A Beginner’s Guide to Using the Curl Command

Where necessary, you may need to have access to a VPS server so you can follow how to implement the steps in this article.  You can get a cheaper VPS Server from Contabo with 4vCPU cores, 8GM RAM, and 32TB Bandwidth for less than $5.50 per month. Get this deal here now

Table of Contents

Cloud VPS S

$5.50 Monthly
  • 4 vCPU Cores | 8GB RAM


$15.50 Monthly
  • 6 vCPU Cores | 16GB RAM


$17.50 Monthly
  • 8 vCPU Cores | 24GB RAM

Curl, short for Client for URLs, is a powerful command-line tool that allows users to make requests to and interact with various web services. It supports a wide range of protocols, making it a versatile tool for developers and system administrators. In this guide, we will explore the basics of using the Curl command, accompanied by practical examples.


Before diving into Curl, ensure it is installed on your system. On Linux, you can typically install it using the package manager. For example, on Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install curl

On macOS, you can use Homebrew:

brew install curl

For Windows users, you can download the executable from the official Curl website.

Making Simple GET Requests

One of the fundamental use cases for Curl is making HTTP GET requests. Let’s start with a simple example:


This command fetches the content of the specified URL and displays it in the terminal. You can replace the URL with any other web address.

Handling HTTP Headers

Curl allows you to include custom headers in your requests. This is useful for scenarios where you need to pass additional information to the server. Here’s an example:

curl -H "Authorization: Bearer YOUR_ACCESS_TOKEN"

In this command, the -H flag is used to add a custom header to the request, providing an access token for authentication.

Sending POST Requests

To send data to a server using a POST request, you can use the --data option. For instance:

curl --data "username=johndoe&password=secretpassword"

This command sends a POST request to the specified URL with the provided form data.

Handling Responses

Curl provides options to save the response to a file or display only specific information. For example:

curl -o output.html

This command saves the content of the URL to a file named output.html in the current directory.

Verbose Mode for Debugging

When troubleshooting or debugging, the verbose mode (-v or --verbose) can be helpful. It provides detailed information about the request and response:

curl -v

Handling Authentication

Many web services require authentication to access certain resources. Curl supports various authentication methods, such as Basic Authentication. Here’s an example:

curl -u username:password

In this command, the -u flag is used to provide a username and password for Basic Authentication.

Uploading Files with Curl

Curl allows you to upload files to a server easily. For instance, to upload a file to a specific endpoint:

curl -F "file=@/path/to/local/file.txt"

Here, the -F flag is used to specify a file to upload, and the @ symbol indicates the local file path.

Following Redirects

When a server responds with a redirect, Curl, by default, does not follow it. To enable automatic redirection, use the -L flag:

curl -L

This command instructs Curl to follow redirects, providing the final content after all redirections.

Limiting Connection Time

To set a maximum time for the entire request, you can use the --max-time option. For example, to limit the request to 10 seconds:

curl --max-time 10

This is useful to prevent requests from running indefinitely.

HTTP Methods other than GET and POST

Curl supports various HTTP methods, such as PUT, DELETE, and PATCH. You can specify the method using the -X flag. For example:

curl -X PUT --data "key=value"

This command sends a PUT request with data to update a resource.

Handling Cookies

Curl can handle cookies for you. To save cookies from a response and send them with subsequent requests, use the --cookie-jar and --cookie options:

curl --cookie-jar cookies.txt
curl --cookie cookies.txt

The first command saves cookies to a file, and the second command uses those cookies in a subsequent request.

Hire us to handle what you want

Hire us through our Fiverr Profile and leave all the complicated & technical stuff to us. Here are some of the things we can do for you:

  • Website migration, troubleshooting, and maintenance.
  • Server & application deployment, scaling, troubleshooting, and maintenance
  • Deployment of Kubernetes, Docker, Cloudron, Ant Media, Apache, Nginx,  OpenVPN, cPanel, WHMCS, WordPress, and more
  • Everything you need on AWS, IBM Cloud, GCP, Azure, Oracle Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, Linode, Contabo, DigitalOcean, Ionos, Vultr, GoDaddy, HostGator, Namecheap, DreamHost, and more.

We will design, configure, deploy, or troubleshoot anything you want. Starting from $10, we will get your job done in the shortest time possible. Your payment is safe with Fiverr as we will only be paid once your project is completed.