wget -nv. This option tells the program to write less output to your console but still provide some information.

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