I've found only puf (Parallel URL fetcher) but I couldn't get it to read urls from a file; something like

 puf < urls.txt

does not work either.

The operating system installed on the server is Ubuntu.

  • This could be done with Python and pycurl library and a little bit of glue logic in a script. But I don't know of a "canned" tool for that.
    – Keith
    Commented Apr 8, 2012 at 8:29
  • @Keith Is this approach better than using some async library as gevent with urllib?
    – Moonwalker
    Commented Apr 8, 2012 at 18:37
  • urllib is not designed to be used asynchronously. The libcurl has it's own async loop and can be set up to do at least 1000 simultaneous fetches using the "multi" interface.
    – Keith
    Commented Apr 9, 2012 at 5:02
  • @Keith I like your answer best so could you write it as a "real" answer to take due credit for it?
    – Moonwalker
    Commented Apr 10, 2012 at 2:21

6 Answers 6


Using GNU Parallel,

$ parallel -j ${jobs} wget < urls.txt

or xargs from GNU Findutils,

$ xargs -n 1 -P ${jobs} wget < urls.txt

where ${jobs} is the maximum number of wget you want to allow to run concurrently (setting -n to 1 to get one wget invocation per line in urls.txt). Without -j/-P, parallel will run as many jobs at a time as CPU cores (which doesn't necessarily make sense for wget bound by network IO), and xargs will run one at a time.

One nice feature that parallel has over xargs is keeping the output of the concurrently-running jobs separated, but if you don't care about that, xargs is more likely to be pre-installed.

  • Optimal jobs depends on many factors: path latency, path bandwidth, remote server policies, etc.
    – dhchdhd
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 9:13
  • Is there a way to use this when using wget recursively on a single page? Commented Jan 11, 2021 at 4:39

aria2 does this.


Example: aria2c http://example.org/mylinux.iso


You can implement that using Python and the pycurl library. The pycurl library has the "multi" interface that implements its own even loop that enables multiple simultaneous connections.

However the interface is rather C-like and therefore a bit cumbersome as compared to other, more "Pythonic", code.

I wrote a wrapper for it that builds a more complete browser-like client on top of it. You can use that as an example. See the pycopia.WWW.client module. The HTTPConnectionManager wraps the multi interface.


This works, and won't local or remote DoS, with proper adjustments:

(bandwidth=5000 jobs=8; \
 parallel      \
   --round     \
   -P $jobs    \
   --nice +5   \
   --delay 2   \
   --pipepart  \
   --cat       \
   -a urls.txt \
     wget                                \
       --limit-rate=$((bandwidth/jobs))k \
       -w 1                              \
       -nv                               \
       -i {}                             \

Part of GNU Parallel's man page contains an example of a parallel recursive wget.


HTML is downloaded twice: Once for extracting links and once for downloading to disk. Other content is only downloaded once.

If you do not need the recursiveness ephemient's answer seems obvious.

  • Just a late FYI that any parallel plus wget "solution" is both inherently inefficient because it requires downloading content twice, slow because of all the multiphase downloading and it's also not nice to sysops whom have to pay for all your wasting of bandwidth because you didn't use an efficient solution.
    – dhchdhd
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 8:23
  • There is no longer an example for recursive wget at the end of that link. This is a great example why link only responses are bad. Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 8:03
  • @MikkoRantalainen It was still there, just further down the page.
    – Ole Tange
    Commented Jun 30, 2022 at 17:36
  • Thanks. That implementation still loads all pages twice, once by lynx and another time by wget. Commented Jul 13, 2022 at 10:42

You can also try:

cat urls.txt | xargs -n 1 -P 2 wget -q

or in loop with -b option

while read file; do
    wget ${file} -b
done < urls.txt
  • 2
    thank you for down voting!!! cheers!!!
    – svp
    Commented Jun 22, 2022 at 5:00
  • 1
    I cannot understand why this was downvoted either, so I added one upvote to balance things. I still think that this answer is redundant except for the wget -b part because xargs -n 1 -P was already mentioned by @ephemient a year earlier. Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 8:01
  • Repeat of another answer on a question with lots of solutions and accepted answers.
    – number9
    Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 17:23
  • 1
    @number9 is that the rule of the forum? I think forum does not allow you add alternative answers to the question which has accepted answers. The answer I have given in never a repeat but an alternate way to do it.
    – svp
    Commented Jun 30, 2022 at 6:14
  • 1
    @dare_devils I don't think forum has such rule. But expert people like number9 can down vote the answers. Any way answer is useful to people like me who are beginner in the field.
    – svp
    Commented Jun 30, 2022 at 6:21

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