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HTTP (The Gem! a.k.a. http.rb) - a fast Ruby HTTP client with a chainable API, streaming support, and timeouts
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Gem Version Build Status Code Climate Coverage Status MIT licensed


NOTE: This is the 5.x development branch. For the 4.x stable branch, please see:


HTTP (The Gem! a.k.a. http.rb) is an easy-to-use client library for making requests from Ruby. It uses a simple method chaining system for building requests, similar to Python's Requests.

Under the hood, http.rb uses http_parser.rb, a fast HTTP parsing native extension based on the Node.js parser and a Java port thereof. This library isn't just yet another wrapper around Net::HTTP. It implements the HTTP protocol natively and outsources the parsing to native extensions.

Another Ruby HTTP library? Why should I care?

There are a lot of HTTP libraries to choose from in the Ruby ecosystem. So why would you choose this one?

Top three reasons:

  1. Clean API: http.rb offers an easy-to-use API that should be a breath of fresh air after using something like Net::HTTP.

  2. Maturity: http.rb is one of the most mature Ruby HTTP clients, supporting features like persistent connections and fine-grained timeouts.

  3. Performance: using native parsers and a clean, lightweight implementation, http.rb achieves the best performance of any Ruby HTTP library which implements the HTTP protocol in Ruby instead of C:

HTTP client Time Implementation
curb (persistent) 2.519 libcurl wrapper
em-http-request 2.731 EM + http_parser.rb
Typhoeus 2.851 libcurl wrapper
StreamlyFFI (persistent) 2.853 libcurl wrapper
http.rb (persistent) 2.970 Ruby + http_parser.rb
http.rb 3.588 Ruby + http_parser.rb
HTTParty 3.931 Net::HTTP wrapper
Net::HTTP 3.959 Pure Ruby
Net::HTTP (persistent) 4.043 Pure Ruby
open-uri 4.479 Net::HTTP wrapper
Excon (persistent) 4.618 Pure Ruby
Excon 4.701 Pure Ruby
RestClient 26.838 Net::HTTP wrapper

Benchmarks performed using excon's benchmarking tool

DISCLAIMER: Most benchmarks you find in READMEs are crap, including this one. These are out-of-date. If you care about performance, benchmark for yourself for your own use cases!

Help and Discussion

If you need help or just want to talk about the http.rb, visit the http.rb Google Group:!forum/httprb

You can join by email by sending a message to:

If you believe you've found a bug, please report it at:


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem "http"

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install http

Inside of your Ruby program do:

require "http" pull it in as a dependency.


Please see the http.rb wiki for more detailed documentation and usage notes.

The following API documentation is also available:

Basic Usage

Here's some simple examples to get you started:

>> HTTP.get("").to_s
=> "\n\n\n<!DOCTYPE html>\n<html lang=\"en\" class=\"\">\n  <head prefix=\"o..."

That's all it takes! To obtain an HTTP::Response object instead of the response body, all we have to do is omit the #to_s on the end:

>> HTTP.get("")
=> #<HTTP::Response/1.1 200 OK {"Server"=>"", "Date"=>"Tue, 10 May...>

We can also obtain an HTTP::Response::Body object for this response:

>> HTTP.get("").body
=> #<HTTP::Response::Body:3ff756862b48 @streaming=false>

The response body can be streamed with HTTP::Response::Body#readpartial. In practice, you'll want to bind the HTTP::Response::Body to a local variable and call #readpartial on it repeatedly until it returns nil:

>> body = HTTP.get("").body
=> #<HTTP::Response::Body:3ff756862b48 @streaming=false>
>> body.readpartial
=> "\n\n\n<!DOCTYPE html>\n<html lang=\"en\" class=\"\">\n  <head prefix=\"o..."
>> body.readpartial
=> "\" href=\"/apple-touch-icon-72x72.png\">\n    <link rel=\"apple-touch-ic..."
# ...
>> body.readpartial
=> nil

Supported Ruby Versions

This library aims to support and is tested against the following Ruby versions:

  • Ruby 2.3.x
  • Ruby 2.4.x
  • Ruby 2.5.x
  • Ruby 2.6.x
  • JRuby 9.2.x.x

If something doesn't work on one of these versions, it's a bug.

This library may inadvertently work (or seem to work) on other Ruby versions, however support will only be provided for the versions listed above.

If you would like this library to support another Ruby version or implementation, you may volunteer to be a maintainer. Being a maintainer entails making sure all tests run and pass on that implementation. When something breaks on your implementation, you will be responsible for providing patches in a timely fashion. If critical issues for a particular implementation exist at the time of a major release, support for that Ruby version may be dropped.

Contributing to http.rb

  • Fork http.rb on GitHub
  • Make your changes
  • Ensure all tests pass (bundle exec rake)
  • Send a pull request
  • If we like them we'll merge them
  • If we've accepted a patch, feel free to ask for commit access!


Copyright (c) 2011-2018 Tony Arcieri, Alexey V. Zapparov, Erik Michaels-Ober, Zachary Anker. See LICENSE.txt for further details.

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