Did I mention I hate forced web downloading?

I've just about had it with companies that force me to download their patches and stuff via pages that don't ever offer anything I can use via the command line.

Today it's EMC & NetWorker patches and Sun and its JRE toolkit.  With EMC, I was forced to log into an https secure site that cannot be used in a text-only browser (powerlink is completely blank in lynx).  So I'm forced to run a GUI browser to download my files.

With Sun, not only do I have to run a browser to download Java, I have to run a browser with Java-script enabled.  Hello!  I'm downloading Java!  Ever heard of the chicken/egg thing?

I'm administering UNIX boxes via ssh and do not have GUI access.  (For the Windows-only crowd, think trying to manage your box via a CMD> prompt and you'll have some idea of what I'm talking about.)  Being forced to run a full-featured browser means running it on my Windows box, then transferring it to the Unix box when I'm done.  While this isn't a big deal when they're in the same building, try it when you're administering client machines that you only have ssh access to via some super-secret VPN-type thing.  You often can't get there from here.

Vendors!  Give me something I can pass to wget, will you?


----- Signature and Disclaimer -----

Written by W. Curtis Preston (@wcpreston). For those of you unfamiliar with my work, I've specialized in backup & recovery since 1993. I've written the O'Reilly books on backup and have worked with a number of native and commercial tools. I am now Chief Technical Evangelist at Druva, the leading provider of cloud-based data protection and data management tools for endpoints, infrastructure, and cloud applications. These posts reflect my own opinion and are not necessarily the opinion of my employer.

3 thoughts on “Did I mention I hate forced web downloading?

  1. robinlsmall says:

    While it misses your point, winscp does nicely for transferring files when all you have is ssh to the box.

    But I do feel your pain, it’s too bad there wasn’t a mirror site and/or ftp. IIrc, Symantec has their ftp for netbackup, which makes it nice – and hopefully they’ll keep it around.

  2. cpreston says:

    I use scp, and it’s the only way I can get the data there. But that means I have to transfer the data (often 100s of MBs of data) across the internet twice. Yuck

    And, Yes. Symantec has the ftp site, but they sure don’t point you to it. You have to be quite determined to find it. Once you do, though, you’re golden.

  3. id1 says:

    Java-script == Javascript, which is a totally different programming language than Java. They have absolutely nothing in common other than both being programming languages. they are at least as different as C++ and VBScript, which believe me – is a huge difference.

    Second of all, there are plenty of things you can use from the command line to download things on the web. I would point you to wget since you already know about lynx (lynx -dump works into stdout btw), but wget and lynx both suck.

    i suggest a program called “links” for command-line browsing, unless you require javascript and then try elinks. if you are just going to download something or use HTTP POST for an HTML form or similar, try using curl. i like curl a lot as it is very powerful, and if it is compiled with openssl then it can certainly support any https uri’s.

    if you’re having a problem figuring out which sets of URL’s or GET/POST operations to perform to attempt to download something complicated that requires an HTTP POST from an HTML form login (which can usually be bypassed just by grabbing cookies such as session identifiers and replaying them), to even more complex operations – I suggest you use a logging plugboard proxy or packet capture tool. some of the best ones out there are replug, tcpdump, twireshark, etc.

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