Skip to content

Instantly share code, notes, and snippets.

Last active May 11, 2023 02:38
What would you like to do?
Bash urlencode and urldecode
urlencode() {
# urlencode <string>
local length="${#1}"
for (( i = 0; i < length; i++ )); do
local c="${1:$i:1}"
case $c in
[a-zA-Z0-9.~_-]) printf '%s' "$c" ;;
*) printf '%%%02X' "'$c" ;;
urldecode() {
# urldecode <string>
local url_encoded="${1//+/ }"
printf '%b' "${url_encoded//%/\\x}"
Copy link

Lovely! Thank you all!

Copy link

ghost commented Dec 12, 2020

@rajeshisnepali for urldecode to work with my zsh:
In zsh ${url_encoded//%/\\x} adds a \x to the end but ${url_encoded//\%/\\x} replaces % with \x.
lri -

also, in urlencode, $i could be made local
local i length="${#1}"

Copy link

@mountaineerbr Thanks for the information but I couldn't make the above script work.

But it worked using an alias from the python3 script 👍 (from the link above).

Copy link

cjplay02 commented Jan 29, 2021

I'm seeing strings with 2 or more consecutive spaces get shrunk to 1 space. So %20%20 or ' ' changes to only ' '. Any thoughts on how to not truncate these spaces?

Copy link

cdown commented Jan 29, 2021

@cjplay02 I'm pretty sure the issue is elsewhere.

$ urldecode() {
    # urldecode <string>

    local url_encoded="${1//+/ }"
    printf '%b' "${url_encoded//%/\\x}"
$ urldecode 'foo%20%20%20%20%20bar'
foo     bar

Copy link

cjplay02 commented Jan 29, 2021

Good call @cdown. I had the urldecode call in a command substitution - urldecoded=$(urldecode 's3://...'). Once I removed the function call from the command substitution, the spaces were retained from the encoding. Now I just need to find a better way to declare the result as a variable...

Edit. Double Quoting around the variable's presentation in downstream commands fixed my issue. Ie echo "$varname"

Copy link

dicktyr commented Jan 31, 2021

just a brief nod to mawk
which is five times faster in my tests
(indeed, often faster than sed)

I know it's not a de facto standard like bash
i.e. installed by default on so many systems
but it should be and it is on my systems

I also notice that bash seems to be catching up with ksh93

Copy link

One line implementation, suitable for storing in .bashrc

urle () { [[ "${1}" ]] || return 1; local LANG=C i x; for (( i = 0; i < ${#1}; i++ )); do x="${1:i:1}"; [[ "${x}" == [a-zA-Z0-9.~_-] ]] && echo -n "${x}" || printf '%%%02X' "'${x}"; done; echo; }
urld () { [[ "${1}" ]] || return 1; : "${1//+/ }"; echo -e "${_//%/\\x}"; }

Copy link

Thanks for it!

Copy link

Thanks for this.
Could you please also license this code of yours?

Copy link

Thanks for the script, but i don't know why when calling urlencode i got in the encoded data a : % at the end !

Copy link

i had to add a check for systems where collate is not set

if [ -n "$old_lc_collate" ] ; then LC_COLLATE=$old_lc_collate ; fi

Copy link

milahu commented Sep 6, 2022

LC_ALL=C is needed to support unicode = loop bytes, not characters.
LC_COLLATE=C or LANG=C do not work.
this also must be set before ${#1} to get the length of $1 in bytes

#!/usr/bin/env bash
# MIT License

# encode special characters per RFC 3986
urlencode() {
    local LC_ALL=C # support unicode = loop bytes, not characters
    local c i n=${#1}
    for (( i=0; i<n; i++ )); do
        case "$c" in
            [-_.~A-Za-z0-9]) # also encode ;,/?:@&=+$!*'()# == encodeURIComponent in javascript
            #[-_.~A-Za-z0-9\;,/?:@\&=+\$!*\'\(\)#]) # dont encode ;,/?:@&=+$!*'()# == encodeURI in javascript
               printf '%s' "$c" ;;
            *) printf '%%%02X' "'$c" ;;

_test_urlencode() {
  local fname=urlencode
  local auml=$'\xC3\xA4' # ä = %C3%A4
  local euro=$'\xE2\x82\xAC' # € = %E2%82%AC
  local tick=$'\x60' # ` = %60
  local backtick=$'\xC2\xB4' # ´ = %C2%B4
  local input="a:/b c?d=e&f#g-+-;-,-@-\$-!-*-'-(-)-#-$tick-$backtick-$auml-$euro"
  # note: we expect uppercase hex codes from %02X format string
  local expected="a%3A%2Fb%20c%3Fd%3De%26f%23g-%2B-%3B-%2C-%40-%24-%21-%2A-%27-%28-%29-%23-%60-%C2%B4-%C3%A4-%E2%82%AC" # also encode ;,/?:@&=+$!*'()#
  #local expected="a:/b%20c?d=e&f#g-+-;-,-@-\$-!-*-'-(-)-#-%60-%C2%B4-%C3%A4-%E2%82%AC" # dont encode ;,/?:@&=+$!*'()#
  local actual="$($fname "$input")"
  if [[ "$actual" != "$expected" ]]; then
    echo "error in $fname"
    # debug
    echo "input: $input"
    echo "input hex:"; echo -n "$input" | hexdump -v -e '/1 "%02X"' | sed 's/\(..\)/\\x\1/g'; echo
    echo "input hexdump:"; echo -n "$input" | hexdump -C
    printf "actual:   "; echo "$actual"
    printf "expected: "; echo "$expected"
    exit 1

Copy link

This works for me.

rawurlencode() {
  local string="${1}"
  local strlen=${#string}
  local encoded=""
  local pos c o

  for (( pos=0 ; pos<strlen ; pos++ )); do
     case "$c" in
        [-_.~a-zA-Z0-9] ) o="${c}" ;;
        * )               printf -v o '%%%02x' "'$c"
  echo "${encoded}"    # You can either set a return variable (FASTER) 
  REPLY="${encoded}"   #+or echo the result (EASIER)... or both... :p

Copy link

milahu commented Sep 7, 2022

@ThePredators this breaks on unicode

input: a:/b c?d=e&f#g-+-`-´-ä-€
input hex:
input hexdump:
00000000  61 3a 2f 62 20 63 3f 64  3d 65 26 66 23 67 2d 2b  |a:/b c?d=e&f#g-+|
00000010  2d 60 2d c2 b4 2d c3 a4  2d e2 82 ac              |-`-..-..-...|
actual:   a%3A%2Fb%20c%3Fd%3De%26f%23g-%2B-%60-%B4-%E4-%20AC
expected: a%3A%2Fb%20c%3Fd%3De%26f%23g-%2B-%60-%C2%B4-%C3%A4-%E2%82%AC

see my updated answer

Copy link

oijkn commented Oct 3, 2022

@ThePredators works like a charm 👍

Copy link

Twibow commented Nov 7, 2022


Characters used in France are not taken into account: (é è à ù ê â û ...) if you work in fr_FR locale.

You need to convert your data source from Windows-1252 to UTF-8 before entering in the function ::

data_utf8=$(echo "$data_ISO" | iconv -f iso8859-1 -t utf-8)

Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment