Skip to content


Subversion checkout URL

You can clone with HTTPS or Subversion.

Download ZIP
pushState + ajax = pjax
branch: master

This branch is 3 commits ahead, 391 commits behind defunkt:master

Fetching latest commit…

Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time

Failed to load latest commit information.

pushState + ajax = pjax

       /    \
      ## a  a
      (   '._)
       |'-- |
     _.\___/_   ___pjax___
   ."\> \Y/|<'.  '._.-'
  /  \ \_\/ /  '-' /
  | --'\_/|/ |   _/
  |___.-' |  |`'`
    |     |  |
    |    / './
   /__./` | |
      \   | |
       \  | |
       ;  | |
       /  | |
 jgs  |___\_.\_

what is it?

pjax loads HTML from your server into the current page without a full reload. It's ajax with real permalinks, page titles, and a working back button that fully degrades.

pjax enhances the browsing experience - nothing more.

You can find a demo on

three ways to pjax on the client side:

One. Functionally obtrusive, loading the href with ajax into data-pjax:

<a href='/explore' data-pjax='#main'>Explore</a>

Two. Slightly obtrusive, passing a container and jQuery ajax options:

<a href='/explore' class='js-pjax'>Explore</a>
$('.js-pjax').pjax('#main', { timeout: null, error: function(xhr, err){
  $('.error').text('Something went wrong: ' + err)

Three. Unobtrusive, showing a 'loading' spinner:

<div id='main'>
  <div class='loader' style='display:none'><img src='spin.gif'></div>
  <div class='tabs'>
    <a href='/explore'>Explore</a>
    <a href='/help'>Help</a>
$('a').pjax('#main').live('click', function(){

$(link).pjax( container, options )

The $(link).pjax() function accepts a container, an options object, or both. The container MUST be a string selector - this is because we cannot persist jQuery objects using the History API between page loads.

The options are the same as jQuery's $.ajax options with the following additions:

  • container - The String selector of the container to load the reponse body. Must be a String.
  • clickedElement - The element that was clicked to start the pjax call.
  • push - Whether to pushState the URL. Default: true (of course)
  • replace - Whether to replaceState the URL. Default: false
  • error - By default this callback reloads the target page once timeout ms elapses.
  • timeout - pjax sets this low, <1s. Set this higher if using a custom error handler. It's ms, so something like timeout: 2000
  • fragment - A String selector that specifies a sub-element to be pulled out of the response HTML and inserted into the container. Useful if the server always returns full HTML pages.
  • from - A String to indicate where came the calls, is useful when have more than one pjax link to distinct container, at the server side when can separate the proccess of each call.

$.pjax( options )

You can also just call $.pjax directly. It acts much like $.ajax, even returning the same thing and accepting the same options.

The pjax-specific keys listed in the $(link).pjax() section work here as well.

This pjax call:

  url: '/authors',
  container: '#main'

Roughly translates into this ajax call:

  url: '/authors',
  dataType: 'html',
  beforeSend: function(xhr){
    xhr.setRequestHeader('X-PJAX', 'true')
  success: function(data){
    history.pushState(null, $(data).filter('title').text(), '/authors')

Option FROM (Added by Agustin Viñao)

The pjax-specific keys listed in the $(link).pjax('#container', {from: 'myGroupCall'}) section work here as well.

This pjax call:

  url: '/authors',
  container: '#container',
  from: 'myGroupCall'

Roughly translates into this ajax call:

  url: '/authors',
  dataType: 'html',
  beforeSend: function(xhr){
    xhr.setRequestHeader('X-PJAX', 'true')
    xhr.setRequestHeader('X-PJAX-FROM', 'myGroupCall')
  success: function(data){
    history.pushState(null, $(data).filter('title').text(), '/authors')

On the server side, you can chech the 'from' like this:

  if request.headers['X-PJAX-FROM']
    #work for the call

pjax on the server side

You'll want to give pjax requests a 'chrome-less' version of your page. That is, the page without any layout.

As you can see in the "ajax call" example above, pjax sets a custom 'X-PJAX' header to 'true' when it makes an ajax request to make detecting it easy.

In Rails, check for request.headers['X-PJAX']:

def my_page
  if request.headers['X-PJAX']
    render :layout => false


Asp.Net MVC3:

page titles

Your HTML should also include a <title> tag if you want page titles to work.


pjax will fire two events on the container you've asked it to load your reponse body into:

  • start.pjax - Fired when a pjax ajax request begins.
  • end.pjax - Fired when a pjax ajax request ends.

This allows you to, say, display a loading indicator upon pjaxing:

  .bind('start.pjax', function() { $('#loading').show() })
  .bind('end.pjax',   function() { $('#loading').hide() })

Because these events bubble, you can also set them on the body:

  .bind('start.pjax', function() { $('#loading').show() })
  .bind('end.pjax',   function() { $('#loading').hide() })

browser support

pjax only works with browsers that support the history.pushState API.

For a table of supported browsers see:

To check if pjax is supported, use the $.support.pjax boolean.

When pjax is not supported, $('a').pjax() calls will do nothing (aka links work normally) and $.pjax({url:url}) calls will redirect to the given URL.

install it

$ cd path/to/js
$ wget

Then, in your HTML:

<script src="path/to/js/jquery.pjax.js"></script>

Replace path/to/js with the path to your JavaScript directory, e.g. public/javascripts.

minimize it

curl \
  -d output_info=compiled_code \
  -d compilation_level=SIMPLE_OPTIMIZATIONS \
  -d code_url= \
Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.