Cookies are used to store information about a user's session or preferences. A web server typically sends them to a web browser and then returns unchanged by the browser each time it accesses that server. Cookies are used for authentication, session management, and other purposes. They can also be used to track users across multiple sites.

cURL does not automatically send or save cookies, which differs from how a web browser works. Web browsers automatically send cookies to the server and save them for future use.

However, cURL allows you to save cookies to a file and use them in future requests. Using these saved cookies with cURL enables you to script interactions with web services effectively and maintain session consistency across multiple requests. You can also manually edit the saved cookies file to suit your needs.

Steps to save cookies from cURL request:

  1. Open the terminal.
  2. Send a cURL request and save cookies to a file.
    $ curl -c cookies.txt

    The -c or –cookie-jar option saves cookies to a file. If the file does not exist, it will be created. If the file already exists, it will be overwritten.

  3. Check the content of the saved cookies file.
    $ cat cookies.txt
    # Netscape HTTP Cookie File
    # This file was generated by libcurl! Edit at your own risk.  FALSE / TRUE  0 DokuWiki  a1uvre6dbcc21ujgottgaa5bf0

    The file should contain details of all cookies set by the server during your cURL request.

  4. Use the saved cookies for a subsequent request.
    $ curl -b cookies.txt

    The -b or –cookie option sends cookies from a file. If the file does not exist, it will be ignored.

  5. Further save cookies after the subsequent request if required.
    $ curl -b cookies.txt -c cookies.txt

    Use the -b and -c options together to ensure that cookies are saved after each request.

  6. Remove or move the cookies file if it contains sensitive information.
    $ rm cookies.txt

    Always consider security when working with authentication or session cookies. Misuse or exposure can lead to unauthorized access.

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