Documentation

Contents…

HTTPie (pronounced aitch-tee-tee-pie) is a command-line HTTP client. Its goal is to make CLI interaction with web services as human-friendly as possible. HTTPie is designed for testing, debugging, and generally interacting with APIs & HTTP servers. The http & https commands allow for creating and sending arbitrary HTTP requests. They use simple and natural syntax and provide formatted and colorized output.

Main features

  • Expressive and intuitive syntax
  • Formatted and colorized terminal output
  • Built-in JSON support
  • Forms and file uploads
  • HTTPS, proxies, and authentication
  • Arbitrary request data
  • Custom headers
  • Persistent sessions
  • Wget-like downloads
  • Linux, macOS, Windows, and FreeBSD support
  • Plugins
  • Documentation
  • Test coverage

Installation

Universal

PyPI

Please make sure you have Python 3.7 or newer (python --version).

# Install httpie
$ python -m pip install --upgrade pip wheel
$ python -m pip install httpie
# Upgrade httpie
$ python -m pip install --upgrade pip wheel
$ python -m pip install --upgrade httpie

macOS

Homebrew

To install Homebrew, see its installation.

# Install httpie
$ brew update
$ brew install httpie
# Upgrade httpie
$ brew update
$ brew upgrade httpie

MacPorts

To install MacPorts, see its installation.

# Install httpie
$ port selfupdate
$ port install httpie
# Upgrade httpie
$ port selfupdate
$ port upgrade httpie

Windows

Chocolatey

To install Chocolatey, see its installation.

# Install httpie
$ choco install httpie
Run
# Upgrade httpie
$ choco upgrade httpie
Run

Linux

Snapcraft (Linux)

To install Snapcraft, see its installation.

# Install httpie
$ snap install httpie
Run
# Upgrade httpie
$ snap refresh httpie
Run

Linuxbrew

To install Linuxbrew, see its installation.

# Install httpie
$ brew update
$ brew install httpie
# Upgrade httpie
$ brew update
$ brew upgrade httpie

Debian and Ubuntu

Also works for other Debian-derived distributions like MX Linux, Linux Mint, deepin, Pop!_OS, KDE neon, Zorin OS, elementary OS, Kubuntu, Devuan, Linux Lite, Peppermint OS, Lubuntu, antiX, Xubuntu, etc.

# Install httpie
$ curl -SsL https://packages.httpie.io/deb/KEY.gpg | apt-key add -
$ curl -SsL -o /etc/apt/sources.list.d/httpie.list https://packages.httpie.io/deb/httpie.list
$ apt update
$ apt install httpie
# Upgrade httpie
$ apt update
$ apt upgrade httpie

Fedora

# Install httpie
$ dnf install httpie
Run
# Upgrade httpie
$ dnf upgrade httpie
Run

CentOS and RHEL

Also works for other RHEL-derived distributions like ClearOS, Oracle Linux, etc.

# Install httpie
$ yum install epel-release
$ yum install httpie
# Upgrade httpie
$ yum upgrade httpie
Run

Arch Linux

Also works for other Arch-derived distributions like ArcoLinux, EndeavourOS, Artix Linux, etc.

# Install httpie
$ pacman -Syu httpie
Run
# Upgrade httpie
$ pacman -Syu

Single binary executables

Get the standalone HTTPie Linux executables when you don't want to go through the full installation process

# Install httpie
$ https --download packages.httpie.io/binaries/linux/http-latest -o http
$ chmod +x ./http
# Upgrade httpie
$ https --download packages.httpie.io/binaries/linux/http-latest -o http
Run

FreeBSD

FreshPorts

# Install httpie
$ pkg install www/py-httpie
Run
# Upgrade httpie
$ pkg upgrade www/py-httpie
Run

Unstable version

You can also install the latest unreleased development version directly from the master branch on GitHub. It is a work-in-progress of a future stable release so the experience might be not as smooth.

You can install it on Linux, macOS, Windows, or FreeBSD with pip:

$ python -m pip install --upgrade https://github.com/httpie/httpie/archive/master.tar.gz
Run

Or on macOS, and Linux, with Homebrew:

$ brew uninstall --force httpie
$ brew install --HEAD httpie

And even on macOS, and Linux, with Snapcraft:

$ snap remove httpie
$ snap install httpie --edge

Verify that now you have the current development version identifier with the .dev0 suffix, for example:

$ http --version
# 3.X.X.dev0
Run

Usage

Hello World:

$ https httpie.io/hello
Run

Synopsis:

$ http [flags] [METHOD] URL [ITEM [ITEM]]

See also http --help (and for systems where man pages are available, you can use man http).

Examples

Custom HTTP method, HTTP headers and JSON data:

$ http PUT pie.dev/put X-API-Token:123 name=John
Run

Submitting forms:

$ http -f POST pie.dev/post hello=World
Run

See the request that is being sent using one of the output options:

$ http -v pie.dev/get
Run

Build and print a request without sending it using offline mode:

$ http --offline pie.dev/post hello=offline
Run

Use GitHub API to post a comment on an issue with authentication:

$ http -a USERNAME POST https://api.github.com/repos/httpie/httpie/issues/83/comments body='HTTPie is awesome! :heart:'
Run

Upload a file using redirected input:

$ http pie.dev/post < files/data.json
Run

Download a file and save it via redirected output:

$ http pie.dev/image/png > image.png
Run

Download a file wget style:

$ http --download pie.dev/image/png
Run

Use named sessions to make certain aspects of the communication persistent between requests to the same host:

$ http --session=logged-in -a username:password pie.dev/get API-Key:123
Run
$ http --session=logged-in pie.dev/headers
Run

Set a custom Host header to work around missing DNS records:

$ http localhost:8000 Host:example.com
Run

HTTP method

The name of the HTTP method comes right before the URL argument:

$ http DELETE pie.dev/delete
Run

Which looks similar to the actual Request-Line that is sent:

DELETE /delete HTTP/1.1

In addition to the standard methods (GET, POST, HEAD, PUT, PATCH, DELETE, etc.), you can use custom method names, for example:

$ http AHOY pie.dev/post
Run

There are no restrictions regarding which request methods can include a body. You can send an empty POST request:

$ http POST pie.dev/post
Run

You can also make GET requests containing a body:

$ http GET pie.dev/get hello=world
Run

Optional GET and POST

The METHOD argument is optional, and when you don’t specify it, HTTPie defaults to:

  • GET for requests without body
  • POST for requests with body

Here we don’t specify any request data, so both commands will send the same GET request:

$ http GET pie.dev/get
Run
$ http pie.dev/get
Run

Here, on the other hand, we do have some data, so both commands will make the same POST request:

$ http POST pie.dev/post hello=world
Run
$ http pie.dev/post hello=world
Run

Request URL

The only information HTTPie needs to perform a request is a URL.

The default scheme is http:// and can be omitted from the argument:

$ http example.org
# → http://example.org
Run

HTTPie also installs an https executable, where the default scheme is https://:

$ https example.org
# → https://example.org
Run

When you paste a URL into the terminal, you can even keep the :// bit in the URL argument to quickly convert the URL into an HTTPie call just by adding a space after the protocol name.

$ https ://example.org
# → https://example.org
Run
$ http ://example.org
# → http://example.org
Run

Querystring parameters

If you find yourself manually constructing URLs with querystring parameters on the terminal, you may appreciate the param==value syntax for appending URL parameters.

With that, you don’t have to worry about escaping the & separators for your shell. Additionally, any special characters in the parameter name or value get automatically URL-escaped (as opposed to the parameters specified in the full URL, which HTTPie doesn’t modify).

