[php] How to use wget in php?

I have this parameters to download a XML file:

wget --http-user=user --http-password=pass http://www.example.com/file.xml

How I have to use that in php to open this xml file?

This question is related to php wget

The answer is


wget is a linux command, not a PHP command, so to run this you woud need to use exec, which is a PHP command for executing shell commands.

exec("wget --http-user=[user] --http-password=[pass] http://www.example.com/file.xml");

This can be useful if you are downloading a large file - and would like to monitor the progress, however when working with pages in which you are just interested in the content, there are simple functions for doing just that.

The exec function is enabled by default, but may be disabled in some situations. The configuration options for this reside in your php.ini, to enable, remove exec from the disabled_functions config string.


Using file_get_contents we can retrieve the contents of the specified URL/URI. When you just need to read the file into a variable, this would be the perfect function to use as a replacement for curl - follow the URI syntax when building your URL.

// standard url
$content = file_get_contents("http://www.example.com/file.xml");

// or with basic auth
$content = file_get_contents("http://user:[email protected]/file.xml");

As noted by Sean the Bean - you may also need to change allow_url_fopen to true in your php.ini to allow the use of a URL in this method, however, this should be true by default.

If you want to then store that file locally, there is a function file_put_contents to write that into a file, combined with the previous, this could emulate a file download:

file_put_contents("local_file.xml", $content);

To run wget command in PHP you have to do following steps :

1) Allow apache server to use wget command by adding it in sudoers list.

2) Check "exec" function enabled or exist in your PHP config.

3) Run "exec" command as root user i.e. sudo user

Below code sample as per ubuntu machine

#Add apache in sudoers list to use wget command
~$ sudo nano /etc/sudoers
#add below line in the sudoers file
www-data ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/wget

##Now in PHP file run wget command as 
exec("/usr/bin/sudo wget -P PATH_WHERE_WANT_TO_PLACE_FILE URL_OF_FILE");

function wget($address,$filename)


wget(URL, FileName);

lots of methods available in php to read a file like exec, file_get_contents, curl and fopen but it depend on your requirement and file permission

Visit this file_get_contents vs cUrl

Basically file_get_contents for for you

$data = file_get_contents($file_url);

I understand you want to open a xml file using php. That's called to parse a xml file. The best reference is here.


You can use curl in order to both fetch the data, and be identified (for both "basic" and "digest" auth), without requiring extended permissions (like exec or allow_url_fopen).

$ch = curl_init();
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, "http://www.example.com/file.xml");
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, true);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_USERPWD, "user:pass");
$result = curl_exec($ch);

Your result will then be stored in the $result variable.

If using Curl in php...

function disguise_curl($url) 
  $curl = curl_init(); 

  // Setup headers - I used the same headers from Firefox version 
  // below was split up because php.net said the line was too long. :/ 
  $header[0] = "Accept: text/xml,application/xml,application/xhtml+xml,"; 
  $header[0] .= "text/html;q=0.9,text/plain;q=0.8,image/png,*/*;q=0.5"; 
  $header[] = "Cache-Control: max-age=0"; 
  $header[] = "Connection: keep-alive"; 
  $header[] = "Keep-Alive: 300"; 
  $header[] = "Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7"; 
  $header[] = "Accept-Language: en-us,en;q=0.5"; 
  $header[] = "Pragma: "; // browsers keep this blank. 

  curl_setopt($curl, CURLOPT_URL, $url); 
  curl_setopt($curl, CURLOPT_USERAGENT, 'Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.google.com/bot.html)'); 
  curl_setopt($curl, CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER, $header); 
  curl_setopt($curl, CURLOPT_REFERER, 'http://www.google.com'); 
  curl_setopt($curl, CURLOPT_ENCODING, 'gzip,deflate'); 
  curl_setopt($curl, CURLOPT_AUTOREFERER, true); 
  curl_setopt($curl, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1); 
  curl_setopt($curl, CURLOPT_TIMEOUT, 10); 

  $html = curl_exec($curl); // execute the curl command 
  curl_close($curl); // close the connection 

  return $html; // and finally, return $html 

// uses the function and displays the text off the website 
$text = disguise_curl($url); 
echo $text; 

Shellwrap is great tool for using the command-line in PHP!

Your example can be done quite easy and readable:

use MrRio\ShellWrap as sh;

$xml = (string)sh::curl(['u' => 'user:pass'], 'http://example.com/file.xml');

This method is only one class and doesn't require importing other libraries or reusing code.

Personally I use this script that I made a while ago. Located here but for those who don't want to click on that link you can view it below. It lets the developer use the static method HTTP::GET($url, $options) to use the get method in curl while being able to pass through custom curl options. You can also use HTTP::POST($url, $options) but I hardly use that method.

  *  echo HTTP::POST('http://accounts.kbcomp.co',
  *      array(
  *            'user_name'=>'[email protected]',
  *            'user_password'=>'demo1234'
  *      )
  *  );
  *  OR
  *  echo HTTP::GET('http://api.austinkregel.com/colors/E64B3B/1');

class HTTP{
   public static function GET($url,Array $options=array()){
    $ch = curl_init();
       curl_setopt_array($ch, $options);
       curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, $url);
       $json = curl_exec($ch);
       return $json;
   public static function POST($url, $postfields, $options = null){
       $ch = curl_init();
       $options = array(
          CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS => $postfields,
          CURLOPT_HEADER => true
          //CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER, array('Content-Type:application/json')
           curl_setopt_array($ch, $options);
       $json = curl_exec($ch);
       return $json;