REST Client -- simple DSL for accessing HTTP and REST resources

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A simple HTTP and REST client for Ruby, inspired by the Sinatra's microframework style of specifying actions: get, put, post, delete.

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MRI Ruby 2.0 and newer are supported. Alternative interpreters compatible with 2.0+ should work as well.

Earlier Ruby versions such as 1.8.7, 1.9.2, and 1.9.3 are no longer supported. These versions no longer have any official support, and do not receive security updates.

The rest-client gem depends on these other gems for usage at runtime:

There are also several development dependencies. It's recommended to use bundler to manage these dependencies for hacking on rest-client.

Upgrading to rest-client 2.0 from 1.x

Users are encouraged to upgrade to rest-client 2.0, which cleans up a number of API warts and wrinkles, making rest-client generally more useful. Usage is largely compatible, so many applications will be able to upgrade with no changes.

Overview of significant changes:

  • requires Ruby >= 2.0
  • RestClient::Response objects are a subclass of String rather than a Frankenstein monster. And #body or #to_s return a true String object.
  • cleanup of exception classes, including new RestClient::Exceptions::Timeout
  • improvements to handling of redirects: responses and history are properly exposed
  • major changes to cookie support: cookie jars are used for browser-like behavior throughout
  • encoding: Content-Type charset response headers are used to automatically set the encoding of the response string
  • HTTP params: handling of GET/POST params is more consistent and sophisticated for deeply nested hash objects, and ParamsArray can be used to pass ordered params
  • improved proxy support with per-request proxy configuration, plus the ability to disable proxies set by environment variables
  • default request headers: rest-client sets Accept: */* and User-Agent: rest-client/...

See for a more complete description of changes.

Usage: Raw URL

require 'rest-client'

RestClient.get ''

RestClient.get '', {:params => {:id => 50, 'foo' => 'bar'}}

RestClient.get 'https://user:[email protected]/private/resource', {:accept => :json} '', :param1 => 'one', :nested => { :param2 => 'two' } "", { 'x' => 1 }.to_json, :content_type => :json, :accept => :json

RestClient.delete ''

response = RestClient.get ''
➔ 200
➔ {"Foo"=>"BAR", "QUUX"=>"QUUUUX"}
➔ {:content_type=>"text/html; charset=utf-8", :cache_control=>"private" ...
➔ \n<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC \"-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN\"\n   \"\">\n\n<html .... url,
    :transfer => {
      :path => '/foo/bar',
      :owner => 'that_guy',
      :group => 'those_guys'
     :upload => {
      :file =>, 'rb')

Passing advanced options

The top level helper methods like RestClient.get accept a headers hash as their last argument and don't allow passing more complex options. But these helpers are just thin wrappers around RestClient::Request.execute.

RestClient::Request.execute(method: :get, url: '',
                            timeout: 10)

RestClient::Request.execute(method: :get, url: '',
                            ssl_ca_file: 'myca.pem',
                            ssl_ciphers: 'AESGCM:!aNULL')

You can also use this to pass a payload for HTTP verbs like DELETE, where the RestClient.delete helper doesn't accept a payload.

RestClient::Request.execute(method: :delete, url: '',
                            payload: 'foo', headers: {myheader: 'bar'})

Due to unfortunate choices in the original API, the params used to populate the query string are actually taken out of the headers hash. So if you want to pass both the params hash and more complex options, use the special key :params in the headers hash. This design may change in a future major release.

RestClient::Request.execute(method: :get, url: '',
                            timeout: 10, headers: {params: {foo: 'bar'}})



Yeah, that's right! This does multipart sends for you! '/data', :myfile =>"/path/to/image.jpg", 'rb')

This does two things for you:

  • Auto-detects that you have a File value sends it as multipart
  • Auto-detects the mime of the file and sets it in the HEAD of the payload for each entry

If you are sending params that do not contain a File object but the payload needs to be multipart then: '/data', {:foo => 'bar', :multipart => true}

Usage: ActiveResource-Style

resource = ''

private_resource = '', 'user', 'pass'
private_resource.put'pic.jpg'), :content_type => 'image/jpg'

See RestClient::Resource module docs for details.

Usage: Resource Nesting

site ='')
site['posts/1/comments'].post 'Good article.', :content_type => 'text/plain'

See RestClient::Resource docs for details.

Exceptions (see

  • for result codes between 200 and 207, a RestClient::Response will be returned
  • for result codes 301, 302 or 307, the redirection will be followed if the request is a GET or a HEAD
  • for result code 303, the redirection will be followed and the request transformed into a GET
  • for other cases, a RestClient::Exception holding the Response will be raised; a specific exception class will be thrown for known error codes
  • call .response on the exception to get the server's response
RestClient.get ''
➔ RestClient::ResourceNotFound: RestClient::ResourceNotFound

  RestClient.get ''
rescue => e
➔ 404 Resource Not Found | text/html 282 bytes


By default, rest-client will follow HTTP 30x redirection requests.