$ http https://api.github.com/search/repositories q==httpie per_page==1
Run
GET /search/repositories?q=httpie&per_page=1 HTTP/1.1

You can even retrieve the value from a file by using the param==@file syntax. This would also effectively strip the newlines from the end. See file based separators for more examples.

$ http pie.dev/get text==@files/text.txt
Run

URL shortcuts for localhost

Additionally, curl-like shorthand for localhost is supported. This means that, for example, :3000 would expand to http://localhost:3000 If the port is omitted, then port 80 is assumed.

$ http :/foo
Run
GET /foo HTTP/1.1
Host: localhost
$ http :3000/bar
Run
GET /bar HTTP/1.1
Host: localhost:3000
$ http :
Run
GET / HTTP/1.1
Host: localhost

Other default schemes

When HTTPie is invoked as https then the default scheme is https:// ($ https example.org will make a request to https://example.org).

You can also use the --default-scheme <URL_SCHEME> option to create shortcuts for other protocols than HTTP (possibly supported via plugins). Example for the httpie-unixsocket plugin:

# Before
$ http http+unix://%2Fvar%2Frun%2Fdocker.sock/info
Run
# Create an alias
$ alias http-unix='http --default-scheme="http+unix"'
Run
# Now the scheme can be omitted
$ http-unix %2Fvar%2Frun%2Fdocker.sock/info
Run

--path-as-is

The standard behavior of HTTP clients is to normalize the path portion of URLs by squashing dot segments as a typically filesystem would:

$ http -v example.org/./../../etc/password
Run
GET /etc/password HTTP/1.1

The --path-as-is option allows you to disable this behavior:

$ http --path-as-is -v example.org/./../../etc/password
Run
GET /../../etc/password HTTP/1.1

Request items

There are a few different request item types that provide a convenient mechanism for specifying HTTP headers, JSON and form data, files, and URL parameters. This is a very practical way of constructing HTTP requests from scratch on the CLI.

Each request item is simply a key/value pair separated with the following characters: : (headers), = (data field, e.g., JSON, form), := (raw data field) == (query parameters), @ (file upload).

$ http PUT pie.dev/put \
    X-Date:today \                     # Header
    token==secret \                    # Query parameter
    name=John \                        # Data field
    age:=29                            # Raw JSON
Run
Item TypeDescription
HTTP Headers Name:ValueArbitrary HTTP header, e.g. X-API-Token:123
URL parameters name==valueAppends the given name/value pair as a querystring parameter to the URL. The == separator is used.
Data Fields field=valueRequest data fields to be serialized as a JSON object (default), to be form-encoded (with --form, -f), or to be serialized as multipart/form-data (with --multipart)
Raw JSON fields field:=jsonUseful when sending JSON and one or more fields need to be a Boolean, Number, nested Object, or an Array, e.g., meals:='["ham","spam"]' or pies:=[1,2,3] (note the quotes)
File upload fields field@/dir/file, field@file;type=mimeOnly available with --form, -f and --multipart. For example screenshot@~/Pictures/img.png, or 'cv@cv.txt;type=text/markdown'. With --form, the presence of a file field results in a --multipart request

Note that the structured data fields aren’t the only way to specify request data: raw request body is a mechanism for passing arbitrary request data.

File based separators

Using file contents as values for specific fields is a very common use case, which can be achieved through adding the @ suffix to the operators above. For example instead of using a static string as the value for some header, you can use :@ operator to pass the desired value from a file.

$ http POST pie.dev/post \
    X-Data:@files/text.txt             # Read a header from a file
    token==@files/text.txt             # Read a query parameter from a file
    name=@files/text.txt               # Read a data field’s value from a file
    bookmarks:=@files/data.json        # Embed a JSON object from a file

Escaping rules

You can use \ to escape characters that shouldn’t be used as separators (or parts thereof). For instance, foo\==bar will become a data key/value pair (foo= and bar) instead of a URL parameter.

Often it is necessary to quote the values, e.g. foo='bar baz'.

If any of the field names or headers starts with a minus (e.g. -fieldname), you need to place all such items after the special token -- to prevent confusion with --arguments:

$ http pie.dev/post -- -name-starting-with-dash=foo -Unusual-Header:bar
Run
POST /post HTTP/1.1
-Unusual-Header: bar
Content-Type: application/json

{
    "-name-starting-with-dash": "foo"
}

JSON

JSON is the lingua franca of modern web services, and it is also the implicit content type HTTPie uses by default.

Simple example:

$ http PUT pie.dev/put name=John email=john@example.org
Run
PUT / HTTP/1.1
Accept: application/json, */*;q=0.5
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
Content-Type: application/json
Host: pie.dev

{
    "name": "John",
    "email": "john@example.org"
}

Default behavior

If your command includes some data request items, they are serialized as a JSON object by default. HTTPie also automatically sets the following headers, both of which can be overwritten:

HeaderValue
Content-Typeapplication/json
Acceptapplication/json, */*;q=0.5

Explicit JSON

You can use --json, -j to explicitly set Accept to application/json regardless of whether you are sending data (it’s a shortcut for setting the header via the usual header notation: http url Accept:'application/json, */*;q=0.5'). Additionally, HTTPie will try to detect JSON responses even when the Content-Type is incorrectly text/plain or unknown.

Non-string JSON fields

Non-string JSON fields use the := separator, which allows you to embed arbitrary JSON data into the resulting JSON object. Additionally, text and raw JSON files can also be embedded into fields using =@ and :=@:

$ http PUT pie.dev/put \
    name=John \                        # String (default)
    age:=29 \                          # Raw JSON — Number
    married:=false \                   # Raw JSON — Boolean
    hobbies:='["http", "pies"]' \      # Raw JSON — Array
    favorite:='{"tool": "HTTPie"}' \   # Raw JSON — Object
    bookmarks:=@files/data.json \      # Embed JSON file
    description=@files/text.txt        # Embed text file
Run
PUT /person/1 HTTP/1.1
Accept: application/json, */*;q=0.5
Content-Type: application/json
Host: pie.dev

{
    "age": 29,
    "hobbies": [
        "http",
        "pies"
    ],
    "description": "John is a nice guy who likes pies.",
    "married": false,
    "name": "John",
    "favorite": {
        "tool": "HTTPie"
    },
    "bookmarks": {
        "HTTPie": "https://httpie.org",
    }
}

The :=/:=@ syntax is JSON-specific. You can switch your request to --form or --multipart, and string, float, and number values will continue to be serialized (as string form values). Other JSON types, however, are not allowed with --form or --multipart.

Nested JSON

If your use case involves sending complex JSON objects as part of the request body, HTTPie can help you build them right from your terminal. You still use the existing data field operators (=/:=) but instead of specifying a top-level field name (like key=value), you specify a path declaration. This tells HTTPie where and how to put the given value inside an object:

http pie.dev/post \
  platform[name]=HTTPie \
  platform[about][mission]='Make APIs simple and intuitive' \
  platform[about][homepage]=httpie.io \
  platform[about][homepage]=httpie.io \
  platform[about][stars]:=54000 \
  platform[apps][]=Terminal \
  platform[apps][]=Desktop \
  platform[apps][]=Web \
  platform[apps][]=Mobile
Run
{
    "platform": {
        "name": "HTTPie",
        "about": {
            "mission": "Make APIs simple and intuitive",
            "homepage": "httpie.io",
            "stars": 54000
        },
        "apps": [
            "Terminal",
            "Desktop",
            "Web",
            "Mobile"
        ]
    }
}

Introduction

Let’s start with a simple example, and build a simple search query:

$ http --offline --print=B pie.dev/post \
  category=tools \
  search[type]=id \
  search[id]:=1
Run

In the example above, the search[type] is an instruction for creating an object called search, and setting the type field of it to the given value ("id").

