Building wget for Mac OS X

wget is a very useful utility. It can retrieve files from the web using http or ftp protocols. Unfortunately, it does not come natively in Mac OS X. I had occassionally tried to use wget to download some html pages from some websites a few months ago but wget just wasn’t there. I was kind of lazy to download and compile the source until today, when I needed to download some 50 files from a website. I needed wget badly.

It took me not more than 5 minutes to download, build and install. I downloaded the latest and stable version 1.10.2 on Mac OS X 10.4.8.

  1. Download the source from
  2. Unpack the tarball tar xzvf wget-1.10.2.tar.gz
  3. This creates a directory wget-1.10.2. Change the working directory to it: cd wget-1.10.2
  4. Configure the build: ./configure
  5. Build: make
  6. Install: sudo make install
  7. wget should now be in /usr/local/bin

2 Responses to "Building wget for Mac OS X"

  1. Lee
    Lee 9 years ago .

    I know this post is old and you may have already figured this out, but mac comes with a program similar to wget called curl. I’m told curl has more features, but regardless they do the same thing. Syntax is different so you’ll want to man curl to get used to it. “curl -O ” is the basic wget equivalent command.
    See for more info.

  2. Adrian Hoe


    Yes, I am aware of curl. The reason I stick with wget is that wget is a standalone utility itself rather than a utility which relies on supporting library like libcurl. Wget is also capable of recursive downloads which curl is not.

    Sometimes, an old utility program is much better than a new one.

    Anyway, thanks for the head up.

Leave a Reply