Should we be encouraging people, who may be inexperienced, to be using wget without truly understanding what the file is they are retrieving?


Emulation on a PC


In a Stack Exchange site, answers should more or less begin on the assumption that users are experts on the topic at-large, but not the question itself. If a user specifically asks about wget, it's necessary to explain it to them (though this will probably be referred to Unix.SE). It's reasonable in a step-by-step to use wget.

  • 3
    I like this answer as it also applies to the sudo issues.
    – Jivings
    Jun 14 '12 at 17:33

I don't see the problem in requesting users use wget, as long as it makes sense in that scenario (as in you're doing something in the shell already and not going into it solely for that purpose.)

Perhaps as a general policy we should comment to say what the file is you're retrieving, but I don't see it as a huge issue.


No, we shouldn't. Perhaps something like this:

Download1 the latest version of GCC from here.


Here is an alternate recommendation never by it's self, only as part of a workflow.

wget http://example.com/wizbang/wizbang3.tgz # download stable version
tar -xzvf wizbang3.tgz
mkdir wizbang.build
cd wizbang.build
../wizbang/configure --without-reason | tee configure.log
make | tee build.log
make test | tee test.log # make sure every thing worked
sudo make install | tee install log # become superuser for install

notice that wget is only a small part of the workflow (as is sudo) and that the comment explains what is going on.

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