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ibrowse is a HTTP client. The following are a list of features.
- RFC2616 compliant (AFAIK)
- Understands HTTP/0.9, HTTP/1.0 and HTTP/1.1
- Understands chunked encoding
- Can generate requests using Chunked Transfer-Encoding
- Pools of connections to each webserver
- Pipelining support
- Download to file
- Asynchronous requests. Responses are streamed to a process
- Basic authentication
- Supports proxy authentication
- Can talk to Secure webservers using SSL
- any other features in the code not listed here :)
ibrowse is available under two different licenses. LGPL or the BSD license.
Comments to :
Version : 2.1.2
Latest version : git://
The following people have helped maked ibrowse better by reporting bugs,
supplying patches and also asking for new features. Please write to me if you
have contributed and I've missed you out.
In alphabetical order:
Adam Kocoloski
Andrew Tunnell-Jones
Anthony Molinaro
Benoit Chesneau
Chris Newcombe
Dan Kelley
Derek Upham
Eric Merritt
Erik Reitsma
Filipe David Manana
Geoff Cant
Jeroen Koops
João Lopes
Karol Skocik
Kostis Sagonas
Matthew Reilly
Oscar Hellström
Paul J. Davis
Peter Kristensen
Ram Krishnan
Richard Cameron
Sean Hinde
Seth Falcon
Steve Vinoski
Thomas Lindgren
Younès Hafri
tholschuh (
20-12-2010 - v2.1.2
* Pipelining wasn't working when used in conjunction with the
{stream_to, {self(), once}} option. Bug report by
Filipe David Manana.
10-12-2010 - v2.1.1
* Fix for
by Filipe David Manana
* Fix for
by Filipe David Manana
* Fix for
by Filipe David Manana
* Fix for bugs when using SSL by João Lopes
25-10-2010 - v2.1.0
* Fixed build on OpenSolaris. Bug report and patch from
* Fixed behaviour of inactivity_timeout option. Reported by
João Lopes.
* Prevent atom table pollution when bogus URLs are input to
ibrowse. Bug report by João Lopes.
* Automatically do Chunked-Transfer encoding of request body
when the body is generated by a fun. Patch provided by
Filipe David Manana.
* Depending on input options, ibrowse sometimes included multiple
Content-Length headers. Bug reported by Paul J. Davis
* Deal with webservers which do not provide a Reason-Phrase on the
response Status-Line. Patch provided by Jeroen Koops.
* Fixed
This was reported by Filipe David Manana.
* Fixed
This was reported by Dan Kelley and Filipe David Manana.
* Added ibrowse:stream_close/1 to close the connection
associated with a certain response stream. Patch provided by
João Lopes.
* Prevent port number being included in the Host header when port
443 is intended. Bug reported by Andrew Tunnell-Jones
24-09-2010 - v2.0.1
* Removed a spurious io:format statement
22-09-2010 - v2.0.0.
* Added option preserve_chunked_encoding. This allows the
caller to get the raw HTTP response when the
Transfer-Encoding is Chunked. This feature was requested
by Benoit Chesneau who wanted to write a HTTP proxy using
* Fixed bug with the {stream_to, {Pid, once}} option. Bug
report and lot of help from Filipe David Manana. Thank
you Filipe.
* The {error, conn_failed} and {error, send_failed} return
values are now of the form {error, {conn_failed, Err}}
and {error, {send_failed, Err}}. This is so that the
specific socket error can be returned to the caller. I
think it looks a bit ugly, but that is the best
compromise I could come up with.
* Added application configuration parameters
default_max_sessions and default_max_pipeline_size. These
were previously hard coded to 10.
* Versioning of ibrowse now follows the Semantic Versioning
principles. See Thanks to Anthony
Molinaro for nudging me in this direction.
* The connect_timeout option now only applies to the
connection setup phase. In previous versions, the time
taken to setup the connection was deducted from the
specified timeout value for the request.
17-07-2010 - * Merged change made by Filipe David Manana to use the base64
module for encoding/decoding.
