curl Command Resume Broken Download


know wget can resume a failed download. I am on a Mac OS X and do now want to install wget command. How can I resume a failed download using curl command on Linux or Unix-like systems?


You can continue getting a partially downloaded file using curl command. You need to pass the -C or –continue-at <offset> option resume a previous file transfer at the given offset.

curl resume broken download

COMMAND command

The syntax is as follows to to automatically find out where/how to resume the transfer using curl command:

curl -C – url


curl -L -O -C – url


curl -L -o  filename-here  -C – url

In this example, finish a download started by a previous instance of curl command:


curl -L -O -C –


Animated gif 01: Resume a broken download

If there is a file named CentOS-6.5-x86_64-bin-DVD1.iso in the current directory, curl will assume that it is the first portion of the remote file, and will ask the server to continue the retrieval from an offset equal to the length of the local file. Thus, it will result in saving both time and bandwidth.

Another example

You can continue a previous file transfer at the given offset. The given offset is the exact number of bytes that will be skipped, counting from the beginning of the source file before it is transferred to the destination. The syntax is:

curl -C offset url

In this example, retrieve ifdata-welcome-0.png file using the following command:

Get first 20000 bytes ##

curl  -o file.png –header  Range: bytes=0-20000


Resume at 20001 offset and download the rest of the file ##

curl -o file.png -C 20001


View an image file using a local image viewer ##

ls -lh file.png

open file.png

Sample outputs from ls command:

-rw-r–r–@ 1 vivek  wheel    30K Feb 28 23:24 file.png

Understanding options

-L – Follow location if HTTP 3xx status code found. For example, redirect url.

-O – Write output to a local file named like the remote file we get. Only the file part of the remote file is used, the path is cut off.

-C – Continue/Resume a previous file transfer.

-C offsetAT – Continue/Resume a previous file transfer at the given offset.

-o  filename  – Write/Save output to ‘filename’ instead of stdout/screen.

See also

Testing HTTP Status: 206 Partial Content and Range Requests

curl Linux and Unix command examples

Man pages – curl(1)



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