Also note that, just as the regular syntax, you can use the := operator to directly pass raw JSON values (e.g, numbers in the case above).

{
    "category": "tools",
    "search": {
        "id": 1,
        "type": "id"
    }
}

Building arrays is also possible, through [] suffix (an append operation). This tells HTTPie to create an array in the given path (if there is not one already), and append the given value to that array.

$ http --offline --print=B pie.dev/post \
  category=tools \
  search[type]=keyword \
  search[keywords][]=APIs \
  search[keywords][]=CLI
Run
{
    "category": "tools",
    "search": {
        "keywords": [
            "APIs",
            "CLI"
        ],
        "type": "keyword"
    }
}

If you want to explicitly specify the position of elements inside an array, you can simply pass the desired index as the path:

$ http --offline --print=B pie.dev/post \
  category=tools \
  search[type]=keyword \
  search[keywords][1]=APIs \
  search[keywords][0]=CLI
Run
{
    "category": "tools",
    "search": {
        "keywords": [
            "CLIs",
            "API"
        ],
        "type": "keyword"
    }
}

If there are any missing indexes, HTTPie will nullify them in order to create a concrete object that can be sent:

$ http --offline --print=B pie.dev/post \
  category=tools \
  search[type]=platforms \
  search[platforms][]=Terminal \
  search[platforms][1]=Desktop \
  search[platforms][3]=Mobile
Run
{
    "category": "tools",
    "search": {
        "platforms": [
            "Terminal",
            "Desktop",
            null,
            "Mobile"
        ],
        "type": "platforms"
    }
}

It is also possible to embed raw JSON to a nested structure, for example:

$ http --offline --print=B pie.dev/post \
  category=tools \
  search[type]=platforms \
  'search[platforms]:=["Terminal", "Desktop"]' \
  search[platforms][]=Web \
  search[platforms][]=Mobile
Run
{
    "category": "tools",
    "search": {
        "platforms": [
            "Terminal",
            "Desktop",
            "Web",
            "Mobile"
        ],
        "type": "platforms"
    }
}

And just to demonstrate all of these features together, let’s create a very deeply nested JSON object:

$ http PUT pie.dev/put \
    shallow=value \                                # Shallow key-value pair
    object[key]=value \                            # Nested key-value pair
    array[]:=1 \                                   # Array — first item
    array[1]:=2 \                                  # Array — second item
    array[2]:=3 \                                  # Array — append (third item)
    very[nested][json][3][httpie][power][]=Amaze   # Nested object
Run

Advanced usage

Top level arrays

If you want to send an array instead of a regular object, you can simply do that by omitting the starting key:

$ http --offline --print=B pie.dev/post \
    []:=1 \
    []:=2 \
    []:=3
Run
[
    1,
    2,
    3
]

You can also apply the nesting to the items by referencing their index:

http --offline --print=B pie.dev/post \
    [0][type]=platform [0][name]=terminal \
    [1][type]=platform [1][name]=desktop
Run
[
    {
        "type": "platform",
        "name": "terminal"
    },
    {
        "type": "platform",
        "name": "desktop"
    }
]
Escaping behavior

Nested JSON syntax uses the same escaping rules as the terminal. There are 3 special characters, and 1 special token that you can escape.

If you want to send a bracket as is, escape it with a backslash (\):

$ http --offline --print=B pie.dev/post \
  'foo\[bar\]:=1' \
  'baz[\[]:=2' \
  'baz[\]]:=3'
{
    "baz": {
        "[": 2,
        "]": 3
    },
    "foo[bar]": 1
}

If you want to send the literal backslash character (\), escape it with another backslash:

$ http --offline --print=B pie.dev/post \
  'backslash[\\]:=1'
Run
{
    "backslash": {
        "\\": 1
    }
}

A regular integer in a path (e.g [10]) means an array index; but if you want it to be treated as a string, you can escape the whole number by using a backslash (\) prefix.

$ http --offline --print=B pie.dev/post \
  'object[\1]=stringified' \
  'object[\100]=same' \
  'array[1]=indexified'
Run
{
    "array": [
        null,
        "indexified"
    ],
    "object": {
        "1": "stringified",
        "100": "same"
    }
}
Guiding syntax errors

If you make a typo or forget to close a bracket, the errors will guide you to fix it. For example:

$ http --offline --print=B pie.dev/post \
  'foo[bar]=OK' \
  'foo[baz][quux=FAIL'
Run
HTTPie Syntax Error: Expecting ']'
foo[baz][quux
             ^

You can follow to given instruction (adding a ]) and repair your expression.

Type safety

Each container path (e.g., x[y][z] in x[y][z][1]) has a certain type, which gets defined with the first usage and can’t be changed after that. If you try to do a key-based access to an array or an index-based access to an object, HTTPie will error out:

$ http --offline --print=B pie.dev/post \
  'array[]:=1' \
  'array[]:=2' \
  'array[key]:=3'
HTTPie Type Error: Can't perform 'key' based access on 'array' which has a type of 'array' but this operation requires a type of 'object'.
array[key]
     ^^^^^

Type Safety does not apply to value overrides, for example:

$ http --offline --print=B pie.dev/post \
  user[name]:=411     # Defined as an integer
  user[name]=string   # Overridden with a string
{
    "user": {
        "name": "string"
    }
}

Raw JSON

For very complex JSON structures, it may be more convenient to pass it as raw request body, for example:

$ echo -n '{"hello": "world"}' | http POST pie.dev/post
Run
$ http POST pie.dev/post < files/data.json
Run

Forms

Submitting forms is very similar to sending JSON requests. Often the only difference is in adding the --form, -f option, which ensures that data fields are serialized as, and Content-Type is set to application/x-www-form-urlencoded; charset=utf-8. It is possible to make form data the implicit content type instead of JSON via the config file.

Regular forms

$ http --form POST pie.dev/post name='John Smith'
Run
POST /post HTTP/1.1
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded; charset=utf-8

name=John+Smith

File upload forms

If one or more file fields is present, the serialization and content type is multipart/form-data:

$ http -f POST pie.dev/post name='John Smith' cv@~/files/data.xml
Run

The request above is the same as if the following HTML form were submitted:

<form enctype="multipart/form-data" method="post" action="http://example.com/jobs">
    <input type="text" name="name" />
    <input type="file" name="cv" />
</form>

Please note that @ is used to simulate a file upload form field, whereas =@ just embeds the file content as a regular text field value.

When uploading files, their content type is inferred from the file name. You can manually override the inferred content type:

$ http -f POST pie.dev/post name='John Smith' cv@'~/files/data.bin;type=application/pdf'
Run

To perform a multipart/form-data request even without any files, use --multipart instead of --form:

$ http --multipart --offline example.org hello=world
Run
POST / HTTP/1.1
Content-Length: 129
Content-Type: multipart/form-data; boundary=c31279ab254f40aeb06df32b433cbccb
Host: example.org

--c31279ab254f40aeb06df32b433cbccb
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="hello"

world
--c31279ab254f40aeb06df32b433cbccb--

File uploads are always streamed to avoid memory issues with large files.

