I have some url which has space in it's query param. I want to use this in curl, e.g.

curl -G "http://localhost:30001/data?zip=47401&utc_begin=2013-8-1 00:00:00&utc_end=2013-8-2 00:00:00&country_code=USA"

which gives out

Malformed Request-Line

As per my understanding o/p is due to the space present in query param.

Is there any away to encode the url automatically before providing it to curl command?

2 Answers 2


curl supports url-encoding internally with --data-urlencode:

$ curl -G -v "http://localhost:30001/data" --data-urlencode "msg=hello world" --data-urlencode "msg2=hello world2"

-G is also necessary to append the data to the URL.

Trace headers

> GET /data?msg=hello%20world&msg2=hello%20world2 HTTP/1.1
> User-Agent: curl/7.19.7 (x86_64-redhat-linux-gnu)
> Host: localhost
> Accept: */*
  • 1
    What if msg = '=' ?
    – Mmmh mmh
    Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 9:14
  • From curl doc: Note that the name part (msg in this case) is expected to be URL-encoded already. Also you can specify something like --request DELETE and it would indeed be a delete method instead of a GET. Not sure if order matters.
    – Federico
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 0:21
  • @damphat what happens when the request has two parameters like "msg1=Hello&msg2=World"? This will encode the & between the parameters which would mean wrong thing to send to the server Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 13:08
  • 12
    @GaneshSatpute: use multiple --data-urlencode parameters, one for each key-value pair. Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 13:04
  • 2
    Is it possible to perform query params url-encoding for a POST request and provide a payload ? Commented May 2, 2019 at 17:08
 curl -G "$( echo "$URL" | sed 's/ /%20/g' )"

Where $URL is the url you want to do the translations on.

There are also more than one type of translation (encoding) you can have in a URL, so you may want to do:

curl -G "$(perl -MURI::Escape -e 'print uri_escape shift, , q{^A-Za-z0-9\-._~/:}' -- "$URL")"


  • 1
    Note that echo "$URL" | sed 's/ /%20/' won't do the right thing if there are % characters in the URL. Also, spaces are normally encoded as + (and + as %2b). I recommend the Perl solution, which is reliable. Commented Aug 14, 2013 at 22:02
  • 2
    sed 's/ /%20/g' if you have more than one space to translate...
    – sebthebert
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 14:45
  • Note I had to install the Perl URI::Escape module.
    – buzz3791
    Commented Aug 21, 2018 at 17:48

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