URL encoding in bash with perl

ENCODED=$(echo -n "value to encode" | \
perl -pe's/([^-_.~A-Za-z0-9])/sprintf("%%%02X", ord($1))/seg');

This command line percent-encodes strings, even binary data. You can use redirection. I used `echo -n` because I didn’t want a newline (%0A) tagged onto the end. I’ll be using this in a bash script to send HTTP POST data via curl.

My result is based on Perl URL Encode & Decode String, modified to be run on the command line and updated to skip the four non-alphanumeric unreserved characters specified in RFC 3986 Section 2.3.

I don’t know if this depends on Perl multibyte settings or anything else. I might have just been lucky. Perl isn’t my thing.

Previous Post


  1. Troy Volin

     /  November 3, 2008

    Wow. Google for “bash function url encode” and you can’t hope for better results than this!

  2. you don’t need to do this, curl encodes the data: curl -d “option=arg”

  3. Demiurg

     /  August 20, 2009

    perl -MURI::Escape -e ‘print uri_escape(“=+%”) . “\n”‘


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,950 other followers

%d bloggers like this: