i have a web directory that has many folders and many sub folders containing files.

i need to download everything using wget or bash.

7 Answers 7


Try: wget -r and see if that works.

$ wget \
 --recursive \
 --no-clobber \
 --page-requisites \
 --html-extension \
 --convert-links \
 --restrict-file-names=windows \
 --domains website.org \
 --no-parent \

This command downloads the Web site www.website.org/tutorials/html/.

The options are:

  • --recursive: download the entire Web site.
  • --domains website.org: don't follow links outside website.org.
  • --no-parent: don't follow links outside the directory tutorials/html/.
  • --page-requisites: get all the elements that compose the page (images, CSS and so on).
  • --html-extension: save files with the .html extension.
  • --convert-links: convert links so that they work locally, off-line.
  • --restrict-file-names=windows: modify filenames so that they will work in Windows as well.
  • --no-clobber: don't overwrite any existing files (used in case the download is interrupted and resumed).

Link to source

Or try solution from ask Ubuntu.


The best way is:

wget -m <url>

Which is short for wget "mirror":

  -m,  --mirror             shortcut for -N -r -l inf --no-remove-listing.

wget --recursive (or whatever) didn't work for me (i'm on CentOS). lftp did it:

 lftp -c "open http://your.server/path/to/directory/; mirror"
  • 1
    The "whatever" flags are quite important... yes, wget's flags are a bit over the top, but what do you expect from a swiss army knife.
    – vonbrand
    Feb 24, 2013 at 19:50
  • 1
    lftp solved "invalid character encoding" problem I faced with wget recursive downloading when file names contain European characters like äöå.
    – ajaaskel
    Jun 9, 2019 at 13:24

See Wget Recursive Retrieval.

wget -r -l 5 -O whatever http://example.com/

You have a web directory? Is it situated on a remote machine and you can only access it through HTTP, or do you have shell access? Your mention of bash implies shell access, unless you mean using wget from the bash prompt.

Wget is not always very efficient so if you have shell access to the machine where the web directory is located and you want to download it, you could do this

$ tar cjf webdir.tar.bz2 webdir 

and then transfer the archive with ftp or scp.

  • I don't know why all the confusing questions were necessary here but this is what I ended up doing because the server configuration would not let me wget the directory. May 23, 2019 at 19:16

You could also try the following if you have an FTP account:

lftp USER:PASSWORD@FTPSERVER -e "mirror&&exit"

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