How to Use cURL

Using cURL

cURL (short for Client for URLs) is a command-line tool and library used to transfer data to or from a server, using various supported protocols like HTTP, FTP, SMTP, and more. In this article, we will guide you through the process of using cURL on your command line interface.

Step 1: Install cURL (skip if already installed)

  • For Windows users:
    • Download the cURL executable from the official website ( and extract it to a folder.
    • Add the cURL executable path to your system’s PATH environment variable.
  • For Linux users:
    • Run the following command in your terminal:
      sudo apt-get install curl
  • For macOS users:
    • cURL is pre-installed on macOS, so no installation is necessary.

Step 2: Open your command line interface

  • For Windows users, open the Command Prompt or PowerShell.
  • For Linux and macOS users, open the Terminal.

Step 3: Basic GET request

  • To do a simple GET request using cURL, type the following command:
    curl [URL]
    Replace [URL] with the actual URL you want to make a request to.
  • Example:

Step 4: Specify a different HTTP method

  • By default, cURL performs a GET request, but you can specify a different HTTP method using the -X flag.
  • Example:
    curl -X POST

Step 5: Include request headers

  • To include custom headers in your request, use the -H flag followed by the header information.
  • Example:
    curl -H "Content-Type: application/json" -H "Authorization: Bearer [token]"

Step 6: Send data in the request body

  • To send data in the request body, use the -d flag followed by the data.
  • Example:
    curl -X POST -d "username=admin&password=1234"

Step 7: Save the response to a file

  • To save the response to a file instead of displaying it in the terminal, use the -o flag followed by the file path.
  • Example:
    curl -o response.json

These are the basic steps to get started with cURL. It’s a versatile tool that can be used for various tasks, including testing APIs, downloading files, and sending HTTP requests. Explore the official cURL documentation ( for more advanced options and functionalities.

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