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WGET2(1) GNU Wget2 1.99.1 WGET2(1)


Wget2 - a recursive metalink/file/website downloader.


wget2 [options]... [URL]...


GNU Wget2 is a free utility for non-interactive download of files from the Web. It supports HTTP and HTTPS protocols, as well as retrieval through HTTP(S) proxies.

Wget2 is non-interactive, meaning that it can work in the background, while the user is not logged on. This allows you to start a retrieval and disconnect from the system, letting Wget2 finish the work. By contrast, most of the Web browsers require constant user’s presence, which can be a great hindrance when transferring a lot of data.

Wget2 can follow links in HTML, XHTML, CSS, RSS, Atom and sitemap files to create local versions of remote web sites, fully recreating the directory structure of the original site. This is sometimes referred to as recursive downloading. While doing that, Wget2 respects the Robot Exclusion Standard (/robots.txt). Wget2 can be instructed to convert the links in downloaded files to point at the local files, for offline viewing.

Wget2 has been designed for robustness over slow or unstable network connections; if a download fails due to a network problem, it will keep retrying until the whole file has been retrieved. If the server supports partial downloads, it may continue the download from where it left off.


Option Syntax

Every option has a long form and sometimes also a short one. Long options are more convenient to remember, but take time to type. You may freely mix different option styles. Thus you may write:

wget2 -r --tries=10 -o log

The space between the option accepting an argument and the argument may be omitted. Instead of -o log you can write -olog.

You may put several options that do not require arguments together, like:

wget2 -drc <URL>

This is equivalent to:

wget2 -d -r -c <URL>

Since the options can be specified after the arguments, you may terminate them with --. So the following will try to download URL -x, reporting failure to log:

wget2 -o log -- -x

The options that accept comma-separated lists all respect the convention that specifying an empty list clears its value. This can be useful to clear the .wgetrc settings. For instance, if your .wgetrc sets exclude-directories to /cgi-bin, the following example will first reset it, and then set it to exclude /~nobody and /~somebody. You can also clear the lists in .wgetrc.

wget2 -X '' -X /~nobody,/~somebody

Most options that do not accept arguments are boolean options, so named because their state can be captured with a yes-or-no (“boolean”) variable. A boolean option is either affirmative or negative (beginning with --no-). All such options share several properties.

Affirmative options can be negated by prepending the --no- to the option name; negative options can be negated by omitting the --no- prefix. This might seem superfluous - if the default for an affirmative option is to not do something, then why provide a way to explicitly turn it off? But the startup file may in fact change the default. For instance, using timestamping = on in .wgetrc makes Wget2 download updated files only. Using --no-timestamping is the only way to restore the factory default from the command line.

Basic Startup Options

-V, --version

Display the version of Wget2.

-h, --help

Print a help message describing all of Wget2’s command-line options.

-b, --background

Go to background immediately after startup. If no output file is specified via the -o, output is redirected to wget-log.

-e, --execute=command

Execute command as if it were a part of .wgetrc. A command thus invoked will be executed after the commands in .wgetrc, thus taking precedence over them. If you need to specify more than one wgetrc command, use multiple instances of -e.

Logging and Input File Options

-o, --output-file=logfile

Log all messages to logfile. The messages are normally reported to standard error.

-a, --append-output=logfile

Append to logfile. This is the same as -o, only it appends to logfile instead of overwriting the old log file. If logfile does not exist, a new file is created.

-d, --debug

Turn on debug output, meaning various information important to the developers of Wget2 if it does not work properly. Your system administrator may have chosen to compile Wget2 without debug support, in which case -d will not work. Please note that compiling with debug support is always safe, Wget2 compiled with the debug support will not print any debug info unless requested with -d.

-q, --quiet

Turn off Wget2’s output.

-v, --verbose

Turn on verbose output, with all the available data. The default output is verbose.

-nv, --no-verbose

Turn off verbose without being completely quiet (use -q for that), which means that error messages and basic information still get printed.


Output bandwidth as type. The only accepted values are bytes (which is set by default) and bits. This option only works if --progress=bar is also set.

-i, --input-file=file

Read URLs from a local or external file. If - is specified as file, URLs are read from the standard input. (Use ./- to read from a file literally named -.)

If this function is used, no URLs need be present on the command line. If there are URLs both on the command line and in an input file, those on the command lines will be the first ones to be retrieved. file is expected to contain one URL per line, except one of the –force- options specifies a different format.

If you specify –force-html, the document will be regarded as HTML. In that case you may have problems with relative links, which you can solve either by adding “” to the documents or by specifying –base=url on the command line.

If you specify --force-css, the document will be regarded as CSS.

If you specify --force-sitemap, the document will be regarded as XML sitemap.

If you specify --force-atom, the document will be regarded as Atom Feed.

If you specify --force-rss, the document will be regarded as RSS Feed.

If you specify --force-metalink, the document will be regarded as Metalink description.

If you have problems with relative links, you should use –base=url on the command line.

-F, --force-html

When input is read from a file, force it to be treated as an HTML file. This enables you to retrieve relative links from existing HTML files on your local disk, by adding “” to HTML, or using the –base command-line option.


Read and parse the input file as CSS. This enables you to retrieve links from existing CSS files on your local disk. You will need –base to handle relative links correctly.


Read and parse the input file as sitemap XML. This enables you to retrieve links from existing sitemap files on your local disk. You will need –base to handle relative links correctly.


Read and parse the input file as Atom Feed XML. This enables you to retrieve links from existing sitemap files on your local disk. You will need –base to handle relative links correctly.


Read and parse the input file as RSS Feed XML. This enables you to retrieve links from existing sitemap files on your local disk. You will need –base to handle relative links correctly.

Read and parse the input file as Metalink. This enables you to retrieve links from existing Metalink files on your local disk. You will need –base to handle relative links correctly.

-B, --base=URL

Resolves relative links using URL as the point of reference, when reading links from an HTML file specified via the -i/–input-file option (together with a –force... option, or when the input file was fetched remotely from a server describing it as HTML, CSS, Atom or RSS). This is equivalent to the presence of a “BASE” tag in the HTML input file, with URL as the value for the “href” attribute.

For instance, if you specify for URL, and Wget2 reads ../baz/b.html from the input file, it would be resolved to


Specify the location of configuration files you wish to use. If you specify more than one file, either by using a comma-separated list or several --config options, these files are read in left-to-right order. The files given in $SYSTEM_WGET2RC and ($WGET2RC or ~/.wget2rc) are read in that order and then the user-provided config file(s). If set, $WGET2RC replaces ~/.wget2rc.

--no-config empties the internal list of config files. So if you want to prevent reading any config files, give –no-config on the command line.

--no-config followed by --config=file just reads file and skips reading the default config files.

Wget will attempt to tilde-expand filenames written in the configuration file on supported platforms. To use a file that starts with the character literal `~', use “./~” or an absolute path.


Logs all URL rejections to logfile as comma separated values. The values include the reason of rejection, the URL and the parent URL it was found in.


Enables reading/writing to local database files (default: on).

These are the files for --hsts, --hpkp, --ocsp, etc.

With --no-local-db you can switch reading/writing off, e.g. useful for testing.

This option does not influence the reading of config files.


Save DNS stats in format FORMAT, in file FILE.

FORMAT can be human or csv. - is shorthand for stdout and h is shorthand for human.

The CSV output format is


`Duration` is given in milliseconds.


Save TLS stats in format FORMAT, in file FILE.

FORMAT can be human or csv. - is shorthand for stdout and h is shorthand for human.

The CSV output format is


`TLSVersion` can be 1,2,3,4,5 for SSL3, TLS1.0, TLS1.1, TLS1.2 and TLS1.3. -1 means 'None'.
`FalseStart` whether the connection used TLS False Start. -1 if not applicable.
`TFO` whether the connection used TCP Fast Open. -1 is TFO was disabled.
`Resumed` whether the TLS session was resumed or not.
`ALPN` is the ALPN negotiation string.
`HTTPVersion` is 0 for HTTP 1.1 and 1 is for HTTP 2.0.
`Certificates` is the size of the server's certificate chain.
`Duration` is given in milliseconds.


Save OCSP stats in format FORMAT, in file FILE.

FORMAT can be human or csv. - is shorthand for stdout and h is shorthand for human.

The CSV output format is


`Stapling` whether an OCSP response was stapled or not.
`Valid` how many server certificates were valid regarding OCSP.
`Revoked` how many server certificates were revoked regarding OCSP.
`Ignored` how many server certificates had been ignored or OCSP responses missing.


