I‘m trying to download an ISO image for Enterprise Linux from RHN or Novell Suse. Both providers have placed ISO images behind paywall. I need to provide authentication credentials before downloading all files. How do I download ISO files using the wget command with user name and password?

You can use the Linux wget command to download large ISO files. The wget can provide user name and password for HTTP/401 Unauthorized headers using the following syntax:


wget --http-user=RHNUserName --http-password=RHNPassword 'https://content-web.rhn.redhat.com/rhn/isos/....'


wget --http-user=NovellUserName --http-password=NovellPassword 'http://download.novell.com/sendredirect....'

In this example, I’m downloading SLES 11 SP1 AMD64 workstation from my personal account, enter:

wget --http-user=MyUSERID --http-password='SecretPassword' 'http://download.novell.com/sendredirect?target=%2Fprot%2Fx4q3cbksW7Q%7E%2FSLES-11-SP1-DVD-x86_64-GM-DVD2.iso&buildid=x4q3cbksW7Q~&fileid=X4FjnhU0Qk4~&mirror=AkamaiHost&nohost=false'

Sample outputs:

Resolving download.novell.com...
Connecting to download.novell.com||:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 302 Moved Temporarily
Location: http://cdn.novell.com/prot/x4q3cbksW7Q~/SLES-11-SP1-DVD-x86_64-GM-DVD2.iso [following]
--2011-07-28 07:35:00--  http://cdn.novell.com/prot/x4q3cbksW7Q~/SLES-11-SP1-DVD-x86_64-GM-DVD2.iso
Resolving cdn.novell.com...,
Connecting to cdn.novell.com||:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 401 Unauthorized
Reusing existing connection to cdn.novell.com:80.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 4605421568 (4.3G) [application/octet-stream]
Saving to: `SLES-11-SP1-DVD-x86_64-GM-DVD2.iso.1'

45% [=============================================>                                                       ] 2,09,79,89,128  527K/s  eta 23m 36s 

Please note that user name and password may be intercepted by a third-party while in transit. So make sure you use https version for downloading files.

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8 comments… add one
  • wookie Aug 2, 2011 @ 7:21

    What about 2GB upper limit of file size when using wget? Is it still an issue?

    • 🛡️ Vivek Gite (Author and Admin) nixCraft Aug 2, 2011 @ 12:47

      No. I can download large files too such as 4.1FB DVD.

    • Gaurish Sharma Aug 4, 2011 @ 9:28

      Wget 1.10, released June 2005, introduced large file support for files greater than 2Gigs. so use wget version 1.1 or later, you won’t face any issues

      Hope it helps

  • i hack sites Aug 4, 2011 @ 3:17

    Not only is the user / password sent in clear-text but they are also going to be found in your shell history.

    Usually not a big issue, but .bash_histories are regularly checked during pentests. :)

    • lol Aug 12, 2011 @ 6:07

      So ? Who cares :p

  • Ben Tyger Aug 25, 2011 @ 16:50

    Use curl.

    #> curl –user $USERNAME ‘http://RHN URL/’
    You will be prompted for the password. There will be no password in your .bash_history. See `man curl` for more info.

  • cyclop Sep 5, 2011 @ 23:47

    Hmmmmm……but when using a proxy……???

  • Michael Tunnell Jan 22, 2013 @ 10:07

    uGet, download manager, can also use username and password logins in CLI but also in a GUI. It can also work via a proxy as well as a LOT more cool features. :)

    http://uget.visuex.com and for a list of all the features (there is a lot) go to http://uget.visuex.com/features

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