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Screenshot of cURL command line interface.png
Sample output from curl -O
Basic data

Maintainer Daniel Stenberg
developer Daniel Stenberg u. v. a.
Publishing year April 1997
Current  version 7.72.0
( August 19, 2020 )
operating system Multiplatform
programming language C.
category Remote access
License MIT license
German speaking No

cURL ( spelled out Client for URLs or Curl URL Request Library , spoken: [ˈkər (-ə) l]) is a program library and a command line program for transferring files in computer networks . cURL is under the MIT open license and is a. has been ported to the following operating systems: Solaris , NetBSD , FreeBSD , OpenBSD , Darwin and macOS , HPUX , IRIX , AIX , Tru64 , Linux , UnixWare , HURD , Windows , AmigaOS , OS / 2 , BeOS , Ultrix , QNX , OpenVMS , RISC OS , Novell Netware and DOS . The associated program library libcurl is used by numerous programs and programming languages.


Daniel Stenberg, the programmer of cURL, began to write a program in 1997 to provide IRC participants with data on exchange rates that had to be retrieved from websites. He relied on the existing open source tool httpget . After being expanded to include other protocols, the program was first published on March 20, 1998 as cURL 4 . Originally the name stood for "see URL" and was only later reinterpreted by Stenberg after a better suggestion for the current backronym.

Range of functions

As the full name " Client for URLs " suggests, it is a command line tool for downloading or uploading files via an Internet address; POST transfers are also possible. The supported protocols as of April 2020 include: DICT , FILE, FTP , FTPS , Gopher , HTTP , HTTPS , IMAP , IMAPS , LDAP , LDAPS , POP3 , POP3S , RTMP , RTSP , SCP , SFTP , SMB , SMBS , SMTP , SMTPS , Telnet and TFTP.


cURL has long been included in many Linux distributions. Since the April 2018 update (1803), cURL has been included as an on-board tool in Windows 10 and is included in a standard installation of Windows. However, this is a little slimmed down in terms of functionality.

According to estimates, cURL or the underlying library libcurl is the most installed software in the world with an estimated 10 billion installations.


Especially among programmers and administrators, the verb " curlen " or in English " to curl " has established itself, which means something like displaying a website without a web browser.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Polhemspriset 2017 . (accessed on October 18, 2017).
  2. .
  3. Daniel Stenberg: curl 7.72.0 . August 19, 2020 (accessed August 19, 2020).
  4. curl - Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved on June 3, 2019 (English): “We pronounce curl with an initial k sound. It rhymes with words like girl and earl. This is a short WAV file to help you: "
  5. Definition of CURL. Retrieved on June 3, 2019 (English): "\ ˈkər (-ə) l \"
  6. ^ Daniel Stenberg: curl, 17 years old today . , March 20, 2015
  7. curl. Retrieved April 16, 2020 .
  8. What's new for the Command Line in Windows 10 version 1803 . In: Windows Command Line Tools For Developers . ( [accessed May 10, 2018]).
  9. ^ Daniel Stenberg: Yesterday I wanted to show off copy-as-curl from Firefox and pasted one into a Windows 10 cmdline. Bzzzt. Total fail. Microsoft never enabled the --compressed option in curl, so basically half of all such attempts won't work! = - (. In: @bagder (Twitter). December 19, 2019, accessed December 25, 2019 (English).
  10. The world's biggest curl installations | Retrieved January 31, 2020 (American English).