By default, HTTPie uses a random unique string as the multipart boundary, but you can use --boundary to specify a custom string instead:

$ http --form --multipart --boundary=xoxo --offline example.org hello=world
Run
POST / HTTP/1.1
Content-Length: 129
Content-Type: multipart/form-data; boundary=xoxo
Host: example.org

--xoxo
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="hello"

world
--xoxo--

If you specify a custom Content-Type header without including the boundary bit, HTTPie will add the boundary value (explicitly specified or auto-generated) to the header automatically:

$ http --form --multipart --offline example.org hello=world Content-Type:multipart/letter
Run
POST / HTTP/1.1
Content-Length: 129
Content-Type: multipart/letter; boundary=c31279ab254f40aeb06df32b433cbccb
Host: example.org

--c31279ab254f40aeb06df32b433cbccb
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="hello"

world
--c31279ab254f40aeb06df32b433cbccb--

HTTP headers

To set custom headers you can use the Header:Value notation:

$ http pie.dev/headers User-Agent:Bacon/1.0 'Cookie:valued-visitor=yes;foo=bar' \
    X-Foo:Bar Referer:https://httpie.org/
Run
GET /headers HTTP/1.1
Accept: */*
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
Cookie: valued-visitor=yes;foo=bar
Host: pie.dev
Referer: https://httpie.org/
User-Agent: Bacon/1.0
X-Foo: Bar

Default request headers

There are a couple of default headers that HTTPie sets:

GET / HTTP/1.1
Accept: */*
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
User-Agent: HTTPie/<version>
Host: <taken-from-URL>

Any of these can be overwritten and some of them unset (see below).

Reading headers from a file

You can read headers from a file by using the :@ operator. This would also effectively strip the newlines from the end. See [#file-based-separators] for more examples.

$ http pie.dev/headers X-Data:@files/text.txt
Run

Empty headers and header un-setting

To unset a previously specified header (such a one of the default headers), use Header::

$ http pie.dev/headers Accept: User-Agent:
Run

To send a header with an empty value, use Header;, with a semicolon:

$ http pie.dev/headers 'Header;'
Run

Please note that some internal headers, such as Content-Length, can’t be unset if they are automatically added by the client itself.

Multiple header values with the same name

If the request is sent with multiple headers that are sharing the same name, then the HTTPie will send them individually.

http --offline example.org Cookie:one Cookie:two
Run
GET / HTTP/1.1
Cookie: one
Cookie: two

It is also possible to pass a single header value pair, where the value is a comma separated list of header values. Then the client will send it as a single header.

http --offline example.org Numbers:one,two
Run
GET / HTTP/1.1
Numbers: one,two

Also be aware that if the current session contains any headers they will get overwritten by individual commands when sending a request instead of being joined together.

Limiting response headers

The --max-headers=n options allows you to control the number of headers HTTPie reads before giving up (the default 0, i.e., there’s no limit).

$ http --max-headers=100 pie.dev/get
Run

Offline mode

Use --offline to construct HTTP requests without sending them anywhere. With --offline, HTTPie builds a request based on the specified options and arguments, prints it to stdout, and then exits. It works completely offline; no network connection is ever made. This has a number of use cases, including:

Generating API documentation examples that you can copy & paste without sending a request:

$ http --offline POST server.chess/api/games API-Key:ZZZ w=magnus b=hikaru t=180 i=2
Run
$ http --offline MOVE server.chess/api/games/123 API-Key:ZZZ p=b a=R1a3 t=77
Run

Generating raw requests that can be sent with any other client:

# 1. save a raw request to a file:
$ http --offline POST pie.dev/post hello=world > request.http
Run
# 2. send it over the wire with, for example, the fantastic netcat tool:
$ nc pie.dev 80 < request.http
Run

You can also use the --offline mode for debugging and exploring HTTP and HTTPie, and for “dry runs”.

--offline has the side effect of automatically activating --print=HB, i.e., both the request headers and the body are printed. You can customize the output with the usual output options, with the exception where there is no response to be printed. You can use --offline in combination with all the other options (e.g. --session).

Cookies

HTTP clients send cookies to the server as regular HTTP headers. That means, HTTPie does not offer any special syntax for specifying cookies — the usual Header:Value notation is used:

Send a single cookie:

$ http pie.dev/cookies Cookie:sessionid=foo
Run
GET / HTTP/1.1
Accept: */*
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
Connection: keep-alive
Cookie: sessionid=foo
Host: pie.dev
User-Agent: HTTPie/0.9.9

Send multiple cookies (note: the header is quoted to prevent the shell from interpreting the ;):

$ http pie.dev/cookies 'Cookie:sessionid=foo;another-cookie=bar'
Run
GET / HTTP/1.1
Accept: */*
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
Connection: keep-alive
Cookie: sessionid=foo;another-cookie=bar
Host: pie.dev
User-Agent: HTTPie/0.9.9

If you often deal with cookies in your requests, then you’d appreciate the sessions feature.

Authentication

The currently supported authentication schemes are Basic and Digest (see auth plugins for more). There are two flags that control authentication:

FlagArguments
--auth, -aPass either a username:password pair or a token as the argument. If the selected authenticated method requires username/password combination and if you only specify a username (-a username), you’ll be prompted for the password before the request is sent. To send an empty password, pass username:. The username:password@hostname URL syntax is supported as well (but credentials passed via -a have higher priority)
--auth-type, -ASpecify the auth mechanism. Possible values are basic, digest, bearer or the name of any auth plugins you have installed. The default value is basic so it can often be omitted

Basic auth

$ http -a username:password pie.dev/basic-auth/username/password
Run

Digest auth

$ http -A digest -a username:password pie.dev/digest-auth/httpie/username/password
Run

Bearer auth

https -A bearer -a token pie.dev/bearer
Run

Password prompt

If you omit the password part of --auth, -a, HTTPie securely prompts you for it:

$ http -a username pie.dev/basic-auth/username/password
Run

Please note that when you use --session, prompted passwords are persisted in session files.

Empty password

To send an empty password without being prompted for it, include a trailing colon in the credentials:

$ http -a username: pie.dev/headers
Run

.netrc

Authentication information from your ~/.netrc file is by default honored as well.

For example:

$ cat ~/.netrc
machine pie.dev
login httpie
password test
$ http pie.dev/basic-auth/httpie/test
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
[...]

This can be disabled with the --ignore-netrc option:

$ http --ignore-netrc pie.dev/basic-auth/httpie/test
HTTP/1.1 401 UNAUTHORIZED
[...]

Auth plugins

Additional authentication mechanism can be installed as plugins. They can be found on the Python Package Index. Here are a few picks:

See plugin manager for more details.

HTTP redirects

By default, HTTP redirects are not followed and only the first response is shown:

$ http pie.dev/redirect/3
Run

Follow Location

To instruct HTTPie to follow the Location header of 30x responses and show the final response instead, use the --follow, -F option:

$ http --follow pie.dev/redirect/3
Run

With 307 Temporary Redirect and 308 Permanent Redirect, the method and the body of the original request are reused to perform the redirected request. Otherwise, a body-less GET request is performed.

Showing intermediary redirect responses

If you wish to see the intermediary requests/responses, then use the --all option:

$ http --follow --all pie.dev/redirect/3
Run

Limiting maximum redirects followed

To change the default limit of maximum 30 redirects, use the --max-redirects=<limit> option:

$ http --follow --all --max-redirects=2 pie.dev/redirect/3
Run

Proxies

You can specify proxies to be used through the --proxy argument for each protocol (which is included in the value in case of redirects across protocols):

$ http --proxy=http:http://10.10.1.10:3128 --proxy=https:https://10.10.1.10:1080 example.org
Run

With Basic authentication:

$ http --proxy=http:http://user:pass@10.10.1.10:3128 example.org
Run

Environment variables

You can also configure proxies by environment variables ALL_PROXY, HTTP_PROXY and HTTPS_PROXY, and the underlying Requests library will pick them up. If you want to disable proxies configured through the environment variables for certain hosts, you can specify them in NO_PROXY.

