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Request — Simplified HTTP client


Super simple to use

Request is designed to be the simplest way possible to make http calls. It supports HTTPS and follows redirects by default.

var request = require('request');
request('', function (error, response, body) {
  if (!error && response.statusCode == 200) {
    console.log(body) // Print the google web page.


You can stream any response to a file stream.


You can also stream a file to a PUT or POST request. This method will also check the file extension against a mapping of file extensions to content-types (in this case application/json) and use the proper content-type in the PUT request (if the headers don’t already provide one).


Request can also pipe to itself. When doing so, content-type and content-length are preserved in the PUT headers.


Now let’s get fancy.

http.createServer(function (req, resp) {
  if (req.url === '/doodle.png') {
    if (req.method === 'PUT') {
    } else if (req.method === 'GET' || req.method === 'HEAD') {

You can also pipe() from http.ServerRequest instances, as well as to http.ServerResponse instances. The HTTP method, headers, and entity-body data will be sent. Which means that, if you don't really care about security, you can do:

http.createServer(function (req, resp) {
  if (req.url === '/doodle.png') {
    var x = request('')

And since pipe() returns the destination stream in ≥ Node 0.5.x you can do one line proxying. :)


Also, none of this new functionality conflicts with requests previous features, it just expands them.

var r = request.defaults({'proxy':''})

http.createServer(function (req, resp) {
  if (req.url === '/doodle.png') {

You can still use intermediate proxies, the requests will still follow HTTP forwards, etc.


If you specify a proxy option, then the request (and any subsequent redirects) will be sent via a connection to the proxy server.

If your endpoint is an https url, and you are using a proxy, then request will send a CONNECT request to the proxy server first, and then use the supplied connection to connect to the endpoint.

That is, first it will make a request like:

User-Agent: whatever user agent you specify

and then the proxy server make a TCP connection to endpoint-server on port 80, and return a response that looks like:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK

At this point, the connection is left open, and the client is communicating directly with the machine.

See the wikipedia page on HTTP Tunneling for more information.

By default, when proxying http traffic, request will simply make a standard proxied http request. This is done by making the url section of the initial line of the request a fully qualified url to the endpoint.

For example, it will make a single request that looks like:

Other-Headers: all go here

request body or whatever

Because a pure "http over http" tunnel offers no additional security or other features, it is generally simpler to go with a straightforward HTTP proxy in this case. However, if you would like to force a tunneling proxy, you may set the tunnel option to true.

If you are using a tunneling proxy, you may set the proxyHeaderWhiteList to share certain headers with the proxy.

By default, this set is:


Note that, when using a tunneling proxy, the proxy-authorization header is never sent to the endpoint server, but only to the proxy server. All other headers are sent as-is over the established connection.

Controlling proxy behaviour using environment variables

The following environment variables are respected by request:

  • HTTP_PROXY / http_proxy
  • HTTPS_PROXY / https_proxy
  • NO_PROXY / no_proxy

When HTTP_PROXY / http_proxy are set, they will be used to proxy non-SSL requests that do not have an explicit proxy configuration option present. Similarly, HTTPS_PROXY / https_proxy will be respected for SSL requests that do not have an explicit proxy configuration option. It is valid to define a proxy in one of the environment variables, but then override it for a specific request, using the proxy configuration option. Furthermore, the proxy configuration option can be explicitly set to false / null to opt out of proxying altogether for that request.

request is also aware of the NO_PROXY/no_proxy environment variables. These variables provide a granular way to opt out of proxying, on a per-host basis. It should contain a comma separated list of hosts to opt out of proxying. It is also possible to opt of proxying when a particular destination port is used. Finally, the variable may be set to * to opt out of the implicit proxy configuration of the other environment variables.

Here's some examples of valid no_proxy values:

  • - don't proxy HTTP/HTTPS requests to Google.
  • - don't proxy HTTPS requests to Google, but do proxy HTTP requests to Google.
  •, - don't proxy HTTPS requests to Google, and don't proxy HTTP requests to Yahoo!
  • * - ignore https_proxy/http_proxy environment variables altogether.

UNIX Socket

request supports the unix:// protocol for all requests. The path is assumed to be absolute to the root of the host file system.

HTTP paths are extracted from the supplied URL by testing each level of the full URL against net.connect for a socket response.

