Native alternative to wget in Windows PowerShell?

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QUESTION :

I know I can download and install the aformentioned library (wget for Windows), but my question is this:

In Windows PowerShell, is there a native alternative to wget?

I need wget simply to retrieve a file from a given URL with HTTP GET. For instance:

wget http://www.google.com/

ANSWER :

Here’s a simple PS 3.0 and later one-liner that works and doesn’t involve much PS barf:

wget http://blog.stackexchange.com/ -OutFile out.html

Note that:

  • wget is an alias for Invoke-WebRequest
  • Invoke-WebRequest returns a HtmlWebResponseObject, which contains a lot of useful HTML parsing properties such as Links, Images, Forms, InputFields, etc., but in this case we’re just using the raw Content
  • The file contents are stored in memory before writing to disk, making this approach unsuitable for downloading large files
  • On Windows Server Core installations, you’ll need to write this as

    wget http://blog.stackexchange.com/ -UseBasicParsing -OutFile out.html
    
  • Prior to Sep 20 2014, I suggested

    (wget http://blog.stackexchange.com/).Content >out.html
    

    as an answer.  However, this doesn’t work in all cases, as the > operator (which is an alias for Out-File) converts the input to Unicode.

If you are using Windows 7, you will need to install version 4 or newer of the Windows Management Framework.

You may find that doing a $ProgressPreference = "silentlyContinue" before Invoke-WebRequest will significantly improve download speed with large files; this variable controls whether the progress UI is rendered.

If you just need to retrieve a file, you can use the DownloadFile method of the WebClient object:

$client = New-Object System.Net.WebClient
$client.DownloadFile($url, $path)

Where $url is a string representing the file’s URL, and $path is representing the local path the file will be saved to.

Note that $path must include the file name; it can’t just be a directory.

There is Invoke-WebRequest in the upcoming PowerShell version 3:

Invoke-WebRequest http://www.google.com/ -OutFile c:google.html

It’s a bit messy but there is this blog post which gives you instructions for downloading files.

Alternatively (and this is one I’d recommend) you can use BITS:

Import-Module BitsTransfer
Start-BitsTransfer -source "http://urlToDownload"

It will show progress and will download the file to the current directory.

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