Save Server stats in format FORMAT, in file FILE.

FORMAT can be human or csv. - is shorthand for stdout and h is shorthand for human.

The CSV output format is


`Scheme` 0,1,2 mean `None`, `http`, `https`.

`HPKP` values 0,1,2,3 mean 'No HPKP', 'HPKP matched', 'HPKP doesn't match', 'HPKP error'. `NewHPKP` whether server sent HPKP (Public-Key-Pins) header. `HSTS` whether server sent HSTS (Strict-Transport-Security) header. `CSP` whether server sent CSP (Content-Security-Policy) header.


Save Site stats in format FORMAT, in file FILE.

FORMAT can be human or csv. - is shorthand for stdout and h is shorthand for human.

The CSV output format is


`ID` unique ID for a stats record.
`ParentID` ID of the parent document, relevant for `--recursive` mode.
`URL` URL of the document.
`Status` HTTP response code or 0 if not applicable.
`Link` 1 means 'direkt link', 0 means 'redirection link'.
`Method` 1,2,3 mean GET, HEAD, POST request type.
`Size` size of downloaded body (theoretical value for HEAD requests).
`SizeDecompressed` size of decompressed body (0 for HEAD requests).
`TransferTime` ms between start of request and completed download.
`ResponseTime` ms between start of request and first response packet.
`Encoding` 0,1,2,3,4,5 mean server side compression was 'identity', 'gzip', 'deflate', 'lzma/xz', 'bzip2', 'brotli'
`Verification` PGP verification status. 0,1,2,3 mean 'none',  'valid', 'invalid', 'bad', 'missing'.


Save DNS, TLS, OCSP, Server and Site stats in format FORMAT, in file FILE.

FORMAT can be human or csv. - is shorthand for stdout and h is shorthand for human.

Saving different csv output records into one file might break later parsing.

Download Options


When making client TCP/IP connections, bind to ADDRESS on the local machine. ADDRESS may be specified as a hostname or IP address. This option can be useful if your machine is bound to multiple IPs.

-t, --tries=number

Set number of tries to number. Specify 0 or inf for infinite retrying. The default is to retry 20 times, with the exception of fatal errors like “connection refused” or “not found” (404), which are not retried.

-O, --output-document=file

The documents will not be written to the appropriate files, but all will be concatenated together and written to file. If - is used as file, documents will be printed to standard output, disabling link conversion. (Use ./- to print to a file literally named -.)

Using -r or -p with -O may not work as you expect: Wget2 won’t just download the first file to file and then download the rest to their normal names: all downloaded content will be placed in file.

A combination with -nc is only accepted if the given output file does not exist.

When used along with the -c option, Wget2 will attempt to continue downloading the file whose name is passed to the option, irrespective of whether the actual file already exists on disk or not. This allows users to download a file with a temporary name alongside the actual file.

Note that a combination with -k is only permitted when downloading a single document, as in that case it will just convert all relative URIs to external ones; -k makes no sense for multiple URIs when they’re all being downloaded to a single file; -k can be used only when the output is a regular file.

Compatibility-Note: Wget 1.x used to treat -O as analogous to shell redirection. Wget2 does not handle the option similarly. Hence, the file will not always be newly created. The file’s timestamps will not be affected unless it is actually written to. As a result, both -c and -N options are now supported in conjunction with this option.

-nc, --no-clobber

If a file is downloaded more than once in the same directory, Wget2’s behavior depends on a few options, including -nc. In certain cases, the local file will be clobbered, or overwritten, upon repeated download. In other cases it will be preserved.

When running Wget2 without -N, -nc, -r, or -p, downloading the same file in the same directory will result in the original copy of file being preserved and the second copy being named file.1. If that file is downloaded yet again, the third copy will be named file.2, and so on. (This is also the behavior with -nd, even if -r or -p are in effect.) When -nc is specified, this behavior is suppressed, and Wget2 will refuse to download newer copies of file. Therefore, "“no-clobber”" is actually a misnomer in this mode—it’s not clobbering that’s prevented (as the numeric suffixes were already preventing clobbering), but rather the multiple version saving that’s prevented.

When running Wget2 with -r or -p, but without -N, -nd, or -nc, re-downloading a file will result in the new copy simply overwriting the old. Adding -nc will prevent this behavior, instead causing the original version to be preserved and any newer copies on the server to be ignored.

When running Wget2 with -N, with or without -r or -p, the decision as to whether or not to download a newer copy of a file depends on the local and remote timestamp and size of the file. -nc may not be specified at the same time as -N.

A combination with -O/--output-document is only accepted if the given output file does not exist.

Note that when -nc is specified, files with the suffixes .html or .htm will be loaded from the local disk and parsed as if they had been retrieved from the Web.


Before (over)writing a file, back up an existing file by adding a .1 suffix (_1 on VMS) to the file name. Such backup files are rotated to .2, .3, and so on, up to backups (and lost beyond that).

-c, --continue

Continue getting a partially-downloaded file. This is useful when you want to finish up a download started by a previous instance of Wget2, or by another program. For instance:

wget2 -c

If there is a file named tarball.gz in the current directory, Wget2 will assume that it is the first portion of the remote file, and will ask the server to continue the retrieval from an offset equal to the length of the local file.

Note that you don’t need to specify this option if you just want the current invocation of Wget2 to retry downloading a file should the connection be lost midway through. This is the default behavior. -c only affects resumption of downloads started prior to this invocation of Wget2, and whose local files are still sitting around.

Without -c, the previous example would just download the remote file to tarball.gz.1, leaving the truncated tarball.gz file alone.

If you use -c on a non-empty file, and it turns out that the server does not support continued downloading, Wget2 will refuse to start the download from scratch, which would effectively ruin existing contents. If you really want the download to start from scratch, remove the file.

If you use -c on a file which is of equal size as the one on the server, Wget2 will refuse to download the file and print an explanatory message. The same happens when the file is smaller on the server than locally (presumably because it was changed on the server since your last download attempt)—because “continuing” is not meaningful, no download occurs.

On the other side of the coin, while using -c, any file that’s bigger on the server than locally will be considered an incomplete download and only “(length(remote) - length(local))” bytes will be downloaded and tacked onto the end of the local file. This behavior can be desirable in certain cases—for instance, you can use wget2 -c to download just the new portion that’s been appended to a data collection or log file.

However, if the file is bigger on the server because it’s been changed, as opposed to just appended to, you’ll end up with a garbled file. Wget2 has no way of verifying that the local file is really a valid prefix of the remote file. You need to be especially careful of this when using -c in conjunction with -r, since every file will be considered as an “incomplete download” candidate.

Another instance where you’ll get a garbled file if you try to use -c is if you have a lame HTTP proxy that inserts a “transfer interrupted” string into the local file. In the future a “rollback” option may be added to deal with this case.

Note that -c only works with HTTP servers that support the “Range” header.


Start downloading at zero-based position OFFSET. Offset may be expressed in bytes, kilobytes with the k' suffix, or megabytes with them’ suffix, etc.

--start-pos has higher precedence over --continue. When --start-pos and --continue are both specified, Wget2 will emit a warning then proceed as if --continue was absent.

Server support for continued download is required, otherwise –start-pos cannot help. See -c for details.


Select the type of the progress indicator you wish to use. Legal indicators are “dot” and “bar”.

The “bar” indicator is used by default. It draws an ASCII progress bar graphics (a.k.a “thermometer” display) indicating the status of retrieval. If the output is not a TTY, the “dot” bar will be used by default.

Use --progress=dot to switch to the “dot” display. It traces the retrieval by printing dots on the screen, each dot representing a fixed amount of downloaded data.

The progress type can also take one or more parameters. The parameters vary based on the type selected. Parameters to type are passed by appending them to the type sperated by a colon (:) like this: --progress=type:parameter1:parameter2.

When using the dotted retrieval, you may set the style by specifying the type as dot:style. Different styles assign different meaning to one dot. With the “default” style each dot represents 1K, there are ten dots in a cluster and 50 dots in a line. The “binary” style has a more “computer”-like orientation—8K dots, 16-dots clusters and 48 dots per line (which makes for 384K lines). The “mega” style is suitable for downloading large files—each dot represents 64K retrieved, there are eight dots in a cluster, and 48 dots on each line (so each line contains 3M). If “mega” is not enough then you can use the “giga” style—each dot represents 1M retrieved, there are eight dots in a cluster, and 32 dots on each line (so each line contains 32M).

With --progress=bar, there are currently two possible parameters, force and noscroll.

