Ubuntu – How to invoke a command using specific proxy server

command linePROXYUbuntu

Some applications support proxy (http proxy or socks proxy), and some are not.

For browsers, I can specify proxy server in the preferences/options dialog, and other applications may be able to configure proxy servers in config files.

For general purpose, can I invoke a command using a specific proxy? Like following:

$ proxy-exec --type sock5 --server -- wget/ftp ...

I'm using Ubuntu Maverick.


In win32, it can be implemented by hijacking the socket dlls, maybe, I'm not familiar with Linux programming, but I guess it's possible in Linux. though.

Best Answer

Most Linux commands that access the Internet look in the HTTP_PROXY, FTP_PROXY, and SOCKS_SERVER environment variables for proxy information. So, to do something like your example, just run:

wget http://superuser.com/q/262956/66003

The syntax for HTTP_PROXY and FTP_PROXY is slightly different:

export HTTP_PROXY=
export FTP_PROXY=

The default GNOME desktop environment included with Ubuntu's proxy settings has an Apply System-Wide button, which will automatically set those environment variables for you. Otherwise, you can add the export lines to your ~/.bashrc file to make them take effect at every login.

Unfortunately, wget doesn't support SOCKS at all. You can use curl, which is included with Ubuntu, to achieve many things that wget does. Unfortunately, it doesn't check SOCKS_SERVER, while it does check HTTP_PROXY (as does wget). To use curl to download this page with a SOCKS5 server (performing DNS resolution with that server) and save it as superuser.html, run this:

curl --socks5-hostname http://superuser.com/q/262956/66003 > superuser.html

If you want to make curl always use that SOCKS proxy, you could create a shell alias. Just add the following line to your ~/.bashrc:

alias curl='curl --socks5-hostname'

You will need to restart your terminal or run that line as if it were a command for the changes to take effect.