How to define the basic HTTP authentication using cURL correctly?


I'm learning Apigility (Apigility docu -> REST Service Tutorial) and trying to send a POST request with basic authentication via cURL:

$ curl -X POST -i -H "Content-Type: application/hal+json" -H "Authorization: Basic YXBpdXNlcjphcGlwd2Q=" http://apigilityhw.sandbox.loc/status

YXBpdXNlcjphcGlwd2Q= is the base 64 encoded string with my credentials apiuser:apipwd. The credentials are saved in the /data/htpasswd (apiuser:$apr1$3J4cyqEw$WKga3rQMkxvnevMuBaekg/).

The looks like this:

HTTP/1.1 401 Unauthorized
Server: nginx/1.4.7
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2014 07:48:47 GMT
Content-Type: application/problem+json
Transfer-Encoding: chunked
Connection: keep-alive
X-Powered-By: PHP/5.5.12-1~dotdeb.1
WWW-Authenticate: Basic realm="api"

Where is the mistake here? How to get it work?

9/22/2014 7:58:08 AM

Accepted Answer

curl -u username:password http://
curl -u username http://

From the documentation page:

-u, --user <user:password>

Specify the user name and password to use for server authentication. Overrides -n, --netrc and --netrc-optional.

If you simply specify the user name, curl will prompt for a password.

The user name and passwords are split up on the first colon, which makes it impossible to use a colon in the user name with this option. The password can, still.

When using Kerberos V5 with a Windows based server you should include the Windows domain name in the user name, in order for the server to succesfully obtain a Kerberos Ticket. If you don't then the initial authentication handshake may fail.

When using NTLM, the user name can be specified simply as the user name, without the domain, if there is a single domain and forest in your setup for example.

To specify the domain name use either Down-Level Logon Name or UPN (User Principal Name) formats. For example, EXAMPLE\user and [email protected] respectively.

If you use a Windows SSPI-enabled curl binary and perform Kerberos V5, Negotiate, NTLM or Digest authentication then you can tell curl to select the user name and password from your environment by specifying a single colon with this option: "-u :".

If this option is used several times, the last one will be used.

Note that you do not need --basic flag as it is the default.

12/12/2014 11:03:06 AM

as header

AUTH=$(echo -ne "$BASIC_AUTH_USER:$BASIC_AUTH_PASSWORD" | base64 --wrap 0)

curl \
  --header "Content-Type: application/json" \
  --header "Authorization: Basic $AUTH" \
  --request POST \
  --data  '{"key1":"value1", "key2":"value2"}' \