When the output is not a TTY, the progress bar always falls back to “dot”, even if --progress=bar was passed to Wget2 during invokation. This behaviour can be overridden and the “bar” output forced by using the “force” parameter as --progress=bar:force.

By default, the bar style progress bar scroll the name of the file from left to right for the file being downloaded if the filename exceeds the maximum length allotted for its display. In certain cases, such as with –progress=bar:force, one may not want the scrolling filename in the progress bar. By passing the “noscroll” parameter, Wget2 can be forced to display as much of the filename as possible without scrolling through it.

Note that you can set the default style using the “progress” command in .wgetrc. That setting may be overridden from the command line. For example, to force the bar output without scrolling, use –progress=bar:force:noscroll.


Force Wget2 to display the progress bar in any verbosity.

By default, Wget2 only displays the progress bar in verbose mode. One may however, want Wget2 to display the progress bar on screen in conjunction with any other verbosity modes like –no-verbose or –quiet. This is often a desired a property when invoking Wget2 to download several small/large files. In such a case, Wget2 could simply be invoked with this parameter to get a much cleaner output on the screen.

This option will also force the progress bar to be printed to stderr when used alongside the –logfile option.

-N, --timestamping

Turn on time-stamping.


Do not send If-Modified-Since header in -N mode. Send preliminary HEAD request instead. This has only effect in -N mode.


Don’t set the local file’s timestamp by the one on the server.

By default, when a file is downloaded, its timestamps are set to match those from the remote file. This allows the use of –timestamping on subsequent invocations of Wget2. However, it is sometimes useful to base the local file’s timestamp on when it was actually downloaded; for that purpose, the –no-use-server-timestamps option has been provided.

-S, --server-response

Print the response headers sent by HTTP servers.


When invoked with this option, Wget2 will behave as a Web spider, which means that it will not download the pages, just check that they are there. For example, you can use Wget2 to check your bookmarks:

wget2 --spider --force-html -i bookmarks.html

This feature needs much more work for Wget2 to get close to the functionality of real web spiders.

-T seconds, --timeout=seconds

Set the network timeout to seconds seconds. This is equivalent to specifying --dns-timeout, --connect-timeout, and --read-timeout, all at the same time.

When interacting with the network, Wget2 can check for timeout and abort the operation if it takes too long. This prevents anomalies like hanging reads and infinite connects. The only timeout enabled by default is a 900-second read timeout. Setting a timeout to 0 disables it altogether. Unless you know what you are doing, it is best not to change the default timeout settings.

All timeout-related options accept decimal values, as well as subsecond values. For example, 0.1 seconds is a legal (though unwise) choice of timeout. Subsecond timeouts are useful for checking server response times or for testing network latency.


Set the DNS lookup timeout to seconds seconds. DNS lookups that don’t complete within the specified time will fail. By default, there is no timeout on DNS lookups, other than that implemented by system libraries.


Set the connect timeout to seconds seconds. TCP connections that take longer to establish will be aborted. By default, there is no connect timeout, other than that implemented by system libraries.


Set the read (and write) timeout to seconds seconds. The “time” of this timeout refers to idle time: if, at any point in the download, no data is received for more than the specified number of seconds, reading fails and the download is restarted. This option does not directly affect the duration of the entire download.

Of course, the remote server may choose to terminate the connection sooner than this option requires. The default read timeout is 900 seconds.


Limit the download speed to amount bytes per second. Amount may be expressed in bytes, kilobytes with the k suffix, or megabytes with the m suffix. For example, –limit-rate=20k will limit the retrieval rate to 20KB/s. This is useful when, for whatever reason, you don’t want Wget2 to consume the entire available bandwidth.

This option allows the use of decimal numbers, usually in conjunction with power suffixes; for example, –limit-rate=2.5k is a legal value.

Note that Wget2 implements the limiting by sleeping the appropriate amount of time after a network read that took less time than specified by the rate. Eventually this strategy causes the TCP transfer to slow down to approximately the specified rate. However, it may take some time for this balance to be achieved, so don’t be surprised if limiting the rate doesn’t work well with very small files.

-w seconds, --wait=seconds

Wait the specified number of seconds between the retrievals. Use of this option is recommended, as it lightens the server load by making the requests less frequent. Instead of in seconds, the time can be specified in minutes using the “m” suffix, in hours using “h” suffix, or in days using “d” suffix.

Specifying a large value for this option is useful if the network or the destination host is down, so that Wget2 can wait long enough to reasonably expect the network error to be fixed before the retry. The waiting interval specified by this function is influenced by “–random-wait”, which see.


If you don’t want Wget2 to wait between every retrieval, but only between retries of failed downloads, you can use this option. Wget2 will use linear backoff, waiting 1 second after the first failure on a given file, then waiting 2 seconds after the second failure on that file, up to the maximum number of seconds you specify.

By default, Wget2 will assume a value of 10 seconds.


Some web sites may perform log analysis to identify retrieval programs such as Wget2 by looking for statistically significant similarities in the time between requests. This option causes the time between requests to vary between 0.5 and 1.5 ### wait seconds, where wait was specified using the –wait option, in order to mask Wget2’s presence from such analysis.

A 2001 article in a publication devoted to development on a popular consumer platform provided code to perform this analysis on the fly. Its author suggested blocking at the class C address level to ensure automated retrieval programs were blocked despite changing DHCP-supplied addresses.

The --random-wait option was inspired by this ill-advised recommendation to block many unrelated users from a web site due to the actions of one.


If no argument is given, we try to stay backward compatible with Wget1.x and don’t use proxies, even if the appropriate *_proxy environment variable is defined.

If a comma-separated list of exceptions (domains/IPs) is given, these exceptions are accessed without usign a proxy. It overrides the `no_proxy' environment variable.

-Q quota, --quota=quota

Specify download quota for automatic retrievals. The value can be specified in bytes (default), kilobytes (with k suffix), or megabytes (with m suffix).

Note that quota will never affect downloading a single file. So if you specify

wget2 -Q10k

all of the bigfile.gz will be downloaded. The same goes even when several URLs are specified on the command-line. However, quota is respected when retrieving either recursively, or from an input file. Thus you may safely type

wget2 -Q2m -i sites

download will be aborted when the quota is exceeded.

Setting quota to 0 or to inf unlimits the download quota.


Turn off caching of DNS lookups. Normally, Wget2 remembers the IP addresses it looked up from DNS so it doesn’t have to repeatedly contact the DNS server for the same (typically small) set of hosts it retrieves from. This cache exists in memory only; a new Wget2 run will contact DNS again.

However, it has been reported that in some situations it is not desirable to cache host names, even for the duration of a short-running application like Wget2. With this option Wget2 issues a new DNS lookup (more precisely, a new call to “gethostbyname” or “getaddrinfo”) each time it makes a new connection. Please note that this option will not affect caching that might be performed by the resolving library or by an external caching layer, such as NSCD.

If you don’t understand exactly what this option does, you probably won’t need it.


Change which characters found in remote URLs must be escaped during generation of local filenames. Characters that are restricted by this option are escaped, i.e. replaced with %HH, where HH is the hexadecimal number that corresponds to the restricted character. This option may also be used to force all alphabetical cases to be either lower- or uppercase.

By default, Wget2 escapes the characters that are not valid or safe as part of file names on your operating system, as well as control characters that are typically unprintable. This option is useful for changing these defaults, perhaps because you are downloading to a non-native partition, or because you want to disable escaping of the control characters, or you want to further restrict characters to only those in the ASCII range of values.

The modes are a comma-separated set of text values. The acceptable values are unix, windows, nocontrol, ascii, lowercase, and uppercase. The values unix and windows are mutually exclusive (one will override the other), as are lowercase and uppercase. Those last are special cases, as they do not change the set of characters that would be escaped, but rather force local file paths to be converted either to lower- or uppercase.

When “unix” is specified, Wget2 escapes the character / and the control characters in the ranges 0–31 and 128–159. This is the default on Unix-like operating systems.

When “windows” is given, Wget2 escapes the characters , |, /, :, ?, ", *, <, >, and the control characters in the ranges 0–31 and 128–159. In addition to this, Wget2 in Windows mode uses + instead of : to separate host and port in local file names, and uses @ instead of ? to separate the query portion of the file name from the rest. Therefore, a URL that would be saved as in Unix mode would be saved as in Windows mode. This mode is the default on Windows.

If you specify nocontrol, then the escaping of the control characters is also switched off. This option may make sense when you are downloading URLs whose names contain UTF-8 characters, on a system which can save and display filenames in UTF-8 (some possible byte values used in UTF-8 byte sequences fall in the range of values designated by Wget2 as “controls”).

