You set options in the easy handle to control how that transfer is going to be
done, or in some cases you can actually set options and modify the transfer’s
behavior while it is in progress. You set options with
and you provide the handle, the option you want to set and the argument to the
option. All options take exactly one argument and you must always pass exactly
three parameters to the curl_easy_setopt() calls.
Since the curl_easy_setopt() call accepts several hundred different options
and the various options accept a variety of different types of arguments, it
is very important to read up on the specifics and provide exactly the argument
type the specific option supports and expects. Passing in the wrong type can
lead to unexpected side-effects or hard to understand hiccups.
The perhaps most important option that every transfer needs, is the URL.
libcurl cannot perform a transfer without knowing which URL it concerns so you
must tell it. The URL option name is
CURLOPT_URL as all options are prefixed
CURLOPT_ and then the descriptive name—all using uppercase
letters. An example line setting the URL to get the “http://example.com“ HTTP
contents could look like:
CURLcode ret = curl_easy_setopt(easy, CURLOPT_URL, "http://example.com");
Again: this only sets the option in the handle. It will not do the actual
transfer or anything. It will basically just tell libcurl to copy the string
and if that works it returns OK.
It is, of course, good form to check the return code to see that nothing went
Since curl_easy_setopt() is a vararg function where the 3rd argument can use
different types depending on the situation, normal C language type conversion
cannot be done. So you must make sure that you truly pass a ‘long’ and not
an ‘int’ if the documentation tells you so. On architectures where they are
the same size, you may not get any problems but not all work like
that. Similarly, for options that accept a ‘curl_off_t’ type, it is
crucial that you pass in an argument using that type and no other.
Enforce a long:
curl_easy_setopt(handle, CURLOPT_TIMEOUT, 5L); /* 5 seconds timeout */
Enforce a curl_off_t:
curl_off_t no_larger_than = 0x50000;
curl_easy_setopt(handle, CURLOPT_MAXFILE_LARGE, no_larger_than);
No, there’s no general method to extract the same information you previously
curl_easy_setopt()! If you need to be able to extract the
information again that you set earlier, then we encourage you to keep track of
that data yourself in your application.