PHP: Downloading remote content with CURL

July 7, 2010

With fopen becoming increasingly scarce on web hosts, CURL is becoming a better and better solution to retrieving remote content with PHP. CURL is a fairly standard PHP module and chances are if your host does not support it a simple ticket will have them installing it for you.

Because I am constantly loosing my CURL code and being forced to look it up again I decided to post my favorite CURL function for future reference for myself. I hope that you may get some use out of this as well.

 * Get a web file (HTML, XHTML, XML, image, etc.) from a URL.  Return an
 * array containing the HTTP server response header fields and content.
function curlFile($url) {
    $options = array(
        CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER => true,     // return web page
        CURLOPT_HEADER         => false,    // don't return headers
        CURLOPT_FOLLOWLOCATION => true,     // follow redirects
        CURLOPT_ENCODING       => "",       // handle all encodings
        CURLOPT_USERAGENT      => "blob curler 1.2", // who am i
        CURLOPT_AUTOREFERER    => true,     // set referer on redirect
        CURLOPT_CONNECTTIMEOUT => 120,      // timeout on connect
        CURLOPT_TIMEOUT        => 120,      // timeout on response
        CURLOPT_MAXREDIRS      => 10,       // stop after 10 redirects

    $ch      = curl_init( $url );
    curl_setopt_array( $ch, $options );
    $content = curl_exec( $ch );
    $err     = curl_errno( $ch );
    $errmsg  = curl_error( $ch );
    $header  = curl_getinfo( $ch );
    curl_close( $ch );

    $header['errno']   = $err;
    $header['errmsg']  = $errmsg;
    $header['content'] = $content;
    return $header;

Additional Reading:
Reading a Remote File Using PHP
How to get a webpage using CURL

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