The ascii mode is used to specify that any bytes whose values are outside the range of ASCII characters (that is, greater than 127) shall be escaped. This can be useful when saving filenames whose encoding does not match the one used locally.

-4, --inet4-only, -6, --inet6-only

Force connecting to IPv4 or IPv6 addresses. With –inet4-only or -4, Wget2 will only connect to IPv4 hosts, ignoring AAAA records in DNS, and refusing to connect to IPv6 addresses specified in URLs. Conversely, with –inet6-only or -6, Wget2 will only connect to IPv6 hosts and ignore A records and IPv4 addresses.

Neither options should be needed normally. By default, an IPv6-aware Wget2 will use the address family specified by the host’s DNS record. If the DNS responds with both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, Wget2 will try them in sequence until it finds one it can connect to. (Also see “–prefer-family” option described below.)

These options can be used to deliberately force the use of IPv4 or IPv6 address families on dual family systems, usually to aid debugging or to deal with broken network configuration. Only one of –inet6-only and –inet4-only may be specified at the same time. Neither option is available in Wget2 compiled without IPv6 support.


When given a choice of several addresses, connect to the addresses with specified address family first. The address order returned by DNS is used without change by default.

This avoids spurious errors and connect attempts when accessing hosts that resolve to both IPv6 and IPv4 addresses from IPv4 networks. For example, resolves to 2001:200:0:8002:203:47ff:fea5:3085 and to When the preferred family is “IPv4”, the IPv4 address is used first; when the preferred family is “IPv6”, the IPv6 address is used first; if the specified value is “none”, the address order returned by DNS is used without change.

Unlike -4 and -6, this option doesn’t inhibit access to any address family, it only changes the order in which the addresses are accessed. Also note that the reordering performed by this option is stable—it doesn’t affect order of addresses of the same family. That is, the relative order of all IPv4 addresses and of all IPv6 addresses remains intact in all cases.


Enable support for TCP Fast Open (TFO) (default: on).

TFO reduces connection latency by 1 RT on “hot” connections (2nd+ connection to the same host in a certain amount of time).

Currently this works on recent Linux and OSX kernels, on HTTP and HTTPS.


Enable DNS caching (default: on).

Keep results of DNS lookups in memory to speed up connections.


Consider “connection refused” a transient error and try again. Normally Wget2 gives up on a URL when it is unable to connect to the site because failure to connect is taken as a sign that the server is not running at all and that retries would not help. This option is for mirroring unreliable sites whose servers tend to disappear for short periods of time.

--user=user, --password=password

Specify the username user and password password for HTTP file retrieval. This overrides the lookup of credentials in the .netrc file (–netrc is enabled by default). These parameters can be overridden using the –http-user and –http-password options for HTTP(S) connections.

If neither –http-proxy-user nor –http-proxy-password is given these settings are also taken for proxy authentication.


Prompt for a password on the command line. Overrides the password set by –password (if any).


Prompt for a user and password using the specified command. Overrides the user and/or password set by –user/–password (if any).


Turn off internationalized URI (IRI) support. Use –iri to turn it on. IRI support is activated by default.

You can set the default state of IRI support using the “iri” command in .wgetrc. That setting may be overridden from the command line.


Force Wget2 to use encoding as the default system encoding. That affects how Wget2 converts URLs specified as arguments from locale to UTF-8 for IRI support.

Wget2 use the function “nl_langinfo()” and then the “CHARSET” environment variable to get the locale. If it fails, ASCII is used.


Force Wget2 to use encoding as the default remote server encoding. That affects how Wget2 converts URIs found in files from remote encoding to UTF-8 during a recursive fetch. This options is only useful for IRI support, for the interpretation of non-ASCII characters.

For HTTP, remote encoding can be found in HTTP “Content-Type” header and in HTML “Content-Type http-equiv” meta tag.


Use the specified encoding for the URLs read from --input-file. The default is the local encoding.

Force Wget2 to unlink file instead of clobbering existing file. This option is useful for downloading to the directory with hardlinks.


Remove HTTP GET Variables from URLs. For example “main.css?v=123” will be changed to “main.css”. Be aware that this may have unintended side effects, for example “image.php?name=sun” will be changed to “image.php”. The cutting happens before adding the URL to the download queue.


Remove HTTP GET Variables from filenames. For example “main.css?v=123” will be changed to “main.css”.

Be aware that this may have unintended side effects, for example “image.php?name=sun” will be changed to “image.php”. The cutting happens when saving the file, after downloading.

File names obtained from a “Content-Disposition” header are not affected by this setting (see –content-disposition), and can be a solution for this problem.

When “–trust-server-names” is used, the redirection URL is affected by this setting.


Download large files in multithreaded chunks. This switch specifies the size of the chunks, given in bytes if no other byte multiple unit is specified. By default it’s set on 0/off.


Specifies the maximum number of concurrent download threads for a resource. The default is 5 but if you want to allow more or fewer this is the option to use.

-s, --verify-sig

Enable PGP signature verification. When enabled Wget2 will attempt to download and verify PGP signatures against their corresponding files. When enabled, any file downloaded that has a content type beginning with application/ will cause Wget2 to request a signature file for that file. The name of the signature file is computed by appending the extension to the full path of the file that was just downloaded. The extension used is defined by the --signature-extensions option. If the content type for the signature request is application/pgp-signature, Wget2 will attempt to verify the signature against the original file.


Specify the file extensions for signature files, without the leading “.”. You may specify multiple extensions as a comma separated list. All the provided extensions will be tried simultaneously when looking for the signature file. The default is “sig”.


Specifies the gnupg home directory to use when verifying PGP signatures on downloaded files. The default for this is your system’s default home directory.


Instructs Wget2 to keep files that don’t pass PGP signature validation. The default is to delete files that fail validation.


Saves documents metadata as “user POSIX Extended Attributes” (default: on). This feature only works if the file system supports it. More info on

Wget2 currently sets * user.xdg.origin.url * user.xdg.referrer.url * user.mime_type * user.charset

To display the extended attributes of a file (Linux): getfattr -d <file>

Follow/process metalink URLs without saving them (default: on).

Metalink files describe downloads incl. mirrors, files, checksums, signatures. This allows chunked downloads, automatically taking the nearest mirrors, preferring the fastest mirrors and checking the download for integrity.


Enables disk synching after each write (default: off).


Set max. number of parallel streams per HTTP/2 connection (default: 30).

Directory Options

-nd, --no-directories

Do not create a hierarchy of directories when retrieving recursively. With this option turned on, all files will get saved to the current directory, without clobbering (if a name shows up more than once, the filenames will get extensions .n).

-x, --force-directories

The opposite of -nd—create a hierarchy of directories, even if one would not have been created otherwise. E.g. wget2 -x will save the downloaded file to

-nH, --no-host-directories

Disable generation of host-prefixed directories. By default, invoking Wget2 with -r will create a structure of directories beginning with This option disables such behavior.


Use the protocol name as a directory component of local file names. For example, with this option, wget2 -r will save to https/ rather than just to


Ignore a number of directory components. This is useful for getting a fine-grained control over the directory where recursive retrieval will be saved.

Take, for example, the directory at If you retrieve it with -r, it will be saved locally under While the -nH option can remove the part, you are still stuck with pub/sub/. This is where --cut-dirs comes in handy; it makes Wget2 not “see” a number of remote directory components. Here are several examples of how --cut-dirs option works. No options -> --cut-dirs=1 -> --cut-dirs=2 -> -nH -> pub/sub/ -nH --cut-dirs=1 -> sub/ -nH --cut-dirs=2 -> . If you just want to get rid of the directory structure, this option is similar to a combination of -nd and -P. However, unlike -nd, --cut-dirs does not lose with subdirectories. For instance, with -nH --cut-dirs=1, a beta/ subdirectory will be placed to sub/beta/, as one would expect.

-P prefix, --directory-prefix=prefix

Set directory prefix to prefix. The directory prefix is the directory where all other files and subdirectories will be saved to, i.e. the top of the retrieval tree. The default is . (the current directory).

HTTP Options


Use name as the default file name when it isn’t known (i.e., for URLs that end in a slash), instead of index.html.


Set the default port for HTTP URLs (default: 80).

This is mainly for testing purposes.


Set the default port for HTTPS URLs (default: 443).

This is mainly for testing purposes.