11-06-2010 - * Removed use of deprecated concat_binary. Patch supplied by
Steve Vinoski
10-06-2010 - * Fixed bug in https requests not going via the proxy
12-05-2010 - * Added support for the CONNECT method to tunnel HTTPS through
a proxy. When a https URL is requested through a proxy,
ibrowse will automatically use the CONNECT method to first
setup a tunnel through the proxy. Once this succeeds, the
actual request is dispatched. Successfully tested with the
new SSL implementation in R13B-03
* Added SSL support for direct connections.
See ibrowse:spawn_worker_process/1 and
* Added option to return raw status line and raw unparsed headers
23-04-2010 - * Fixes to URL parsing by Karol Skocik
08-11-2009 - * Added option headers_as_is
04-10-2009 - * Patch from Kostis Sagonas to cleanup some code and suppress
dialyzer warnings
24-09-2009 - * When a filename was supplied with the 'save_response_to_file'
option, the option was being ignored. Bug report from
Adam Kocoloski
05-09-2009 - * Introduced option to allow caller to set socket options.
29-07-2009 - * The ETS table created for load balancing of requests was not
being deleted which led to the node not being able to create
any more ETS tables if queries were made to many number of
webservers. ibrowse now deletes the ETS table it creates once the
last connection to a webserver is dropped.
Reported by Seth Falcon.
* Spurious data being returned at end of body in certain cases of
chunked encoded responses from the server.
Reported by Chris Newcombe.
03-07-2009 - Added option {stream_to, {Pid, once}} which allows the caller
to control when it wants to receive more data. If this option
is used, the call ibrowse:stream_next(Req_id) should be used
to get more data.
- Patch submitted by Steve Vinoski to remove compiler warnings
about the use of obsolete guards
29-06-2009 - * Fixed following issues reported by Oscar Hellström
- Use {active, once} instead of {active, true}
- Fix 'dodgy' timeout handling
- Use binaries internally instead of lists to reduce memory
consumption on 64 bit platforms. The default response format
is still 'list' to maintain backwards compatibility. Use the
option {response_format, binary} to get responses as binaries.
* Fixed chunking bug (reported by Adam Kocoloski)
* Added new option {inactivity_timeout, Milliseconds} to timeout
requests if no data is received on the link for the specified
interval. Useful when responses are large and links are flaky.
* Added ibrowse:all_trace_off/0 to turn off all tracing
* Change to the way responses to asynchronous requests are
returned. The following messages have been removed.
* {ibrowse_async_response, Req_id, {chunk_start, Chunk_size}}
* {ibrowse_async_response, Req_id, chunk_end}
* Fixed Makefiles as part of Debian packaging
(thanks to Thomas Lindgren)
* Moved repository from Sourceforge to Github
11-06-2009 - * Added option to control size of streamed chunks. Also added
option for the client to receive responses in binary format.
21-05-2008 - * Fixed bug in reading some options from the ibrowse.conf file.
Reported by Erik Reitsma on the erlyaws mailing list
* Fixed bug when cleaning up closing connections
27-03-2008 - * Major rewrite of the load balancing feature. Additional module,
ibrowse_lb.erl, introduced to achieve this.
* Can now get a handle to a connection process which is not part of
the load balancing pool. Useful when an application is making
requests to a webserver which are time consuming (such as
uploading a large file). Such requests can be put on a separate
connection, and all other smaller/quicker requests can use the
load balancing pool. See ibrowse:spawn_worker_process/2 and
* Ram Krishnan sent a patch to enable a client to send a lot of
data in a request by providing a fun which is invoked by the
connection handling process. This fun can fetch the data from
any where. This is useful when trying to upload a large file
to a webserver.
* Use the TCP_NODELAY option on every socket by default
* Rudimentary support for load testing of ibrowse. Undocumented,
but see ibrowse_test:load_test/3. Use the source, Luke!
* New function ibrowse:show_dest_status/2 to view state of
connections/pipelines to a web server
20-02-2008 - Ram Krishnan sent another patch for another hidden bug in the
save_response_to_file feature.
07-02-2008 - Ram Krishnan (kriyative _at_ gmail dot com) sent a simple patch to
enable specifying the filename in the save_response_to_file option.
When testing the patch, I realised that my original implementation
of this feature was quite flaky and a lot of corner cases were
not covered. Fixed all of them. Thanks Ram!