In your ~/.bash_profile:

export HTTP_PROXY=http://10.10.1.10:3128
export HTTPS_PROXY=https://10.10.1.10:1080
export NO_PROXY=localhost,example.com

SOCKS

Usage for SOCKS is the same as for other types of proxies:

$ http --proxy=http:socks5://user:pass@host:port --proxy=https:socks5://user:pass@host:port example.org
Run

HTTPS

Server SSL certificate verification

To skip the host’s SSL certificate verification, you can pass --verify=no (default is yes):

$ http --verify=no https://pie.dev/get
Run

Custom CA bundle

You can also use --verify=<CA_BUNDLE_PATH> to set a custom CA bundle path:

$ http --verify=/ssl/custom_ca_bundle https://example.org
Run

Client side SSL certificate

To use a client side certificate for the SSL communication, you can pass the path of the cert file with --cert:

$ http --cert=client.pem https://example.org
Run

If the private key is not contained in the cert file, you may pass the path of the key file with --cert-key:

$ http --cert=client.crt --cert-key=client.key https://example.org
Run

If the given private key requires a passphrase, HTTPie will automatically detect it and ask it through a prompt:

$ http --cert=client.pem --cert-key=client.key https://example.org
http: passphrase for client.key: ****

If you don't want to see a prompt, you can supply the passphrase with the --cert-key-pass argument:

$ http --cert=client.pem --cert-key=client.key --cert-key-pass=my_password https://example.org
Run

SSL version

Use the --ssl=<PROTOCOL> option to specify the desired protocol version to use. This will default to SSL v2.3 which will negotiate the highest protocol that both the server and your installation of OpenSSL support. The available protocols are ssl2.3, ssl3, tls1, tls1.1, tls1.2, tls1.3. (The actually available set of protocols may vary depending on your OpenSSL installation.)

# Specify the vulnerable SSL v3 protocol to talk to an outdated server:
$ http --ssl=ssl3 https://vulnerable.example.org
Run

SSL ciphers

You can specify the available ciphers with --ciphers. It should be a string in the OpenSSL cipher list format.

$ http --ciphers=ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256 https://pie.dev/get
Run

Note: these cipher strings do not change the negotiated version of SSL or TLS, they only affect the list of available cipher suites.

To see the default cipher string, run http --help and see the --ciphers section under SSL.

Output options

By default, HTTPie only outputs the final response and the whole response message is printed (headers as well as the body). You can control what should be printed via several options:

OptionWhat is printed
--headers, -hOnly the response headers are printed
--body, -bOnly the response body is printed
--meta, -mOnly the response metadata is printed
--verbose, -vPrint the whole HTTP exchange (request and response). This option also enables --all (see below)
--verbose --verbose, -vvJust like -v, but also include the response metadata.
--print, -pSelects parts of the HTTP exchange
--quiet, -qDon’t print anything to stdout and stderr

What parts of the HTTP exchange should be printed

All the other output options are under the hood just shortcuts for the more powerful --print, -p. It accepts a string of characters each of which represents a specific part of the HTTP exchange:

CharacterStands for
Hrequest headers
Brequest body
hresponse headers
bresponse body
mresponse meta

Print request and response headers:

$ http --print=Hh PUT pie.dev/put hello=world
Run

Response meta

The response metadata section currently includes the total time elapsed. It’s the number of seconds between opening the network connection and downloading the last byte of response the body.

To only show the response metadata, use --meta, -m (analogically to --headers, -h and --body, -b):

$ http --meta pie.dev/delay/1
Run
Elapsed time: 1.099171542s

The extra verbose -vv output includes the meta section by default. You can also show it in combination with other parts of the exchange via --print=m. For example, here we print it together with the response headers:

$ http --print=hm pie.dev/get
Run
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Type: application/json

Elapsed time: 0.077538375s

Please note that it also includes time spent on formatting the output, which adds a small penalty. Also, if the body is not part of the output, we don’t spend time downloading it.

If you use --style with one of the Pie themes, you’ll see the time information color-coded (green/yellow/orange/red) based on how long the exchange took.

Verbose output

--verbose can often be useful for debugging the request and generating documentation examples:

$ http --verbose PUT pie.dev/put hello=world
PUT /put HTTP/1.1
Accept: application/json, */*;q=0.5
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
Content-Type: application/json
Host: pie.dev
User-Agent: HTTPie/0.2.7dev

{
    "hello": "world"
}

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Connection: keep-alive
Content-Length: 477
Content-Type: application/json
Date: Sun, 05 Aug 2012 00:25:23 GMT
Server: gunicorn/0.13.4

{
    […]
}

Extra verbose output

If you run HTTPie with -vv or --verbose --verbose, then it would also display the response metadata.

# Just like the above, but with additional columns like the total elapsed time
$ http -vv pie.dev/get
Run

Quiet output

--quiet redirects all output that would otherwise go to stdout and stderr to /dev/null (except for errors and warnings). This doesn’t affect output to a file via --output or --download.

# There will be no output:
$ http --quiet pie.dev/post enjoy='the silence'
Run

If you’d like to silence warnings as well, use -q or --quiet twice:

# There will be no output, even in case of an unexpected response status code:
$ http -qq --check-status pie.dev/post enjoy='the silence without warnings'
Run

Update warnings

When there is a new release available for your platform (for example; if you installed HTTPie through pip, it will check the latest version on PyPI), HTTPie will regularly warn you about the new update (once a week). If you want to disable this behavior, you can set disable_update_warnings to true in your config file.

Viewing intermediary requests/responses

To see all the HTTP communication, i.e. the final request/response as well as any possible intermediary requests/responses, use the --all option. The intermediary HTTP communication include followed redirects (with --follow), the first unauthorized request when HTTP digest authentication is used (--auth=digest), etc.

# Include all responses that lead to the final one:
$ http --all --follow pie.dev/redirect/3
Run

The intermediary requests/responses are by default formatted according to --print, -p (and its shortcuts described above).

Conditional body download

As an optimization, the response body is downloaded from the server only if it’s part of the output. This is similar to performing a HEAD request, except that it applies to any HTTP method you use.

Let’s say that there is an API that returns the whole resource when it is updated, but you are only interested in the response headers to see the status code after an update:

$ http --headers PATCH pie.dev/patch name='New Name'
Run

Since you are only printing the HTTP headers here, the connection to the server is closed as soon as all the response headers have been received. Therefore, bandwidth and time isn’t wasted downloading the body which you don’t care about. The response headers are downloaded always, even if they are not part of the output

Raw request body

In addition to crafting structured JSON and forms requests with the request items syntax, you can provide a raw request body that will be sent without further processing. These two approaches for specifying request data (i.e., structured and raw) cannot be combined.

There are three methods for passing raw request data: piping via stdin, --raw='data', and @/file/path.

Redirected Input

The universal method for passing request data is through redirected stdin (standard input)—piping.

By default, stdin data is buffered and then with no further processing used as the request body. If you provide Content-Length, then the request body is streamed without buffering. You may also use --chunked to enable streaming via chunked transfer encoding or --compress, -x to compress the request body.

There are multiple useful ways to use piping:

Redirect from a file:

$ http PUT pie.dev/put X-API-Token:123 < files/data.json
Run

Or the output of another program:

$ grep '401 Unauthorized' /var/log/httpd/error_log | http POST pie.dev/post
Run

You can use echo for simple data:

$ echo -n '{"name": "John"}' | http PATCH pie.dev/patch X-API-Token:123
Run

You can also use a Bash here string:

$ http pie.dev/post <<<'{"name": "John"}'
Run

You can even pipe web services together using HTTPie:

$ http GET https://api.github.com/repos/httpie/httpie | http POST pie.dev/post
Run

You can use cat to enter multiline data on the terminal:

$ cat | http POST pie.dev/post
<paste>
^D
$ cat | http POST pie.dev/post Content-Type:text/plain
- buy milk
- call parents
^D

On macOS, you can send the contents of the clipboard with pbpaste:

$ pbpaste | http PUT pie.dev/put
Run

Passing data through stdin can’t be combined with data fields specified on the command line:

$ echo -n 'data' | http POST example.org more=data  # This is invalid
Run

To prevent HTTPie from reading stdin data you can use the --ignore-stdin option.