-E, --adjust-extension

If a file of type application/xhtml+xml or text/html is downloaded and the URL does not end with the regexp \.[Hh][Tt][Mm][Ll]?, this option will cause the suffix .html to be appended to the local filename. This is useful, for instance, when you’re mirroring a remote site that uses .asp pages, but you want the mirrored pages to be viewable on your stock Apache server. Another good use for this is when you’re downloading CGI-generated materials. A URL like will be saved as article.cgi?25.html.

Note that filenames changed in this way will be re-downloaded every time you re-mirror a site, because Wget2 can’t tell that the local X.html file corresponds to remote URL X (since it doesn’t yet know that the URL produces output of type text/html or application/xhtml+xml.

Wget2 will also ensure that any downloaded files of type text/css end in the suffix .css.

At some point in the future, this option may well be expanded to include suffixes for other types of content, including content types that are not parsed by Wget.

--http-user=user, --http-password=password

Specify the user and password for HTTP authentication. According to the type of the challenge, Wget will encode them using either the “basic” (insecure), the “digest”, or the Windows “NTLM” authentication scheme.

If possible, put your credentials into ~/.netrc (see also --netrc and --netrc-file options) or into ~/.wgetrc. This is far more secure than using the command line which can be seen by any other user. If the passwords are really important, do not leave them lying in those files either. Edit the files and delete them after Wget2 has started the download.

Also see --use-askpass and --ask-password for an interactive method to provide your password.

--http-proxy-user=user, --http-proxy-password=password

Specify the user and password for HTTP proxy authentication. See --http-user for details.


Set comma-separated list of HTTP proxies. The environment variable `http_proxy' will be overridden.

Exceptions can be set via the environment variable `no_proxy' or via --no-proxy.


Set comma-separated list of HTTPS proxies. The environment variable `https_proxy' will be overridden.

Exceptions can be set via the environment variable `no_proxy' or via --no-proxy.


Turn off the “keep-alive” feature for HTTP(S) downloads. Normally, Wget2 asks the server to keep the connection open so that, when you download more than one document from the same server, they get transferred over the same TCP connection. This saves time and at the same time reduces the load on the server.

This option is useful when, for some reason, persistent (keep-alive) connections don’t work for you, for example due to a server bug or due to the inability of server-side scripts to cope with the connections.


Disable server-side cache. In this case, Wget2 will send the remote server an appropriate directive (Pragma: no- cache) to get the file from the remote service, rather than returning the cached version. This is especially useful for retrieving and flushing out-of-date documents on proxy servers.

Caching is allowed by default.


Disable the use of cookies. Cookies are a mechanism for maintaining server-side state. The server sends the client a cookie using the “Set-Cookie” header, and the client responds with the same cookie upon further requests. Since cookies allow the server owners to keep track of visitors and for sites to exchange this information, some consider them a breach of privacy. The default is to use cookies; however, storing cookies is not on by default.

--load-cookies file

Load cookies from file before the first HTTP(S) retrieval. file is a textual file in the format originally used by Netscape’s cookies.txt file.

You will typically use this option when mirroring sites that require that you be logged in to access some or all of their content. The login process typically works by the web server issuing an HTTP cookie upon receiving and verifying your credentials. The cookie is then resent by the browser when accessing that part of the site, and so proves your identity.

Mirroring such a site requires Wget2 to send the same cookies your browser sends when communicating with the site. This is achieved by –load-cookies—simply point Wget2 to the location of the cookies.txt file, and it will send the same cookies your browser would send in the same situation. Different browsers keep textual cookie files in different locations:

“Netscape 4.x.” The cookies are in ~/.netscape/cookies.txt.

“Mozilla and Netscape 6.x.” Mozilla’s cookie file is also named cookies.txt, located somewhere under ~/.mozilla, in the directory of your profile. The full path usually ends up looking somewhat like ~/.mozilla/default/some-weird- string/cookies.txt.

“Internet Explorer.” You can produce a cookie file Wget2 can use by using the File menu, Import and Export, Export Cookies. This has been tested with Internet Explorer 5; it is not guaranteed to work with earlier versions.

“Other browsers.” If you are using a different browser to create your cookies, –load-cookies will only work if you can locate or produce a cookie file in the Netscape format that Wget2 expects.

If you cannot use --load-cookies, there might still be an alternative. If your browser supports a “cookie manager”, you can use it to view the cookies used when accessing the site you’re mirroring. Write down the name and value of the cookie, and manually instruct Wget2 to send those cookies, bypassing the “official” cookie support:

wget2 --no-cookies --header "Cookie: <name>=<value>"

--save-cookies file

Save cookies to file before exiting. This will not save cookies that have expired or that have no expiry time (so-called “session cookies”), but also see –keep-session-cookies.


When specified, causes –save-cookies to also save session cookies. Session cookies are normally not saved because they are meant to be kept in memory and forgotten when you exit the browser. Saving them is useful on sites that require you to log in or to visit the home page before you can access some pages. With this option, multiple Wget2 runs are considered a single browser session as far as the site is concerned.

Since the cookie file format does not normally carry session cookies, Wget2 marks them with an expiry timestamp of 0. Wget2’s –load-cookies recognizes those as session cookies, but it might confuse other browsers. Also note that cookies so loaded will be treated as other session cookies, which means that if you want –save-cookies to preserve them again, you must use –keep-session-cookies again.

Load the public suffixes used for cookie checking from the given file.

Normally, the underlying libpsl loads this data from a system file or it has the data built in. In some cases you might want to load an updated PSL, e.g. from

The PSL allows to prevent setting of “super-cookies” that lead to cookie privacy leakage. More details can be found on


Unfortunately, some HTTP servers (CGI programs, to be more precise) send out bogus “Content-Length” headers, which makes Wget2 go wild, as it thinks not all the document was retrieved. You can spot this syndrome if Wget retries getting the same document again and again, each time claiming that the (otherwise normal) connection has closed on the very same byte.

With this option, Wget2 will ignore the “Content-Length” header—as if it never existed.


Send header-line along with the rest of the headers in each HTTP request. The supplied header is sent as-is, which means it must contain name and value separated by colon, and must not contain newlines.

You may define more than one additional header by specifying –header more than once.

wget2 --header='Accept-Charset: iso-8859-2' \
--header='Accept-Language: hr' \

Specification of an empty string as the header value will clear all previous user-defined headers.

This option can be used to override headers otherwise generated automatically. This example instructs Wget2 to connect to localhost, but to specify in the “Host” header:

wget2 --header="Host:" http://localhost/


Specifies the maximum number of redirections to follow for a resource. The default is 20, which is usually far more than necessary. However, on those occasions where you want to allow more (or fewer), this is the option to use.

--proxy-user=user, --proxy-password=password

Specify the username user and password password for authentication on a proxy server. Wget2 will encode them using the “basic” authentication scheme.

Security considerations similar to those with --http-password pertain here as well.


Include `Referer: url’ header in HTTP request. Useful for retrieving documents with server-side processing that assume they are always being retrieved by interactive web browsers and only come out properly when Referer is set to one of the pages that point to them.


Save the headers sent by the HTTP server to the file, preceding the actual contents, with an empty line as the separator.

-U agent-string, --user-agent=agent-string

Identify as agent-string to the HTTP server.

The HTTP protocol allows the clients to identify themselves using a “User-Agent” header field. This enables distinguishing the WWW software, usually for statistical purposes or for tracing of protocol violations. Wget normally identifies as Wget/version, version being the current version number of Wget.

However, some sites have been known to impose the policy of tailoring the output according to the “User-Agent”-supplied information. While this is not such a bad idea in theory, it has been abused by servers denying information to clients other than (historically) Netscape or, more frequently, Microsoft Internet Explorer. This option allows you to change the “User-Agent” line issued by Wget. Use of this option is discouraged, unless you really know what you are doing.

Specifying empty user agent with –user-agent="" instructs Wget2 not to send the “User-Agent” header in HTTP requests.

--post-data=string, --post-file=file

Use POST as the method for all HTTP requests and send the specified data in the request body. –post-data sends string as data, whereas –post-file sends the contents of file. Other than that, they work in exactly the same way. In particular, they both expect content of the form “key1=value1&key2=value2”, with percent-encoding for special characters; the only difference is that one expects its content as a command-line parameter and the other accepts its content from a file. In particular, –post-file is not for transmitting files as form attachments: those must appear as “key=value” data (with appropriate percent-coding) just like everything else. Wget2 does not currently support “multipart/form-data” for transmitting POST data; only “application/x-www-form-urlencoded”. Only one of –post-data and –post-file should be specified.