17-10-2007 - Matthew Reilly (matthew dot reilly _at_ sipphone dot com)
sent a bug report and a fix. If the chunk trailer spans two TCP
packets, then ibrowse fails to recognise that the chunked transfer
has ended.
29-08-2007 - Bug report by Peter Kristensen(ptx _at_ daimi dot au dot dk).
ibrowse crashes when the webserver returns just the Status line
and nothing else.
28-06-2007 - Added host_header option to enable connection to secure sites
via stunnel
20-04-2007 - Geoff Cant sent a patch to remove URL encoding for digits in
ibrowse had a dependency on the inets application because the
ibrowse_http_client.erl invoked httpd_util:encode_base64/1. This
dependency is now removed and the encode_base64/1 has been
implemented in ibrowse_lib.erl
06-03-2007 - Eric Merritt sent a patch to support WebDAV requests.
12-01-2007 - Derek Upham sent in a bug fix. The reset_state function was not
behaving correctly when the transfer encoding was not chunked.
13-11-2006 - Youns Hafri reported a bug where ibrowse was not returning the
temporary filename when the server was closing the connection
after sending the data (as in HTTP/1.0).
Released ibrowse under the BSD license
12-10-2006 - Chris Newcombe reported bug in dealing with requests where no
body is expected in the response. The first request would succeed
and the next request would hang.
24-May-2006 - Sean Hinde reported a bug. Async responses with pipelining was
returning the wrong result.
08-Dec-2005 - Richard Cameron ( Patch to ibrowse to
prevent port number being included in the Host header when port
80 is intended.
22-Nov-2005 - Added ability to generate requests using the Chunked
08-May-2005 - Youns Hafri made a CRUX LINUX port of ibrowse.
Here are some usage examples. Enjoy!
5> ibrowse:start().
%% A simple GET
6> ibrowse:send_req("http://intranet/messenger/", [], get).
{"Date","Fri, 17 Dec 2004 15:16:19 GMT"},
{"Last-Modified","Fri, 17 Dec 2004 08:38:21 GMT"},
"<html>\r\n\r\n<head>\r\n<title>Messenger</title>\r\n<meta name=\"GENERATOR\" content=\"Microsoft FrontPage 5.0\">\r\n<meta name=\"ProgId\" content=\"FrontPage.Editor.Document\">\r\n<meta name=\"description\" content=\"Messenger Home Page\">\r\n</head>\r\n\r\n<frameset border=\"0\" frameborder=\"0\" rows=\"60,*\">\r\n <frame src=\"/messenger/images/topnav.html\" name=\"mFrameTopNav\" scrolling=\"NO\" target=\"mFrameMain\">\r\n <frameset cols=\"18%,*\">\r\n <frameset rows=\"*,120\">\r\n <frame src=\"index-toc.html\" name=\"mFrameTOC\" target=\"mFrameMain\" scrolling=\"auto\" noresize=\"true\">\r\n <frame src=\"/shared/search/namesearch.html\" name=\"mFrameNameSearch\" scrolling=\"NO\" target=\"mFrameMain\">\r\n </frameset>\r\n <frame src=\"home/16-12-04-xmascardsmms.htm\" name=\"mFrameMain\" scrolling=\"auto\" target=\"mFrameMain\" id=\"mFrameMain\">\r\n </frameset>\r\n <noframes>\r\n <body>\r\n\r\n <p><i>This site requires a browser that can view frames.</i></p>\r\n\r\n </body>\r\n </noframes>\r\n</frameset>\r\n\r\n</html>"}
%% =============================================================================
%% A GET using a proxy
7> ibrowse:send_req("", [], get, [],
[{proxy_user, "XXXXX"},
{proxy_password, "XXXXX"},
{proxy_host, "proxy"},
{proxy_port, 8080}], 1000).
[{"Date","Fri, 17 Dec 2004 15:22:56 GMT"},
"PREF=ID=f58155c797f96096:CR=1:TM=1103296999:LM=1103296999:S=FiWdtAqQvhQ0TvHq; expires=Sun, 17-Jan-2038 19:14:07 GMT; path=/;"},
{"Via","1.1 netapp01 (NetCache NetApp/5.5R2)"}],
"<HTML><HEAD><TITLE>302 Moved</TITLE></HEAD><BODY>\n<H1>302 Moved</H1>\nThe document has moved\n<A HREF=\";prev=/\">here</A>.\r\n</BODY></HTML>\r\n"}
%% =============================================================================
%% A GET response saved to file. A temporary file is created and the
%% filename returned. The response will only be saved to file is the
%% status code is in the 200 range. The directory to download to can
%% be set using the application env var 'download_dir' - the default
%% is the current working directory.