Thus the following request will GET /httppath from the HTTP server listening on /tmp/unix.socket



request supports application/x-www-form-urlencoded and multipart/form-data form uploads. For multipart/related refer to the multipart API.

URL-encoded forms are simple.'', {form:{key:'value'}})
// or'').form({key:'value'})

For multipart/form-data we use the form-data library by @felixge. For the most basic case, you can pass your upload form data via the formData option.

var formData = {
  my_field: 'my_value',
  my_buffer: new Buffer([1, 2, 3]),
  my_file: fs.createReadStream(__dirname + '/unicycle.jpg'),
  remote_file: request(remoteFile)
};{url:'', formData: formData}, function optionalCallback(err, httpResponse, body) {
  if (err) {
    return console.error('upload failed:', err);
  console.log('Upload successful!  Server responded with:', body);

For more advanced cases (like appending form data options) you'll need access to the form itself.

var r ='', function optionalCallback(err, httpResponse, body) {
  if (err) {
    return console.error('upload failed:', err);
  console.log('Upload successful!  Server responded with:', body);

// Just like always, `r` is a writable stream, and can be used as such (you have until nextTick to pipe it, etc.)
// Alternatively, you can provide a callback (that's what this example does — see `optionalCallback` above).
var form = r.form();
form.append('my_field', 'my_value');
form.append('my_buffer', new Buffer([1, 2, 3]));
form.append('my_buffer', fs.createReadStream(__dirname + '/unicycle.jpg'), {filename: 'unicycle.jpg'});

See the form-data README for more information & examples.

Some variations in different HTTP implementations require a newline/CRLF before, after, or both before and after the boundary of a multipart/form-data request. This has been observed in the .NET WebAPI version 4.0. You can turn on a boundary preambleCRLF or postamble by passing them as true to your request options.

    { method: 'PUT'
    , preambleCRLF: true
    , postambleCRLF: true
    , uri: ''
    , multipart:
      [ { 'content-type': 'application/json'
        ,  body: JSON.stringify({foo: 'bar', _attachments: {'message.txt': {follows: true, length: 18, 'content_type': 'text/plain' }}})
      , { body: 'I am an attachment' }
  , function (error, response, body) {
      if (err) {
        return console.error('upload failed:', err);
      console.log('Upload successful!  Server responded with:', body);

HTTP Authentication

request.get('').auth('username', 'password', false);
// or
request.get('', {
  'auth': {
    'user': 'username',
    'pass': 'password',
    'sendImmediately': false
// or
request.get('').auth(null, null, true, 'bearerToken');
// or
request.get('', {
  'auth': {
    'bearer': 'bearerToken'

If passed as an option, auth should be a hash containing values user || username, pass || password, and sendImmediately (optional). The method form takes parameters auth(username, password, sendImmediately).

sendImmediately defaults to true, which causes a basic authentication header to be sent. If sendImmediately is false, then request will retry with a proper authentication header after receiving a 401 response from the server (which must contain a WWW-Authenticate header indicating the required authentication method).

Note that you can also use for basic authentication a trick using the URL itself, as specified in RFC 1738. Simply pass the user:password before the host with an @ sign.

var username = 'username',
    password = 'password',
    url = 'http://' + username + ':' + password + '';

request({url: url}, function (error, response, body) {
   // Do more stuff with 'body' here

Digest authentication is supported, but it only works with sendImmediately set to false; otherwise request will send basic authentication on the initial request, which will probably cause the request to fail.

Bearer authentication is supported, and is activated when the bearer value is available. The value may be either a String or a Function returning a String. Using a function to supply the bearer token is particularly useful if used in conjuction with defaults to allow a single function to supply the last known token at the time or sending a request or to compute one on the fly.

