When interacting with remote servers using Wget, there are times when you may need to send specific cookie values. This could be due to the server expecting certain cookies for authentication or to maintain a session. Cookies are crucial for tasks such as automated downloading of authenticated content or scraping websites that require session maintenance.
Using cookies with Wget allows for a more flexible and efficient downloading experience, especially when dealing with websites that have session or login requirements. Fortunately, Wget offers the capability to use custom cookie values via a cookies file or through direct command-line options.
For a more secure and reliable approach, it's recommended to export the cookies from a web browser after logging in and then use that file with Wget. Most modern browsers provide extensions or developer tools for exporting cookies in the necessary format.
$ vi cookies.txt
Example cookie file content:
# Netscape HTTP Cookie File .example.com TRUE / FALSE 1634390400 SESSIONID abcd1234efgh5678 .sub.example.com TRUE / FALSE 1634490500 USERID JohnDoe
|Domain||The domain of the cookie. Usually set to the domain of the website.|
|Flag||A boolean field (TRUE/FALSE) indicating if all machines within a given domain can access the cookie.|
|Path||The path to which the cookie is available.|
|Secure||A boolean field (TRUE/FALSE) indicating if the browser should only send the cookie over secure HTTPS connections.|
|Expiration||The expiration time of the cookie in Unix timestamp format.|
|Name||The name of the cookie.|
|Value||The value of the cookie.|
$ wget --load-cookies cookies.txt https://www.example.com/download.zip
This command instructs Wget to use the cookies from cookies.txt when making the request.
$ wget --header="Cookie: key1=value1; key2=value2" https://www.example.com
Ensure you're aware of the cookie's purpose and lifespan. Directly specifying cookies without a clear understanding can lead to unintended behavior or potential security issues.
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