8> ibrowse:send_req("", [], get, [],
[{proxy_user, "XXXXX"},
{proxy_password, "XXXXX"},
{proxy_host, "proxy"},
{proxy_port, 8080},
{save_response_to_file, true}], 1000).
%% =============================================================================
9> ibrowse:send_req("", [], get, [],
[{proxy_user, "XXXXX"},
{proxy_password, "XXXXX"},
{proxy_host, "proxy"},
{proxy_port, 8080},
{save_response_to_file, true}], 5000).
{"Date","Fri, 17 Dec 2004 15:24:36 GMT"},
{"Server","Apache/1.3.9 (Unix)"},
{"Via","1.1 netapp01 (NetCache NetApp/5.5R2)"}],
%% =============================================================================
%% Setting size of connection pool and pipeline size. This sets the
%% number of maximum connections to this server to 10 and the pipeline
%% size to 1. Connections are setup a required.
11> ibrowse:set_dest("", 80, [{max_sessions, 10},
{max_pipeline_size, 1}]).
%% =============================================================================
%% Example using the HEAD method
56> ibrowse:send_req("", [], head).
[{"Date","Mon, 28 Feb 2005 04:40:53 GMT"},
{"Server","Apache/1.3.9 (Unix)"},
{"Last-Modified","Thu, 10 Feb 2005 09:31:23 GMT"},
%% =============================================================================
%% Example using the OPTIONS method
62> ibrowse:send_req("", [], options).
[{"Server","Sun Java System Web Server 6.1"},
{"Date","Mon, 28 Feb 2005 04:44:39 GMT"},
"SUN_ID=X.X.X.X:169191109565879; EXPIRES=Wednesday, 31-Dec-2025 23:59:59 GMT;; PATH=/"},
%% =============================================================================
%% Example of using Asynchronous requests
18> ibrowse:send_req("", [], get, [],
[{proxy_user, "XXXXX"},
{proxy_password, "XXXXX"},
{proxy_host, "proxy"},
{proxy_port, 8080},
{stream_to, self()}]).
19> flush().
Shell got {ibrowse_async_headers,{1115,327256,389608},
[{"Date","Thu, 05 May 2005 21:06:41 GMT"},
"PREF=ID=b601f16bfa32f071:CR=1:TM=1115327201:LM=1115327201:S=OX5hSB525AMjUUu7; expires=Sun, 17-Jan-2038 19:14:07 GMT; path=/;"},
"1.1 hatproxy01 (NetCache NetApp/5.6.2)"}]}
Shell got {ibrowse_async_response,{1115,327256,389608},
"<HTML><HEAD><TITLE>302 Moved</TITLE></HEAD><BODY>\n<H1>302 Moved</H1>\nThe document has moved\n<A HREF=\";prev=/\">here</A>.\r\n</BODY></HTML>\r\n"}
Shell got {ibrowse_async_response_end,{1115,327256,389608}}
%% =============================================================================
%% Another example of using async requests
24> ibrowse:send_req("", [], get, [],
[{proxy_user, "XXXXX"},
{proxy_password, "XXXXX"},
{proxy_host, "proxy"},
{proxy_port, 8080},
{stream_to, self()}]).
25> flush().
Shell got {ibrowse_async_headers,{1115,327430,512314},
[{"Date","Thu, 05 May 2005 20:58:08 GMT"},
"Yaws/1.54 Yet Another Web Server"},
"1.1 hatproxy01 (NetCache NetApp/5.6.2)"}]}
Shell got {ibrowse_async_response,{1115,327430,512314},
"<html>\n\n\n<h1> Yesssssss </h1>\n\n<h2> Hello again </h2>\n\n\n</html>\n"}
Shell got {ibrowse_async_response_end,{1115,327430,512314}}
%% =============================================================================
%% Example of request which fails when using the async option. Here
%% the {ibrowse_req_id, ReqId} is not returned. Instead the error code is
%% returned.
