curl – use variables to show response times and other parameters


curl is a tool to interact with a server for transferring data. Although it supports various protocols, it is most commonly used with HTTP/S. It is sort of a browser for CLI folks and a go to tool when writing scripts to interact with servers.


In addition to transferring data, how do we show request and response parameters with curl. The answer is using variables, the complete list of variables can be found here.

Example – use “time_total” to show the total time, in seconds, that the full operation lasted.

$ curl  -w %{time_total} https://www.gcplinux.com
1.149143

It is best to add the variables in a file and use curl to reference the file for better formatting. Here I have added several http request and response variables I am interested in, such as num_connects, size_download, size_header, time_namelookup, time_pretransfer etc.


daniel@hidmo:/tmp$ cat ccurl.txt 
      url_effective:  %{url_effective}\n
       content_type:  %{content_type}\n
          http_code:  %{http_code}\n
       http_version:  %{http_version}\n
       num_connects:  %{num_connects}\n
      num_redirects:  %{num_redirects}\n
          remote_ip:  %{remote_ip}\n
      size_download:  %{size_download}\n
        size_header:  %{size_header}\n
    time_namelookup:  %{time_namelookup}\n
       time_connect:  %{time_connect}\n
    time_appconnect:  %{time_appconnect}\n
   time_pretransfer:  %{time_pretransfer}\n
      time_redirect:  %{time_redirect}\n
 time_starttransfer:  %{time_starttransfer}\n
                    ----------\n
         time_total:  %{time_total}\n


daniel@hidmo:/tmp$ curl -H 'Cache-Control: no-cache' -L -w "@ccurl.txt" -o /dev/null -s https://www.gcplinux.com
      url_effective:  https://gcplinux.com/
       content_type:  text/html; charset=UTF-8
          http_code:  200
       http_version:  1.1
       num_connects:  2
      num_redirects:  1
          remote_ip:  162.247.79.246
      size_download:  71273
        size_header:  537
    time_namelookup:  0.008585
       time_connect:  0.082511
    time_appconnect:  0.264110
   time_pretransfer:  0.264293
      time_redirect:  1.287257
 time_starttransfer:  3.077526
                    ----------
         time_total:  3.177939

As far as time related parameters, listed below are the ones you will most likely use –

  • time_appconnect The time, in seconds, it took from the start until the SSL/SSH/etc connect/handshake to the remote host was completed. (Added in 7.19.0)
  • time_connect The time, in seconds, it took from the start until the TCP connect to the remote host (or proxy) was completed.
  • time_namelookup The time, in seconds, it took from the start until the name resolving was completed.
  • time_pretransfer The time, in seconds, it took from the start until the file transfer was just about to begin. This includes all pre-transfer commands and negotiations that are specific to the particular protocol(s) involved.
  • time_redirect The time, in seconds, it took for all redirection steps including name lookup, connect, pretransfer and transfer before the final transaction was started. time_redirect shows the complete execution time for multiple redirections. (Added in 7.12.3)
  • time_starttransfer The time, in seconds, it took from the start until the first byte was just about to be transferred. This includes time_pretransfer and also the time the server needed to calculate the result.
  • time_total The total time, in seconds, that the full operation lasted.

References –


https://curl.haxx.se/docs/manpage.html

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/18215389/how-do-i-measure-request-and-response-times-at-once-using-curl

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