Please note that wget2 does not require the content to be of the form “key1=value1&key2=value2”, and neither does it test for it. Wget2 will simply transmit whatever data is provided to it. Most servers however expect the POST data to be in the above format when processing HTML Forms.

When sending a POST request using the --post-file option, Wget2 treats the file as a binary file and will send every character in the POST request without stripping trailing newline or formfeed characters. Any other control characters in the text will also be sent as-is in the POST request.

Please be aware that Wget2 needs to know the size of the POST data in advance. Therefore the argument to “–post-file” must be a regular file; specifying a FIFO or something like /dev/stdin won’t work. It’s not quite clear how to work around this limitation inherent in HTTP/1.0. Although HTTP/1.1 introduces chunked transfer that doesn’t require knowing the request length in advance, a client can’t use chunked unless it knows it’s talking to an HTTP/1.1 server. And it can’t know that until it receives a response, which in turn requires the request to have been completed – a chicken-and-egg problem.

If Wget2 is redirected after the POST request is completed, its behaviour depends on the response code returned by the server. In case of a 301 Moved Permanently, 302 Moved Temporarily or 307 Temporary Redirect, Wget2 will, in accordance with RFC2616, continue to send a POST request. In case a server wants the client to change the Request method upon redirection, it should send a 303 See Other response code.

This example shows how to log in to a server using POST and then proceed to download the desired pages, presumably only accessible to authorized users:

# Log in to the server. This can be done only once.
wget2 --save-cookies cookies.txt \
--post-data 'user=foo&password=bar' \
# Now grab the page or pages we care about.
wget2 --load-cookies cookies.txt \

If the server is using session cookies to track user authentication, the above will not work because --save-cookies will not save them (and neither will browsers) and the cookies.txt file will be empty. In that case use –keep-session-cookies along with –save-cookies to force saving of session cookies.


For the purpose of RESTful scripting, Wget2 allows sending of other HTTP Methods without the need to explicitly set them using –header=Header-Line. Wget2 will use whatever string is passed to it after –method as the HTTP Method to the server.

--body-data=Data-String, --body-file=Data-File

Must be set when additional data needs to be sent to the server along with the Method specified using --method. --body-data sends string as data, whereas –body-file sends the contents of file. Other than that, they work in exactly the same way.

Currently, --body-file is not for transmitting files as a whole. Wget2 does not currently support “multipart/form-data” for transmitting data; only “application/x-www-form-urlencoded”. In the future, this may be changed so that wget2 sends the –body-file as a complete file instead of sending its contents to the server. Please be aware that Wget2 needs to know the contents of BODY Data in advance, and hence the argument to –body-file should be a regular file. See –post-file for a more detailed explanation. Only one of –body-data and –body-file should be specified.

If Wget2 is redirected after the request is completed, Wget2 will suspend the current method and send a GET request till the redirection is completed. This is true for all redirection response codes except 307 Temporary Redirect which is used to explicitly specify that the request method should not change. Another exception is when the method is set to “POST”, in which case the redirection rules specified under --post-data are followed.


If this is set to on, experimental (not fully-functional) support for “Content-Disposition” headers is enabled. This can currently result in extra round-trips to the server for a “HEAD” request, and is known to suffer from a few bugs, which is why it is not currently enabled by default.

This option is useful for some file-downloading CGI programs that use “Content-Disposition” headers to describe what the name of a downloaded file should be.


If this is set to on, wget2 will not skip the content when the server responds with a http status code that indicates error.


If this is set to on, on a redirect the last component of the redirection URL will be used as the local file name. By default it is used the last component in the original URL.


If this option is given, Wget2 will send Basic HTTP authentication information (plaintext username and password) for all requests.

Use of this option is not recommended, and is intended only to support some few obscure servers, which never send HTTP authentication challenges, but accept unsolicited auth info, say, in addition to form-based authentication.


If this TYPE(identity, gzip, deflate, xz, lzma, br, bzip2 or any combination of it) is given, Wget2 will set “Accept-Encoding” header accordingly. --no-compression means no “Accept-Encoding” header at all. To set “Accept-Encoding” to a custom value, use --no-compression in combination with --header="Accept-Encoding: xxx".

Compatibility-Note: none type in Wget 1.X has the same meaning as identity type in Wget2.


To support encrypted HTTP (HTTPS) downloads, Wget2 must be compiled with an external SSL library. The current default is GnuTLS. In addition, Wget2 also supports HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security). If Wget2 is compiled without SSL support, none of these options are available.


Choose the secure protocol to be used (default: auto).

Legal values are auto, SSLv3, TLSv1 and PFS. If auto is used, the TLS library’s default is used.

Specifying SSLv3, TLSv1 forces the use of the corresponding protocol. This is useful when talking to old and buggy SSL server implementations that make it hard for the underlying TLS library to choose the correct protocol version.

Specifying PFS enforces the use of the so-called Perfect Forward Security cipher suites. In short, PFS adds security by creating a one-time key for each TLS connection. It has a bit more CPU impact on client and server. We use known to be secure ciphers (e.g. no MD4) and the TLS protocol.

Any other protocol string is directly given to the TLS library, currently GnuTLS, as a “priority” or “cipher” string. This is for users who know what they are doing.


When in recursive mode, only HTTPS links are followed.


Don’t check the server certificate against the available certificate authorities. Also don’t require the URL host name to match the common name presented by the certificate.

The default is to verify the server’s certificate against the recognized certificate authorities, breaking the SSL handshake and aborting the download if the verification fails. Although this provides more secure downloads, it does break interoperability with some sites that worked with previous Wget versions, particularly those using self-signed, expired, or otherwise invalid certificates. This option forces an “insecure” mode of operation that turns the certificate verification errors into warnings and allows you to proceed.

If you encounter “certificate verification” errors or ones saying that “common name doesn’t match requested host name”, you can use this option to bypass the verification and proceed with the download. Only use this option if you are otherwise convinced of the site’s authenticity, or if you really don’t care about the validity of its certificate. It is almost always a bad idea not to check the certificates when transmitting confidential or important data. For self-signed/internal certificates, you should download the certificate and verify against that instead of forcing this insecure mode. If you are really sure of not desiring any certificate verification, you can specify –check-certificate=quiet to tell Wget2 to not print any warning about invalid certificates, albeit in most cases this is the wrong thing to do.


Use the client certificate stored in file. This is needed for servers that are configured to require certificates from the clients that connect to them. Normally a certificate is not required and this switch is optional.


Specify the type of the client certificate. Legal values are PEM (assumed by default) and DER, also known as ASN1.


Read the private key from file. This allows you to provide the private key in a file separate from the certificate.


Specify the type of the private key. Accepted values are PEM (the default) and DER.


Use file as the file with the bundle of certificate authorities (“CA”) to verify the peers. The certificates must be in PEM format.

Without this option Wget2 looks for CA certificates at the system-specified locations, chosen at OpenSSL installation time.


Specifies directory containing CA certificates in PEM format. Each file contains one CA certificate, and the file name is based on a hash value derived from the certificate. This is achieved by processing a certificate directory with the “c_rehash” utility supplied with OpenSSL. Using --ca-directory is more efficient than --ca-certificate when many certificates are installed because it allows Wget2 to fetch certificates on demand.

Without this option Wget2 looks for CA certificates at the system-specified locations, chosen at OpenSSL installation time.


Specifies a CRL file in file. This is needed for certificates that have been revocated by the CAs.


[OpenSSL and LibreSSL only] Use file as the source of random data for seeding the pseudo-random number generator on systems without /dev/urandom.

On such systems the SSL library needs an external source of randomness to initialize. Randomness may be provided by EGD (see –egd-file below) or read from an external source specified by the user. If this option is not specified, Wget2 looks for random data in $RANDFILE or, if that is unset, in $HOME/.rnd.

If you’re getting the “Could not seed OpenSSL PRNG; disabling SSL.” error, you should provide random data using some of the methods described above.


[OpenSSL only] Use file as the EGD socket. EGD stands for Entropy Gathering Daemon, a user-space program that collects data from various unpredictable system sources and makes it available to other programs that might need it. Encryption software, such as the SSL library, needs sources of non-repeating randomness to seed the random number generator used to produce cryptographically strong keys.

OpenSSL allows the user to specify his own source of entropy using the “RAND_FILE” environment variable. If this variable is unset, or if the specified file does not produce enough randomness, OpenSSL will read random data from EGD socket specified using this option.

If this option is not specified (and the equivalent startup command is not used), EGD is never contacted. EGD is not needed on modern Unix systems that support /dev/urandom.


