An ode to curl
curl is an open-source tool and library for transferring data with URLs.
First released in 1998,
curl is not that old by UNIX standards, but still... how many programs have a shelf-life that can be measured in decades, rather than sprints? Not that many.
curl runs everywhere. It is as close to ubiquitous as software can be. If you’ve used a device that connects to the internet anytime in the last two decades, chances are you’ve unknowingly been using
curl. It is bundled inside of “thousands of software applications in over ten billion installations”. Oh, and it recently went to Mars.
And, if you’re a software engineer, you’ve probably used it directly from the command line to download a file or to test out a new API.
Here are a few cool things you probably didn’t know you can do with
curl wttr.in/SanFrancisco to check the weather without leaving the command line.
curl ipinfo.io to check information about your IP address.
curl cheat.sh/git to look up CLI tools and receive user-friendly instructions on how to use them
Encode arbitrary URLs as a QR code. For example, run
To see a dancing party parrot animation in your terminal, run
For infinite nyan cat animation, run
Crypto prices without leaving the terminal by running
To look up definitions for a word, run
PS. If you like doing cool stuff in the terminal, you should try Fig! 😊
Thanks to Daniel Stenberg for building and maintaining
curl and to all of creators of these