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GNU Wget is a free software package for retrieving files using HTTP, HTTPS and FTP, the most widely-used Internet protocols. It is a non-interactive commandline tool, so it may easily be called from scripts, cron jobs, terminals without X-Windows support, etc. [source]


wget is normally installed as part of the base setup. If not present, install the wget package using pacman.


Configuration is performed in /etc/wgetrc. Not only is the default configuration file well documented; altering it is seldom necessary. See the man page for more intricate options.

FTP automation

Normally, SSH is used to securely transfer files among a network. However, FTP is lighter on resources compared to scp and rsyncing over SSH. FTP is not as secure, but when transfering large amounts of data inside a firewall protected environment on CPU-bound systems, using FTP can prove beneficial.

wget ftp://root:somepassword@10.13.X.Y//ifs/home/test/big/"*.tar"

3,562,035,200 74.4M/s   in 47s

In this case, Wget transfered a 3.3 G file at 74.4MB/second rate.

In short, this procedure is:

  • scriptable
  • faster than ssh
  • easily used by languages than can substitute string variables
  • globbing capable


Wget uses the standard proxy environment variables. See: Proxy settings

To use the proxy authentication feature:

$ wget --proxy-user "DOMAIN\USER" --proxy-password "PASSWORD" URL

Proxies that use HTML authentication forms are not covered.

pacman integration

To have pacman automatically use Wget and a proxy with authentication, place the Wget command into /etc/pacman.conf, in the [options] section:

XferCommand = /usr/bin/wget --proxy-user "domain\user" --proxy-password="password" --passive-ftp -c -O %o %u
Warning: be aware that storing passwords in plain text is not safe. Make sure that only root can read this file with chmod 600 /etc/pacman.conf.