A class to stub network requests easily: test your apps with fake network data (stubbed from file) and custom response time
Pull request Compare This branch is 128 commits ahead, 664 commits behind AliSoftware:master.
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.



A class to stub network requests easily: test your apps with fake network data (stubbed from file) and custom response time

Basic Usage

This is aimed to be very simple to use. It uses block to intercept outgoing requests and allow you to return data from a file instead.

This is the most simple way to use it:
[OHHTTPStubs addRequestHandler:^OHHTTPStubsResponse*(NSURLRequest *request, BOOL onlyCheck) {
    return [OHHTTPStubsResponse responseWithFile:@"response.json" contentType:@"text/json" responseTime:2.0];

This will return the NSData corresponding to the content of the "response.json" file (that must be in your bundle) with a "Content-Type" header of "text/json" in the HTTP response, after 2 seconds.

We can also conditionally stub only certain requests, like this:
[OHHTTPStubs shouldStubRequestsPassingTest:^BOOL(NSURLRequest *request) {
    // Only stub requests to "*.json" files
    return [request.URL.absoluteString.lastPathComponent.pathExtension isEqualToString:@"json"];
} withStubResponse:^OHHTTPStubsResponse*(NSURLRequest *request) {
    // Stub it with our "response.json" stub file
    return [OHHTTPStubsResponse responseWithFile:@"response.json" contentType:@"text/json" responseTime:2.0];
Then each time a network request is done by your application

For every request sent, whatever the framework used (NSURLConnection, AFNetworking, or anything else):

  • If you used shouldStubRequestsPassingTest:withStubResponse:
    • The block passed as first argument will be called to check if we need to stub this request.
    • If this block returned YES, the block passed as second argument will be called to let you return an OHHTTPStubsResponse object, describing the fake response to return.
  • If you used addRequestHandler:
    • If you return a non-nil OHHTTPStubsResponse, the request will be stubbed by returning the corresponding fake response.
    • If your return nil, the normal request will be sent (no stubbing).

(See also "Return quickly when onlyCheck=YES" below)

The OHHTTPStubsResponse object

The OHHTTPStubsResponse class, describing the fake response to return, exposes multiple initializers:

The designed intializer
Commodity initializer to load data from a file in your bundle
Useful short-form initializer to load data from a file in your bundle, using the specified "Content-Type" header
To respond with an error instead of a success

(e.g. you could use an error like [NSError errorWithDomain:NSURLErrorDomain code:404 userInfo:nil])

Advanced Usage

Return a response depending on the request

Of course, and that's the main reason this is implemented with blocks, you can do whatever you need in the block implementation. This includes checking the request URL to see if you want to return a stub or not, and pick the right file according to the requested URL.

You can use either addRequestHandler: or shouldStubRequestsPassingTest:withStubResponse: to install a stubbed request. See below.


[OHHTTPStubs addRequestHandler:^OHHTTPStubsResponse*(NSURLRequest *request, BOOL onlyCheck)
   NSString* basename = request.URL.absoluteString.lastPathComponent;
   if ([basename.pathExtension isEqualToString:@"json"]) {
     return [OHHTTPStubsResponse responseWithFile:basename contentType:@"text/json" responseTime:2.0];
   } else {
     return nil; // Don't stub

Using download speed instead of responseTime

When building the OHHTTPStubsResponse object, you can specify a response time (in seconds) so that the sending of the fake response will be postponed. This allows you to simulate a slow network for example.

If you specify a negative value for the responseTime parameter, instead of being interpreted as a time in seconds, it will be interpreted as a download speed in KBytes/s. In that case, the response time will be computed using the size of the response's data to simulate the indicated download speed.

