How to Download a File or Directory Using wget?

If you are spending too much time on a terminal, there is a good chance that you would like to download a file or a directory from the web, but without really using a browser. You can use the command line utility “wget” to download a file or a directory right from your terminal.

The beauty of wget is that its is non-interactive, meaning that wget can quitely work in the background. wget manual explains that the non-interactive wget “allows you to start a retrieval and disconnect from the system, and wget gets the job done”.

How to Use wget to download a file from website?

To download a file using wget, just use wget with the web address of the file name. For example


will fetch you the history.html file from Google’s doodle4google directory. While fetching the file you will see whet printing the following things on your screen

–2011-08-17 15:52:28–
Resolving…,,, …
Connecting to||:80… connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response… 200 OK
Length: unspecified
Saving to: `history.html.1′

[ <=> ] 9,889 –.-K/s in 0.02s

2011-08-17 15:52:28 (480 KB/s) – `history.html.1′ saved [9889]

How to Use wget to Download a file in the background?

Making wget to run in the background is very simple. Add “&” at the end of the command as follows.

wget &

How to Use wget to try multiple times to download a file?

Want to download a big file, but have a slower/unreliable internet connectivity? Don’t worry “wget” can easily handle that. You can specify the number of times wget should keep trying, in case it fails

wget ---tries 10 &

–tries or -t option gives you an opportunity to specify the number of times you want to try to download.

How to use wget to download an entire directory from a website?

Perhaps, the utility wget is most useful in downloading an entire directory from the web.

wget -r http://path/to/the/directory