13.12. Bonus section for Unix / Linux users

If you have a Linux, Unix, or Macintosh computer, you probably have commands built in to your operating system that retrieves both plain text and binary files using the HTTP or File Transfer (FTP) protocols. One of these commands is curl:

$ curl -O http://www.py4e.com/cover.jpg

The command curl is short for “copy URL” and so the two examples listed earlier to retrieve binary files with urllib are cleverly named curl1.py and curl2.py on www.py4e.com/code3 as they implement similar functionality to the curl command. There is also a curl3.py sample program that does this task a little more effectively, in case you actually want to use this pattern in a program you are writing.

A second command that functions very similarly is wget:

$ wget http://www.py4e.com/cover.jpg

Both of these commands make retrieving webpages and remote files a simple task.

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