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A Ruby wrapper for the Hacker News API.


gem install hn_api or add gem 'hn_api' to your Gemfile and bundle.


Currently, the Hacker News API is read-only and does not require an API key. The API is based at, and is currently on version v0.

# For now, this one line is all you need to configure
@client =

# In the event of a version change, you can set the `api_url` like so
@client.configure do |config|
  config.api_url = ''

# And you can always reset to the defaults


Descriptions and examples of the supported actions are below. For a more detailed explanation of available endpoints and an exhaustive list of the properties each response returns, check out the official Hacker News API documentation.

Items GET /v0/item/#id.json

Fetches an item (story, comment, poll, etc.) by id. Returns a Hashie::Mash.

story = @client.item(8422599)
story.title # Hacker News API
story.url   #

comment_ids =
first_comment = @client.item(comment_ids.first)
first_comment.text # Oh man you guys, patio11 has generated...

Users GET /v0/user/#id.json

Fetches a user by unique case-sensitive username. Returns a Hashie::Mash.

me = @client.user('co_pl_te')
me.karma                  # 4186
me.about.split(?\n).first # Everything to everyone.
me.              # an array of my submitted items' ids (stories, comments, etc.)

Live Data

The following endpoints are updated in real-time and will allow you to observe changes in front page ranking, new items, and new profiles.

Top Stories GET /v0/topstories.json

Fetches the current top 100 story ids. Returns an Array.


Max Item ID GET /v0/maxitem.json

Fetches the current largest item id. Returns a String.


Changed Items and Profiles GET /v0/updates.json

Fetches item and profile changes. Returns a Hashie::Mash.

updates = @client.updates
updates.items    # an array of updated item ids
updates.profiles # an array of updated profile ids

Contributing to hn_api

  • Check out the latest master to make sure the feature hasn't been implemented or the bug hasn't been fixed yet.
  • Check out the issue tracker to make sure someone already hasn't requested it and/or contributed it.
  • Fork the project.
  • Start a feature/bugfix branch.
  • Commit and push until you are happy with your contribution.
  • Make sure to add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.
  • Please try not to mess with the Rakefile, version, or history. If you want to have your own version, or is otherwise necessary, that is fine, but please isolate to its own commit so I can cherry-pick around it.

Copyright (c) 2014 Rahul Horé. See LICENSE.txt for further details.