Getting HTTP Status Codes from the Command Line

In my post about HTTP Status Codes and their usefulness for SEO I briefly mentioned a unix command you can run to retrieve the status code for any URL;

curl -I tosbourn.com
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
.... 

I wanted to talk about this in a bit more depth. I have recorded a video if you prefer watching SEO stuff to reading it.

The command we end up using is;

curl -Is tosbourn.com | head -1 | awk '{print $2}'

What this is saying is;

  • Give me just the head information from the request (curl -I)
  • Don’t give me feedback when retrieving the request (curl -s)
  • I only care about the first row of whatever is returned (head -1)
  • I only care about the second column of what is returned (awk '{print $2}')

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