So after some time of searching on Google and Super User (and scanning man pages) I was unable to find an answer to something that (I think) should be simple:

If you go here:


And try to download the theme:


Like so:

wget http://www.vim.org/scripts/download_script.php?src_id=9750

You’ll probably end up with a file called download_script.php?src_id=9750.

But I want it to be called molokai.vim, which is what would happen if I used a browser to download this file.

What options do I need to specify for wget for the desired effect?

I'd also be ok with a Curl equivalent command.

4 Answers 4

-O file

The documents will not be written to the appropriate files, but all will be concatenated together and written to file. If - is used as file, documents will be printed to standard output, disabling link conversion. (Use ./- to print to a file literally named -.)


wget -O somefile.extension 'http://www.vim.org/scripts/download_script.php?src_id=9750'

Or, you may be able to get wget to automatically use the filename proposed by the server using the --content-disposition option if supported by your version.

wget --content-disposition 'http://www.vim.org/scripts/download_script.php?src_id=9750'

Caveats as per the man page,


If this is set to on, experimental (not fully-functional) support for "Content-Disposition" headers is enabled. This can currently result in extra round-trips to the server for a "HEAD" request, and is known to suffer from a few bugs, which is why it is not currently enabled by default.

This option is useful for some file-downloading CGI programs that use "Content-Disposition" headers to describe what the name of a downloaded file should be.

You can achieve the same automated behavior with curl, using,

curl -JLO 'http://www.vim.org/scripts/download_script.php?src_id=9750'

-O uses the remote name, and -J forces the -O to get that name from the content-disposition header rather than the URL, and -L follows redirects if needed.

  • 4
    I should've specified that this needs to be automatic
    – audio.zoom
    Jun 23, 2011 at 12:05
  • 2
    Aha - I'm wrong, see updated answer. This is why stackexchange sites work well - everyone learns something, even people answering the questions! Jun 23, 2011 at 12:20
  • 1
    Added the curl parameters that make curl work too. Jun 23, 2011 at 12:46
  • 1
    This worked for me for the stackexchange podcast, which had been bugging me for a while. Thanks. Oct 5, 2011 at 20:41
  • 2
    --content-disposition worked well (at least it appears to be downloading the correct file as I type this), whereas curl -JLO did not do the trick. I'm new to using both tools, so I wonder why the disparity. Feb 9, 2021 at 17:27

With wget you can do this:

wget --trust-server-names <url> 

to save the file using the last file name the server gives you.

  • 6
    I wonder what the difference is between --trust-server-names and --content-disposition Jun 10, 2015 at 15:43
  • 4
    Looks like --trust-server-names follows redirects to a different file, and --content-disposition names the file with the name specified in the response header without any redirecting required. Jul 6, 2015 at 10:26
  • 6
    Why isn't this default functionality?!?!
    – hopeseekr
    May 8, 2016 at 17:16
  • 14
    @hopeseekr The server might be naughty and call the file .bashrc if you are not watching carefully. lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-wget/2012-04/msg00059.html Oct 26, 2016 at 23:46
  • So helpful. I was downloading something and its name was download without any extestion. So bothering.
    – avijit
    Sep 25, 2020 at 3:09

You could also use aria2c - it seems to work nicely with the Content-Disposition headers.


Worked by following:

curl -o molokai.vim http://www.vim.org/scripts/download_script.php?src_id=9750

wget -O somefile.extension http://www.vim.org/scripts/download_script.php?src_id=9750

(changed case to smaller i.e. (the wget -O) to (wget -o)

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