Have you ever been browsing the internet and found a really cool website that has a bunch of files that you want, say pdfs or mp3s? In Windows it can be a pain to scrape through the site and download all the files. You may be able to write a slick python script to acomplish this, but why reinvent the wheel? Native in Linux is the program wget, which can also be used in windows, GNU wget.

To get started, on a Linux computer, open your terminal and type

man wget

This shows the manual for wget for when you get stuck. But for now, we don't need it, so type q to quit. OK, time for the rubber to hit the road. Enter

wget www.ifcuriousthenlearn.com

This downloads the html file that is at that url. Easy huh? Lets try something a little more complicated, lets say download a pdf

wget http://www.aopa.org/airports/CLE/kneeboard.pdf

And this downloads the pdf from the url. Wow, can it really be this easy? YES, yes it can. It just takes a while to find cool tools like this.

Here is a more advanced example. This wget command searches recursivley and downloads the entire website given.

wget --recursive http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Engineering/Courses/En221/

The problem with this is that it will follow any links as it recurses through the site, and we don't want that. So, by adding another flag, called --domains, we limit the command to the domain of the main site.

wget --domains www.brown.edu --recursive http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Engineering/Courses/En221/

What if we just want to download certain file types? Here, use the --accept flag with the file extension

wget --accept .pdf --domains www.brown.edu --recursive http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Engineering/Courses/En221/

There we have it. Have fun download the internet, saving time and exploring other awesome packages in Linux. I hope you found this useful. Please leave any comments below.

Stay Curious!


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