Hide The Output From wget

This won’t be a very complicated article and will only apply to those who want to hide the output from wget. It’s just a matter of a simple flag so that it won’t be a very long article.

You can download from the terminal. You can transfer files from the terminal. One of the tools for this is wget. There’s also curl, but this article won’t be complicated and will only apply to those who want to hide the output from wget.

This could probably be called a short, but it’s something I wanted to cover.


You probably won’t need to install wget. It’s one of those tools that you’ll find installed by default. It’s a pretty handy tool. You can verify that wget is an available application with this command:

The output should match this:

If you want to see why I’d cover such a small piece of wget, check the man page with the following command:

First, you’ll see the description of wget, which is this:

Wget – The non-interactive network downloader.

Now scroll down…

Keep scrolling…

And keep going…

There’s a whole lot to the wget command. It’s a very complicated command. If you’re a new Linux user, you will be overwhelmed by this man page. 

This is the sort of command that you can learn to use bit by bit. You don’t need to learn everything. You almost certainly don’t need everything. That doesn’t mean you can’t use it for useful tasks.

I often use the wget command. I use it not only with my Lubuntu testing but also with my regular activities. I’ll often find the URL for a file and then use wget to download the file. When I do that, it’s because I want to monitor the output.

Other times, I don’t want to monitor the output. So, for that, I use wget in quiet mode. That’s what this article is about.

Hide The Output From wget:

The wget application is an application used in the terminal. I believe there are download managers that are GUIs that use wget in the background. We’ll ignore those and use the terminal. So, press CTRL + ALT + T and let’s learn how to hide the output from wget.

The command you’re after is just the wget command with the -q flag. It would look something like this:

The thing is, this now means that you no longer see the progress. You can tell wget to keep trying until it performs as expected. That’s the ‘complete’ flag ( -c) and looks like this:

You can try this on your own with this command:

That’s a pretty small file, so it won’t take a lot of time. 

You won’t see any messages in your terminal, it will just download the file.

You can test this by running ls in your terminal after the fact. You’ll happily see that you’ve downloaded a file called ‘sort.txt’ and that it kept trying until it was completed.

So, now you know how to hide the output from wget…


So, yeah, this probably could have been labeled a ‘short’ article, but I didn’t do so. I try to use that title for things that aren’t as involved, just a simple command in other words. This is pretty simple, but it’s also something you might use regularly.

The wget command is this hulking command with a bunch of options. Not even I fully understand all of the options and I’ve been using the application for years. There’s just a lot to it and that’s far more than we’ll ever cover and far more than most of you will ever use. Still, it can be a pretty handy command and you’ll see more of it in the future.

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Author: KGIII

Retired mathematician, residing in the mountains of Maine. I may be old and wise, but I am not infallible. Please point out any errors. And, as always, thanks again for reading.

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