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I am trying to download images from a manufacturer's site using wget. When I run the command from the shell it works fine. But when I run it from a file I am getting a placeholder file.

Here is the command:

wget --wait=2 --output-document=1000.jpg 'http://distributorcentral.com/resources/productimage.cfm?prod=8cb7afa6-73bf-4f9f-b251-38dc652779c9&size=large'

Here is what it looks like in a file:

wget --wait=5 --output-document=1101.jpg 'http://distributorcentral.com/resources/productimage.cfm?prod=4d41b2ff-90a4-40c1-9159-2780cd642244&size=large'
wget --wait=5 --output-document=1102.jpg 'http://distributorcentral.com/resources/productimage.cfm?prod=5e88f32e-48f2-40db-bdbd-53624448392d&size=large'
wget --wait=5 --output-document=1103.jpg 'http://distributorcentral.com/resources/productimage.cfm?prod=59292a17-ae6f-49df-a028-0a9f71686f80&size=large'

I can't figure out why it isn't working as a batch shell file.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jul 13 '11 at 0:07

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

It's probably something small that's tripping it. Check this page for more info though - gnu.org/software/wget/manual/wget.html#Invoking – Adel Jul 12 '11 at 23:38
What does the placeholder contain? Are you invoking the script from the same shell where the direct call works? In particular, were the proxy settings the same? – Gilles Jul 13 '11 at 0:12
What is "Doesn't work"? What exactly is the output when it "Doesn't work"? How are you invoking it? Is this from a cron job? Are you passing it to a shell e.g. bash foo.sh? Are you executing by path e.g. ./foo.sh? – Sorpigal Jul 13 '11 at 11:45

You know that you need to add an x (execute) flag on Unix to execute a shell script? Another common pitfall for DOS users is that for security reasons there is often no "." in the PATH Environment thus you need to run "./your-script" instead of just "your-script".

Concerning the she-bang mentioned in the other answer. At least on Linux /bin/sh is the default shell used if no she-bang is given inside the script. It is still good practice to always add one to all scripts.

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I tested it here, and it worked fine. Do you have a she-bang line at the top? #!/path/to/shell

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What do you mean? – coolbluelogo Jul 12 '11 at 23:58
For bash it would be: #!/bin/bash – Johan Jul 13 '11 at 11:35
That depends on where bash is located. On my box, it's /usr/local/bin/bash ;) – AlexWebr Jul 13 '11 at 12:02
Try #!/usr/bin/env bash - most systems place env in /usr/bin, so it's pretty portable. The down side is that it's easy to intercept by adding a custom bash interpreter earlier in your PATH. – Sorpigal Jul 13 '11 at 14:38

Get the output from

which bash


which wget

then add the returned path to bash at the top of your script with a hash bang(#!). i.e if which bash return /bin/bash then use.


Then add the returned path for wget. example

/usr/bin/wget --wait=5 --output-document=1101.jpg 'http://distributorcentral.com/resources/productimage

finally make sure the script you have created is executable chmod +x name-of-your-script

If its not working still try adding -x to your script to get some debugging info.

#!/bin/bash -x
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