I want to download a few thousand files one by one. The average size of each one is 5-10Mb. Each has a name of "name_{i}", where "i" is a counter. What's the easiest and best way to do that?

Note that the internet connection may be interrupted and I want to interrupt the process and continue it later. In those cases the next time I run the script or whatever it happens to be, it should take the last downloaded file and if needed re-download it.

  • @drewbenn, web page. no.
    – Oskar K.
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 19:20

3 Answers 3


I believe that you can write a small shell script to do what you want. Use a for loop to go through the files, wget or similar to download and write the current file to a file from which you can read where you have been after an interruption.


if [ -f $FILE ] count=$(cat file) for i in {$COUNT ..5} do wget https://foo.bar/name_$i echo "$i" > $FILE done else for i in {1..5} do wget https://foo.bar/name_$i echo "$i" > $FILE done fi

That's just the basic idea, there a probably some smaller errors, but you get my idea I assume.

  • 2
    Also, if you're going with wget, you might want to use the -c (aka --continue) option.
    – Housni
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 20:59
[ -e "$LASTFILE" ] && last=$(cat "$LASTFILE")

for i in $(eval {$last..1000}) ; do
   echo "$i" > "$LASTFILE"
   wget -c "$BASE_URL/name_\{$i\}"

You said that Each has a name of "name_{i}" - I'm not sure if that means the filename has {} curly brackets in them or not. If not, just remove the \{ and \} from the wget line above.

If the filenames have zero-padded numbers (e.g. 0005 rather than just 5), you can use seq instead of eval {$last..1000} like this:

for i in $(seq -w $last 1000); do

Have a look at lftp's mirror option:

mirror [OPTS] [source [target]]

   Mirror specified source directory to local target directory. If  the  target  directory  ends
   with  a  slash  (except the root), the source base name is appended to target directory name.
   Source and/or target can be URLs pointing to directories.

See http://lftp.yar.ru/lftp-man.html for additional details.


From the manual:

lftp is a file transfer program that allows sophisticated FTP, HTTP and other connections to other hosts. If site is specified then lftp will connect to that site otherwise a connection has to be established with the open command.

   lftp  can  handle  several file access methods - FTP, FTPS, HTTP, HTTPS, HFTP, FISH, SFTP and
   file (HTTPS and FTPS are only available when  lftp  is  compiled  with  GNU  TLS  or  OpenSSL

lftp can be used to get files over HTTP. Try:

lftp -e "mirror -c" http://url
  • 1
    I don't understand how it can help me, there's no directory on the server.
    – Oskar K.
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 19:21

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