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Nimble, streamable HTTP client for Node.js/IO.js. With proxy, iconv, cookie, deflate & multipart support.

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The most handsome HTTP client in the Nodelands. Supports SSL, basic auth, proxied requests, non-UTF-8 content decoding, multipart form-data (e.g. file uploads), gzip/deflate compression and, as you would expect, follows redirects. Simple, nimble and to the point.


var needle = require('needle');

needle.get('', function(error, response, body){
  console.log("Got status code: " + response.statusCode);


npm install needle

Request options

  • timeout: Returns error if no response received in X milisecs. Defaults to 10000 (10 secs). 0 means no timeout.
  • follow: When false, Needle won't follow redirects. Can also be a number or true (the default, 10 max).
  • multipart: Enables multipart/form-data encoding. Defaults to false.
  • proxy: Forwards request through HTTP proxy. Eg. proxy: ''
  • agent: Uses an http.Agent of your choice, instead of the global (default) one.
  • headers: Object containing custom HTTP headers for request. Overrides defaults described below.

Response options

  • decode: Whether to decode response to UTF-8 if Content-Type charset is different. Defaults to true.
  • parse: Whether to parse XML or JSON response bodies automagically. Defaults to true.

Note: To stay light on dependencies, Needle doesn't include the xml2js module used for XML parsing. To enable it, simply do npm install xml2js.

HTTP Header options

These are basically shortcuts to the headers option described above.

  • compressed: If true, sets 'Accept-Encoding' header to 'gzip,deflate', and inflates content if zipped. Defaults to false.
  • username: For HTTP basic auth.
  • password: For HTTP basic auth. Requires username to be passed, obviously.
  • accept: Sets 'Accept' HTTP header. Defaults to */*.
  • connection: Sets 'Connection' HTTP header. Defaults to close.
  • user_agent: Sets the 'User-Agent' HTTP header. Defaults to Needle/{version} (Node.js {node_version}).

Node.js TLS Options

These options are passed directly to https.request if present. Taken from the original documentation:

  • pfx: Certificate, Private key and CA certificates to use for SSL.
  • key: Private key to use for SSL.
  • passphrase: A string of passphrase for the private key or pfx.
  • cert: Public x509 certificate to use.
  • ca: An authority certificate or array of authority certificates to check the remote host against.
  • ciphers: A string describing the ciphers to use or exclude.
  • rejectUnauthorized: If true, the server certificate is verified against the list of supplied CAs. An 'error' event is emitted if verification fails. Verification happens at the connection level, before the HTTP request is sent.


needle.get(url, [options], callback);
needle.head(url, [options], callback);, data, [options], callback);
needle.put(url, data, [options], callback);
needle.delete(url, [options], callback);

Callback receives three arguments: (error, response, body)


GET with querystring

needle.get('', function(err, resp, body){
  if (!err && resp.statusCode == 200)
    console.log(body); // prints HTML

HTTPS GET with Basic Auth

needle.get('', { username: 'you', password: 'secret' },
  function(err, resp, body){
    // used HTTP auth

More options

var options = {
  timeout: false,
  compressed : true,
  parse: true,
  headers: {
    'X-Custom-Header': "Bumbaway atuna"

needle.get('', options, function(err, resp, body){
  // Needle prepends 'http://' to the URL if not found

GET through proxy

needle.get('', { proxy: 'http://localhost:1234' }, function(err, resp, body){
  // request passed through proxy

Simple POST'', 'foo=bar', function(err, resp, body){
  // you can pass params as a string or as an object

PUT with data object

var nested = {
  params: {
    are: {
      also: 'supported'

needle.put('', nested, function(err, resp, body){
  // if you don't pass any data, needle will throw an exception.

File upload using multipart, passing file path

var data = {
  foo: 'bar',
  image: { file: '/home/tomas/linux.png', content_type: 'image/png' }
}'', data, { multipart: true }, function(err, resp, body){
  // needle will read the file and include it in the form-data as binary

Multipart POST, passing data buffer

var buffer = fs.readFileSync('/path/to/');
var data = {
  zip_file: {
    buffer: buffer,
    filename: '',
    content_type: 'application/octet-stream'
}'', data, { multipart: true }, function(err, resp, body){
  // if you see, when using buffers we need to pass the filename for the multipart body.
  // you can also pass a filename when using the file path method, in case you want to override
  // the default filename to be received on the other end.

Multipart with custom Content-Type

var data = {
  token: 'verysecret',
  payload: {
    value: JSON.stringify({ title: 'test', version: 1 }),
    content_type: 'application/json'
}'', data, { timeout: 5000, multipart: true }, function(err, resp, body){
  // in this case, if the request takes more than 5 seconds
  // the callback will return a [Socket closed] error


Written by Tomás Pollak, with the help of contributors.


(c) 2012 Fork Ltd. Licensed under the MIT license.

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