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nguyenmp edited this page Mar 6, 2012 · 59 revisions


We're happy to have API clients, crawlers, scrapers, and Greasemonkey scripts, but they have to obey some rules:

In general, and especially for crawlers, make fewer than one request per two seconds

  • Respect robots.txt
  • Most pages are cached for 30 seconds, so you won't get fresh data if you request the same page that often. So don't hit the same page more than once per 30 seconds
  • NEVER lie about your user-agent. We will ban such clients outright if we catch them.
  • Requests for multiple resources at a time are always better than requests for single-resources in a loop. Talk to us on the mailing list if we don't have a batch API for what you're trying to do.
  • If you need help testing your API client or assessing its impact on us, please ask on the mailing list. If your API client could hurt reddit, and we catch it before you do, we'll have to ban it. It's nothing personal, but we have to keep the site up and 50% of the time when something goes wrong it's a badly written robot.

API Console

You can try out the API with Apigee's API console:



An object, such as a Link, Comment, or Account. See thing for more details.


A key which reddit requires for API functions modifying state to protect against XSRF attacks. A modhash will be returned on login and whenever a Listing thing is sent. See thing for more details.


A base-36 id of the form t[0-9]+_[a-z0-9]+ (e.g. t3_6nw57) that reddit associates with every Thing. In the example, the type prefix t3_ specifies that the fullname is for a Link, and the id 6nw57 specifies the Link's id36. The type IDs may vary among different reddit clones, but here are the possible values for

id name
1 comment
2 account
3 link
4 message
5 subreddit

API References

Below is an incomplete list of operations you can perform using the Reddit API. For reference examples of using such API operations, take a look at some of the third party clients.

Fetching Information

To download raw data from reddit, simply find the page that contains the desired data, and append an extension to the URL:

In many applications, it is useful to query reddit Links by URL or Fullname. This is possible using the following queries, followed by an extension of your choice:

Link by Fullname


Link by Fullname (With Comments)


Getting User "About" Page (Includes Karma Totals)

TODO: Clarify licensing of information

Fetching more

If you're fetching comments from a thread with more comments than the API will return in a single response, the last comment will look like this:

{'data': {'id': 'abc1010', 'name': 't1_abc1010'}, 'kind': 'more'}

To get these comments, you can fetch the url, where FULLNAME is the FULLNAME of the story.

Fix Listing Size

You can specify how many things you want listed by adding the url query limit. For example, a GET to will return a listing of 5 links instead of the default 25 or whatever the user has set as the default. Note that many listings have a built in max for the limit parameter. For example, you can only fetch 100 links and 500 comments (1500 for RedditGold members).

Logging In

To do a simple login, send an HTTP POST to Must include two POST parameters - user and passwd

Login now supports SSL, send an HTTP POST to

This will return a SetCookie line. It is best to manage this cookie with some automated tool or framework

Here are some examples made using the curl command from a unix/linux terminal

Correct Login

Making the request to We set two POST parameters: user=some_user and passwd=correct_passwd. curl automatically converts returned HTTP headers into cookies, so the SetCookie is converted into a cookie. The -c option requests that curl print all cookies associated with this request into Cookie.txt

$> curl -d user=some_user -d passwd=correct_passwd -c Cookie.txt

The server returns some JSON which curl prints to stdout for us.

{"jquery": [[0, 1, "call", ["body"]], [1, 2, "attr", "find"], [2, 3, "call", [".status"]], [3, 4, "attr", "hide"], [4, 5, "call", []], [5, 6, "attr", "html"], [6, 7, "call", [""]], [7, 8, "attr", "end"], [8, 9, "call", []], [1, 10, "attr", "redirect"], [10, 11, "call", ["/"]]]}

Now let's look at what the returned cookie contains! Hopefully it is a session ID that we can now pass to other parts of the reddit API...

$> cat Cookie.txt
# Netscape HTTP Cookie File
# This file was generated by libcurl! Edit at your own risk.	TRUE	/	FALSE	0	reddit_session	4029916%2C2010-04-30T22%3A51%3A52%2C1243925043100000000000000000000000000000

As hoped, we see a reddit_session (Note that I changed the ending chars to zero's for this example).

Breaking down what you are looking at here -

attribute value
tailmatch TRUE
path /
secure FALSE
expires 0
name reddit_session
value long-alphanumeric :)

If you are not sure what all this means, then either read up, or use a framework to manage the cookie.

Incorrect Login

Similar to correct example above, so I am just going to show you the results

$> curl -d user=some_user -d passwd=wrong_password -c Cookie.txt
{"jquery": [[0, 1, "call", ["body"]], [1, 2, "attr", "find"], [2, 3, "call", [".status"]], [3, 4, "attr", "hide"], [4, 5, "call", []], [5, 6, "attr", "html"], [6, 7, "call", [""]], [7, 8, "attr", "end"], [8, 9, "call", []], [1, 10, "attr", "find"], [10, 11, "call", [".error.WRONG_PASSWORD.field-passwd"]], [11, 12, "attr", "show"], [12, 13, "call", []], [13, 14, "attr", "html"], [14, 15, "call", ["invalid password"]], [15, 16, "attr", "end"], [16, 17, "call", []]]}
$> cat Cookie
# Netscape HTTP Cookie File
# This file was generated by libcurl! Edit at your own risk.	TRUE	/	FALSE	2145916799	reddit_first	%7B%22firsttime%22%3A%20%22first%22%7D

As you can see, it lets you know the password was wrong, and the reddit_session is not set (reddit_first is, however).

Note that if you enter a username that does not exist, it still returns the "invalid password" message (in my experience). This behavior might be subject to change, so check it if you need it.

Now that you have successfully logged-in, pages served from reddit will contain a "user modhash". This hash is required in making other calls to the api. You can find it by looking for a variable named "uh".

TODO: Clean this section up and make more user friendly

Submitting New Stories

For submitting to work, the reddit_session cookie needs to be present in the request.

It is possible to submit without a cookie, but that requires supplying the answer to the captcha.

Post the following to

field value
uh the user modhash
kind either "link" or "self"
sr the subreddit
title the text to appear as a link to your new story
r appears to be the subreddit again (?)

Setting "kind" to "self" means that the "url" field becomes a "text" field.

The JSON reply will be a somewhat larger one, and it can potentially contain an error message.

Here's one error message:

You haven't verified your email address; until you do, your submitting privileges will be severely limited. Please try again in an hour or verify your email address. If you'd like an exemption from this rule, please write to the moderators of this reddit.

If the submission worked, the JSON reply will contain the link to the newly created story.

Sharing Stories

The idea here is that we want to have reddit email a story to a friend on our behalf.

For sharing to work, the reddit_session cookie needs to be present in the request.

Post the following to

field value
parent the thing you want to share
share_from the name of the person who is sending the message
replyto the email address of the person who is sending the message
share_to the email address of the recipient of the message
message the text that precedes the link to the story in the message
uh the user modhash

The JSON reply is another short one:


Changes to the API

Changes to this API can happen without warning. Use the Firefox add-on LiveHeaders or the Webkit inspector's Network section to see what fields are being posted this week.

The JSON replies can also change without warning.


As of this writing, downtime will simply return the down page. Not sure if this comes with a non-200 HTTP response.

See Also