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README.rst

nghttp2 - HTTP/2.0 C Library

This is an experimental implementation of Hypertext Transfer Protocol version 2.0.

Development Status

We started to implement HTTP-draft-09/2.0 (http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-ietf-httpbis-http2-09) and the header compression (http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-ietf-httpbis-header-compression-05).

The nghttp2 code base was forked from spdylay project.

Features HTTP-draft-09/2.0
:authority Done
HPACK-draft-05 Done
SETTINGS_HEADER_TABLE_SIZE Done
SETTINGS_ENABLE_PUSH Done
FRAME_SIZE_ERROR Done
SETTINGS with ACK Done
Header Continuation  
ALPN  

Public Test Server

The following endpoints are available to try out nghttp2 implementation. These endpoints supports HTTP-draft-09/2.0 and the earlier draft versions are not supporeted.

Requirements

The following packages are needed to build the library:

  • pkg-config >= 0.20
  • zlib >= 1.2.3

To build and run the unit test programs, the following packages are required:

  • cunit >= 2.1

To build the documentation, you need to install:

To build and run the application programs (nghttp, nghttpd and nghttpx) in src directory, the following packages are required:

  • OpenSSL >= 1.0.1
  • libevent-openssl >= 2.0.8

To enable SPDY protocol in the application program nghttpx, the following packages are required:

  • spdylay >= 1.0.0

To enable -a option (getting linked assets from the downloaded resource) in nghttp, the following packages are needed:

  • libxml2 >= 2.7.7

The header compression test tools in hdtest directory require the following package:

  • jansson >= 2.5

If you are using Ubuntu 12.04, you need the following packages installed:

  • autoconf
  • automake
  • autotools-dev
  • libtool
  • pkg-config
  • zlib1g-dev
  • libcunit1-dev
  • libssl-dev
  • libxml2-dev
  • libevent-dev
  • libjansson-dev

spdylay is not packaged in Ubuntu, so you need to build it yourself: http://tatsuhiro-t.github.io/spdylay/

Build from git

Building from git is easy, but please be sure that at least autoconf 2.68 is used:

$ autoreconf -i
$ automake
$ autoconf
$ ./configure
$ make

Building documentation

Note

Documentation is still incomplete.

To build documentation, run:

$ make html

The documents will be generated under doc/manual/html/.

The generated documents will not be installed with make install.

The online documentation is available at http://tatsuhiro-t.github.io/nghttp2/

Client, Server and Proxy programs

The src directory contains HTTP/2.0 client, server and proxy programs.

nghttp - client

nghttp is a HTTP/2.0 client. It can connect to the HTTP/2.0 server with prior knowledge, HTTP Upgrade and NPN TLS extension.

It has verbose output mode for framing information. Here is sample output from nghttp client:

$ src/nghttp -vn https://localhost:8443
[  0.003] NPN select next protocol: the remote server offers:
          * HTTP-draft-09/2.0
          * spdy/3
          * spdy/2
          * http/1.1
          NPN selected the protocol: HTTP-draft-09/2.0
[  0.005] send SETTINGS frame <length=16, flags=0x00, stream_id=0>
          (niv=2)
          [SETTINGS_MAX_CONCURRENT_STREAMS(4):100]
          [SETTINGS_INITIAL_WINDOW_SIZE(7):65535]
[  0.006] send HEADERS frame <length=47, flags=0x05, stream_id=1>
          ; END_STREAM | END_HEADERS
          ; Open new stream
          :authority: localhost:8443
          :method: GET
          :path: /
          :scheme: https
          accept: */*
          accept-encoding: gzip, deflate
          user-agent: nghttp2/0.1.0-DEV
[  0.006] recv SETTINGS frame <length=16, flags=0x00, stream_id=0>
          (niv=2)
          [SETTINGS_MAX_CONCURRENT_STREAMS(4):100]
          [SETTINGS_INITIAL_WINDOW_SIZE(7):65535]
[  0.006] send SETTINGS frame <length=0, flags=0x01, stream_id=0>
          ; ACK
          (niv=0)
[  0.006] recv WINDOW_UPDATE frame <length=4, flags=0x00, stream_id=0>
          (window_size_increment=1000000007)
[  0.006] recv SETTINGS frame <length=0, flags=0x01, stream_id=0>
          ; ACK
          (niv=0)
[  0.006] recv HEADERS frame <length=132, flags=0x04, stream_id=1>
          ; END_HEADERS
          ; First response header
          :status: 200
          accept-ranges: bytes
          content-encoding: gzip
          content-length: 146
          content-type: text/html
          date: Sun, 27 Oct 2013 14:23:54 GMT
          etag: "b1-4e5535a027780-gzip"
          last-modified: Sun, 01 Sep 2013 14:34:22 GMT
          server: Apache/2.4.6 (Debian)
          vary: Accept-Encoding
          via: 1.1 nghttpx
[  0.006] recv DATA frame <length=146, flags=0x00, stream_id=1>
[  0.006] recv DATA frame <length=0, flags=0x01, stream_id=1>
          ; END_STREAM
[  0.007] send GOAWAY frame <length=8, flags=0x00, stream_id=0>
          (last_stream_id=0, error_code=NO_ERROR(0), opaque_data(0)=[])