OAuth Signing

// Twitter OAuth
var qs = require('querystring')
  , oauth =
    { callback: ''
    , consumer_key: CONSUMER_KEY
    , consumer_secret: CONSUMER_SECRET
  , url = ''
  ;{url:url, oauth:oauth}, function (e, r, body) {
  // Ideally, you would take the body in the response
  // and construct a URL that a user clicks on (like a sign in button).
  // The verifier is only available in the response after a user has
  // verified with twitter that they are authorizing your app.
  var access_token = qs.parse(body)
    , oauth =
      { consumer_key: CONSUMER_KEY
      , consumer_secret: CONSUMER_SECRET
      , token: access_token.oauth_token
      , verifier: access_token.oauth_verifier
    , url = ''
    ;{url:url, oauth:oauth}, function (e, r, body) {
    var perm_token = qs.parse(body)
      , oauth =
        { consumer_key: CONSUMER_KEY
        , consumer_secret: CONSUMER_SECRET
        , token: perm_token.oauth_token
        , token_secret: perm_token.oauth_token_secret
      , url = ''
      , params =
        { screen_name: perm_token.screen_name
        , user_id: perm_token.user_id
    url += qs.stringify(params)
    request.get({url:url, oauth:oauth, json:true}, function (e, r, user) {

Custom HTTP Headers

HTTP Headers, such as User-Agent, can be set in the options object. In the example below, we call the github API to find out the number of stars and forks for the request repository. This requires a custom User-Agent header as well as https.

var request = require('request');

var options = {
	url: '',
	headers: {
		'User-Agent': 'request'

function callback(error, response, body) {
	if (!error && response.statusCode == 200) {
		var info = JSON.parse(body);
		console.log(info.stargazers_count + " Stars");
		console.log(info.forks_count + " Forks");

request(options, callback);

request(options, callback)

The first argument can be either a url or an options object. The only required option is uri; all others are optional.

  • uri || url - fully qualified uri or a parsed url object from url.parse()
  • qs - object containing querystring values to be appended to the uri
  • method - http method (default: "GET")
  • headers - http headers (default: {})
  • body - entity body for PATCH, POST and PUT requests. Must be a Buffer or String.
  • form - when passed an object or a querystring, this sets body to a querystring representation of value, and adds Content-type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded; charset=utf-8 header. When passed no options, a FormData instance is returned (and is piped to request).
  • auth - A hash containing values user || username, pass || password, and sendImmediately (optional). See documentation above.
  • json - sets body but to JSON representation of value and adds Content-type: application/json header. Additionally, parses the response body as JSON.
  • multipart - (experimental) array of objects which contains their own headers and body attribute. Sends multipart/related request. See example below.
  • preambleCRLF - append a newline/CRLF before the boundary of your multipart/form-data request.
  • postambleCRLF - append a newline/CRLF at the end of the boundary of your multipart/form-data request.
  • followRedirect - follow HTTP 3xx responses as redirects (default: true). This property can also be implemented as function which gets response object as a single argument and should return true if redirects should continue or false otherwise.
  • followAllRedirects - follow non-GET HTTP 3xx responses as redirects (default: false)
  • maxRedirects - the maximum number of redirects to follow (default: 10)
  • encoding - Encoding to be used on setEncoding of response data. If null, the body is returned as a Buffer. Anything else (including the default value of undefined) will be passed as the encoding parameter to toString() (meaning this is effectively utf8 by default).
  • pool - A hash object containing the agents for these requests. If omitted, the request will use the global pool (which is set to node's default maxSockets)
  • pool.maxSockets - Integer containing the maximum amount of sockets in the pool.
  • timeout - Integer containing the number of milliseconds to wait for a request to respond before aborting the request
  • proxy - An HTTP proxy to be used. Supports proxy Auth with Basic Auth, identical to support for the url parameter (by embedding the auth info in the uri)
  • oauth - Options for OAuth HMAC-SHA1 signing. See documentation above.
  • hawk - Options for Hawk signing. The credentials key must contain the necessary signing info, see hawk docs for details.
  • strictSSL - If true, requires SSL certificates be valid. Note: to use your own certificate authority, you need to specify an agent that was created with that CA as an option.
  • jar - If true and tough-cookie is installed, remember cookies for future use (or define your custom cookie jar; see examples section)
  • aws - object containing AWS signing information. Should have the properties key, secret. Also requires the property bucket, unless you’re specifying your bucket as part of the path, or the request doesn’t use a bucket (i.e. GET Services)
  • httpSignature - Options for the HTTP Signature Scheme using Joyent's library. The keyId and key properties must be specified. See the docs for other options.
  • localAddress - Local interface to bind for network connections.
  • gzip - If true, add an Accept-Encoding header to request compressed content encodings from the server (if not already present) and decode supported content encodings in the response. Note: Automatic decoding of the response content is performed on the body data returned through request (both through the request stream and passed to the callback function) but is not performed on the response stream (available from the response event) which is the unmodified http.IncomingMessage object which may contain compressed data. See example below.
  • tunnel - If true, then always use a tunneling proxy. If false (default), then tunneling will only be used if the destination is https, or if a previous request in the redirect chain used a tunneling proxy.
  • proxyHeaderWhiteList - A whitelist of headers to send to a tunneling proxy.

