Get a Single Header with cURL

By  on  

Debugging third party apps can be difficult for a variety of reasons.  You take for granted that the third party has not only properly coded their app but that their server is also serving files properly.  As more a developer than a sysadmin I tend to spend a long time on the code before I ensure the server stuff is correct.  One mistake often made on the server side is not sending correct Content-Type headers with content, especially audio and video files, and that can cause a real problem for the app or codec trying to do something with the content.  These days I check response headers before I do anything else.

Getting complete response headers with cURL is easy:

#  Get response headers
curl -I https://davidwalsh.name

#  Result:
#  HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
#  Date: Wed, 03 Feb 2016 17:29:51 GMT
#  Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1
#  Connection: keep-alive
#  Set-Cookie: __cfduid=dab1e532a38b35ce7d764344217ddd8dc1454520590; expires=Thu, 02-Feb-17 17:29:50 GMT; path=/; domain=.davidwalsh.name; HttpOnly
#  Location: https://davidwalsh.name/
#  Cache-Control: max-age=1
#  Expires: Wed, 03 Feb 2016 17:29:52 GMT
#  Vary: Accept-Encoding
#  Server: cloudflare-nginx
#  CF-RAY: 26efdc3d2aa841ef-MSP

But that's a lot of info to sift through if you only want the one header.  Here's how you can retrieve just one header:

#  Get single header only
#  curl {url} -I | grep -Fi {header_name}
curl https://davidwalsh.name -I | grep -Fi Content-Type

#  Result:
#  Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1

With the extra grep above you'll only get the one header back.  Simple!

Recent Features

  • By
    9 Mind-Blowing WebGL Demos

    As much as developers now loathe Flash, we're still playing a bit of catch up to natively duplicate the animation capabilities that Adobe's old technology provided us.  Of course we have canvas, an awesome technology, one which I highlighted 9 mind-blowing demos.  Another technology available...

  • By
    5 More HTML5 APIs You Didn’t Know Existed

    The HTML5 revolution has provided us some awesome JavaScript and HTML APIs.  Some are APIs we knew we've needed for years, others are cutting edge mobile and desktop helpers.  Regardless of API strength or purpose, anything to help us better do our job is a...

Incredible Demos

Discussion

    Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!