5 CLI Tools for Downloading Files and Browsing Internet

5 CLI Tools for Downloading Files and Browsing Internet

The Linux command line, the most adventurous and fascinating part of GNU/Linux, is a very cool and powerful tool. The command line itself is highly productive, and the availability of various built-in and third-party command-line applications makes Linux robust and powerful. The Linux Shell supports a variety of web applications of various kinds, be it a torrent downloader, dedicated downloader, or internet surfing.

Here, we present five excellent command-line Internet tools that are highly useful and prove to be very handy for downloading files and browsing internet in a Linux terminal.

1. rTorrent – Text-based BitTorrent Client

rTorrent is a text-based BitTorrent client written in C++, designed for high performance. It is available for most standard Linux distributions, including FreeBSD and Mac OS X.

Install rTorrent on Linux

To install rTorrent on Linux, use the following appropriate command for your specific Linux distribution.

sudo apt install rtorrent         [On Debian, Ubuntu and Mint]
sudo yum install rtorrent         [On RHEL/CentOS/Fedora and Rocky/AlmaLinux]
sudo emerge -a sys-apps/rtorrent  [On Gentoo Linux]
sudo apk add rtorrent             [On Alpine Linux]
sudo pacman -S rtorrent           [On Arch Linux]
sudo zypper install rtorrent      [On OpenSUSE]    

Check if rtorrent is installed correctly by running the following command in the terminal.

$ rtorrent
rTorrent - Text-based BitTorrent Client
rTorrent – Text-based BitTorrent Client

Here are some useful rTorrent keybindings and their respective uses.

  • CTRL+ q – Quit rTorrent Application
  • CTRL+ s – Start Download
  • CTRL+ d – Stop an active Download or Remove an already stopped Download.
  • CTRL+ k – Stop and Close an active Download.
  • CTRL+ r – Hash Check a torrent before Upload/Download Begins.
  • CTRL+ q – When this key combination is executed twice, rTorrent shuts down without sending a stop Signal.
  • Left Arrow Key – Redirect to the Previous screen.
  • Right Arrow Key – Redirect to Next Screen

2. Wget – Command Line File Downloader

Wget is a part of the GNU Project, the name is derived from the World Wide Web (WWW). Wget is a brilliant tool that is useful for recursive download, and offline viewing of HTML from a local Server and is available for most platforms be it Windows, Mac, or Linux.

Wget makes it possible to download files over HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP. Moreover, it can be useful in mirroring the whole website as well as support for proxy browsing, and pausing/resuming Downloads.

Install Wget in Linux

Wget being a GNU project comes bundled with Most of the Standard Linux Distributions and there is no need to download and install it separately. If in case, it’s not installed by default, you can still install it using apt, yum, or dnf.

sudo apt install wget         [On Debian, Ubuntu and Mint]
sudo yum install wget         [On RHEL/CentOS/Fedora and Rocky/AlmaLinux]
sudo emerge -a sys-apps/wget  [On Gentoo Linux]
sudo apk add wget             [On Alpine Linux]
sudo pacman -S wget           [On Arch Linux]
sudo zypper install wget      [On OpenSUSE]    

Basic Usage of Wget Command

Download a single file using wget.

wget http://www.website-name.com/file

Download a whole website, recursively.

wget -r http://www.website-name.com

Download specific types of files (say PDF and png) from a website.

wget -r -A png,pdf http://www.website-name.com

Wget is a wonderful tool that enables custom and filtered downloads even on a limited resource machine. A screenshot of wget download, where we are mirroring a website (yahoo.com).

Wget File Downloader
Wget File Downloader

3. cURL – Command-Line Data Transfers

cURL is a command-line tool for transferring data over a number of protocols. cURL is a client-side application that supports protocols like FTP, HTTP, FTPS, TFTP, TELNET, IMAP, POP3, etc.

cURL is a simple downloader that is different from wget in supporting LDAP, and POP3 as compared to others. Moreover, Proxy Downloading, pausing download, and resuming download are well supported in cURL.

Install cURL in Linux

By default, cURL is available in most of the distributions either in the repository or installed. if it’s not installed, just do an apt or yum to get the required package from the repository.

sudo apt install curl         [On Debian, Ubuntu and Mint]
sudo yum install curl         [On RHEL/CentOS/Fedora and Rocky/AlmaLinux]
sudo emerge -a sys-apps/curl  [On Gentoo Linux]
sudo apk add curl             [On Alpine Linux]
sudo pacman -S curl           [On Arch Linux]
sudo zypper install curl      [On OpenSUSE]    

Basic Usage of cURL Command

To download a file from the specified URL and save it with the same name as the remote file.

curl -O https://example.com/file.zip

To download multiple files concurrently in a single command.

curl -O URL1 -O URL2 -O URL3

To limit the download speed to 500 kilobytes per second.

curl --limit-rate 500k -O https://example.com/largefile.zip

To download a file from an FTP server using specified credentials.

$ rtorrent


To display only the HTTP headers of a URL.

$ rtorrent


4. w3m – Text-based Web Browser

The w3m is a text-based web browser released under GPL that allows users to browse the internet within a terminal or command-line interface. It renders web pages in plain text, providing a lightweight and efficient way to access web content without the need for a graphical user interface.

Install w3m in Linux

Again w3m is available by default in most of the Linux distributions. If in case, it is not available you can always apt or yum the required package.

$ rtorrent


To browse a website using w3m from the terminal, you can use the following command.

$ rtorrent


w3m - Terminal Web Browser
w3m – Terminal Web Browser

5. Elinks – Text-based Web Browser

Elinks is a free text-based web browser for Unix and Unix-based systems. Elinks support HTTP, and HTTP Cookies and also support browsing scripts in Perl and Ruby.

Tab-based browsing is well-supported. The best thing is that it supports Mouse, and Display Colours, and supports several protocols like HTTP, FTP, SMB, Ipv4, and Ipv6.

Install Elinks in Linux

By default elinks are also available in most Linux distributions. If not, install it via apt or yum.

$ rtorrent


To browse a website using Elinks from the terminal, you can use the following command.

$ rtorrent


Elinks - Terminal Web Browser
Elinks – Terminal Web Browser

That’s all for now. I’ll return with another captivating article that I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading. Until then, stay tuned and connected to Tecmint. Don’t forget to share your valuable feedback in the comment section.

Discover more from WIREDGORILLA

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading