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William J. Middleton


lwp-request, GET, HEAD, POST - Simple WWW user agent


 lwp-request [-eEdvhx] [-m method] [-b <base URL>] [-t <timeout>]
             [-i <if-modified-since>] [-c <content-type>] [-C <credentials>]
             [-p <proxy-url>] [-o <format>] <url>...


This program can be used to send requests to WWW servers and your local file system. The request content for POST, PUT and CHECKIN methods is read from stdin. The content of the response is printed on stdout. Error messages are printed on stderr. The program returns a status value indicating the number of URLs that failed.

The options are:

-m <method>

Set which method to use for the request. If this option is not used, then the method is derived from the name of the program.


Force request through, even if the program believes that the method is illegal. The server will probably reject the request.

-b <url>

This URL will be used as the base URL for the URLs that the method is applied to. The base URL only takes effect for relative URLs. If you do not provide this option and the URLs are relative, then they will be treated as files in the local file system.

-t <timeout>

Set the timeout value for the requests. The timeout is the amount of time that the program will wait for a response from the remote server before it fails. The default unit for the timeout value is seconds. You might append "m" or "h" to the timeout value to make it minutes or hours, respectively. The default timeout is '3m', i.e. 3 minutes.

-i <time>

Set the If-Modified-Since header in the request. If time it the name of a file, use the modification timestamp for this file. If time is not a file, it is parsed as a literal date. Take a look at HTTP::Date for recogniced formats.

-c <content-type>

Set the Content-Type for the request. This option is only allowed for requests that take a content, i.e. POST, PUT and CHECKIN. You can force methods to take content by using the -f option together with -c. The default Content-Type for POST is application/x-www-form-urlencoded. The default Content-type for the others is text/plain.

-p <proxy-url>

Set the proxy to be used for the requests. The program also loads proxy settings from the environment. You can disable this with the -P option.

-C <username>:<password>

Provide credentials for documents that are protected by Basic Authentication. If the document is protected and you did not specify the username and password with this option, then you will be prompted to provide these values.

The following options controls what is displayed by the program:


Print request method and absolute URL as requests are made.


Print requeset headers in addition to request method and absolute URL.


Print response status code. This option is always on for HEAD requests.


Print response status chain. This shows redirect and autorization requests that are handled by the library.


Print response headers. This option is always on for HEAD requests.


Do not print the content of the response.

-o <format>

Process HTML content in various ways before printing it. If the content type of the response is not HTML, then this option has no effect. The legal format values are; text, ps, links, html and dump.

If you specify the text format then the HTML will be formatted as plain latin1 text. If you specify the ps format then it will be formatted as Postscript.

The links format will output all links found in the HTML document. Relative links will be expanded to absolute ones.

The html format will reformat the HTML code and the dump format will just dump the HTML syntax tree.


Print the version number of the program and quit.


Print usage message and quit.


Extra debugging output.

Because this program is implemented using the LWP library, it will only support the protocols that LWP supports.


lwp-mirror, LWP


Copyright (c) 1995, 1996 Gisle Aas. All rights reserved.

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.


Gisle Aas <aas@a.sn.no>