The HTTP Upgrade is performed like this:

$ src/nghttp -vnu http://localhost:8080
[  0.000] HTTP Upgrade request
GET / HTTP/1.1
Host: localhost:8080
Connection: Upgrade, HTTP2-Settings
Upgrade: HTTP-draft-09/2.0
HTTP2-Settings: AAAABAAAAGQAAAAHAAD__w
Accept: */*
User-Agent: nghttp2/0.1.0-DEV


[  0.000] HTTP Upgrade response
HTTP/1.1 101 Switching Protocols
Connection: Upgrade
Upgrade: HTTP-draft-09/2.0


[  0.001] HTTP Upgrade success
[  0.001] send SETTINGS frame <length=16, flags=0x00, stream_id=0>
          (niv=2)
          [SETTINGS_MAX_CONCURRENT_STREAMS(4):100]
          [SETTINGS_INITIAL_WINDOW_SIZE(7):65535]
[  0.001] recv SETTINGS frame <length=16, flags=0x00, stream_id=0>
          (niv=2)
          [SETTINGS_MAX_CONCURRENT_STREAMS(4):100]
          [SETTINGS_INITIAL_WINDOW_SIZE(7):65535]
[  0.001] recv WINDOW_UPDATE frame <length=4, flags=0x00, stream_id=0>
          (window_size_increment=1000000007)
[  0.001] recv HEADERS frame <length=121, flags=0x04, stream_id=1>
          ; END_HEADERS
          ; First response header
          :status: 200
          accept-ranges: bytes
          content-length: 177
          content-type: text/html
          date: Sun, 27 Oct 2013 14:26:04 GMT
          etag: "b1-4e5535a027780"
          last-modified: Sun, 01 Sep 2013 14:34:22 GMT
          server: Apache/2.4.6 (Debian)
          vary: Accept-Encoding
          via: 1.1 nghttpx
[  0.001] recv DATA frame <length=177, flags=0x00, stream_id=1>
[  0.001] recv DATA frame <length=0, flags=0x01, stream_id=1>
          ; END_STREAM
[  0.001] send SETTINGS frame <length=0, flags=0x01, stream_id=0>
          ; ACK
          (niv=0)
[  0.001] send GOAWAY frame <length=8, flags=0x00, stream_id=0>
          (last_stream_id=0, error_code=NO_ERROR(0), opaque_data(0)=[])
[  0.001] recv SETTINGS frame <length=0, flags=0x01, stream_id=0>
          ; ACK
          (niv=0)

nghttpd - server

nghttpd is static web server. It is single threaded and multiplexes connections using non-blocking socket.

By default, it uses SSL/TLS connection. Use --no-tls option to disable it.

nghttpd only accept the HTTP/2.0 connection via NPN or direct HTTP/2.0 connection. No HTTP Upgrade is supported.

-p option allows users to configure server push.

