Today we will talk about what is cURL? and why would you use the cURL command in Linux? cURL (Client URL Library) is a computer software project providing a library and command-line tool for transferring data using various protocols. cURL is a tool to transfer data from or to a server, using one of the following supported protocols (DICT, FILE, FTP, FTPS, GOPHER, HTTP, HTTPS, IMAP, IMAPS, LDAP, LDAPS, POP3, POP3S, RTMP, RTSP, SCP, SFTP, SMB, SMBS, SMTP, SMTPS, TELNET and TFTP). The command is designed to work without user interaction. If you are a Linux command line user, you probably came across the
cURL command. cURL is a command line tool that most system admins are using on a day to day basis to perform a variety of different tasks. In this article, we will explain what is cURL and why would you want to use it on your Linux VPS.
Table of Contents
1. What is cURL?
cURL is a command line tool which is used to transfer data from one server to another. Basically, the tool is designed to help you get or send files using URL based syntax and it works without user interaction. cURL supports a wide variety of common Internet protocols including HTTP, HTTPS, IMAP, IMAPS, LDAP, LDAPS, POP3, POP3S, RTMP, RTSP, SCP, SFTP, SMTP, SMTPS, TELNET, TFTP, DICT, FILE, FTP, FTPS, GOPHER etc.
cURL is free and open source so it is also used in many different devices including routers, printers, mobile phones etc. Basically, it is used in thousands of applications and millions of users are using it on a daily basis without even knowing.
2. Why Would You Use cURL?
cURL allows you to perform multiple file uploads on a single command line. The user can specify multiple URLs and they will be fetched in the specified order. Moreover, cURL offers proxy support, file uploads via FTP, sending requests over HTTP protocol, establishing connections via SSL, getting and setting cookies, user and password authentication, SMTP authentication and sending emails, authentication via POP3 and IMAP and many more. Simply, cURL can be used for everything that is related to Internet protocol transfers. The full list of features is available here.
cURL uses libcurl, which is a client-side URL transfer library. This allows you to use cURL with multiple programming and scripting languages to build amazing applications.
3. Install cURL on a Linux VPS
On an Ubuntu VPS, run:
sudo apt-get update
This will update the package index. Then, run the following command to install cURL:
sudo apt-get install curl
On a CentOS VPS, run:
yum install curl
4. How to use cURL
Once you install cURL on your server you can check our guide about how to use cURL to perform simple URL checks, download files, get HTTP header information from a website as well as how to access an FTP server. Also, we recommend you to check the cURL man page for more usage options and examples:
Of course, you don’t have to learn what is cURL, if you use one of our Ultra-Fast and Fully Managed Linux VPS Hosting services, in which case you can simply ask our expert Linux admins to install cURL for you. They are available 24×7 and will take care of your request immediately. You can always ask our system administrator about what is cURL? and how to use it.
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