shell - multiple - upload file using curl command line

Using curl to upload POST data with files (4)

I would like to use cURL to not only send data parameters in HTTP POST but to also upload files with specific form name. How should I go about doing that ?

HTTP Post parameters:

userid = 12345 filecomment = This is an image file

HTTP File upload: File location = /home/user1/Desktop/test.jpg Form name for file = image (correspond to the $_FILES['image'] at the PHP side)

I figured part of the cURL command as follows:

curl -d "userid=1&filecomment=This is an image file" --data-binary @"/home/user1/Desktop/test.jpg" localhost/uploader.php

The problem I am getting is as follows:

Notice: Undefined index: image in /var/www/uploader.php

The problem is I am using $_FILES['image'] to pick up files in the PHP script.

How do I adjust my cURL commands accordingly ?

As an alternative to curl, you can use HTTPie, it'a CLI, cURL-like tool for humans.

  1. Installation instructions:

  2. Then, run:

    http -f POST http://localhost:4040/api/users username=johnsnow [email protected]/avatar.jpg
    HTTP/1.1 200 OK
    Access-Control-Expose-Headers: X-Frontend
    Cache-control: no-store
    Connection: keep-alive
    Content-Encoding: gzip
    Content-Length: 89
    Content-Type: text/html; charset=windows-1251
    Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2018 11:11:55 GMT
    Pragma: no-cache
    Server: Apache
    Vary: Accept-Encoding
    X-Frontend: front623311

Catching the user id as path variable (recommended):

curl -i -X POST -H "Content-Type: multipart/form-data" 
-F "[email protected]" http://mysuperserver/media/1234/upload/

Catching the user id as part of the form:

curl -i -X POST -H "Content-Type: multipart/form-data" 
-F "[email protected];userid=1234" http://mysuperserver/media/upload/


curl -i -X POST -H "Content-Type: multipart/form-data" 
-F "[email protected]" -F "userid=1234" http://mysuperserver/media/upload/

Here is my solution, I have been reading a lot of posts and they were really helpful. Finally I wrote some code for small files, with cURL and PHP that I think its really useful.

public function postFile()
        $file_url = "test.txt";  //here is the file route, in this case is on same directory but you can set URL too like ""
        $eol = "\r\n"; //default line-break for mime type
        $BOUNDARY = md5(time()); //random boundaryid, is a separator for each param on my post curl function
        $BODY=""; //init my curl body
        $BODY.= '--'.$BOUNDARY. $eol; //start param header
        $BODY .= 'Content-Disposition: form-data; name="sometext"' . $eol . $eol; // last Content with 2 $eol, in this case is only 1 content.
        $BODY .= "Some Data" . $eol;//param data in this case is a simple post data and 1 $eol for the end of the data
        $BODY.= '--'.$BOUNDARY. $eol; // start 2nd param,
        $BODY.= 'Content-Disposition: form-data; name="somefile"; filename="test.txt"'. $eol ; //first Content data for post file, remember you only put 1 when you are going to add more Contents, and 2 on the last, to close the Content Instance
        $BODY.= 'Content-Type: application/octet-stream' . $eol; //Same before row
        $BODY.= 'Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64' . $eol . $eol; // we put the last Content and 2 $eol,
        $BODY.= chunk_split(base64_encode(file_get_contents($file_url))) . $eol; // we write the Base64 File Content and the $eol to finish the data,
        $BODY.= '--'.$BOUNDARY .'--' . $eol. $eol; // we close the param and the post width "--" and 2 $eol at the end of our boundary header.

        $ch = curl_init(); //init curl
        curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER, array(
                         'X_PARAM_TOKEN : 71e2cb8b-42b7-4bf0-b2e8-53fbd2f578f9' //custom header for my api validation you can get it from $_SERVER["HTTP_X_PARAM_TOKEN"] variable
                         ,"Content-Type: multipart/form-data; boundary=".$BOUNDARY) //setting our mime type for make it work on $_FILE variable
        curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_USERAGENT, 'Mozilla/1.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:28.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/28.0'); //setting our user agent
        curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, ""); //setting our api post url
        curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_COOKIEJAR, $BOUNDARY.'.txt'); //saving cookies just in case we want
        curl_setopt ($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1); // call return content
        curl_setopt ($ch, CURLOPT_FOLLOWLOCATION, 1); navigate the endpoint
        curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POST, true); //set as post
        curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS, $BODY); // set our $BODY 

        $response = curl_exec($ch); // start curl navigation

     print_r($response); //print response


With this we should be get on the "" the following vars posted. You can easily test with this script, and you should be receive this debugs on the function postFile() at the last row.

print_r($response); //print response

public function getPostFile()

    echo "\n\n_SERVER\n";
    echo "<pre>";
    echo "/<pre>";
    echo "_POST\n";
    echo "<pre>";
    echo "/<pre>";
    echo "_FILES\n";
    echo "<pre>";
    echo "/<pre>";

It should work well, they may be better solutions but this works and is really helpful to understand how the Boundary and multipart/from-data mime works on PHP and cURL library.

You need to use the -F option:
-F/--form <name=content> Specify HTTP multipart POST data (H)

Try this:

curl \
  -F "userid=1" \
  -F "filecomment=This is an image file" \
  -F "[email protected]/home/user1/Desktop/test.jpg" \