A Go HTTP client library for creating and sending API requests
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dihedron and dghubble Add Option, Trace, and Connect HTTP methods
* Add HTTP verbs per RFC 7231 and RFC 5789
Latest commit c519674 Jan 25, 2018


Sling Build Status GoDoc

Sling is a Go HTTP client library for creating and sending API requests.

Slings store HTTP Request properties to simplify sending requests and decoding responses. Check usage or the examples to learn how to compose a Sling into your API client.


  • Method Setters: Get/Post/Put/Patch/Delete/Head
  • Add or Set Request Headers
  • Base/Path: Extend a Sling for different endpoints
  • Encode structs into URL query parameters
  • Encode a form or JSON into the Request Body
  • Receive JSON success or failure responses


go get github.com/dghubble/sling


Read GoDoc


Use a Sling to set path, method, header, query, or body properties and create an http.Request.

type Params struct {
    Count int `url:"count,omitempty"`
params := &Params{Count: 5}

req, err := sling.New().Get("https://example.com").QueryStruct(params).Request()


Use Path to set or extend the URL for created Requests. Extension means the path will be resolved relative to the existing URL.

// creates a GET request to https://example.com/foo/bar
req, err := sling.New().Base("https://example.com/").Path("foo/").Path("bar").Request()

Use Get, Post, Put, Patch, Delete, Head, Options, Trace, or Connect which are exactly the same as Path except they set the HTTP method too.

req, err := sling.New().Post("http://upload.com/gophers")


Add or Set headers for requests created by a Sling.

s := sling.New().Base(baseUrl).Set("User-Agent", "Gophergram API Client")
req, err := s.New().Get("gophergram/list").Request()



Define url tagged structs. Use QueryStruct to encode a struct as query parameters on requests.

// Github Issue Parameters
type IssueParams struct {
    Filter    string `url:"filter,omitempty"`
    State     string `url:"state,omitempty"`
    Labels    string `url:"labels,omitempty"`
    Sort      string `url:"sort,omitempty"`
    Direction string `url:"direction,omitempty"`
    Since     string `url:"since,omitempty"`
githubBase := sling.New().Base("https://api.github.com/").Client(httpClient)

path := fmt.Sprintf("repos/%s/%s/issues", owner, repo)
params := &IssueParams{Sort: "updated", State: "open"}
req, err := githubBase.New().Get(path).QueryStruct(params).Request()



Define JSON tagged structs. Use BodyJSON to JSON encode a struct as the Body on requests.

type IssueRequest struct {
    Title     string   `json:"title,omitempty"`
    Body      string   `json:"body,omitempty"`
    Assignee  string   `json:"assignee,omitempty"`
    Milestone int      `json:"milestone,omitempty"`
    Labels    []string `json:"labels,omitempty"`
githubBase := sling.New().Base("https://api.github.com/").Client(httpClient)
path := fmt.Sprintf("repos/%s/%s/issues", owner, repo)

body := &IssueRequest{
    Title: "Test title",
    Body:  "Some issue",
req, err := githubBase.New().Post(path).BodyJSON(body).Request()

Requests will include an application/json Content-Type header.

Form Body

Define url tagged structs. Use BodyForm to form url encode a struct as the Body on requests.

type StatusUpdateParams struct {
    Status             string   `url:"status,omitempty"`
    InReplyToStatusId  int64    `url:"in_reply_to_status_id,omitempty"`
    MediaIds           []int64  `url:"media_ids,omitempty,comma"`
tweetParams := &StatusUpdateParams{Status: "writing some Go"}
req, err := twitterBase.New().Post(path).BodyForm(tweetParams).Request()

Requests will include an application/x-www-form-urlencoded Content-Type header.

Plain Body

Use Body to set a plain io.Reader on requests created by a Sling.

body := strings.NewReader("raw body")
req, err := sling.New().Base("https://example.com").Body(body).Request()

Set a content type header, if desired (e.g. Set("Content-Type", "text/plain")).

