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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 1786 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? – CodyBugstein Sep 21 '14 at 11:05
Instead of --data you can use -d. – user35538 Oct 9 '15 at 16:32
i have an array of fields. how can i do this? – ARUNBALAN NV Mar 9 at 13:13

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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@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
Thanks a lot! this is exactly what I'm after. – asgs Jul 22 at 9:56

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

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


<p>Hello <strong>world</strong>!</p>
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+1 for interesting example – Brian Peterson May 23 at 6:46
Great if you have a JSON object already in clipboard – Luca Steeb May 29 at 16:12
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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