Setting the referer string with cURL

The Referer field in the HTTP header identifies the page that led to the current web page. When a user clicks on a link on web page A to go to web page B, the referer header string for page B will contain the URL of page A.

Some dynamic pages check the referer string before returning the HTML data. For example, a web page may display a Google logo when a user navigates to a website from Google, and display a different page when the user types the URL.

A web developer can write a condition to return a Google page if the referer is, or return a different page if not.

You can use --referer with the curl command to specify the referer string, as follows:

$ curl --referer Referer_URL target_URL ...

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