Using wget Command In Linux- Command Line Downloader

wget command in Linux is basically a utility that is used for downloading files from a web server. Using this command, the users can download various files from their chosen networks using protocols like HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP.

With the usage of wget command in Linux, user can play with different options like downloading multiple files, resuming downloads, limiting bandwidth, recursive downloads, running downloads in background, and many more. So, in this article we are to discuss how this command can be used and how a Linux user can play with downloads using command line.

Syntax of wget command in Linux

wget [option] [URL]

How to install wget in system?

Although the wget package is pre-installed on most of the Linux distributions in modern era, still if you find the package is not installed on your device, you can install it manually.

In order to check if wget package is installed, just open terminal and run the command below:


In case if running the command shows wget:missing URL, it means the package is already installed. Otherwise, wget command not found, will be displayed.

Install wget on Ubuntu/Debian systems

sudo apt install wget

Install wget on CentOS/Fedora

sudo yum install wget

Options available to use with wget:

  • -v | –version: Displays version of wget package.
  • -h | –help: Displays help instructions on screen with all possible options.
  • -o logfile | –output-file=logfile: Used for directing all messages to a specified log file. If the file is not specified, the logs are stored on default log file. The messages are generally reported to standard error.
  • -b | –background: Using this option, the download process is sent to run in background as soon as the process starts. In case if no file is specified using -o, the output is directed to wget-log by default.
  • -a: Used for appending log file. This option is probably similar to -o, however it appends just the logfile instead of overwriting the old log file. In case if there’s no log file exist, a new file is created.
  • -i: Used to specify a file from which wget reads the URL.
  • -t number | -tries=number: Used to set a specified number of tries. 0 or inf can be specified to retry at infinity. The default number of retry is 20 times.
  • -c: Used for resuming a partially downloaded file if the resume capability of file is yes.
  • -w: This option is used to set the system to wait for the specified number of seconds between retrieving the next data packet. With the help of this, the server load can be lightened as it use to make requests less frequently.
  • -r: This option is technically a recursive call to a specified link in command line. Using this, it keeps recursively retrieving the link specified, even in case of fatal errors.

Examples of wget comand in Linux

1: Download a specified file

sudo wget

2: Downloading a file in background

sudo wget -b

3: Overwriting the log file

sudo wget -o /path/to/file.txt

4: To try downloads for 5 times only (default number of retrial is 20)

sudo wget –tries=5

5: Resume a partially downloaded file

sudo wget -c

6: Displaying version information

sudo wget -v

7: Show wget help information

sudo wget -help

8: Limiting download speed rate

sudo wget –limit-rate=3m

9: Downloading multiple files at once

first create a file names url_list.txt

sudo nano url_list.txt

type multiple urls in the file which you want to download using wget. Below is just an instance

Save and exit the file. Now run wget with -i option to download files from the url specified in created file.

sudo wget -i url_list.txt

10: Download file using FTP

sudo wget --ftp-user=FTP_USERNAME –ftp-password=FTP_PASSWORD

12: Downloading a site mirror using wget

sudo wget -m