I have a file on the server that is HTTP Head password protected, but when I tried to get the page the command returned with nothing at all:

curl --user username:password http://mysite.com
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    what does curl -v --user ... say (-v stands for verbose output)? – peterph Feb 27 '14 at 21:26

The exit status (in shell variable $?) will tell you what failed. There is a table of meanings in the manual page. For interactive use, -v is more convenient.

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