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How can I make a POST request with the cURL command-line tool?

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6 Answers 6

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With fields:

curl --data "param1=value1&param2=value2" https://example.com/resource.cgi


curl --form "fileupload=@my-file.txt" https://example.com/resource.cgi

Multipart with fields and a filename:

curl --form "fileupload=@my-file.txt;filename=desired-filename.txt" --form param1=value1 --form param2=value2 https://example.com/resource.cgi

Without data:

curl --data '' https://example.com/resource.cgi

curl -X POST https://example.com/resource.cgi

curl --request POST https://example.com/resource.cgi

For more information see the cURL manual. The cURL tutorial on emulating a web browser is helpful.

With libcurl, use the curl_formadd() function to build your form before submitting it in the usual way. See the libcurl documentation for more information.

For large files, consider adding parameters to show upload progress:

curl --tr-encoding -X POST -v -# -o output -T filename.dat \

The -o output is required, otherwise no progress bar will appear.

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@LauriRanta --data-urlencode (no dash), in recent versions at least –  waitinforatrain Feb 12 '13 at 12:34
--data '' works if there is no POST data, but the recipient requires a request to be POSTed. –  Daniel Beck Apr 27 '13 at 13:15
Also works if you need to update a resource with a PUT: curl -X PUT ... –  Subfuzion Jan 22 '14 at 4:38
-X POST would do a POST request without data as well. –  Koen. Feb 21 '14 at 9:11
I'm having trouble understanding... when would I do it With Fields, when with Multipart and when Without Data? –  Imray Sep 21 '14 at 11:05

For a RESTful HTTP POST containing XML:

curl -X POST -d @filename.txt http://example.com/path/to/resource --header "Content-Type:text/xml"

or for JSON, use this:

curl -X POST -d @filename.txt http://example.com/path/to/resource --header "Content-Type:application/json"

This will read the contents of the file named filename.txt and send it as the post request.

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If your endpoint is expecting text/xml, append --header "Content-Type:text/xml" to your parameters. –  Naftuli Tzvi Kay Oct 19 '11 at 0:16
Could you provide some explanation about what your code does? –  Tom Wijsman Nov 5 '11 at 1:36
If you are sending json, you can specify the content type with: --header "Content-Type:application/json" –  Juha Palomäki Mar 20 '12 at 16:13
@tom-wijsman explanation: curl -X POST implies an HTTP POST request, the -d parameter (long version: --data) tells curl that what follows will be POST parameters, and @filename designates the contents of the file filename as parameter. This approach works best with RESTful HTTP APIs as found at Twitter, Facebook, various other web services including Ruby on Rails as well as HTTP APIs of databases such as CouchDB. REST stands for Representational state transfer –  soundmonster Jun 27 '12 at 11:27
How is this more RESTful than other ways though? –  Niklas Berglund Oct 3 '12 at 15:59
curl -d "name=Rafael%20Sagula&phone=3320780" http://www.where.com/guest.cgi 

is the example found in the Curl Example Manual.

Use %26 for the ampersands though if the above doesn't work:

curl -d "name=Rafael%20Sagula%26phone=3320780" http://www.where.com/guest.cgi 
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The link is 404. –  s_a Feb 25 '14 at 20:59
Link appears to be working now. –  user13743 Mar 17 '14 at 19:01

Data from stdin: use -d @-. Example:

echo '{"text": "Hello **world**!"}' | curl -d @- https://api.github.com/markdown


<p>Hello <strong>world</strong>!</p>
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If you want to login to a site, do the following:

curl -d "username=admin&password=admin&submit=Login" --dump-header headers http://localhost/Login
curl -L -b headers http://localhost/

The first request saves the session cookie (that is provided upon successful login) in the "headers" file. From now on you can use that cookie to authenticate you to any part of the website that you usually access after logging in with a browser.

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a note from curl's man page: 'The -c, --cookie-jar option is however a better way to store cookies.' –  maxschlepzig Dec 28 '13 at 15:14
curl -v --data-ascii var=value http://example.com

and there are many more options, check curl --help for more information.

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protected by studiohack May 11 '11 at 16:02

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