http-headers headers - Getting only response header from HTTP POST using curl




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The other answers require the response body to be downloaded. But there's a way to make a POST request that will only fetch the header:

curl -s -I -X POST http://www.google.com

An -I by itself performs a HEAD request which can be overridden by -X POST to perform a POST (or any other) request and still only get the header data.

One can request only the headers using HTTP HEAD, as option -I in curl(1).

$ curl -I /

Lengthy HTML response bodies are a pain to get in command-line, so I'd like to get only the header as feedback for my POST requests. However, HEAD and POST are two different methods.

How do I get curl to display only response headers to a POST request?


While the other answers have not worked for me in all situations, the best solution I could find (working with POST as well), taken from here:

curl -vs 'https://some-site.com' 1> /dev/null


Much easier – this is what I use to avoid Shortlink tracking – is the following:

curl -IL http://bit.ly/in-the-shadows

…which also follows links.


-D, --dump-header <file>
       Write the protocol headers to the specified file.

       This  option  is handy to use when you want to store the headers
       that a HTTP site sends to you. Cookies from  the  headers  could
       then  be  read  in  a  second  curl  invocation by using the -b,
       --cookie option! The -c, --cookie-jar option is however a better
       way to store cookies.

and

-S, --show-error
       When used with -s, --silent, it makes curl show an error message if it fails.

and

-L/--location
      (HTTP/HTTPS) If the server reports that the requested page has moved to a different location (indicated with a Location: header and a 3XX response
      code), this option will make curl redo the request on the new place. If used together with -i/--include or -I/--head, headers from  all  requested
      pages  will  be  shown.  When authentication is used, curl only sends its credentials to the initial host. If a redirect takes curl to a different
      host, it won’t be able to intercept the user+password. See also --location-trusted on how to change this. You can limit the amount of redirects to
      follow by using the --max-redirs option.

      When curl follows a redirect and the request is not a plain GET (for example POST or PUT), it will do the following request with a GET if the HTTP
      response was 301, 302, or 303. If the response code was any other 3xx code, curl will re-send the following  request  using  the  same  unmodified
      method.

from the man page. so

curl -sSL -D - www.acooke.org -o /dev/null

follows redirects, dumps the headers to stdout and sends the data to /dev/null (that's a GET, not a POST, but you can do the same thing with a POST - just add whatever option you're already using for POSTing data)

note the - after the -D which indicates that the output "file" is stdout.


The Following command displays extra informations

curl -X POST http://httpbin.org/post -vvv > /dev/null

You can ask server to send just HEAD, instead of full response

curl -X HEAD -I http://httpbin.org/

Note: Some incorrectly configured/programmed web servers might response different then the post because it is a HEAD request not POST. But works most of the time


Modifying, or more correctly, adding additional HTTP headers is a great code debugging tool if nothing else.

When a URL request returns a redirect or an image there is no html "page" to temporarily write the results of debug code to - at least not one that is visible in a browser.

One approach is to write the data to a local log file and view that file later. Another is to temporarily add HTTP headers reflecting the data and variables being debugged.

I regularly add extra HTTP headers like X-fubar-somevar: or X-testing-someresult: to test things out - and have found a lot of bugs that would have otherwise been very difficult to trace.





post curl http-headers