For less tedious manual file downloads, use vim

You chance upon a website containing tens of file download links, all of which you want to scoop. The site does not have an RSS feed nor does it provide an FTP service. Right-clicking on each of the tens of links and saving it is definitely tedious. You’re impatient, but what can you do?

It happened to me today. I was impatient. But thank God I’m a Linux user. So here are what I did:

  • View the page source.
  • Select the section containing the links and copy it.
  • Paste the copied text to a buffer running on vim.
  • Run cool vim commands to strip lines of unnecessary texts so that what remain are the URLs to the files I wanted to download.
  • Insert “wget” before each of the URLs through the command “:%s/^/wget /g“.
  • Save the buffer to a file.
  • Make the file executable: chmod +x /path/to/file.
  • Run the program in a directory where I want to dump the files.
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One comment

  1. My favorite way to do this is with firefox’s page info.

    Go to tool->page info then click the links tab. Now all you have to do is select the links you want, copy them into a text file and then wget -i that_txt_file

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