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Module Name Latest Version Documentation Javadocs
rawhttp-core rawhttp-core RawHTTP Core javadoc
rawhttp-cli rawhttp-cli RawHTTP CLI javadoc
rawhttp-duplex rawhttp-duplex RawHTTP Duplex javadoc
rawhttp-cookies rawhttp-cookies RawHTTP Cookies javadoc
rawhttp-req-in-edit rawhttp-req-in-edit RawHTTP ReqInEdit (HTTP Tests) javadoc

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A Java library to make it easy to deal with raw HTTP 1.1, as defined by RFC-7230, and most of HTTP 1.0 (RFC-1945).

For details about using RawHTTP and the motivation for this project, see the blog post I wrote about it!

For testing HTTP servers, check out the blog post I wrote about rawhttp-req-in-edit, which lets you write HTTP files to send requests and assert responses using JS scripts.

🌎 For more documentation, visit the website.


HTTP is really simple in 99.9% of cases.

For example, the raw HTTP request you would make to fetch a resource from a web server looks like this:

The example below is taken from the HTTP 1.1 RFC 7230.

GET /hello.txt HTTP/1.1
User-Agent: curl/7.16.3 libcurl/7.16.3 OpenSSL/0.9.7l zlib/1.2.3
Accept-Language: en, mi

To send that request out to a HTTP server using RawHTTP, you can parse the Request and stream it out via a Socket.

Here's the whole code to do that:

RawHttp rawHttp = new RawHttp();

RawHttpRequest request = rawHttp.parseRequest(
    "GET /hello.txt HTTP/1.1\r\n" +
    "User-Agent: curl/7.16.3 libcurl/7.16.3 OpenSSL/0.9.7l zlib/1.2.3\r\n" +
    "Host:\r\n" +
    "Accept-Language: en, mi");
Socket socket = new Socket("", 80);

To read the response, it's just as easy:

RawHttpResponse<?> response = rawHttp.parseResponse(socket.getInputStream());

// call "eagerly()" in order to download the body

Which prints the complete response:

HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Cache-Control: max-age=604800
Content-Type: text/html
Date: Mon, 04 Dec 2017 21:19:04 GMT
Expires: Mon, 11 Dec 2017 21:19:04 GMT
Last-Modified: Sat, 02 Dec 2017 02:10:22 GMT
Server: ECS (lga/1389)
Vary: Accept-Encoding
X-Cache: 404-HIT
Content-Length: 1270

<!doctype html>

A RawHttpResponse, just like a RawHttpRequest can be written to a File's, ServerSocket's or any other OutpuStream:

try (OutputStream out = Files.newOutputStream(responseFile.toPath())) {

That simple!

Notice that just with the above, you have everything you need to send and receive HTTP messages.

To illustrate that, here is a simple implementation of a HTTP server that waits for a single request, then responds with a valid response:

RawHttp http = new RawHttp();
ServerSocket server = new ServerSocket(8083);

new Thread(() -> {
    try {
        Socket client = server.accept();
        RawHttpRequest request = http.parseRequest(client.getInputStream());

        if (request.getUri().getPath().equals("/saysomething")) {
            http.parseResponse("HTTP/1.1 200 OK\n" +
                    "Content-Type: text/plain\n" +
                    "Content-Length: 9\n" +
                    "\n" +
        } else {
            http.parseResponse("HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found\n" +
                    "Content-Type: text/plain\n" +
                    "Content-Length: 0\n" +
    } catch (IOException e) {

HTTP client

Even though it's quite simple to implement your own HTTP client by using the RawHttp class to parse requests and responses (which can then be transmitted via Sockets), RawHTTP offers a simple HTTP client definition (and implementation) that makes it a little bit more convenient to consume HTTP APIs.

Here's the RawHttpClient interface:

public interface RawHttpClient<Response> {
    RawHttpResponse<Response> send(RawHttpRequest request) throws IOException;

The Response type parameter allows implementations to expose their own type for HTTP Responses, if needed.

In the core module, a simple implementation is provided: TcpRawHttpClient.

Example usage:

RawHttpClient<?> client = new TcpRawHttpClient();
EagerHttpResponse<?> response = client.send(request).eagerly();

Unless you want to take care of streaming the response body later, always call eagerly() as shown above to consume the full response body (allowing the connection to be re-used).

Other implementations are available in separate modules:

  • RawHttpComponentsClient - based on HttpComponents's HttpClient.

Requires the rawhttp:rawhttp-httpcomponents module.

You can use this if you need support for external specifications, such as cookies (RFC-6265), or basic-auth, for example.

Example usage:

// use a default instance of CloseableHttpClient
RawHttpClient<?> client = new RawHttpComponentsClient();

// or create and configure your own client, then pass it into the constructor
CloseableHttpClient httpClient = HttpClients.createDefault();
RawHttpClient<?> client = new RawHttpComponentsClient(httpClient);

HTTP server

RawHTTP also contains a package defining a few types that describe a simple HTTP server.

The main type is the interface RawHttpServer, which uses a Router to route HTTP requests, returning a HTTP response. Router is a functional interface (i.e. it can be implemented with a Java lambda), so implementing a full server is very simple.

A default implementation of TcpRawHttpServer is provided... it spans a Thread (but re-uses it when possible) for each connected client.

Here's an example, written in Kotlin, of how to use RawHttpServer:

val server = TcpRawHttpServer(8093)

server.start { req ->
    when (req.uri.path) {
        "/hello", "/" ->
            when (req.method) {
                "GET" ->
                    http.parseResponse("HTTP/1.1 200 OK\n" +
                            "Content-Type: text/plain"
                    ).withBody(StringBody("Hello RawHTTP!"))
                else ->
                    http.parseResponse("HTTP/1.1 405 Method Not Allowed\n" +
                            "Content-Type: text/plain"
                    ).withBody(StringBody("Sorry, can't handle this method"))
        else ->
            http.parseResponse("HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found\n" +
                    "Content-Type: text/plain"
            ).withBody(StringBody("Content was not found"))


Several samples showing how to use RawHTTP, including all examples in this page, can be found in the samples project.

Note: to run the samples, execute the tests with the -Prun-samples argument.

The rawhttp-duplex module has its own sample, a chat application.