Wget2 supports HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security, RFC 6797) by default. Use --no-hsts to make Wget2 act as a non-HSTS-compliant UA. As a consequence, Wget2 would ignore all the “Strict-Transport-Security” headers, and would not enforce any existing HSTS policy.


By default, Wget2 stores its HSTS database in ~/.wget-hsts. You can use –hsts-file to override this. Wget2 will use the supplied file as the HSTS database. Such file must conform to the correct HSTS database format used by Wget. If Wget2 cannot parse the provided file, the behaviour is unspecified.

The Wget2’s HSTS database is a plain text file. Each line contains an HSTS entry (ie. a site that has issued a “Strict-Transport-Security” header and that therefore has specified a concrete HSTS policy to be applied). Lines starting with a dash (“#”) are ignored by Wget. Please note that in spite of this convenient human-readability hand-hacking the HSTS database is generally not a good idea.

An HSTS entry line consists of several fields separated by one or more whitespace:

<hostname> SP [<port>] SP <include subdomains> SP <created> SP <max-age>

The hostname and port fields indicate the hostname and port to which the given HSTS policy applies. The port field may be zero, and it will, in most of the cases. That means that the port number will not be taken into account when deciding whether such HSTS policy should be applied on a given request (only the hostname will be evaluated). When port is different to zero, both the target hostname and the port will be evaluated and the HSTS policy will only be applied if both of them match. This feature has been included for testing/development purposes only. The Wget2 testsuite (in testenv/) creates HSTS databases with explicit ports with the purpose of ensuring Wget2’s correct behaviour. Applying HSTS policies to ports other than the default ones is discouraged by RFC 6797 (see Appendix B “Differences between HSTS Policy and Same-Origin Policy”). Thus, this functionality should not be used in production environments and port will typically be zero. The last three fields do what they are expected to. The field include_subdomains can either be 1 or 0 and it signals whether the subdomains of the target domain should be part of the given HSTS policy as well. The created and max-age fields hold the timestamp values of when such entry was created (first seen by Wget) and the HSTS-defined value `max-age', which states how long should that HSTS policy remain active, measured in seconds elapsed since the timestamp stored in created. Once that time has passed, that HSTS policy will no longer be valid and will eventually be removed from the database.

If you supply your own HSTS database via –hsts-file, be aware that Wget2 may modify the provided file if any change occurs between the HSTS policies requested by the remote servers and those in the file. When Wget2 exists, it effectively updates the HSTS database by rewriting the database file with the new entries.

If the supplied file does not exist, Wget2 will create one. This file will contain the new HSTS entries. If no HSTS entries were generated (no “Strict-Transport-Security” headers were sent by any of the servers) then no file will be created, not even an empty one. This behaviour applies to the default database file (~/.wget-hsts) as well: it will not be created until some server enforces an HSTS policy.

Care is taken not to override possible changes made by other Wget2 processes at the same time over the HSTS database. Before dumping the updated HSTS entries on the file, Wget2 will re-read it and merge the changes.

Using a custom HSTS database and/or modifying an existing one is discouraged. For more information about the potential security threats arised from such practice, see section 14 “Security Considerations” of RFC 6797, specially section 14.9 “Creative Manipulation of HSTS Policy Store”.


Enable HTTP Public Key Pinning (HPKP) (default: on).

This is a Trust On First Use (TOFU) mechanism to add another security layer to HTTPS (RFC 7469). It persistently stores the data into ~/.wget-hpkp which can be changed via the --hpkp-fileoption.


For HPKP (--hpkp) you need the certificate key data of a previously established TLS session. Wget2 persistently stores this data in the given file (default: ~/.wget-hpkp).

To disable persistent storage use --no-hpkp-file.


Enable TLS Session Resumption which is disabled as default.

There are several security flaws related to TLS 1.2 session resumption which are explained in detail at:


For TLS Session Resumption (--tls-resume) you need the session data of a previously established TLS session. Wget2 persistently stores this data in the given file (default: ~/.wget-session).

To disable persistent storage use --no-tls-session-file.


Enable TLS False start (default: on).

This reduces TLS negotiation by one RT and thus speeds up HTTPS connections.

More details at


Enable TLS SNI verification (default: on).


Enable OCSP server access to check the possible revocation the HTTPS server certificate(s) (default: on).

This procedure is pretty slow (connect to server, HTTP request, response) and thus we support OSCP stapling (server sends OCSP response within TLS handshake) and persistent OCSP caching.


Enable support for OCSP stapling (default: on).


Set the file for persistent OCSP response caching (default: ~/.wget-ocsp).

To disable persistent OCSP caching use --no-ocsp-file.


Enable HTTP/2 protocol (default: on).

Wget2 requests HTTP/2 via ALPN. If available it is preferred over HTTP/1.1. Up to 30 streams are used in parallel within a single connection.


Sets the GnuTLS “priority” string (see

This is for experts only. Normally you would use --secure-protocol to set predefined priority strings.


Sets how to deal with URLs that are not explicitly HTTPS (where scheme isn’t https://) (default: none)


Use HTTP for URLs without scheme. In recursive operation the scheme of the parent document is taken as default.


Try HTTPS first when the scheme is HTTP or not given. On failure fall back to HTTP.


Only use HTTPS, no matter if a HTTP scheme is given or not. Do not fall back to HTTP.

Recursive Retrieval Options

-r, --recursive

Turn on recursive retrieving. The default maximum depth is 5.

-l depth, --level=depth

Specify recursion maximum depth level depth.


This option tells Wget2 to delete every single file it downloads, after having done so. It is useful for pre- fetching popular pages through a proxy, e.g.:

wget2 -r -nd --delete-after

The -r option is to retrieve recursively, and -nd to not create directories.

Note that when –delete-after is specified, –convert-links is ignored, so .orig files are simply not created in the first place.

After the download is complete, convert the links in the document to make them suitable for local viewing. This affects not only the visible hyperlinks, but any part of the document that links to external content, such as embedded images, links to style sheets, hyperlinks to non-HTML content, etc.

Each link will be changed in one of the two ways:

The links to files that have been downloaded by Wget2 will be changed to refer to the file they point to as a relative link.

Example: if the downloaded file /foo/doc.html links to /bar/img.gif, also downloaded, then the link in doc.html will be modified to point to ../bar/img.gif. This kind of transformation works reliably for arbitrary combinations of directories.

The links to files that have not been downloaded by Wget2 will be changed to include host name and absolute path of the location they point to.

Example: if the downloaded file /foo/doc.html links to /bar/img.gif (or to ../bar/img.gif), then the link in doc.html will be modified to point to

Because of this, local browsing works reliably: if a linked file was downloaded, the link will refer to its local name; if it was not downloaded, the link will refer to its full Internet address rather than presenting a broken link. The fact that the former links are converted to relative links ensures that you can move the downloaded hierarchy to another directory.

Note that only at the end of the download can Wget2 know which links have been downloaded. Because of that, the work done by -k will be performed at the end of all the downloads.


This option converts only the filename part of the URLs, leaving the rest of the URLs untouched. This filename part is sometimes referred to as the “basename”, although we avoid that term here in order not to cause confusion.

It works particularly well in conjunction with --adjust-extension, although this coupling is not enforced. It proves useful to populate Internet caches with files downloaded from different hosts.

Example: if some link points to // with –adjust-extension asserted and its local destination is intended to be ./, then the link would be converted to // Note that only the filename part has been modified. The rest of the URL has been left untouched, including the net path (“//”) which would otherwise be processed by Wget2 and converted to the effective scheme (ie. “https://”).

-K, --backup-converted

When converting a file, back up the original version with a .orig suffix. Affects the behavior of -N.

-m, --mirror

Turn on options suitable for mirroring. This option turns on recursion and time-stamping, sets infinite recursion depth. It is currently equivalent to -r -N -l inf.

-p, --page-requisites

This option causes Wget2 to download all the files that are necessary to properly display a given HTML page. This includes such things as inlined images, sounds, and referenced stylesheets.

Ordinarily, when downloading a single HTML page, any requisite documents that may be needed to display it properly are not downloaded. Using -r together with -l can help, but since Wget2 does not ordinarily distinguish between external and inlined documents, one is generally left with “leaf documents” that are missing their requisites.

For instance, say document 1.html contains an <IMG> tag referencing 1.gif and an <A> tag pointing to external document 2.html. Say that 2.html is similar but that its image is 2.gif and it links to 3.html. Say this continues up to some arbitrarily high number.

