My question is very simple : is it possible to send a HTTP request from the *nix command line specifying a file, containing all the parameters, as an argument?

In REST APIs documentation, we often see that kind of specification

POST /oauth/token HTTP/1.1
Host: api.example.com
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded


To avoid command lines that are very long and uneasy to edit, is it possible to put these informations in a file, in the above-mentioned format (which seems pretty standard) ? Ideally something with curl that would look like

curl --input-file myparameters.txt

I could not find such feature in curl documentation. Maybe with another command line tool? Thanks in advance.

  • have you tried input redirection? curl << paramfile – Frank Thomas Mar 24 '15 at 11:52
  • Thanks for your reply. I've tried it and it seems curl doesn't recognize that kind of file as a direct input – benoit Mar 24 '15 at 12:03
  • How about if you write the line GET / in a file a.a and do cat a.a | nc 80 That does work. Then maybe you can add headers to the file a.a ? – barlop Mar 24 '15 at 16:47

If you're doing it from the UNIX command line, I dont' see why it wouldn't be so difficult to create a script which essentially parses your text input and then converts it into something that curl can use at the CLI. For instance, if a line starts with 'HOST' you can use sed to create a string which represents the hostname at the end of a line which represents curl program input. The same goes for the rest.

Else, why don't you try just writing a simple client/wrapper program/script yourself? It's not that difficult, just tedious and you can always ask back here for more help (I did something similar a long while ago to test firewall setup).


  • -1 you haven't really solved anything here, your "answer" may be ok as a comment. If you think it wouldn't be so difficult then you can provide an actual answer. – barlop Mar 24 '15 at 12:32
  • well thanks for your reply but my question was not about how to develop a tool to handle parameters in a file but to know if such a tool already existed – benoit Mar 24 '15 at 15:52
  • furthermore, any answer related to developing a tool should be on stackoverflow, though this answer would be no good there either 'cos it doesn't even answer that either. – barlop Mar 24 '15 at 16:40

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