I only found JavaScript code for doing this through browser console.

For example if I copy image address from the first images from Google images search results grid I get a Data URL.

Commands that I tried and errors:

$ curl 'data:stuff' -o filename 
curl: (3) URL using bad/illegal format or missing URL
$ curl 'data:stuff' > filename
curl: (3) URL using bad/illegal format or missing URL
$ wget 'data:stuff' -O filename
Resolving data (data)... failed: Name or service not known.
wget: unable to resolve host address ‘data’

How can I download Data URL through command line?


2 Answers 2


The data: scheme is local in the context of a webpage while both wget and curl work with remote data. Perhaps what you're really looking for is base64 -d which allows to decode such data.

Lastly, the data URI scheme can be a lot longer/larger than your shell allows, see: https://stackoverflow.com/a/41755526 and I doubt you want to keep that much random data in your shell history.


Adding a bit to the answer of Artem.

You can download xclip through your package manager and use a shell script (You should copy the Data URL):

#! /usr/bin/bash

data=$(xclip -out -selection clipboard)


if [ $1 ]; then

echo "${data#*,}" | base64 -d > $filename.$ext

With no arguments filename is saved as file, otherwise it is your first argument.

Edit: Improved script -- thanks to Freddy's great comment.

  • There's no need for a temporary file: echo "${data#*,}" | base64 -d > filename. You could also extract the image type and use it as suffix for the output filename, e.g. ext=${data#*/}; ext=${ext%%;*}; ext=.${ext/jpeg/jpg}.
    – Freddy
    Nov 27, 2020 at 19:52

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