An HTTP API for the monitoring and control of physical and virtual devices
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Documentation Status

Synse Server

An HTTP API for the monitoring and control of physical and virtual devices.

Synse Server provides a simple HTTP API to monitor and control physical and virtual devices at any scale: from home automation to data center infrastructure. It exposes devices managed by protocol specific plugins, such as RS-485, I²C, and IPMI, though a uniform HTTP interface. This makes it possible to read from, write to, get metainfo, and scan for devices across multiple back-ends all through a cURL-able interface.

For more detailed information on Synse Server, its API, and how to develop with it, see the User Guide and the API Documentation.

The Synse Ecosystem

Synse Server is one component of the greater Synse Ecosystem.

  • vapor-ware/synse-cli: A CLI that allows you to easily interact with Synse Server and Plugins directly from the command line.

  • vapor-ware/synse-graphql: A GraphQL wrapper around Synse Server's HTTP API that provides a powerful query language enabling simple aggregations and operations over multiple devices.

  • vapor-ware/synse-sdk: The official SDK (written in Go) for Synse Plugin development.

  • vapor-ware/synse-server-grpc: The internal gRPC API that connects Synse Server and the Synse Plugins.

  • vapor-ware/synse-emulator-plugin: A simple plugin with no hardware dependencies that can serve as a plugin backend for Synse Server for development, testing, and just getting familiar with how Synse Server works.

Architecture Overview

Synse Server is a micro-service that provides an HTTP interface for interaction and control of devices. Synse Server does not directly interface with the devices -- that job is left to the plugins that Synse Server can interface with. Plugins implement a given protocol to talk to a given collection of devices, whether that be a serial protocol for sensors, or an HTTP protocol for some external REST API.

Synse Server really acts as a front-end interface/proxy for all the different protocols/devices. It exposes a uniform API to the user, routes commands to the proper device (e.g. to the plugin that manages the referenced device), and does some aggregation, caching, and formatting of the response data.

The general flow through Synse Server for a device read, for example, is:

  • get an incoming HTTP request
  • validate the specified device exists
  • lookup the device's managing plugin
  • dispatch a gRPC read request to the plugin for that device
  • await a response from the plugin
  • take the data returned from the plugin and format it into the JSON response scheme
  • return the data to the caller

Getting Started

The easiest way to get started is to get the pre-built Synse Server image from DockerHub. For a more comprehensive guide for getting started, see the User Guide.

  1. Get the Docker image

    $ docker pull vaporio/synse-server
  2. Run the container with the default configurations, enabling the emulator

    $ docker run -d \
        -p 5000:5000 \
        --name synse-server \
        vaporio/synse-server enable-emulator
  3. Verify it is running and reachable

    $ curl http://localhost:5000/synse/test
      "status": "ok",
      "timestamp": "2018-02-26 16:58:07.844486"
  4. Issue a scan command to list all of the devices known to Synse. The devices that Synse Server interacts with are made available by the Synse Plugin(s) it is interfacing with, which in this case is the emulator.

    $ curl http://localhost:5000/synse/v2/scan

See the API Documentation to learn what else Synse Server is capable of.


Feedback for Synse Server or any component of the Synse ecosystem is greatly appreciated! If you experience any issues, find the documentation unclear, have requests for features, or just have questions about it, we'd love to know. Feel free to open an issue for any feedback you may have.


We welcome contributions to the project. The project maintainers actively manage the issues and pull requests. If you choose to contribute, we ask that you either comment on an existing issue or open a new one. This project follows the typical GitHub Workflow.


Synse Server is released under the GPL-3.0 license.

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