Request data via --raw

In a situation when piping data via stdin is not convenient (for example, when generating API docs examples), you can specify the raw request body via the --raw option.

$ http --raw 'Hello, world!' pie.dev/post
Run
$ http --raw '{"name": "John"}' pie.dev/post
Run

Request data from a filename

An alternative to redirected stdin is specifying a filename (as @/path/to/file) whose content is used as if it came from stdin.

It has the advantage that the Content-Type header is automatically set to the appropriate value based on the filename extension. For example, the following request sends the verbatim contents of that XML file with Content-Type: application/xml:

$ http PUT pie.dev/put @files/data.xml
Run

File uploads are always streamed to avoid memory issues with large files.

Chunked transfer encoding

You can use the --chunked flag to instruct HTTPie to use Transfer-Encoding: chunked:

$ http --chunked PUT pie.dev/put hello=world
Run
$ http --chunked --multipart PUT pie.dev/put hello=world foo@files/data.xml
Run
$ http --chunked pie.dev/post @files/data.xml
Run
$ cat files/data.xml | http --chunked pie.dev/post
Run

Compressed request body

You can use the --compress, -x flag to instruct HTTPie to use Content-Encoding: deflate and compress the request data:

$ http --compress pie.dev/post @files/data.xml
Run
$ cat files/data.xml | http --compress pie.dev/post
Run

If compressing the data does not save size, HTTPie sends it untouched. To always compress the data, specify --compress, -x twice:

$ http -xx PUT pie.dev/put hello=world
Run

Terminal output

HTTPie does several things by default in order to make its terminal output easy to read.

Colors and formatting

Syntax highlighting is applied to HTTP headers and bodies (where it makes sense). You can choose your preferred color scheme via the --style option if you don’t like the default one. There are dozens of styles available, here are just a few notable ones:

StyleDescription
autoFollows your terminal ANSI color styles. This is the default style used by HTTPie
defaultDefault styles of the underlying Pygments library. Not actually used by default by HTTPie. You can enable it with --style=default
pie-darkHTTPie’s original brand style. Also used in HTTPie for Web and Desktop.
pie-lightLike pie-dark, but for terminals with light background colors.
pieA generic version of pie-dark and pie-light themes that can work with any terminal background. Its universality requires compromises in terms of legibility, but it’s useful if you frequently switch your terminal between dark and light backgrounds.
monokaiA popular color scheme. Enable with --style=monokai
fruityA bold, colorful scheme. Enable with --style=fruity
See $ http --help for all the possible --style values

Use one of these options to control output processing:

OptionDescription
--pretty=allApply both colors and formatting. Default for terminal output
--pretty=colorsApply colors
--pretty=formatApply formatting
--pretty=noneDisables output processing. Default for redirected output

HTTPie looks at Content-Type to select the right syntax highlighter and formatter for each message body. If that fails (e.g., the server provides the wrong type), or you prefer a different treatment, you can manually overwrite the mime type for a response with --response-mime:

$ http --response-mime=text/yaml pie.dev/get
Run

Formatting has the following effects:

  • HTTP headers are sorted by name.
  • JSON data is indented, sorted by keys, and unicode escapes are converted to the characters they represent.
  • XML and XHTML data is indented.

Please note that sometimes there might be changes made by formatters on the actual response body (e.g., collapsing empty tags on XML) but the end result will always be semantically indistinguishable. Some of these formatting changes can be configured more granularly through format options.

Format options

The --format-options=opt1:value,opt2:value option allows you to control how the output should be formatted when formatting is applied. The following options are available:

OptionDefault valueShortcuts
headers.sorttrue--sorted, --unsorted
json.formattrueN/A
json.indent4N/A
json.sort_keystrue--sorted, --unsorted
xml.formattrueN/A
xml.indent2N/A

For example, this is how you would disable the default header and JSON key sorting, and specify a custom JSON indent size:

$ http --format-options headers.sort:false,json.sort_keys:false,json.indent:2 pie.dev/get
Run

There are also two shortcuts that allow you to quickly disable and re-enable sorting-related format options (currently it means JSON keys and headers): --unsorted and --sorted.

This is something you will typically store as one of the default options in your config file.

Redirected output

HTTPie uses a different set of defaults for redirected output than for terminal output. The differences being:

  • Formatting and colors aren’t applied (unless --pretty is specified).
  • Only the response body is printed (unless one of the output options is set).
  • Also, binary data isn’t suppressed.

The reason is to make piping HTTPie’s output to another programs and downloading files work with no extra flags. Most of the time, only the raw response body is of an interest when the output is redirected.

Download a file:

$ http pie.dev/image/png > image.png
Run

Download an image of an Octocat, resize it using ImageMagick, and upload it elsewhere:

$ http octodex.github.com/images/original.jpg | convert - -resize 25% - | http example.org/Octocats
Run

Force colorizing and formatting, and show both the request and the response in less pager:

$ http --pretty=all --verbose pie.dev/get | less -R
Run

The -R flag tells less to interpret color escape sequences included HTTPie’s output.

You can create a shortcut for invoking HTTPie with colorized and paged output by adding the following to your ~/.bash_profile:

function httpless {
    # `httpless example.org'
    http --pretty=all --print=hb "$@" | less -R;
}

Binary data

Binary data is suppressed for terminal output, which makes it safe to perform requests to URLs that send back binary data. Binary data is also suppressed in redirected but prettified output. The connection is closed as soon as we know that the response body is binary,

$ http pie.dev/bytes/2000
Run

You will nearly instantly see something like this:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Type: application/octet-stream

+-----------------------------------------+
| NOTE: binary data not shown in terminal |
+-----------------------------------------+

Display encoding

HTTPie tries to do its best to decode message bodies when printing them to the terminal correctly. It uses the encoding specified in the Content-Type charset attribute. If a message doesn’t define its charset, we auto-detect it. For very short messages (1–32B), where auto-detection would be unreliable, we default to UTF-8. For cases when the response encoding is still incorrect, you can manually overwrite the response charset with --response-charset:

$ http --response-charset=big5 pie.dev/get
Run

Download mode

HTTPie features a download mode in which it acts similarly to wget.

When enabled using the --download, -d flag, response headers are printed to the terminal (stderr), and a progress bar is shown while the response body is being saved to a file.

$ http --download https://github.com/httpie/httpie/archive/master.tar.gz
Run
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Disposition: attachment; filename=httpie-master.tar.gz
Content-Length: 257336
Content-Type: application/x-gzip

Downloading 251.30 kB to "httpie-master.tar.gz"
Done. 251.30 kB in 2.73862s (91.76 kB/s)

Downloaded filename

There are three mutually exclusive ways through which HTTPie determines the output filename (with decreasing priority):

  1. You can explicitly provide it via --output, -o. The file gets overwritten if it already exists (or appended to with --continue, -c).
  2. The server may specify the filename in the optional Content-Disposition response header. Any leading dots are stripped from a server-provided filename.
  3. The last resort HTTPie uses is to generate the filename from a combination of the request URL and the response Content-Type. The initial URL is always used as the basis for the generated filename — even if there has been one or more redirects.

To prevent data loss by overwriting, HTTPie adds a unique numerical suffix to the filename when necessary (unless specified with --output, -o).