Just like nghttp, it has verbose output mode for framing information. Here is sample output from nghttpd server:

$ src/nghttpd --no-tls -v 8080
IPv4: listen on port 8080
IPv6: listen on port 8080
[id=1] [  1.189] send SETTINGS frame <length=8, flags=0x00, stream_id=0>
          (niv=1)
          [SETTINGS_MAX_CONCURRENT_STREAMS(4):100]
[id=1] [  1.191] recv SETTINGS frame <length=16, flags=0x00, stream_id=0>
          (niv=2)
          [SETTINGS_MAX_CONCURRENT_STREAMS(4):100]
          [SETTINGS_INITIAL_WINDOW_SIZE(7):65535]
[id=1] [  1.191] recv HEADERS frame <length=47, flags=0x05, stream_id=1>
          ; END_STREAM | END_HEADERS
          ; Open new stream
          :authority: localhost:8080
          :method: GET
          :path: /
          :scheme: http
          accept: */*
          accept-encoding: gzip, deflate
          user-agent: nghttp2/0.1.0-DEV
[id=1] [  1.192] send SETTINGS frame <length=0, flags=0x01, stream_id=0>
          ; ACK
          (niv=0)
[id=1] [  1.192] send HEADERS frame <length=70, flags=0x04, stream_id=1>
          ; END_HEADERS
          ; First response header
          :status: 404
          content-encoding: gzip
          content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
          date: Sun, 27 Oct 2013 14:27:53 GMT
          server: nghttpd nghttp2/0.1.0-DEV
[id=1] [  1.192] send DATA frame <length=117, flags=0x00, stream_id=1>
[id=1] [  1.192] send DATA frame <length=0, flags=0x01, stream_id=1>
          ; END_STREAM
[id=1] [  1.192] stream_id=1 closed
[id=1] [  1.192] recv SETTINGS frame <length=0, flags=0x01, stream_id=0>
          ; ACK
          (niv=0)
[id=1] [  1.192] recv GOAWAY frame <length=8, flags=0x00, stream_id=0>
          (last_stream_id=0, error_code=NO_ERROR(0), opaque_data(0)=[])
[id=1] [  1.192] closed

nghttpx - proxy

The nghttpx is a multi-threaded reverse proxy for HTTP-draft-09/2.0, SPDY and HTTP/1.1. It has several operation modes:

Mode option Frontend Backend Note
default mode HTTP/2.0, SPDY, HTTP/1.1 (TLS) HTTP/1.1 Reverse proxy
--http2-proxy HTTP/2.0, SPDY, HTTP/1.1 (TLS) HTTP/1.1 SPDY proxy
--http2-bridge HTTP/2.0, SPDY, HTTP/1.1 (TLS) HTTP/2.0 (TLS)  
--client HTTP/2.0, HTTP/1.1 HTTP/2.0 (TLS)  
--client-proxy HTTP/2.0, HTTP/1.1 HTTP/2.0 (TLS) Forward proxy

The interesting mode at the moment is the default mode. It works like a reverse proxy and listens HTTP-draft-09/2.0, SPDY and HTTP/1.1 and can be deployed SSL/TLS terminator for existing web server.

The default mode, --http2-proxy and --http2-bridge modes use SSL/TLS in the frontend connection by default. To disable SSL/TLS, use --frontend-no-tls option. If that option is used, SPDY is disabled in the frontend and incoming HTTP/1.1 connection can be upgraded to HTTP/2.0 through HTTP Upgrade.

The --http2-bridge, --client and --client-proxy modes use SSL/TLS in the backend connection by deafult. To disable SSL/TLS, use --backend-no-tls option.

The nghttpx supports configuration file. See --conf option and sample configuration file nghttpx.conf.sample.

The nghttpx does not support server push.

In the default mode, (without any of --http2-proxy, --http2-bridge, --client-proxy and --client options), nghttpx works as reverse proxy to the backend server:

Client <-- (HTTP/2.0, SPDY, HTTP/1.1) --> nghttpx <-- (HTTP/1.1) --> Web Server
                                      [reverse proxy]

With --http2-proxy option, it works as so called secure proxy (aka SPDY proxy):

Client <-- (HTTP/2.0, SPDY, HTTP/1.1) --> nghttpx <-- (HTTP/1.1) --> Proxy
                                       [secure proxy]            (e.g., Squid)

The Client in the above is needs to be configured to use nghttpx as secure proxy.

At the time of this writing, Chrome is the only browser which supports secure proxy. The one way to configure Chrome to use secure proxy is create proxy.pac script like this:

function FindProxyForURL(url, host) {
    return "HTTPS SERVERADDR:PORT";
}

SERVERADDR and PORT is the hostname/address and port of the machine nghttpx is running. Please note that Chrome requires valid certificate for secure proxy.

