Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

Using wget for Local File Transfers with Resumable Option

Ubuntu 11

In this article, we will delve into the use of wget for local file transfers, specifically focusing on its resumable option. wget is a free utility for non-interactive download of files from the web. It supports HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP protocols, as well as retrieval through HTTP proxies. While it is typically used for retrieving files from the internet, it can also be used for local file transfers.

Quick Answer

Using wget for local file transfers with the resumable option allows you to easily copy files within your own system. With wget, you can set up a local web server and download files from it using the wget command. The resumable option ensures that if the download is interrupted, you can resume it later without having to start from the beginning.

Setting Up a Local Web Server

To use wget for copying files within your own system, you first need to set up a web server to serve the files you want to copy. A simple web server like Python’s SimpleHTTPServer or http.server module can be used for this purpose.

To set up the web server, open a terminal and navigate to the directory where the files you want to copy are located. Start the web server using the following command:

cd /path/to/files
python -m SimpleHTTPServer


cd /path/to/files
python3 -m http.server

This will start a web server on localhost at port 8000.

Copying Files Using wget

Once the web server is set up, you can use the wget command to download the files from the web server. Open another terminal and use the following syntax:

wget http://localhost:8000/file_path

Replace file_path with the path to the file you want to copy. The file will be downloaded to your current directory.

Resumable Transferring with wget

By default, wget supports resumable transferring. This means that if the download is interrupted for any reason, you can resume it later by running the same wget command again. wget will check the file size and only download the remaining portion. This is particularly useful when dealing with large files or unstable network connections.

Alternatives to wget

While wget is a powerful tool, there are other utilities that may better suit your needs. Here are a few alternatives:

  • rsync: rsync is a utility designed for efficient file synchronization and transfer. It provides more advanced features than wget and is particularly effective when copying large files or directories. The command to copy files using rsync is:
rsync -aP /source_directory /destination_directory

The -a option is for archive mode, which ensures that symbolic links, devices, attributes, permissions, ownerships, etc. are preserved in the transfer. The -P option combines the functions of --progress and --partial. The former shows the progress of the file transfer, while the latter ensures that incomplete files are not deleted if there is an interruption.

  • curl: curl is another command-line tool for transferring data with URLs. It supports a wide range of protocols and is scriptable, making it a versatile tool for many applications. The command syntax is:
curl -O -C - file:///path/to/source_file

The -O flag tells curl to save the output to a local file with the same name as the source file. The -C - flag tells curl to continue/resume a previous file transfer.

  • lftp: lftp is a sophisticated file transfer program with a range of features. It supports FTP, HTTP, FISH, SFTP, HTTPS, and FTPS protocols. The command syntax is:
lftp -c "get -c file:///path/to/source_file -o /path/to/destination_file"

The -c option allows you to continue a previous transfer at the point it was interrupted. The -o option specifies the output file.

In conclusion, while wget is a powerful tool for downloading files from the internet, it can also be used for local file transfers. With the resumable option, it provides a reliable way to copy large files or handle unstable network connections. However, depending on your specific needs, other tools like rsync, curl, or lftp may be more suitable.

Can I use `wget` to transfer files between different systems?

No, wget is primarily designed for downloading files from the web. For transferring files between different systems, you may need to use other tools like rsync or scp.

How can I check the progress of a file transfer using `wget`?

wget does not provide a built-in progress bar. However, you can use the --progress=bar:force option to display a simple progress bar during the file transfer.

Can I use `wget` to download multiple files at once?

Yes, you can provide multiple file URLs to wget and it will download them sequentially. For example: wget url1 url2 url3.

Can I specify the destination directory when using `wget`?

Yes, you can use the -P or --directory-prefix option followed by the desired directory path. For example: wget -P /path/to/destination http://localhost:8000/file.

How can I limit the download speed with `wget`?

wget has a --limit-rate option that allows you to specify the maximum download speed. For example, wget --limit-rate=500k http://localhost:8000/file limits the download speed to 500 kilobytes per second.

Can I use `wget` to download only specific file types?

Yes, you can use the -A or --accept option followed by a comma-separated list of file extensions. For example: wget -A pdf,jpg http://localhost:8000/files will only download PDF and JPG files.

How can I download a file and save it with a different name using `wget`?

You can use the -O or --output-document option followed by the desired file name. For example: wget -O newfile.txt http://localhost:8000/file.

Can `wget` resume interrupted downloads from a different session?

Yes, if you have the partially downloaded file, you can use the --continue option with wget to resume the download from where it left off. For example: wget --continue http://localhost:8000/file.

Can I use `wget` with authentication?

Yes, you can provide the username and password using the --user and --password options. For example: wget --user=username --password=password http://localhost:8000/file.

Can I mirror a website using `wget`?

Yes, you can use the --mirror option with wget to create a local mirror of a website. This will download all the files necessary to replicate the website’s directory structure locally. For example: wget --mirror

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *