libcurl(3)              libcurl overview               libcurl(3)


     libcurl - client-side URL transfers


     This is an short overview on how to use libcurl  in  your  C
     programs.  There  are  specific  man pages for each function
     mentioned in here. There are also  the  libcurl-easy(3)  man
     page,  the  libcurl-multi(3)  man page, the libcurl-share(3)
     man page and the libcurl-tutorial(3) man page  for  in-depth
     understanding on how to program with libcurl.

     There are more than a twenty custom bindings available  that
     bring  libcurl access to your favourite language. Look else-
     where for documentation on those.

     All   applications   that   use    libcurl    should    call
     curl_global_init(3) exactly once before any libcurl function
     can be used. After all usage of libcurl is complete, it must
     call curl_global_cleanup(3). In between those two calls, you
     can use libcurl as described below.

     To transfer files, you always set up an "easy handle"  using
     curl_easy_init(3), but when you want the file(s) transferred
     you have the option of using the "easy"  interface,  or  the
     "multi" interface.

     The easy interface is a synchronous interface with which you
     call  curl_easy_perform(3)  and let it perform the transfer.
     When it is completed, the function return and you  can  con-
     tinue.  More  details  are  found in the libcurl-easy(3) man

     The multi interface on the other  hand  is  an  asynchronous
     interface,  that  you  call  and that performs only a little
     piece of the transfer on each invoke. It is perfect  if  you
     want  to  do  things  while  the transfer is in progress, or
     similar. The multi interface allows you to select() on  lib-
     curl  action,  and  even  to  easily download multiple files
     simultaneously using a single thread. See further deails  in
     the libcurl-multi(3) man page.

     You can have multiple easy handles share certain data,  even
     if  they  are used in different threads. This magic is setup
     using the share interface,  as  described  in  the  libcurl-
     share(3) man page.

     There is also a series of other helpful  functions  to  use,
     including these:

               gets detailed libcurl (and other  used  libraries)
               version info

libcurl 7.9.6      Last change: 19 March 2002                   1

libcurl(3)              libcurl overview               libcurl(3)

               converts a date string to time_t

               get information about a performed transfer

               helps building an HTTP form POST

               free a list built with curl_formadd(3)

               builds a linked list

               frees a whole curl_slist


     On unix-like machines, there's a tool named curl-config that
     gets  installed  with  the rest of the curl stuff when 'make
     install' is performed.

     curl-config is added to make it easier for  applications  to
     link  with libcurl and developers to learn about libcurl and
     how to use it.

     Run 'curl-config --libs'  to  get  the  (additional)  linker
     options you need to link with the particular version of lib-
     curl you've installed. See the curl-config(1) man  page  for
     further details.

     Unix-like operating system that  ship  libcurl  as  part  of
     their  distributions  often  don't  provide  the curl-config
     tool, but simply install the library and headers in the com-
     mon path for this purpose.


     All public functions in the libcurl interface  are  prefixed
     with  'curl_' (with a lowercase c). You can find other func-
     tions in the library source code, but other  prefixes  indi-
     cate  that  the functions are private and may change without
     further notice in the next release.

     Only use documented functions and functionality!


     libcurl works exactly the same, on any of the  platforms  it
     compiles and builds on.

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libcurl(3)              libcurl overview               libcurl(3)


     Never ever call curl-functions simultaneously using the same
     handle  from several threads. libcurl is thread-safe and can
     be used in any number of threads, but you must use  separate
     curl  handles  if  you  want to use libcurl in more than one
     thread simultaneously.


     Persistent connections means that  libcurl  can  re-use  the
     same connection for several transfers, if the conditions are

     libcurl will always attempt to use  persistent  connections.
     Whenever      you      use      curl_easy_perform(3)      or
     curl_multi_perform(3), libcurl will attempt to use an exist-
     ing  connection to do the transfer, and if none exists it'll
     open a new one that will be subject for re-use on a possible
     following      call      to      curl_easy_perform(3)     or

     To allow libcurl to take full advantage of  persistent  con-
     nections,  you  should  do as many of your file transfers as
     possible  using  the  same  curl  handle.  When   you   call
     curl_easy_cleanup(3), all the possibly open connections held
     by libcurl will be closed and forgotten.

     Note that the options set with curl_easy_setopt(3)  will  be
     used in on every repeated curl_easy_perform(3) call.

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