68> ibrowse:send_req("", [], get, [], [{stream_to, self()}]).
%% Example of request using both Proxy-Authorization and authorization by the final webserver.
17> ibrowse:send_req("",
[], get, [],
[{proxy_user, "XXXXX"},
{proxy_password, "XXXXX"},
{proxy_host, "proxy"},
{proxy_port, 8080},
{basic_auth, {"XXXXX", "XXXXXX"}}]).
{"Date","Thu, 05 May 2005 21:02:09 GMT"},
{"Server","Apache/1.3.9 (Unix)"},
{"Last-Modified","Tue, 03 May 2005 15:08:18 GMT"},
{"Via","1.1 hatproxy01 (NetCache NetApp/5.6.2)"}],
"Patch Id:\t\terl_756_otp_beam\nLabel:\t\t\tinets patch\nDate:\t\t\t2005-05-03\nTrouble Report Id:\tOTP-5513, OTP-5514, OTP-5516, OTP-5517, OTP-5521, OTP-5537\nSeq num:\t\tseq9806\nSystem:\t\t\totp\nRelease:\t\tR10B\nOperating System:\tall\nArchitecture:\t\tall\nErlang machine:\t\tBEAM\nApplication:\t\tinets-4.4\nFiles:\t\t\tall\n\nDescription:\n\n OTP-5513 The server did not handle HTTP-0.9 messages with an implicit\n\t version.\n\n OTP-5514 An internal server timeout killed the request handling\n\t process without sending a message back to the client. As this\n\t timeout only affects a single request it has been set to\n\t infinity (if the main server process dies the request\n\t handling process will also die and the client will receive an\n\t error). This might make a client that does not use a timeout\n\t hang for a longer period of time, but that is an expected\n\t behavior!\n\n OTP-5516 That a third party closes the http servers accept socket is\n\t recoverable for inets, hence intes will only produce an info\n\t report as there was no error in inets but measures where\n\t taken to avoid failure due to errors elsewhere.\n\n OTP-5517 The HTTP client proxy settings where ignored. Bug introduced\n\t in inets-4.3.\n\n OTP-5521 Inets only sent the \"WWW-Authenticate\" header at the first\n\t attempt to get a page, if the user supplied the wrong\n\t user/password combination the header was not sent again. This\n\t forces the user to kill the browser entirely after a failed\n\t login attempt, before the user may try to login again. Inets\n\t now always send the authentication header.\n\n OTP-5537 A major rewrite of big parts of the HTTP server code was\n\t performed. There where many things that did not work\n\t satisfactory. Cgi script handling can never have worked\n\t properly and the cases when it did sort of work, a big\n\t unnecessary delay was enforced. Headers where not always\n\t treated as expected and HTTP version handling did not work,\n\t all responses where sent as version HTTP/1.1 no matter what.\n\n\n"}
%% =============================================================================
%% Example of a TRACE request. Very interesting! didn't
%% support this. Nor did But good old BBC supports
%% this.
35> 37> ibrowse:send_req("", [], trace, [],
[{proxy_user, "XXXXX"},
{proxy_password, "XXXXX"},
{proxy_host, "proxy"},
{proxy_port, 8080}]).
{"Date","Thu, 05 May 2005 21:40:27 GMT"},
{"Server","Apache/2.0.51 (Unix)"},
"BBC-UID=7452e72a29424c5b0b232c7131c7d9395d209b7170e8604072e0fcb3630467300; expires=Mon, 04-May-09 21:40:27 GMT; path=/;;"},
"BBC-UID=7452e72a29424c5b0b232c7131c7d9395d209b7170e8604072e0fcb3630467300; expires=Mon, 04-May-09 21:40:27 GMT; path=/;;"},
{"Via","1.1 hatproxy01 (NetCache NetApp/5.6.2)"}],
"TRACE / HTTP/1.1\r\nHost:\r\nConnection: keep-alive\r\nX-Forwarded-For:\r\nVia: 1.1 hatproxy01 (NetCache NetApp/5.6.2)\r\nCookie: BBC-UID=7452e72a29424c5b0b232c7131c7d9395d209b7170e8604072e0fcb3630467300\r\n\r\n"}