How to download a file using the Command Line

Written by Ian Carnaghan · 53 sec read >

If you need to download a file via the command line of Linux (eg. If you are logged in via SSH and need to download something). Please follow the steps below in order to download using the command line.


We use the wget command in order to download a file.

Most Linux distributions already have the wget command installed, if not we need to install it.

To check if wget is installed enter the following command. which wget after entering it press enter and then you should see something like this if it’s installed /usr/bin/wget


If wget is installed skip this step and proceed to Step 3

How to install wget (Different distributions use different methods to install)


COMMAND: apt-get install wget


COMMAND: yum install wget


Now we proceed to the actual download

Downloading a single page

COMMAND:  wget

Downloading a entire site we use the recursive option

COMMAND: wget -r

Downloading only certain file types from the site you wish to download using the -A option

COMMAND: wget -r -A pdf,jpg

Downloading only external links, usually wget does not do this, here we can use -H option.

COMMAND: wget -r -H -A pdf,jpg

By default wget will follow 5 levels when using -r option, we can change this behaviour with the -l option.

COMMAND: wget -r -l 4

Last Updated On April 07, 2018
Written by Ian Carnaghan
I am a software developer and online educator who likes to keep up with all the latest in technology. I also manage cloud infrastructure, continuous monitoring, DevOps processes, security, and continuous integration and deployment. Profile

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