If one executes the command:

wget2 -r -l 2 https://<site>/1.html

then 1.html, 1.gif, 2.html, 2.gif, and 3.html will be downloaded. As you can see, 3.html is without its requisite 3.gif because Wget2 is simply counting the number of hops (up to 2) away from 1.html in order to determine where to stop the recursion. However, with this command:

wget2 -r -l 2 -p https://<site>/1.html

all the above files and 3.html’s requisite 3.gif will be downloaded. Similarly,

wget2 -r -l 1 -p https://<site>/1.html

will cause 1.html, 1.gif, 2.html, and 2.gif to be downloaded. One might think that:

wget2 -r -l 0 -p https://<site>/1.html

would download just 1.html and 1.gif, but unfortunately this is not the case, because -l 0 is equivalent to -l inf—that is, infinite recursion. To download a single HTML page (or a handful of them, all specified on the command-line or in a -i URL input file) and its (or their) requisites, simply leave off -r and -l:

wget2 -p https://<site>/1.html

Note that Wget2 will behave as if -r had been specified, but only that single page and its requisites will be downloaded. Links from that page to external documents will not be followed. Actually, to download a single page and all its requisites (even if they exist on separate websites), and make sure the lot displays properly locally, this author likes to use a few options in addition to -p:

wget2 -E -H -k -K -p https://<site>/<document>

To finish off this topic, it’s worth knowing that Wget2’s idea of an external document link is any URL specified in an <A> tag, an <AREA> tag, or a <LINK> tag other than <LINK REL="stylesheet">.


Obsolete option for compatibility with Wget1.x. Wget2 always terminates comments at the first occurrence of -->, as popular browsers do.


Enable the Robots Exclusion Standard (default: on).

For each visited domain, download /robots.txt first and follow it’s rules. You should respect the domain owner’s rules and turn this off only for very good reasons.

When enabled, the robots.txt file is also scanned for sitemaps. These are lists of pages / files available for download that not necessarily are available via recursive scanning.

Recursive Accept/Reject Options

-A acclist, --accept=acclist, -R rejlist, --reject=rejlist

Specify comma-separated lists of file name suffixes or patterns to accept or reject. Note that if any of the wildcard characters, *, ?, [, ], appear in an element of acclist or rejlist, it will be treated as a pattern, rather than a suffix. In this case, you have to enclose the pattern into quotes to prevent your shell from expanding it, like in -A "*.mp3" or -A '*.mp3'.

--accept-regex=urlregex, --reject-regex=urlregex

Specify a regular expression to accept or reject file names.


Specify the regular expression type. Possible types are posix or pcre. Note that to be able to use pcre type, wget2 has to be compiled with libpcre support.


Apply the accept and reject filters on the URL before starting a download.

-D domain-list, --domains=domain-list

Set domains to be followed. domain-list is a comma-separated list of domains. Note that it does not turn on -H.


Specify the domains that are not to be followed.


Wget2 has an internal table of HTML tag / attribute pairs that it considers when looking for linked documents during a recursive retrieval. If a user wants only a subset of those tags to be considered, however, he or she should be specify such tags in a comma-separated list with this option.


This is the opposite of the –follow-tags option. To skip certain HTML tags when recursively looking for documents to download, specify them in a comma-separated list.

In the past, this option was the best bet for downloading a single page and its requisites, using a command-line like:

wget2 --ignore-tags=a,area -H -k -K -r https://<site>/<document>

However, the author of this option came across a page with tags like “” and came to the realization that specifying tags to ignore was not enough. One can’t just tell Wget2 to ignore “”, because then stylesheets will not be downloaded. Now the best bet for downloading a single page and its requisites is the dedicated –page-requisites option.


Ignore case when matching files and directories. This influences the behavior of -R, -A, -I, and -X options. For example, with this option, -A "*.txt" will match file1.txt, but also file2.TXT, file3.TxT, and so on. The quotes in the example are to prevent the shell from expanding the pattern.

-H, --span-hosts

Enable spanning across hosts when doing recursive retrieving.

-L, --relative

Follow relative links only. Useful for retrieving a specific home page without any distractions, not even those from the same hosts.

-I list, --include-directories=list

Specify a comma-separated list of directories you wish to follow when downloading. Elements of list may contain wildcards.

-X list, --exclude-directories=list

Specify a comma-separated list of directories you wish to exclude from download. Elements of list may contain wildcards.

-np, --no-parent

Do not ever ascend to the parent directory when retrieving recursively. This is a useful option, since it guarantees that only the files below a certain hierarchy will be downloaded.


Specify a comma-separated list of MIME types that will be downloaded. Elements of list may contain wildcards. If a MIME type starts with the character `!' it won’t be downloaded, this is useful when trying to download something with exceptions. For example, download everything except images:

wget2 https://<site>/<document> --filter-mime-type=*,\!image/*

It is also useful to download files that are compatible with an application of your system. For instance, download every file that is compatible with LibreOffice Writer from a website using the recursive mode:

wget2 -r https://<site>/<document> --filter-mime-type=$(sed -r '/^MimeType=/!d;s/^MimeType=//;s/;/,/g' /usr/share/applications/libreoffice-writer.desktop)

Plugin Options


Print a list all available plugins and exit.


Load file as plugin.


Load a plugin with a given name from the configured plugin directories.


Set plugin directories. directories is a comma-separated list of directories.


Print the help messages from all loaded plugins.


Set a plugin specific command line option.

option is in the format <plugin_name>.<option>[=value].


Wget2 supports proxies for both HTTP and HTTPS retrievals. The standard way to specify proxy location, which Wget recognizes, is using the following environment variables:



If set, the http_proxy and https_proxy variables should contain the URLs of the proxies for HTTP and HTTPS connections respectively.


This variable should contain a comma-separated list of domain extensions proxy should not be used for. For instance, if the value of no_proxy is, proxy will not be used to retrieve documents from *

Exit Status

Wget2 may return one of several error codes if it encounters problems.

0 No problems occurred.
1 Generic error code.
2 Parse error---for instance, when parsing command-line options, the .wgetrc or .netrc...
3 File I/O error.
4 Network failure.
5 SSL verification failure.
6 Username/password authentication failure.
7 Protocol errors.
8 Server issued an error response.
9 Public key missing from keyring.
10 A Signature verification failed.

With the exceptions of 0 and 1, the lower-numbered exit codes take precedence over higher-numbered ones, when multiple types of errors are encountered.



Default location of the global startup file.


User startup file.


You are welcome to submit bug reports via the GNU Wget2 bug tracker (

Before actually submitting a bug report, please try to follow a few simple guidelines.

Please try to ascertain that the behavior you see really is a bug. If Wget2 crashes, it’s a bug. If Wget2 does not behave as documented, it’s a bug. If things work strange, but you are not sure about the way they are supposed to work, it might well be a bug, but you might want to double-check the documentation and the mailing lists.
Try to repeat the bug in as simple circumstances as possible. E.g. if Wget2 crashes while downloading wget2 -rl0 -kKE -t5 --no-proxy -o /tmp/log, you should try to see if the crash is repeatable, and if will occur with a simpler set of options. You might even try to start the download at the page where the crash occurred to see if that page somehow triggered the crash.

Also, while I will probably be interested to know the contents of your .wgetrc file, just dumping it into the debug message is probably a bad idea. Instead, you should first try to see if the bug repeats with .wgetrc moved out of the way. Only if it turns out that .wgetrc settings affect the bug, mail me the relevant parts of the file.

Please start Wget2 with -d option and send us the resulting output (or relevant parts thereof). If Wget2 was compiled without debug support, recompile it—it is much easier to trace bugs with debug support on.

Note: please make sure to remove any potentially sensitive information from the debug log before sending it to the bug address. The -d won’t go out of its way to collect sensitive information, but the log will contain a fairly complete transcript of Wget2’s communication with the server, which may include passwords and pieces of downloaded data. Since the bug address is publically archived, you may assume that all bug reports are visible to the public.

If Wget2 has crashed, try to run it in a debugger, e.g. gdb `which wget` core and type “where” to get the backtrace. This may not work if the system administrator has disabled core files, but it is safe to try.

See also

This is not the complete manual for GNU Wget. For more complete information, including more detailed explanations of some of the options, and a number of commands available for use with .wgetrc files and the -e option, see the GNU Info entry for wget.


Wget2 written by Tim Rühsen <>

Wget 1.x originally written by Hrvoje Niki <>


Copyright (C) 2012-2015 Tim Rühsen

Copyright (C) 2015-2018 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled “GNU Free Documentation License”.

GNU Wget2 User Manual