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How To

How to Install and Use Curl on Ubuntu

Curl not found? Before you use it, Curl needs to be installed first. Here's how to install Curl on Ubuntu and use it for downloading files.

Sagar Sharma

You went on following one of our tutorials involving the use of Curl the chances of you might end up getting an error something like this:

Command 'curl' not found. but can be installed with

curl not found

The above command involved the usage of curl for installing Oh My Zsh to configure Zsh in Ubuntu. So what should be the next step?

Well, I'm here to show you the quick way of installing Curl with some basic use cases to empower your Linux journey!!

Install Curl Using apt in Ubuntu

Well, this is what I prefer as snaps are not what I prefer the most. And utilizing the default repository for installing packages is a convenient way to manage packages in an easy way!

So a single command as always and you'd be good to go:

sudo apt install curl

And to check the installed version, you just have to pair curl with --version as given:

curl --version
check curl version in ubuntu

And here you have it!

Install Curl as a Snap Package

Well, if you're dealing with servers with no GUI involved, there's where the snaps shine and I love running them over my remote machines.

Also, snaps are going to get you a newer version of the package compared to what the default repository offers.

So if you want to utilize snap to install curl, Its as simple as the  given command:

sudo snap install curl
install curl using snap

As you can see, it got me to curl version 7.84 which is 3-point releases ahead of what UI got using apt.

Use Curl in Ubuntu

This section is only going to cover some basics examples of Curl and if you're curious to learn more advanced use cases, I'd recommend checking out the other guide:

Curl Command in Linux [21 Practical Examples]
Learn some essential and some pro tips and tricks about using the Curl command in Linux.

You'd often see curl involved in downloading packages but do you know that it was created in such a way that it won't require any user interaction to work!!

So let's start with downloading files.

Download Files Using Curl

Well, the basic syntax for downloading any file is to pair curl command with the -O option and destination link:

curl -O Destination_Link
download files using curl

Yep, it is that easy.

Download the File with Custom Name

Well, the default file names of downloaded files are generally long and I tend to rename after them once they are done being downloaded.

And curl will save you from this headache as you can specify the filename at the time of command execution.

curl -o Custom_FileName Download_Link

So for example, I renamed the jpg file here:

Have a custom filename while downloading files using curl

Make sure to use -o in lowercase.

Resume Download using Curl

There are many factors that may interrupt the download process and you can resume download with the help of -C -  option.  

curl -C - O PreviousDownloadURL
resume downloads using curl

Check Connectivity to Server using Curl

I know there are various networking commands to troubleshoot networking issues but curl can also be used to get your job done.

It will return the HTML code of a specified site if it's working fine. And it is quite easy too.

Just pair the URL with curl and that's it:

curl URL
check connectivity with server using curl

Wrapping Up

In this guide, I explained how you could install curl in Ubuntu by snap and default package manager and also included some basic examples to get you started with it.

And if you have any doubts, feel free to ask in the comments!!

Sagar Sharma