Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in virtualization, networking, open source, and cloud computing

HTTP Proxies and Command-Line Utilities

A few weeks ago, I locked down outbound HTTP traffic from my network. All outbound HTTP traffic must now pass through a caching HTTP proxy. (The proxy also performs some content filtering so that the kids don’t access stuff they shouldn’t.)

In my recent experiments with Kubuntu, I needed to download some small files using wget, but couldn’t because of the proxy. As it turns out, there is a really simple fix.

Simply set an environment variable called http_proxy to the correct URL of the outbound proxy server, e.g., “” or whatever. In the bash shell, this can be easily accomplished with this command:

export http_proxy=""

Once this environment variable was set properly (I messed up a couple of times trying to set it, getting my bash syntax confused with my tcsh syntax), wget and apt-get worked like a charm. I haven’t yet tried this with yum on Fedora Core 3, but I anticipate that it will work there as well.

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