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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

How To Use Proxy Server To Access Internet at Shell Prompt With http_proxy Variable

Q. I'm behind a squid proxy server. How do I access internet via proxy server when I use wget, lynx and other utilities from a shell prompt?

A. Linux / UNIX has environment variable called http_proxy. It allows you to connect text based session / application via the proxy server. All you need is proxy server IP and port values. This variable is almost used by all utilities such as elinks, lynx, wget, curl and others.

Set http_proxy shell variable Type the following command to set proxy server:
$ export http_proxy=http://server-ip:port/
$ export http_proxy=
$ export http_proxy=

How do I setup proxy variable for all users?
To setup the proxy environment variable as a global variable,

  • open /etc/profile file:
  • #vi /etc/profile
  • Add the following information: 
  • export http_proxy= 
  • Save and close the file. 

How do I use password protected proxy server? 
You can simply use wget as follows:
  • $ wget --proxy-user=USERNAME --proxy-password=PASSWORD
  • Lynx has following syntax: $ lynx -pauth=USER:PASSWORD
  • Curl has following syntax: $ curl --proxy-user user:password

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