curl is a tool to transfer data from or to a server, using one of the supported protocols (DICT, FILE, FTP, FTPS, GOPHER, HTTP, HTTPS, IMAP, IMAPS, LDAP, LDAPS, POP3, POP3S, RTMP, RTSP, SCP, SFTP, SMTP, SMTPS, TELNET and TFTP). The command is designed to work without user interaction.
A typical PHP cURL usage follows the following sequence of steps.
curl_init – Initializes the session and returns a cURL handle which can be passed to other cURL functions.
curl_opt – This is the main work horse of cURL library. This function is called multiple times and specifies what we want the cURL library to do.
curl_exec – Executes a cURL session.
curl_close – Closes the current cURL session.
Below are some examples which should make the working of cURL more clearer.
The below piece of PHP code uses cURL to download Google’s RSS feed.