RabbitMQ MQTT gateway
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RabbitMQ MQTT adapter


This is a protocol adapter that allows MQTT-capable clients to connect to a RabbitMQ broker. The adapter translates MQTT methods into their AMQP equivalents and back.

Supported MQTT features

  • QoS0 and QoS1 publish & consume
  • Last Will and Testament (LWT)
  • SSL
  • Session stickiness


The main RabbitMQ configuration file also specifies the MQTT configuration. For details see the broker configuration documentation. It is an Erlang-syntax file of the form:

[{section1, [section1-config]},
 {section2, [section2-config]},
 {sectionN, [sectionN-config]}

thus a list of tuples, where the left element of each tuple names the applications being configured. Don't forget the last element of the list doesn't have a trailing comma, and don't forget the full-stop is needed after closing the list. Hence if you configure RabbitMQ-server and the MQTT adapter, then the configuration file may have a structure like this:

[{rabbit,        [configuration-for-RabbitMQ-server]},
 {rabbitmq_mqtt, [configuration-for-RabbitMQ-mqtt-adapter]}

Here is a sample configuration that sets every MQTT option:

[{rabbit,        [{tcp_listeners,    [5672]}]},
 {rabbitmq_mqtt, [{default_user,     <<"guest">>},
                  {default_pass,     <<"guest">>},
                  {allow_anonymous,  true},
                  {vhost,            <<"/">>},
                  {default_exchange, <<"amq.topic">>},
                  {exchange_mapping, undefined},
                  {topic_mapping,    undefined},
                  {subscription_ttl, 1800000},
                  {prefetch,         10},
                  {ssl_listeners,    []},
                  {tcp_listeners,    [1883]},
                  {tcp_listen_options, [binary,
                                        {packet,    raw},
                                        {reuseaddr, true},
                                        {backlog,   128},
                                        {nodelay,   true}]}]}

The default_user and default_pass options are used to authenticate the adapter in case MQTT clients provide no login credentials. If the allow_anonymous option is set to false then clients MUST provide credentials. The presence of client-supplied credentials over the network overrides the allow_anonymous option.

The vhost option controls which RabbitMQ vhost the adapter connects to and the default_exchange option determines which exchange messages from MQTT clients are published to by default. If an exchange other than amq.topic is chosen then it must be created before clients publish any messages. The exchange is expected to be an AMQP topic exchange.

The exchange_mapping option allows for mapping topics that match a particular regular expression to non-default exchanges. Mappings are specified by means of a search regular search expression and a replace string that are applied to the topic. The resulting string is then taken as the exchange name. For instance, if you want to map the MQTT topic finance/stock/vmware to the exchange finance.topic, and the topic weather/country/gb to the exchange weather.topic, you would set exchange_mapping option to

{<<"^((finance|weather)\\..*)$">>, <<"\\2.topic">>}

The first item in the tuple is the search pattern whereas the second item is the replace string. Refer to the Erlang regular expression docs for more information on valid patterns. Note that the mapping is carried out on the AMQP routing key and not the MQTT topic. They are almost the same, but not entirely: The MQTT adapter translates topics into routing keys by replacing / with . and + with *. Hence, the mapping operates on dots rather than slashes.

The topic_mapping options is almost identical to the exchange_mapping option except that it allows for rewriting of routing keys using regular expressions. Extending the above finance/weather example, you could set this option to the following:

{<<"^((finance|weather)\\.(.*))$">>, <<"\\3">>}

Together with the exchange_mapping from above this will turn an MQTT topic of finance/stock/vmware into the routing key stock.vmware on the exchange finance.topic. While exchange and topic mappings may seem complex at first, they allow for very granular control on how MQTT topics are bridged to AMQP exchanges and routing keys.

The subscription_ttl option controls the lifetime of non-clean sessions. This option is interpreted in the same way as the queue TTL parameter, so the value 1800000 means 30 minutes.

The prefetch option controls the maximum number of unacknowledged messages that will be delivered. This option is interpreted in the same way as the AMQP prefetch-count field, so a value of 0 means "no limit".

The ssl_listeners option controls the endpoint (if any) that the adapter accepts SSL connections on. The default MQTT SSL port is 8883. If this option is non-empty then the rabbit section of the configuration file must contain an ssl_options entry. See the SSL configuration guide for details.

The tcp_listeners and tcp_listen_options options are interpreted in the same way as the corresponding options in the rabbit section, as explained in the broker configuration documentation.

AMQP mapping

This is an outline of the mapping between the MQTT and AMQP methods involved in each of the message flows supported by the adapter. It is not necessary to know this in order to use the adapter.

          (MQTT)    ADAPTER    (AMQP)
  • QOS0 flow publish

        PUBLISH   ------>    basic.publish
  • QOS0 flow receive

        PUBLISH   <------    basic.deliver
  • QOS1 flow publish (tracked in state.unacked_pub)

        PUBLISH   ------>    basic.publish  --+
        PUBACK    <------    basic.ack     <--+
  • QOS1 flow receive (tracked in state.awaiting_ack)

    +--  PUBLISH   <------    basic.deliver
    +--> PUBACK    ------>    basic.ack