Do you curl a lot to check headers?

05 September 2014   6 comments   Linux

Mind that age!

This blog post is 6 years old! Most likely, its content is outdated. Especially if it's technical.

I, multiple times per day, find myself wanting to find out what headers I get back on a URL but I don't care about the response payload. The command to use then is:

curl -v > /dev/null

That'll print out all the headers sent and received. Nice and crips.

So because I type this every day I made it into a shortcut script

cd ~/bin
echo '#!/bin/bash
> set -x
> curl -v "$@" > /dev/null
> ' > c
chmod +x c

If it's not clear what the code looks like, it's this:

set -x
curl -v "$@" > /dev/null

Now I can just type:


Or if I want to add some extra request headers for example:

c -H 'User-Agent: foobar'


Chris Adams

I did that a lot but now I just `pip install --user httpie`. It has the nice default of not dumping binary data to the console and pretty-printing text responses (no more compressed HTML or JSON blobs) and "http --print h …" will always print only the headers.

James Edward Gray II

curl -I …

Peter Bengtsson

The server might respond differently if given a HEAD request.

James Socol

`curl -i`, doesn't default to HEAD and includes headers in the output.

Jarod McBride

Peter, thanks for the post. What's the difference you get from the above as opposed to running curl -v -I ?

Peter Bengtsson

First of all, the difference is that "curl -v" is 7 characters. Just "c" is 1 character :)
This matters if you type it a lot.

Also, the -I means it does a HEAD request and the server might respond differently. For example the Content-Length header might be wrong/different.

Your email will never ever be published

Related posts

An AngularJS directive with itself as the attribute 03 September 2014
Premailer on Python 3 08 October 2014
Related by Keyword:
redirect-chain - Getting a comfortable insight input URL redirects history 14 February 2020
How to NOT start two servers on the same port 11 June 2018
How to test if gzip is working on your site or app 20 August 2015
Interesting lesson learnt on shortcut taking in usability 02 August 2007