The OHHTTPStubsResponse header defines some constants for standard download speeds:

  • OHHTTPStubsDownloadSpeedGPRS : 56 kbps (7 KB/s)
  • OHHTTPStubsDownloadSpeedEDGE : 128 kbps (16 KB/s)
  • OHHTTPStubsDownloadSpeed3G : 3200 kbps (400 KB/s)
  • OHHTTPStubsDownloadSpeed3GPlus : 7200 kbps (900 KB/s)
  • OHHTTPStubsDownloadSpeedWifi : 12000 kbps (1500 KB/s)

Return quickly when onlyCheck=YES

When using addRequestHandler:, if the onlyCheck parameter of the requestHandler block is YES, then it means that the handler is called only to check if you will be able to return a stubbed response or if it has to do the standard request. In this scenario, the response will not actually be used but will only be compared to nil to check if it has to be stubbed later. The handler will be called later again (with onlyCheck=NO) to fetch the actual OHHTTPStubsResponse object.

So in such cases (onlyCheck==YES), you can simply return nil if you don't want to provide a stubbed response, and any non-nil value to indicate that you will provide a stubbed response later.

This may be useful if you intend to do some not-so-fast work to build your real OHHTTPStubsResponse (like reading some large file for example): in that case you can quickly return a dummy value when onlyCheck==YES without the burden of building the actual OHHTTPStubsResponse object. You will obviously return the real OHHTTPStubsResponse in the later call when onlyCheck==NO.

There is a macro OHHTTPStubsResponseUseStub provided in the header that you can use as a dummy return value for that purpose.

To avoid forgetting about quickly return if the handler is called only for checking the availability of a stub, you may prefer using the shouldStubRequestsPassingTest:withStubResponse: class method, which uses two distinct blocks: one to only quickly check that the request should be stubbed, and the other to build and return the actual stubbed response.


[OHHTTPStubs shouldStubRequestPassingTest:^BOOL(NSURLRequest *request) {
    NSString* basename = request.URL.absoluteString.lastPathComponent;
    return [basename.pathExtension isEqualToString:@"json"]; // only stub requests for "*.json" files
} withStubResponse:^OHHTTPStubsResponse* (NSURLRequest* request))handler {
    // This block will only be called if the previous one has returned YES (so only for "*.json" files)
    NSString* basename = request.URL.absoluteString.lastPathComponent;
    return [OHHTTPStubsResponse responseWithFile:basename contentType:@"text/json" responseTime:2.0];

Note: in practice, this method calls addResponseHandler:, and pass it a new block that:

  • calls the first block to check if we need to stub, and
  • directly return OHHTTPStubsResponseUseStub or OHHTTPStubsResponseDontUseStub if onlyCheck=YES
  • or call the second block to return the actual stub only if onlyCheck=NO.

Note that even if you want to stub all your requests unconditionally, it is still better to use shouldStubRequestsPassingTest:withStubResponse: with the first block always returning YES, because it will prevent building the whole stubbed response multiple times (once or more when only checking, and one final time when actually returning it).

Stack multiple requestHandlers

You can call addRequestHandler: or shouldStubRequestsPassingTest:withStubResponse: multiple times. It will just add the response handlers in an internal list of handlers.

When a network request is performed by the system, the response handlers are called in the reverse order that they have been added, the last added handler having priority over the first added ones. The first handler that returns a stub (non-nil response for addRequestHandler:, or first block returning YES for shouldStubRequestsPassingTest:withStubResponse:) is then used to reply to the request.

This may be useful to install different stubs in different classes (say different UIViewControllers) and various places in your application, or to separate different stubs and stubbing conditions (like some stubs for images and other stubs for JSON files) more easily. See the OHHTTPStubsDemo project for a typical example.

You can remove the latest added handler with the removeLastRequestHandler method.

You can also remove any given handler with the removeRequestHandler: method. This method takes as a parameter the object returned by addRequestHandler: or shouldStubRequestsPassingTest:withStubResponse:. Note that this returned object is already retained by OHHTTPStubs while the stub is installed, so you may keep it in a __weak variable (no need to keep a __strong reference).

Complete examples

Here is another example code below that uses the various techniques explained above. For a complete Xcode projet, see the OHHTTPStubsDemo.xcworkspace project in the repository.

