How can I download files (that are listed in a text file) using wget or some other automatic way?

Sample file list:


8 Answers 8


wget has a built-in flag for this: wget -i your_list, where your_list is a file containing URL's delimited by linebreaks. You can find this kind of thing by reading man wget

  • @aureianimus if I want to skip the link 2 then how?
    – alhelal
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 13:11
  • This solution worked for me. I was happy with it downloading sequentially and not in parallel.
    – asiby
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 16:14

Get them in parallel with

cat urlfile | parallel --gnu "wget {}"

By default it will run as many processes as you have cores, you can probably ramp this up another 10x if you really want to pull them down quickly by adding "-j 20" after parallel.

  • 1
    I for one just can't get it to work. I don't see any proc spawned, switching echo for wget doesn't output anything Commented May 9, 2014 at 19:10
  • 2
    Note with the 'it will run as many processes as you have cores' - network bandwidth is likely going to be more of a limiting factor.
    – Wilf
    Commented Jun 21, 2014 at 17:10
  • 2
    It really depends. For a large number of small files this can be almost an order of magnitude faster, as most of the transfer time is the handshake/TCP round trip's. Also in the situation where you are downloading from a number of smaller hosts, sometime the per connection bandwidth is limited, so this will bump things up.
    – meawoppl
    Commented Jun 23, 2014 at 17:22
  • 2
    This is pretty useful if you want to use a list of relative URLs (resource ID without hostnames) with different hostnames, example: cat urlfile | parallel --gnu "wget example1.com{}" and cat urlfile | parallel --gnu "wget example2.com{}" Commented May 14, 2015 at 2:21
  • 1
    One might add that flooding a website for a massive amount of parallel requests for large files is not particularly nice. Doesn't matter for big sites, but if it's just a smaller one you should take care.
    – Magnus
    Commented Sep 19, 2019 at 10:02

parallel has a built-in flag --arg-file (-a) that will use an input-file as the source, so you can avoid cat |. You can use

parallel --gnu -a urlfile wget

Or simply parallel --gnu wget < urlfile

xargs -i wget 'http://{}'  < your_list
awk '{print "http://" $0;}' list.txt | xargs -l1 wget

where list.txt is your list file


I saw Florian Diesch's answer.

I got it to work by including the parameter bqc in the command.

xargs -i wget -bqc 'http://{}' < download.txt

All downloads started in parallel in the background.

  • -b: Background. Go to background immediately after start
  • -q: Quiet. Turn off wget's output
  • -c: Continue. Continue getting a partially-downloaded file

Link file links.txt

Command for down load all links file

cat links.txt | wget -i
  • 5
    This does not work. wget -i links.txt is the right command.
    – Hery
    Commented Jul 8, 2018 at 0:34
  • No this is not right command. Right command is this : " cat links.txt | wget -i" Commented Jul 19, 2018 at 5:07
  • there is a dash missing
    – Summer-Sky
    Commented Feb 12, 2020 at 17:14

I just tested this:

xargs -a download_file -L1 wget

It works for me. Links inside the txt file must be in separate lines.

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