What Is cURL Good for?

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What Is cURL Good for?

cURL, or client URL, is a command line tool for exchanging data between devices and servers using the terminal. With this CLI, users can specify the location and data they want to exchange with that location. It supports multiple protocols and can handle complex tasks.

URL manipulation is also one of the common uses of cURL. It is also used in texting proxy servers. To know more about cURL with proxy, you need to check cURL with proxy. This guide will show you some of the benefits of cURL and how to perform basic tasks. Let’s get started.

What Are the cURL Syntaxes?

cURL is highly beneficial for getting a response from the target server. To do that, you need to follow specific syntaxes while sending the request. We will discuss some of these syntaxes for your convenience. Check them out.

  • curl [option] [url]

It is the most common syntax for sending a request using cURL. You need to write this syntax in the terminal. In the option section, you need to specify the target location of the URL for performing the desired task. One or more URLs can be specified here. You can send a request like the one below.

  • curl example.com

You can also specify the protocol while sending the request. In that case, the syntax will look like this:

  • curl http://example.com

This is the default protocol while using cURL. But if you want to bring in a different protocol, you must mention the protocol while sending the request. The same example for an FTP protocol will be as below.

  • curl ftp://example.com

You can avoid the slashes and write the syntax like this:

  • curl ftp.example.com

What Protocols Can You Use With cURL?

You can use a few protocols with cURL. Check the following list for those protocols.

  • HTTP
  • HTTPS
  • FTP
  • FTPS
  • IMAP
  • IMAPS
  • RTMP
  • SFTP
  • SCP
  • TFTP
  • SMBS
  • POP3

What Is cURL Good for?

cURL is beneficial for exchanging data between your device and the target web server. The data can be transferred using multiple methods. We will introduce you to some of the most common methods used with cURL so that you can perform the tasks correctly and efficiently. Here are some benefits of using cURL.

Testing APIs

To test an API, you might need to download the application. But cURL eliminates the need for downloading the application as you can directly test the API from the terminal using cURL. This is one of the most common use cases of cURL.

Saving Files to Local Storage

When you use cURL to get responses from web servers, the response usually includes various files and images. You can quickly download those files and images from your device’s terminal and save them on the local storage.

Saving URL Content

If the target location is a web page, you can download that data using cURL and save the HTML content on your device. This is useful for downloading the source code of various web pages.

How to Call a GET Method?

Calling a GET method is very common for most developers. In this method, you use curl to get a response from the target website. After you specify the URL of the webpage, cURL brings that data to your device’s terminal. You can use the following syntax for calling a GET method.

  • curl https:/example.com

The response will be shown in the terminal, but headers will remain hidden. These responses are usually HTML documents of your target web page. You can use additional commands to make those headers visible. Here are the commands.

  • curl –include https://example.com

You can use –i instead of –include, which will give the same result. Saving the response to local storage is also possible, and you should change the command as below.

  • curl –o output https://example.com

How to Fetch a Site’s Headers?

cURL is also beneficial for checking if the endpoint is working. The endpoint here means the target location of our requests. As the site’s headers are hidden in the response while using the GET method, you can use the HEAD method to return the header without the body.

For this, you need to write the following command.

  • curl –I https://example.com

If you use –i, it will show the header and the body in the response.

Conclusion

cURL is a convenient tool for transferring information between devices and servers. You can use multiple methods to exchange information on different protocols. Besides the GET or HEAD method, POST, PUT, or DELETE methods are also used with cURL.

Using these methods, you can retrieve data from target servers or send data to target servers. You can also create, update, or delete resources using cURL.

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