The non-interactive network downloader
This option causes Wget 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 Wget 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:
wget -r -l 2 http://<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 Wget 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:
wget -r -l 2 -p http://<site>/1.html
all the above files and 3.html's requisite 3.gif will be downloaded. Similarly,
wget -r -l 1 -p http://<site>/1.html
will cause 1.html, 1.gif, 2.html, and 2.gif to be downloaded. One might think that:
wget -r -l 0 -p http://<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:
wget -p http://<site>/1.html
Note that Wget 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:
wget -E -H -k -K -p http://<site>/<document>
To finish off this topic, it's worth knowing that Wget'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">".
Enable spanning across hosts when doing recursive retrieving.
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,
Each link will be changed in one of the two ways:
The links to files that have been downloaded by Wget 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 Wget 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 http://hostname/bar/img.gif.
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 Wget know which links have been downloaded. Because of
that, the work done by -k will be performed at the end of all the downloads.
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.
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 http://site.com/article.cgi?25
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 Wget 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.
As of version 1.12, Wget will also ensure that any downloaded files of type text/css end in the
suffix .css, and the option was renamed from --html-extension, to better reflect its new behavior.
The old option name is still acceptable, but should now be considered deprecated.
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.
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).
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
wget [option]... [URL]...
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"
Specifying a large value for this option is useful if the network or the destination host is down, so
that Wget 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.
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
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 Wget not to send the "User-Agent" header
in HTTP requests.
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.
If --force-html is not specified, then file should consist of a series of URLs, one per line.
However, 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 "<base href="url">" to the
documents or by specifying --base=url on the command line.
If the file is an external one, the document will be automatically treated as html if the Content-
Type matches text/html. Furthermore, the file's location will be implicitly used as base href if
none was specified.