The callback argument gets 3 arguments:

  1. An error when applicable (usually from http.ClientRequest object)
  2. An http.IncomingMessage object
  3. The third is the response body (String or Buffer, or JSON object if the json option is supplied)

Convenience methods

There are also shorthand methods for different HTTP METHODs and some other conveniences.


This method returns a wrapper around the normal request API that defaults to whatever options you pass in to it.

Note: You can call .defaults() on the wrapper that is returned from request.defaults to add/override defaults that were previously defaulted.

For example:

//requests using baseRequest() will set the 'x-token' header
var baseRequest = request.defaults({
  headers: {x-token: 'my-token'}

//requests using specialRequest() will include the 'x-token' header set in
//baseRequest and will also include the 'special' header
var specialRequest = baseRequest.defaults({
  headers: {special: 'special value'}


Same as request(), but defaults to method: "PUT".



Same as request(), but defaults to method: "PATCH".


Same as request(), but defaults to method: "POST".


Same as request() but defaults to method: "HEAD".



Same as request(), but defaults to method: "DELETE".



Same as request() (for uniformity).



Function that creates a new cookie.



Function that creates a new cookie jar.



  var request = require('request')
    , rand = Math.floor(Math.random()*100000000).toString()
    { method: 'PUT'
    , uri: '' + rand
    , multipart:
      [ { 'content-type': 'application/json'
        ,  body: JSON.stringify({foo: 'bar', _attachments: {'message.txt': {follows: true, length: 18, 'content_type': 'text/plain' }}})
      , { body: 'I am an attachment' }
  , function (error, response, body) {
      if(response.statusCode == 201){
        console.log('document saved as:'+ rand)
      } else {
        console.log('error: '+ response.statusCode)

For backwards-compatibility, response compression is not supported by default. To accept gzip-compressed responses, set the gzip option to true. Note that the body data passed through request is automatically decompressed while the response object is unmodified and will contain compressed data if the server sent a compressed response.

  var request = require('request')
    { method: 'GET'
    , uri: ''
    , gzip: true
  , function (error, response, body) {
      // body is the decompressed response body
      console.log('server encoded the data as: ' + (response.headers['content-encoding'] || 'identity'))
      console.log('the decoded data is: ' + body)
  ).on('data', function(data) {
    // decompressed data as it is received
    console.log('decoded chunk: ' + data)
  .on('response', function(response) {
    // unmodified http.IncomingMessage object
    response.on('data', function(data) {
      // compressed data as it is received
      console.log('received ' + data.length + ' bytes of compressed data')

Cookies are disabled by default (else, they would be used in subsequent requests). To enable cookies, set jar to true (either in defaults or options) and install tough-cookie.

var request = request.defaults({jar: true})
request('', function () {

To use a custom cookie jar (instead of request’s global cookie jar), set jar to an instance of request.jar() (either in defaults or options)

var j = request.jar()
var request = request.defaults({jar:j})
request('', function () {


// `npm install --save tough-cookie` before this works
var j = request.jar();
var cookie = request.cookie('key1=value1');
var url = '';
j.setCookieSync(cookie, url);
request({url: url, jar: j}, function () {

To inspect your cookie jar after a request

var j = request.jar() 
request({url: '', jar: j}, function () {
  var cookie_string = j.getCookieString(uri); // "key1=value1; key2=value2; ..."
  var cookies = j.getCookies(uri); 
  // [{key: 'key1', value: 'value1', domain: "", ...}, ...]


There are at least three ways to debug the operation of request:

  1. Launch the node process like NODE_DEBUG=request node script.js (lib,request,otherlib works too).

  2. Set require('request').debug = true at any time (this does the same thing as #1).

  3. Use the request-debug module to view request and response headers and bodies.


Simplified HTTP request client.




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