How To Use Proxy Server To Access Internet at Shell Prompt With http_proxy Variable

I‘m behind a squid proxy server. How do I access internet via proxy server when I use wget, lynx and other utilities from a shell prompt on a Linux or Unix-like systems?

Linux and UNIX-like systems has environment variable called http_proxy. It allows you to connect text based session and/or applications via the proxy server. All you need is proxy server IP address (URL) and port values.[donotprint][/donotprint] This variable is almost used by all utilities such as elinks, lynx, wget, curl and others commands.

Set http_proxy shell variable on Linux/OS X/Unix bash shell

Type the following command to set proxy server:
$ export http_proxy=http://server-ip:port/
$ export http_proxy=
$ export http_proxy=

If the proxy server requires a username and password then add these to the URL. For example, to include the username foo and the password bar:
$ export http_proxy=http://foo:[email protected]:port/
$ export http_proxy=http://foo:[email protected]:3128/
$ export http_proxy=http://USERNAME:[email protected]:3128/

How do I setup proxy variable for all users?

To setup the proxy environment variable as a global variable, open /etc/profile file:
# vi /etc/profile
Add the following information:
export http_proxy=
export http_proxy=http://USERNAME:[email protected]:3128/
Save and close the file.

A note about enabling proxy access to a specific user

To enable proxy access for a specific user, add the lines user shell profile. For the default bash shell, the profile is the file .bash_profile. For example, enable proxy access for a specifc user called vivek, type:
$ vi $HOME/.bash_profile
# vi /home/vivek/.bash_profile
Append the following line:
export http_proxy=http://USERNAME:[email protected]:3128/
Save and close the file.

How do I use password protected proxy server using various command line options?

You can simply use wget command as follows:
$ wget --proxy-user=USERNAME --proxy-password=PASSWORD
Lynx command has the following syntax:
$ lynx -pauth=USER:PASSWORD
Curl command has following syntax:
$ curl --proxy-user user:password

Posted by: SXI ADMIN

The author is the creator of SXI LLC and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.