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

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migrated from Jun 6 '10 at 7:46

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up vote 1560 down vote

With fields:

curl --data "param1=value1&param2=value2"


curl --form "fileupload=@my-file.txt"

Multipart with fields and a filename:

curl --form "fileupload=@my-file.txt;filename=desired-filename.txt" --form param1=value1 --form param2=value2

Without data:

curl --data ''

curl -X POST

curl --request POST

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
Also works if you need to update a resource with a PUT: curl -X PUT ... – Subfuzion Jan 22 '14 at 4:38
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
Instead of --data you can use -d. – user35538 Oct 9 '15 at 16:32

For a RESTful HTTP POST containing XML:

curl -X POST -d @filename.txt --header "Content-Type:text/xml"

or for JSON, use this:

curl -X POST -d @filename.txt --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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Could you provide some explanation about what your code does? – Tom Wijsman Nov 5 '11 at 1:36
@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
@NiklasBerglund this should be addressed, there's nothing intrinsically RESTful about this, you simply have better access to request methods this way. -X is --request and any HTTP 1.1 method can be used with it (according to the docs), ie. get, post, put, delete, head, options, trace, connect and presumably patch - FWIW, RESTful implies the url represents the state being accessed, and the method (adequately) describes the operation being performed. – Slomojo Aug 17 '13 at 14:55
With my curl, it's taking @filename.txt to be commandline arguments, instead of the POST body. curl 7.43.0 (i686-pc-cygwin) libcurl/7.43.0 OpenSSL/1.0.2d zlib/1.2.8 libidn/1.29 libssh2/1.5.0 – Ross Presser Jan 22 at 21:29

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

echo '{"text": "Hello **world**!"}' | curl -d @-


<p>Hello <strong>world</strong>!</p>
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curl -d "name=Rafael%20Sagula&phone=3320780" 

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" 
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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

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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