How To: Make ‘curl’ Ignore Certificate Errors

In today’s article, we’re going to learn how to make ‘curl’ ignore certificate errors. If you do a lot of ‘curl’ing, this is something you’ll want to know. It’s not a dreadfully difficult task to ignore certificate errors, just a couple of options, but we might as well learn them both today.

We have previously covered the curl command, though the article only touched the surface – covering the basics that a regular Linux user might want to know. If you’re unfamiliar with curl, it’s a tool that’s used to transfer data to or from a server. It defines itself as a tool that you use to ‘transfer a URL’ and it’s an expansive application, with myriad options only a true guru would need or want to know.

What we haven’t really covered much is SSL and certificates. Briefly, SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer” and means that there’s a secure connection between you and the site. The certificate contains information like the URL and IP address – and is the confirmation used in the secure socket layer. Meaning, the certificate matches the site and this confirmation is what lets you use SSL without any warnings. Any break in the chain should throw an error up on your screen about a broken or missing certificate.

But, what if you still need that information? What if that data is essential? If the certificate is broken then curl will throw an error and not complete the transfer. It’s for this reason that you’ll want to learn how to …

Make ‘curl’ Ignore Certificate Errors:

Obviously, curl is an application used in the terminal, so this article requires an open terminal. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

These days, everything is expected to have a security certificate and SSL. Even this site has one, as you can tell by the https:// in the URL. Some folks want them for everything on the web, but I’d contend not every site really needs to have one – especially sites that aren’t interactive and don’t collect personal information. But, I have one and would have one regardless – simply because we do exchange some personal information (like email addresses) and I want folks to know we take security seriously.

Moving on…

The syntax is simple and, again, we’re only tackling part of the curl application. It’s simply too large a program, with too many variables, to cover it all in just one article. You basically have two choices:

And the other option is:

Either of those will let  you make curl ignore certificate errors, allowing  you to fetch whatever it is you were after. I suppose you should be careful with this, always verifying what you fetch is what you were actually after. Be extra careful to ensure the address is the one intended, of course. Just practice some careful scrutiny and you’re likely to be just fine.

Closure:

Yup. Another article. This one will help you use curl and to ignore certificate errors. It’s especially useful if you use curl a great deal. If not, stick it in the back of your memory banks and recall it when you do end up needing it. You never know when a tool like this will come in handy.

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