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Linux Hack Of The Week #6: Command Line Web Tools

The problem: You are logged in to a terminal and you need to download a package, what do you do? Of course you can open up Chrome on your laptop, download the file, scp it over… but there is a better way.

The solution: Linux has a number of command line tools for web browsing and in this week’s Linux Tip we’ll go over a few tools to get you browsing the web like NCSA Mosaic never existed. For these examples I used a Raspberry Pi running Raspbian.


cURL is on of the most commonly used command line apps for downloading. To install it run:

#apt-get install curl

To download a file you must add -O or -o filename to prevent it from just printing to stdout.

# curl -O
% Total % Received %Xferd Average Speed Time Time Time Current
      Dload Upload Total Spent Left Speed
100   114 0   114 0   0 211 0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:-- 211

The above example saves a file called, using the -o option you can provide a filename:



wget is similar to cURL but I find it easier to use, by default it saves the file to the name of the file in the url. To install run :

#apt-get install wget

To download just run wget url:

# wget
--2018-07-12 03:31:30--
Resolving (,
Connecting to (||:443... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 302 Found
Location: [following]
--2018-07-12 03:31:31--
Resolving (,
Connecting to (||:443... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 4687035 (4.5M) [application/zip]
Saving to: ‘’                100%[=====================>]               4.47M 459KB/s in 8.2s
2018-07-12 03:31:39 (561 KB/s) - ‘’ saved [4687035/4687035]


Lynx has been around for a long time, it is a full-on text-based web browser.

#apt-get install lynx

To browse a site run lynx url:


Which then opens a text-based browser which you can use to browse the website from your SSH terminal.

And wow you can now browse the web in a command line way.

Linus photo 2

These are just a few of the tools you can use to access web resources from the command line. Hopefully one of these can save you in a pinch. As always if you have any questions let us know through

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