Extend a Sling

Each Sling creates a standard http.Request (e.g. with some path and query params) each time Request() is called. You may wish to extend an existing Sling to minimize duplication (e.g. a common client or base url).

Each Sling instance provides a New() method which creates an independent copy, so setting properties on the child won't mutate the parent Sling.

const twitterApi = "https://api.twitter.com/1.1/"
base := sling.New().Base(twitterApi).Client(authClient)

// statuses/show.json Sling
tweetShowSling := base.New().Get("statuses/show.json").QueryStruct(params)
req, err := tweetShowSling.Request()

// statuses/update.json Sling
tweetPostSling := base.New().Post("statuses/update.json").BodyForm(params)
req, err := tweetPostSling.Request()

Without the calls to base.New(), tweetShowSling and tweetPostSling would reference the base Sling and POST to "https://api.twitter.com/1.1/statuses/show.json/statuses/update.json", which is undesired.

Recap: If you wish to extend a Sling, create a new child copy with New().



Define a JSON struct to decode a type from 2XX success responses. Use ReceiveSuccess(successV interface{}) to send a new Request and decode the response body into successV if it succeeds.

// Github Issue (abbreviated)
type Issue struct {
    Title  string `json:"title"`
    Body   string `json:"body"`
issues := new([]Issue)
resp, err := githubBase.New().Get(path).QueryStruct(params).ReceiveSuccess(issues)
fmt.Println(issues, resp, err)

Most APIs return failure responses with JSON error details. To decode these, define success and failure JSON structs. Use Receive(successV, failureV interface{}) to send a new Request that will automatically decode the response into the successV for 2XX responses or into failureV for non-2XX responses.

type GithubError struct {
    Message string `json:"message"`
    Errors  []struct {
        Resource string `json:"resource"`
        Field    string `json:"field"`
        Code     string `json:"code"`
    } `json:"errors"`
    DocumentationURL string `json:"documentation_url"`
issues := new([]Issue)
githubError := new(GithubError)
resp, err := githubBase.New().Get(path).QueryStruct(params).Receive(issues, githubError)
fmt.Println(issues, githubError, resp, err)

Pass a nil successV or failureV argument to skip JSON decoding into that value.

Modify a Request

Sling provides the raw http.Request so modifications can be made using standard net/http features. For example, in Go 1.7+ , add HTTP tracing to a request with a context:

req, err := sling.New().Get("https://example.com").QueryStruct(params).Request()
// handle error

trace := &httptrace.ClientTrace{
   DNSDone: func(dnsInfo httptrace.DNSDoneInfo) {
      fmt.Printf("DNS Info: %+v\n", dnsInfo)
   GotConn: func(connInfo httptrace.GotConnInfo) {
      fmt.Printf("Got Conn: %+v\n", connInfo)

req = req.WithContext(httptrace.WithClientTrace(req.Context(), trace))

Build an API

APIs typically define an endpoint (also called a service) for each type of resource. For example, here is a tiny Github IssueService which lists repository issues.

const baseURL = "https://api.github.com/"

type IssueService struct {
    sling *sling.Sling

func NewIssueService(httpClient *http.Client) *IssueService {
    return &IssueService{
        sling: sling.New().Client(httpClient).Base(baseURL),

func (s *IssueService) ListByRepo(owner, repo string, params *IssueListParams) ([]Issue, *http.Response, error) {
    issues := new([]Issue)
    githubError := new(GithubError)
    path := fmt.Sprintf("repos/%s/%s/issues", owner, repo)
    resp, err := s.sling.New().Get(path).QueryStruct(params).Receive(issues, githubError)
    if err == nil {
        err = githubError
    return *issues, resp, err

Example APIs using Sling

Create a Pull Request to add a link to your own API.


Many client libraries follow the lead of google/go-github (our inspiration!), but do so by reimplementing logic common to all clients.

This project borrows and abstracts those ideas into a Sling, an agnostic component any API client can use for creating and sending requests.


See the Contributing Guide.


MIT License