An HTTP/2 (HTTP2) client for Elixir (a work in progress!)
Clone or download

Build Status


NOTE: River is a work in progress and should be considered extremely beta.

River is a general-purpose HTTP client with eventual hopes of full HTTP/2 support (along with support for HTTP/1.1). It is built from the ground up with three major goals:

  1. be fully compliant with RFC 7540
  2. be simple and straightforward to use, in the vein of HTTPoison
  3. be awesome, in the same way that Go's http library (which has built-in, transparent support for HTTP/2) is awesome.


  1. Add River to your list of dependencies in mix.exs:
def deps do
  [{:river, "~> 0.0.6"}]
  1. Ensure River is started before your application:
def application do
  [applications: [:river]]


  1. Currently, River only knows how to make HTTP/2 requests to https:// endpoints. Soon, I'll add the ability to make a request via the Upgrade header so that requests to http:// endpoints will work as well.
  2. River doesn't currently speak HTTP/1.x. Once I finish up basic HTTP/2 support, HTTP1.x is next on the roadmap. The goal when using River in your project is that you should not need to know whether the underlying connection is using HTTP/2 or HTTP/1.x.
  3. River is as beta as it gets, and under active development with no promises of anything being backwards compatible 😬 (until we hit v1.0, of course)


  • Basic HTTP/2 support
  • HTTP/1 --> HTTP/2 upgrading
  • Full HTTP/2 support
  • Full HTTP/1.x support

Basic Usage

Simple GET

=> {:ok,
 %River.Response{__status: :ok,
  body: "<html>\n<body>\n<h1>Go...",
  closed: true, code: 200, content_type: "text/html; charset=utf-8",
  headers: headers: [{":status", "200"},
                     {"content-type", "text/html; charset=utf-8"},
                     {"content-length", "1708"},
                     {"date", "Fri, 30 Sep 2016 04:26:34 GMT"}]}}

Simple PUT

River.put("", "hello world")
=> {:ok, %River.Response{...}}

Request with timeout

# timeout unit is milliseconds
River.get("", timeout: 10)
=> {:error, :timeout}