Then run chrome with the following arguments:

$ google-chrome --proxy-pac-url=file:///path/to/proxy.pac --use-npn

With --http2-bridge, it accepts HTTP/2.0, SPDY and HTTP/1.1 connections and communicates with backend in HTTP/2.0:

Client <-- (HTTP/2.0, SPDY, HTTP/1.1) --> nghttpx <-- (HTTP/2.0) --> Web or HTTP/2.0 Proxy etc
                                                                     (e.g., nghttpx -s)

With --client-proxy option, it works as forward proxy and expects that the backend is HTTP/2.0 proxy:

Client <-- (HTTP/2.0, HTTP/1.1) --> nghttpx <-- (HTTP/2.0) --> HTTP/2.0 Proxy
                                 [forward proxy]               (e.g., nghttpx -s)

The Client is needs to be configured to use nghttpx as forward proxy. The frontend HTTP/1.1 connection can be upgraded to HTTP/2.0 through HTTP Upgrade. With the above configuration, one can use HTTP/1.1 client to access and test their HTTP/2.0 servers.

With --client option, it works as reverse proxy and expects that the backend is HTTP/2.0 Web server:

Client <-- (HTTP/2.0, HTTP/1.1) --> nghttpx <-- (HTTP/2.0) --> Web Server
                                [reverse proxy]

The frontend HTTP/1.1 connection can be upgraded to HTTP/2.0 through HTTP Upgrade.

For the operation modes which talk to the backend in HTTP/2.0 over SSL/TLS, the backend connections can be tunneled though HTTP proxy. The proxy is specified using --backend-http-proxy-uri option. The following figure illustrates the example of --http2-bridge and --backend-http-proxy-uri option to talk to the outside HTTP/2.0 proxy through HTTP proxy:

Client <-- (HTTP/2.0, SPDY, HTTP/1.1) --> nghttpx <-- (HTTP/2.0) --

        --===================---> HTTP/2.0 Proxy
          (HTTP proxy tunnel)     (e.g., nghttpx -s)

Header compression test tools

The hdtest directory contains header compression test tools. The deflatehd is command-line header compression tool. The inflatehd is command-line header decompression tool. Both tools read input from stdin and write output to stdout. The errors are written to stderr. They take JSON as input and output.

deflatehd - header compressor

The deflatehd reads JSON array or HTTP/1-style header fields from stdin and outputs compressed header block in JSON array.

For the JSON input, the element of input array must be a JSON object. Each object must have at least following key:

headers
A JSON array of name/value pairs. The each element is a JSON array of 2 strings. The index 0 must contain header name and the index 1 must contain header value.

Example:

[
  {
    "headers": [
      [ ":method", "GET" ],
      [ ":path", "/" ]
    ]
  },
  {
    "headers": [
      [ ":method", "POST" ],
      [ ":path", "/" ]
    ]
  }
]

These header sets are processed in the order they appear in the JSON outer most array using same compression context.

With -t option, the program can accept more familiar HTTP/1 style header field block. Each header set is delimited by empty line:

Example:

:method: GET
:scheme: https
:path: /

:method: POST
user-agent: nghttp2

The output is a JSON array and each element is JSON object, which has at least following keys:

seq
The index of header set in the input.
inputLen
The sum of length of name/value pair in the input.
outputLength
The length of compressed header block.
percentageOfOriginalSize
inputLen / outputLength * 100
output
The compressed header block in hex string.

Examples:

[
  {
    "seq": 0,
    "inputLen": 66,
    "outputLength": 20,
    "percentageOfOriginalSize": 30.303030303030305,
    "output": "818703881f3468e5891afcbf863c856659c62e3f"
  },
  {
    "seq": 1,
    "inputLen": 74,
    "outputLength": 10,
    "percentageOfOriginalSize": 13.513513513513514,
    "output": "87038504252dd5918386"
  }
]

The output can be used as the input for inflatehd.

