cURL, a renowned command-line tool, plays an essential role in testing and interacting with URLs. Specifically designed for data transmission, cURL ensures not only speed but also optimal performance. Favored by developers, cURL supports a range of protocols, enabling diverse interactions with online services. In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the capabilities and protocols supported by cURL.
Introduction to cURL
What is cURL?
cURL, short for “Client URL,” is an indispensable tool in the toolkit of developers and system administrators worldwide. Originating in 1997 through the skilled hands of Daniel Stenberg, cURL has become the gold standard for interacting with online data via various protocols.
Unlike regular web browsers that we use daily, cURL operates at a lower level, enabling precise and efficient interaction without a graphical interface. This means that with cURL, users can upload or download data directly and swiftly.
For those passionate about technology and eager to delve deeper into how the internet works, cURL is an invaluable ally. True to its name, “Client URL”, cURL allows us to connect, query, and interact with data sources directly via URLs without any intermediaries.
Key Features of cURL
cURL (Client URL) is a command-line tool and library for transferring data with URL syntax. cURL supports various protocols, including HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, FTPS, SCP, SFTP, LDAP, DAP, DICT, TELNET, FILE, and many more. Here are some of its standout features:
cURL supports multiple protocols, not just HTTP/HTTPS.
cURL allows users to access and interact with web services from the command line, automating tasks and integrating into scripts.
This library is for those wanting to integrate cURL functionalities into their applications. libcurl supports many programming languages.
cURL enables sending (including POST data) and receiving data from servers.
cURL can store and send cookies between requests.
cURL supports various types of authentication, including Basic Authentication and Digest Authentication.
For encrypted protocols, cURL supports SSL/TLS.
cURL can be configured to operate through proxy servers.
You can add, delete, or modify HTTP headers in your request.
If a download is interrupted, cURL can resume from the point of disruption, optimizing data downloading.
Verbose and Silent Modes
Allows users to view detailed information or reduce output during request execution.
cURL can be used to upload and download from FTP servers and perform basic FTP tasks like “mkdir”, “delete”, and “rename”.
How to Use cURL with Proxy
Nowadays, using a Proxy has become increasingly popular when making anonymous network requests or bypassing network restrictions. Under this guidance, you will be equipped with the knowledge to operate cURL professionally through a Proxy.
Proxy Setup through Environment Variables
Rather than providing proxy details via the command line, one can opt to use environment variables for configuration. This facilitates reusability and easier management:
To cancel proxy settings in the environment, simply execute:
Handling SSL Certificate Issues
A common problem when working with cURL and Proxy is SSL certificate-related errors. To overcome this obstacle:
curl -x “[protocol://][host][:port]” -k [URL]
Using the “-k” option, cURL will bypass certificate verification, making debugging easier.
Bypass Proxy for a Specific Request
Even after setting up a Proxy for the entire system, sometimes you might want a specific request not to use the Proxy. To achieve this:
curl –noproxy “*” https://reqbin.com/echo
In case the Proxy requires authentication details, the “-U” or “–proxy-user” option can be utilized:
curl -x “[protocol://][host][:port]” -U “username:password” [URL]
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