I know wget utility which retrieves files from World Wide Web (WWW) like wget http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/wget/wget-1.5.3.tar.gz But my confusion is how can i find content in directory on server without browser?is it possible using wget or curl to find files on server?

  • run wget http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/wget?
    – muru
    Mar 21, 2016 at 7:42
  • Close voters: when the answer is "you can't" that does not equate to a question being unclear.
    – psusi
    Apr 9, 2016 at 2:31

3 Answers 3


You can not search for files on a server with the HTTP protocol. The server may give you a directory listing of a directory if you request a directory path rather than a specific file and there is no default file to send available (i.e. index.html). But this directory listing is not a directory listing as the output of the shell command ls -l, but a server generated html-document which contains a well formatted and linked representation of a directory listing which, of cause, must not contain all files of the server directory.

It is up to you to analyse the delivered html document and take the information you need to traverse through the server file system.

But as I say, the server may send you that listing. But it is more common that there is a default file in the directory (i.e. index.html) which the server would deliver or that it sends you a html-document with the content "404 - Not found" to inform you, that the requested directory has no default file to deliver and that there is nothing else the server could do for you.


From man page

Wget - The non-interactive network downloader.

If you do not want to use GUI based browser, try something in commandline as lynx

$ sudo apt-get install lynx
$ lynx www.google.com

with browser cat (bcat) and wget:

sudo apt-get install ruby-bcat
wget -O - http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/wget | bcat

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