NSArray* stubs = [NSArray arrayWithObjects:@"file1", @"file2", nil];
[OHHTTPStubs shouldStubRequestPassingTest:^OHHTTPStubsResponse*(NSURLRequest *request) {
    return [stubs containsObject:request.URL.absoluteString.lastPathComponent];
} withStubResponse:^OHHTTPStubsResponse* (NSURLRequest* request))handler {
    NSString* file = [request.URL.absoluteString.lastPathComponent
    return [OHHTTPStubsResponse responseWithFile:file contentType:@"text/json"
// Then this call (sending a request using the AFNetworking framework) will actually
// receive a fake response issued from the file "file1.json"
NSURLRequest* request = [NSURLRequest requestWithURL:[NSURL URLWithString:@"http://www.example.com/file1"]];
[[AFJSONRequestOperation JSONRequestOperationWithRequest:request success:^(NSURLRequest *request, NSHTTPURLResponse *response, id JSON)
 } failure:^(NSURLRequest *request, NSHTTPURLResponse *response, NSError *error, id JSON)
 }] start];

Installing in your projects

The OHHTTPStubs project is provided as a Xcode project that generates a static library, to easily integrate it with your project.

You simply need to add its xcodeproj to your workspace and link your app against the libOHHTTPStubs.a library.

Detailed integration instructions

  1. Add the OHHTTPStubs.xcodeproj project to your application workspace, next to your application project
  2. Build the library once for the "iOS Device" destination (if you skipt this, you will likely have the Xcode4 bug described below)
  3. Link libOHHTTPStubs.a with your application project. To do this:
  • Select your application project in the Project Navigator, then select your target in which you want to use OHHTTPStubs (for example your Tests target if you will only use OHHTTPStubs in your Unit Tests)
  • Go to the "Build Phase" tab and open the "Link Binary With Libraries" phase
  • Use the "+" button to add the libOHHTTPStubs.a library to the libraries linked with your project
  1. Select the libOHHTTPStubs.a file reference that has been added to your application projet, and change the "Location" dropdown (in the "File Inspector" pane) to "Relative to Build Products" if it is not already.
  2. When you need to use OHHTTPStubs classes, import the headers using #import <OHHTTPStubs/OHHTTPStubs.h>

Xcode4 Dependencies bug

Steps 2 and 4 are needed due to a bug in Xcode4 that would otherwise not reference the library with the correct path and as a built product.

If the libOHHTTPStubs.a file is not referenced as "Relative to Build Products", Xcode4 won't be able to detect implicit dependencies and won't build the library before building your application, resulting in a linker error.

If you encounter this issue, please read the detailed instructions here._

Private API Warning

OHHTTPStubs is designed to be used in test/debug code only. Don't link with it in production code when you compile your final application for the AppStore.

Its code use a private API to build an NSHTTPURLResponse, which is not authorized by Apple in applications published on the AppStore. So you will probably only link it with your Unit Tests target, or inside some #if DEBUG/#endif portions of your code.


OHHTTPStubs is referenced in CocoaPods, so if you use CocoaPods you can add pod OHHTTPStubs to your Podfile instead of following the above instructions.

Be careful anyway to include it only in your test targets, or only use its symbols in #if DEBUG portions, so that its code (and the private API it uses) is not included in your release for the AppStore, as explained above.

About OHHTTPStubs Unit Tests

OHHTTPStubs include some Unit Tests, and some of them test cases when using OHHTTPStubs with the AFNetworking framework. To implement those test cases, AFNetworking has been added as a GIT submodule inside the "Unit Tests" folder. This means that if you want to be able to run OHHTTPStubs' Unit Tests, you need to include submodules when cloning, by using the --recursive option: git clone --recursive <this_repo_url> <destination_folder>. Alternatively if you didn't include the --recursive flag when cloning, you can use git submodule init and then git submodule update on your already cloned working copy to initialize and fetch/update the submodules.

This is only needed if you intend to run the OHHTTPStubs Unit Tests, to check the correct behavior of OHHTTPStubs in conjunction with AFNetworking. If you only intend to directly use the OHHTTPStubs's produced library and will never run the OHHTTPStubs Unit Tests, the AFNetworking submodule is not needed at all.

Change Log

The changelog is available here in the dedicated wiki page.

License and Credits

This project is brought to you by Olivier Halligon and is under MIT License

It has been inspired by this article from InfiniteLoop.dk (See also his GitHub repository)