With -d option, the extra headerTable key is added and its associated value contains the state of dyanmic header table after the corresponding header set was processed. The value contains following keys:

entries
The entry in the header table. If referenced is true, it is in the reference set. The size includes the overhead (32 bytes). The index corresponds to the index of header table. The name is the header field name and the value is the header field value. They may be displayed as **DEALLOCATED**, which means that the memory for that string is freed and not available. This will happen when the specifying smaller value in -S than -s.
size
The sum of the spaces entries occupied, this includes the entry overhead.
maxSize
The maximum header table size.
deflateSize
The sum of the spaces entries occupied within maxDeflateSize.
maxDeflateSize
The maximum header table size encoder uses. This can be smaller than maxSize. In this case, encoder only uses up to first maxDeflateSize buffer. Since the header table size is still maxSize, the encoder has to keep track of entries ouside the maxDeflateSize but inside the maxSize and make sure that they are no longer referenced.

Example:

[
  {
    "seq": 0,
    "inputLen": 66,
    "outputLength": 20,
    "percentageOfOriginalSize": 30.303030303030305,
    "output": "818703881f3468e5891afcbf863c856659c62e3f",
    "headerTable": {
      "entries": [
        {
          "index": 0,
          "name": "user-agent",
          "value": "nghttp2",
          "referenced": true,
          "size": 49
        },
        {
          "index": 1,
          "name": ":path",
          "value": "/",
          "referenced": true,
          "size": 38
        },
        {
          "index": 2,
          "name": ":authority",
          "value": "example.org",
          "referenced": true,
          "size": 53
        },
        {
          "index": 3,
          "name": ":scheme",
          "value": "https",
          "referenced": true,
          "size": 44
        },
        {
          "index": 4,
          "name": ":method",
          "value": "GET",
          "referenced": true,
          "size": 42
        }
      ],
      "size": 226,
      "maxSize": 4096,
      "deflateSize": 226,
      "maxDeflateSize": 4096
    }
  },
  {
    "seq": 1,
    "inputLen": 74,
    "outputLength": 10,
    "percentageOfOriginalSize": 13.513513513513514,
    "output": "87038504252dd5918386",
    "headerTable": {
      "entries": [
        {
          "index": 0,
          "name": ":path",
          "value": "/account",
          "referenced": true,
          "size": 45
        },
        {
          "index": 1,
          "name": ":method",
          "value": "POST",
          "referenced": true,
          "size": 43
        },
        {
          "index": 2,
          "name": "user-agent",
          "value": "nghttp2",
          "referenced": true,
          "size": 49
        },
        {
          "index": 3,
          "name": ":path",
          "value": "/",
          "referenced": false,
          "size": 38
        },
        {
          "index": 4,
          "name": ":authority",
          "value": "example.org",
          "referenced": true,
          "size": 53
        },
        {
          "index": 5,
          "name": ":scheme",
          "value": "https",
          "referenced": true,
          "size": 44
        },
        {
          "index": 6,
          "name": ":method",
          "value": "GET",
          "referenced": false,
          "size": 42
        }
      ],
      "size": 314,
      "maxSize": 4096,
      "deflateSize": 314,
      "maxDeflateSize": 4096
    }
  }
]

inflatehd - header decompressor

The inflatehd reads JSON array from stdin and outputs decompressed name/value pairs in JSON array. The element of input array must be a JSON object. Each object must have at least following key:

output
compressed header block in hex string.

Example:

[
  { "output": "0284f77778ff" },
  { "output": "0185fafd3c3c7f81" }
]

The output is a JSON array and each element is JSON object, which has at least following keys:

seq
The index of header set in the input.
headers
The JSON array contains decompressed name/value pairs. Each element is JSON aray having 2 elements. The index 0 of the array contains the header field name. The index 1 contains the header field value.

Example:

[
  {
    "seq": 0,
    "headers": [
      [":authority", "example.org"],
      [":method", "GET"],
      [":path", "/"],
      [":scheme", "https"],
      ["user-agent", "nghttp2"]
    ]
  },
  {
    "seq": 1,
    "headers": [
      [":authority", "example.org"],
      [":method", "POST"],
      [":path", "/account"],
      [":scheme", "https"],
      ["user-agent", "nghttp2"]
    ]
  }
]

The output can be used as the input for deflatehd.

With -d option, the extra headerTable key is added and its associated value contains the state of dyanmic header table after the corresponding header set was processed. The format is the same as deflatehd.