Read Header Values from a File in a cURL Request

It can be cumbersome to type many different header names and values when composing a cURL command.

We can read all of the headers sent with a request from a file using the syntax below.

NOTE: make sure to have curl version 7.55.0 or higher.

To check:

$ curl --version

To cURL with headers read from a file:

$ curl -H @headers_file.txt

Here is an example file:


Accept: application/json
Content-type: application/json

We can confirm the headers are sent correctly using verbose mode (-v).

$ curl -H @headers_file.txt -v

As another test, We can see exactly what is sent to a remote server by first receiving the request locally with netcat. In a terminal, open:

$ nc -l 9090

Then launch the request in a second terminal:

$ curl -H @headers_file.txt http://localhost:9090

In the terminal listening with netcat, we should receive a request with the headers specified in the file:

GET / HTTP/1.1
Host: localhost:9090
User-Agent: curl/7.77.0
Accept: application/json
Content-type: application/json

Note that default values for headers will be overridden.