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Download File from Remote Server with PHP CURL

On my previous post I was shown how we can get a remote file size without download it in php. Today I am going to show you how can we download a file from remote server with php.

There are many ways in PHP to download file from remote server. We can use php functions like copy, file_get_content, fopen, fsockopen to download remote files. These functions are well but today we will use curl to download file. Because it the advanced way to working with remote resources.We can download large file with minimum memory usages in this way.

getHeaders Function

This function gets all header information before downloading a file. This function will help you to know file is exist or not and filesize

 * Get Headers function
 * @param str #url
 * @return array
function getHeaders($url)
  $ch = curl_init($url);
  curl_setopt( $ch, CURLOPT_NOBODY, true );
  curl_setopt( $ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, false );
  curl_setopt( $ch, CURLOPT_HEADER, false );
  curl_setopt( $ch, CURLOPT_FOLLOWLOCATION, true );
  curl_setopt( $ch, CURLOPT_MAXREDIRS, 3 );
  curl_exec( $ch );
  $headers = curl_getinfo( $ch );
  curl_close( $ch );

  return $headers;

download Function

This function download file form remote server.

 * Download
 * @param str $url, $path
 * @return bool || void
function download($url, $path)
  # open file to write
  $fp = fopen ($path, 'w+');
  # start curl
  $ch = curl_init();
  curl_setopt( $ch, CURLOPT_URL, $url );
  # set return transfer to false
  curl_setopt( $ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, false );
  curl_setopt( $ch, CURLOPT_BINARYTRANSFER, true );
  curl_setopt( $ch, CURLOPT_SSL_VERIFYPEER, false );
  # increase timeout to download big file
  curl_setopt( $ch, CURLOPT_CONNECTTIMEOUT, 10 );
  # write data to local file
  curl_setopt( $ch, CURLOPT_FILE, $fp );
  # execute curl
  curl_exec( $ch );
  # close curl
  curl_close( $ch );
  # close local file
  fclose( $fp );

  if (filesize($path) > 0) return true;


$url = 'http://path/to/remote/file.jpg';
$path = 'uploads/file.jpg';

$headers = getHeaders($url);

if ($headers['http_code'] === 200 and $headers['download_content_length'] < 1024*1024) {
  if (download($url, $path)){
    echo 'Download complete!'; 

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