How to Utilize cURL for Sending POST Requests

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Zawwad Ul Sami
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In this guide, you will discover how to use cURL to send POST requests. cURL is a robust command-line tool designed for transferring data across diverse network protocols, including HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, and others. As POST is a request method within the HTTP and HTTPS protocols, cURL simplifies the process of sending POST requests into a single-line command that you can effortlessly execute in your terminal. For comprehensive insights on advanced cURL usage, especially in Python, explore cURL in Python.

Tutorial: Dispatching POST Requests.

Begin by installing cURL if it's not already on your system. Installation instructions can be found in our blog post "How to Use cURL With Proxy." Then, refer to the table below for a breakdown of essential command-line options:

| Flag | Long Option | Argument             | What it does                 |
| -X   | --request   | POST                 | Specifies HTTP method       |
| -H   | --header    | User Agent: Chrome   | Specifies Header content    |
| -F   | --form      | file=@/path/file.jpg | Attach form data or files   |
| -u   | --user      | username:password    | Set credentials             |
| -d   | --data      | data                 | Sets the request body data  |
| -v   | --verbose   | N/A                  | Display detailed information|

This table shows the key cURL command-line options, but for a complete list, including these, you can use the --help option or visit's cURL documentation.

Basic POST Request Structure.

Here's the fundamental structure for dispatching a POST request through cURL:

bashCopy codecurl -X POST -d "Hello"

Note the -X flag followed by POST, instructing cURL to initiate a request using the POST method. The -d flag defines the request data as "Hello" and transmits it to

Defining the Content-Type

For custom headers in POST requests, like specifying the Content-Type, use the header flag:

bashCopy codecurl -X POST -H "Content-Type: text/plain" -d "Hello"

By specifying the Content-Type header as text/plain, you inform the server of the data format in the request body. For a deeper dive into setting various headers and parameters, check out's detailed guides.

Submitting JSON Data

To transmit JSON data in the request body, set the relevant Content-Type header and convey the JSON data using the -d flag:

bashCopy codecurl -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" -d '{"name":"John Doe","age":30}'

For more complex JSON operations, visit's JSON API guide.

Submitting XML Data

Transmit XML in the request body similarly, adjusting the request header to application/xml:

bashCopy codecurl -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/xml" -d '<?xml version="1.0"?><user><name>John Doe</name><age>30</age></user>'

Learn more about handling XML data in cURL at's XML API guide.

Transmitting Files Using POST

For sending files via cURL POST, use the -F flag:

bashCopy codecurl -X POST -F "file=@/path/to/file.jpg"

This command uploads an image file specified after the -F flag. For multiple files, use multiple -F flags:

bashCopy codecurl -X POST -F "file=@/path/to/img1.png" -F "file=@/path/to/img2.png"

For details on file uploads, the article Python Download Image at is a great resource.

Transmitting Authentication Credentials

Use the -u flag or --user option for basic authentication, where cURL automatically generates the Authorization header:

bashCopy codecurl -X POST -u "username:password" -d "Hello"

For more on authentication in web requests, read How to Hide My IP Address: A Comprehensive Guide to Online Privacy on


cURL is a versatile command-line tool for initiating POST requests. Its simplicity and adaptability make it popular among developers for sending data in formats like JSON, XML, or via file uploads. Explore further in our articles "How to Utilize cURL With REST API" and "How to Integrate cURL With Python."

Frequently Asked Questions

What does cURL POST mean?
A cURL POST denotes a POST request executed through cURL, a versatile and extensively used command-line interface (CLI) for making HTTP requests. When employing cURL for a POST request, you're transmitting data to a server or API, usually included in the request body. Utilizing cURL's -X POST option and specifying the required data and URL allows you to initiate a POST request.

Can cURL substitute for Postman?
Certainly. cURL possesses all the essential functionalities for executing HTTP requests. If you are comfortable with the command line interface and favor working with command-line tools, cURL's lightweight CLI can be exceptionally beneficial. Nevertheless, it's essential to note that cURL lacks a graphical user interface (GUI) like Postman. Additionally, certain advanced features present in Postman, such as request history, test automation, and collaborative team functions, are not provided by cURL. Read more about cURL vs. Postman at

Alternatives to cURL for POST requests?
Developers commonly opt for alternatives like Postman and Insomnia in lieu of cURL. These platforms also support making POST requests. Additionally, you have the option of using programming languages like Python or other scripting languages such as Ruby, Go, etc. These languages come equipped with HTTP libraries for sending both GET and POST requests.For more methods, visit's blog.

Difference between cURL POST and GET?
In cURL, GET and POST have unique functions, mainly diverging in how they transmit data to the server or API. The GET method utilizes URL parameters and queries to send and fetch information. Conversely, the POST method transmits data through the request body, concealing it from the URL. This makes the POST method more secure than GET, making it the preferred choice for handling sensitive information.Learn more about these differences at's blog.