Piping while downloading

You can also redirect the response body to another program while the response headers and progress are still shown in the terminal:

$ http -d https://github.com/httpie/httpie/archive/master.tar.gz | tar zxf -
Run

Resuming downloads

If --output, -o is specified, you can resume a partial download using the --continue, -c option. This only works with servers that support Range requests and 206 Partial Content responses. If the server doesn’t support that, the whole file will simply be downloaded:

$ http -dco file.zip example.org/file
Run

-dco is shorthand for --download --continue --output.

Other notes

  • The --download option only changes how the response body is treated.
  • You can still set custom headers, use sessions, --verbose, -v, etc.
  • --download always implies --follow (redirects are followed).
  • --download also implies --check-status (error HTTP status will result in a non-zero exist static code).
  • HTTPie exits with status code 1 (error) if the body hasn’t been fully downloaded.
  • Accept-Encoding can’t be set with --download.

Streamed responses

Responses are downloaded and printed in chunks. This allows for streaming and large file downloads without using too much memory. However, when colors and formatting are applied, the whole response is buffered and only then processed at once.

Disabling buffering

You can use the --stream, -S flag to make two things happen:

  1. The output is flushed in much smaller chunks without any buffering, which makes HTTPie behave kind of like tail -f for URLs.
  2. Streaming becomes enabled even when the output is prettified: It will be applied to each line of the response and flushed immediately. This makes it possible to have a nice output for long-lived requests, such as one to the Twitter streaming API.

The --stream option is automatically enabled when the response headers include Content-Type: text/event-stream.

Example use cases

Prettified streamed response:

$ http --stream pie.dev/stream/3
Run

Streamed output by small chunks à la tail -f:

# Send each new line (JSON object) to another URL as soon as it arrives from a streaming API:
$ http --stream pie.dev/stream/3 | while read line; do echo "$line" | http pie.dev/post ; done
Run

Sessions

By default, every request HTTPie makes is completely independent of any previous ones to the same host.

However, HTTPie also supports persistent sessions via the --session=SESSION_NAME_OR_PATH option. In a session, custom HTTP headers (except for the ones starting with Content- or If-), authentication, and cookies (manually specified or sent by the server) persist between requests to the same host.

# Create a new session:
$ http --session=./session.json pie.dev/headers API-Token:123
Run
# Inspect / edit the generated session file:
$ cat session.json
Run
# Re-use the existing session — the API-Token header will be set:
$ http --session=./session.json pie.dev/headers
Run

All session data, including credentials, prompted passwords, cookie data, and custom headers are stored in plain text. That means session files can also be created and edited manually in a text editor—they are regular JSON. It also means that they can be read by anyone who has access to the session file.

Named sessions

You can create one or more named session per host. For example, this is how you can create a new session named user1 for pie.dev:

$ http --session=user1 -a user1:password pie.dev/get X-Foo:Bar
Run

From now on, you can refer to the session by its name (user1). When you choose to use the session again, all previously specified authentication or HTTP headers will automatically be set:

$ http --session=user1 pie.dev/get
Run

To create or reuse a different session, simply specify a different name:

$ http --session=user2 -a user2:password pie.dev/get X-Bar:Foo
Run

Named sessions’ data is stored in JSON files inside the sessions subdirectory of the config directory, typically ~/.config/httpie/sessions/<host>/<name>.json (%APPDATA%\httpie\sessions\<host>\<name>.json on Windows).

If you have executed the above commands on a Unix machine, you should be able to list the generated sessions files using:

$ ls -l ~/.config/httpie/sessions/pie.dev
Run

Anonymous sessions

Instead of giving it a name, you can also directly specify a path to a session file. This allows for sessions to be re-used across multiple hosts:

# Create a session:
$ http --session=/tmp/session.json example.org
Run
# Use the session to make a request to another host:
$ http --session=/tmp/session.json admin.example.org
Run
# You can also refer to a previously created named session:
$ http --session=~/.config/httpie/sessions/another.example.org/test.json example.org
Run

When creating anonymous sessions, please remember to always include at least one /, even if the session files is located in the current directory (i.e. --session=./session.json instead of just --session=session.json), otherwise HTTPie assumes a named session instead.

Readonly session

To use the original session file without updating it from the request/response exchange after it has been created, specify the session name via --session-read-only=SESSION_NAME_OR_PATH instead.

# If the session file doesn’t exist, then it is created:
$ http --session-read-only=./ro-session.json pie.dev/headers Custom-Header:orig-value
Run
# But it is not updated:
$ http --session-read-only=./ro-session.json pie.dev/headers Custom-Header:new-value
Run

Host-based cookie policy

Cookies persisted in sessions files have a domain field. This binds them to a specified hostname. For example:

{
    "cookies": [
        {
            "domain": "pie.dev",
            "name": "pie",
            "value": "apple"
        },
        {
            "domain": "httpbin.org",
            "name": "bin",
            "value": "http"
        }
    ]
}

Using this session file, we include Cookie: pie=apple only in requests against pie.dev and subdomains (e.g., foo.pie.dev or foo.bar.pie.dev):

$ http --session=./session.json pie.dev/cookies
Run
{
    "cookies": {
        "pie": "apple"
    }
}

To make a cookie domain unbound (i.e., to make it available to all hosts, including throughout a cross-domain redirect chain), you can set the domain field to null in the session file:

{
    "cookies": [
        {
            "domain": null,
            "name": "unbound-cookie",
            "value": "send-me-to-any-host"
        }
    ]
}
$ http --session=./session.json pie.dev/cookies
Run
{
    "cookies": {
        "unbound-cookie": "send-me-to-any-host"
    }
}

Cookie storage behavior

There are three possible sources of persisted cookies within a session. They have the following storage priority: 1—response; 2—command line; 3—session file.

  1. Receive a response with a Set-Cookie header:

    $ http --session=./session.json pie.dev/cookie/set?foo=bar
    Run
  2. Send a cookie specified on the command line as seen in cookies:

    $ http --session=./session.json pie.dev/headers Cookie:foo=bar
    Run
  3. Manually set cookie parameters in the session file:

    {
       "cookies": {
           "foo": {
               "expires": null,
               "path": "/",
               "secure": false,
               "value": "bar"
               }
       }
    }

In summary:

  • Cookies set via the CLI overwrite cookies of the same name inside session files.
  • Server-sent Set-Cookie header cookies overwrite any pre-existing ones with the same name.

Cookie expiration handling:

  • When the server expires an existing cookie, HTTPie removes it from the session file.
  • When a cookie in a session file expires, HTTPie removes it before sending a new request.

Upgrading sessions

HTTPie may introduce changes in the session file format. When HTTPie detects an obsolete format, it shows a warning. You can upgrade your session files using the following commands:

Upgrade all existing named sessions inside the sessions subfolder of your config directory:

$ httpie cli sessions upgrade-all
Upgraded 'api_auth' @ 'pie.dev' to v3.1.0
Upgraded 'login_cookies' @ 'httpie.io' to v3.1.0

Upgrading individual sessions requires you to specify the session's hostname. That allows HTTPie to find the correct file in the case of name sessions. Additionally, it allows it to correctly bind cookies when upgrading with --bind-cookies.

Upgrade a single named session:

$ httpie cli sessions upgrade pie.dev api_auth
Upgraded 'api_auth' @ 'pie.dev' to v3.1.0

Upgrade a single anonymous session using a file path:

$ httpie cli sessions upgrade pie.dev ./session.json
Upgraded 'session.json' @ 'pie.dev' to v3.1.0

Session upgrade options

These flags are available for both sessions upgrade and sessions upgrade-all:

OptionDescription
--bind-cookiesBind all previously unbound cookies to the session’s host (context).

Config

HTTPie uses a simple config.json file. The file doesn’t exist by default, but you can create it manually.

Config file directory

To see the exact location for your installation, run http --debug and look for config_dir in the output.

The default location of the configuration file on most platforms is $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/httpie/config.json (defaulting to ~/.config/httpie/config.json).

For backward compatibility, if the directory ~/.httpie exists, the configuration file there will be used instead.

On Windows, the config file is located at %APPDATA%\httpie\config.json.

The config directory can be changed by setting the $HTTPIE_CONFIG_DIR environment variable:

$ export HTTPIE_CONFIG_DIR=/tmp/httpie
$ http pie.dev/get

Configurable options

Currently, HTTPie offers a single configurable option:

default_options

An Array (by default empty) of default options that should be applied to every invocation of HTTPie.

For instance, you can use this config option to change your default color theme:

$ cat ~/.config/httpie/config.json
Run
{
    "default_options": [
        "--style=fruity"
    ]
}

Technically, it is possible to include any HTTPie options in there. However, it is not recommended modifying the default behavior in a way that would break your compatibility with the wider world as that may become confusing.

plugins_dir

The directory where the plugins will be installed. HTTPie needs to have read/write access on that directory, since httpie cli plugins install will download new plugins to there. See plugin manager for more information.

Un-setting previously specified options

Default options from the config file, or specified any other way, can be unset for a particular invocation via --no-OPTION arguments passed via the command line (e.g., --no-style or --no-session).

Scripting

When using HTTPie from shell scripts, it can be handy to set the --check-status flag. It instructs HTTPie to exit with an error if the HTTP status is one of 3xx, 4xx, or 5xx. The exit status will be 3 (unless --follow is set), 4, or 5, respectively.

#!/bin/bash

if http --check-status --ignore-stdin --timeout=2.5 HEAD pie.dev/get &> /dev/null; then
    echo 'OK!'
else
    case $? in
        2) echo 'Request timed out!' ;;
        3) echo 'Unexpected HTTP 3xx Redirection!' ;;
        4) echo 'HTTP 4xx Client Error!' ;;
        5) echo 'HTTP 5xx Server Error!' ;;
        6) echo 'Exceeded --max-redirects=<n> redirects!' ;;
        *) echo 'Other Error!' ;;
    esac
fi

Best practices

The default behavior of automatically reading stdin is typically not desirable during non-interactive invocations. You most likely want to use the --ignore-stdin option to disable it.

It is a common gotcha that without this option HTTPie seemingly hangs. What happens is that when HTTPie is invoked, for example, from a cron job, stdin is not connected to a terminal. Therefore, the rules for redirected input apply, i.e. HTTPie starts to read it expecting that the request body will be passed through. And since there’s neither data nor EOF, it will get stuck. So unless you’re piping some data to HTTPie, the --ignore-stdin flag should be used in scripts.

Also, it might be good to set a connection --timeout limit to prevent your program from hanging if the server never responds.

Plugin manager

HTTPie offers extensibility through a plugin API, and there are dozens of plugins available to try! They add things like new authentication methods (akamai/httpie-edgegrid), transport mechanisms (httpie/httpie-unixsocket), message convertors (banteg/httpie-image), or simply change how a response is formatted.

Note: Plugins are usually made by our community members, and thus have no direct relationship with the HTTPie project. We do not control / review them at the moment, so use them at your own discretion.

For managing these plugins; starting with 3.0, we are offering a new plugin manager.

This command is currently in beta.

httpie cli

httpie cli check-updates

You can check whether a new update is available for your system by running httpie cli check-updates:

$ httpie cli check-updates

httpie cli export-args

httpie cli export-args command can expose the parser specification of http/https commands (like an API definition) to outside tools so that they can use this to build better interactions over them (e.g., offer auto-complete).

Available formats to export in include:

FormatDescription
jsonExport the parser spec in JSON. The schema includes a top-level version parameter which should be interpreted in semver.

You can use any of these formats with --format parameter, but the default one is json.

$ httpie cli export-args | jq '"Program: " + .spec.name + ", Version: " +  .version'
"Program: http, Version: 0.0.1a0"

httpie cli plugins

plugins interface is a very simple plugin manager for installing, listing and uninstalling HTTPie plugins.

In the past pip was used to install/uninstall plugins, but on some environments (e.g., brew installed packages) it wasn’t working properly. The new interface is a very simple overlay on top of pip to allow plugin installations on every installation method.

By default, the plugins (and their missing dependencies) will be stored under the configuration directory, but this can be modified through plugins_dir variable on the config.

httpie cli plugins install

For installing plugins from PyPI or from local paths, httpie cli plugins install can be used.

$ httpie cli plugins install httpie-plugin
Installing httpie-plugin...
Successfully installed httpie-plugin-1.0.2

Tip: Generally HTTPie plugins start with httpie- prefix. Try searching for it on PyPI to find out all plugins from the community.

httpie cli plugins list

List all installed plugins.

$ httpie cli plugins list
httpie_plugin (1.0.2)
  httpie_plugin (httpie.plugins.auth.v1)
httpie_plugin_2 (1.0.6)
  httpie_plugin_2 (httpie.plugins.auth.v1)
httpie_converter (1.0.0)
  httpie_iterm_converter (httpie.plugins.converter.v1)
  httpie_konsole_konverter (httpie.plugins.converter.v1)
httpie cli plugins upgrade

For upgrading already installed plugins, use httpie plugins upgrade.

$ httpie cli plugins upgrade httpie-plugin
Run
httpie cli plugins uninstall

Uninstall plugins from the isolated plugins directory. If the plugin is not installed through httpie cli plugins install, it won’t uninstall it.

$ httpie cli plugins uninstall httpie-plugin
Run

Meta

Interface design

The syntax of the command arguments closely correspond to the actual HTTP requests sent over the wire. It has the advantage that it’s easy to remember and read. You can often translate an HTTP request to an HTTPie argument list just by inlining the request elements. For example, compare this HTTP request:

POST /post HTTP/1.1
Host: pie.dev
X-API-Key: 123
User-Agent: Bacon/1.0
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded

name=value&name2=value2

with the HTTPie command that sends it:

$ http -f POST pie.dev/post \
    X-API-Key:123 \
    User-Agent:Bacon/1.0 \
    name=value \
    name2=value2
Run

Notice that both the order of elements and the syntax are very similar, and that only a small portion of the command is used to control HTTPie and doesn’t directly correspond to any part of the request (here, it’s only -f asking HTTPie to send a form request).

The two modes, --pretty=all (default for terminal) and --pretty=none (default for redirected output), allow for both user-friendly interactive use and usage from scripts, where HTTPie serves as a generic HTTP client.

In the future, the command line syntax and some of the --OPTIONS may change slightly, as HTTPie improves and new features are added. All changes are recorded in the change log.

Community and Support

HTTPie has the following community channels:

Related projects

Dependencies

Under the hood, HTTPie uses these two amazing libraries:

  • Requests — Python HTTP library for humans
  • Pygments — Python syntax highlighter

HTTPie friends

HTTPie plays exceptionally well with the following tools:

  • http-prompt — an interactive shell for HTTPie featuring autocomplete and command syntax highlighting
  • jq — CLI JSON processor that works great in conjunction with HTTPie

Helpers to convert from other client tools:

  • CurliPie help convert cURL command line to HTTPie command line

Alternatives

  • httpcat — a lower-level sister utility of HTTPie for constructing raw HTTP requests on the command line
  • curl — a "Swiss knife" command line tool and an exceptional library for transferring data with URLs.

Contributing

See CONTRIBUTING.

Security policy

See github.com/httpie/httpie/security/policy.

Change log

See CHANGELOG.

Artwork

Licence

BSD-3-Clause: LICENSE.

Authors

Jakub Roztocil (@jakubroztocil) created HTTPie and these fine people have contributed.