New in 2.0: RestClient::Response exposes a #history method that returns a list of each response received in a redirection chain.

>> r = RestClient.get('')
=> <RestClient::Response 200 "{\n  \"args\":...">

# see each response in the redirect chain
>> r.history
=> [<RestClient::Response 302 "<!DOCTYPE H...">, <RestClient::Response 302 "">]

# see each requested URL
>> r.request.url
=> ""
>> {|x| x.request.url}
=> ["", ""]

Manually following redirection

To disable automatic redirection, set :max_redirects => 0.

New in 2.0: Prior versions of rest-client would raise RestClient::MaxRedirectsReached, with no easy way to access the server's response. In 2.0, rest-client raises the normal RestClient::ExceptionWithResponse as it would with any other non-HTTP-20x response.

>> RestClient::Request.execute(method: :get, url: '')
=> RestClient::Response 200 "{\n  "args":..."

>> RestClient::Request.execute(method: :get, url: '', max_redirects: 0)
RestClient::Found: 302 Found

To manually follow redirection, you can call Response#follow_redirection. Or you could of course inspect the result and choose custom behavior.

>> RestClient::Request.execute(method: :get, url: '', max_redirects: 0)
RestClient::Found: 302 Found
>> begin
       RestClient::Request.execute(method: :get, url: '', max_redirects: 0)
   rescue RestClient::ExceptionWithResponse => err
>> err
=> #<RestClient::Found: 302 Found>
>> err.response
=> RestClient::Response 302 "<!DOCTYPE H..."
>> err.response.headers[:location]
=> "/get"
>> err.response.follow_redirection
=> RestClient::Response 200 "{\n  "args":..."

Result handling

The result of a RestClient::Request is a RestClient::Response object.

New in 2.0: RestClient::Response objects are now a subclass of String. Previously, they were a real String object with response functionality mixed in, which was very confusing to work with.

Response objects have several useful methods. (See the class rdoc for more details.)

  • Response#code: The HTTP response code
  • Response#body: The response body as a string. (AKA .to_s)
  • Response#headers: A hash of HTTP response headers
  • Response#raw_headers: A hash of HTTP response headers as unprocessed arrays
  • Response#cookies: A hash of HTTP cookies set by the server
  • Response#cookie_jar: New in 1.8 An HTTP::CookieJar of cookies
  • Response#request: The RestClient::Request object used to make the request
  • Response#history: New in 2.0 If redirection was followed, a list of prior Response objects
➔ <RestClient::Response 200 "<!doctype h...">

rescue RestClient::ExceptionWithResponse => err
➔ <RestClient::Response 404 "<!doctype h...">

Response callbacks

A block can be passed to the RestClient method. This block will then be called with the Response. Response.return! can be called to invoke the default response's behavior.

# Don't raise exceptions but return the response
RestClient.get(''){|response, request, result| response }
➔ 404 Resource Not Found | text/html 282 bytes

# Manage a specific error code
RestClient.get(''){ |response, request, result, &block|
  case response.code
  when 200
    p "It worked !"
  when 423
    raise SomeCustomExceptionIfYouWant
    response.return!(request, result, &block)

# Follow redirections for all request types and not only for get and head
# RFC : "If the 301, 302 or 307 status code is received in response to a request other than GET or HEAD,
#        the user agent MUST NOT automatically redirect the request unless it can be confirmed by the user,
#        since this might change the conditions under which the request was issued."
RestClient.get(''){ |response, request, result, &block|
  if [301, 302, 307].include? response.code
    response.follow_redirection(request, result, &block)
    response.return!(request, result, &block)

Non-normalized URIs

If you need to normalize URIs, e.g. to work with International Resource Identifiers (IRIs), use the addressable gem ( in your code:

  require 'addressable/uri'

Lower-level access

For cases not covered by the general API, you can use the RestClient::Request class, which provides a lower-level API.

You can:

  • specify ssl parameters
  • override cookies
  • manually handle the response (e.g. to operate on it as a stream rather than reading it all into memory)

See RestClient::Request's documentation for more information.


The restclient shell command gives an IRB session with RestClient already loaded:

$ restclient
>> RestClient.get ''

Specify a URL argument for get/post/put/delete on that resource:

$ restclient
>> put '/resource', 'data'

Add a user and password for authenticated resources:

$ restclient user pass
>> delete '/private/resource'

Create ~/.restclient for named sessions:

    url: http://localhost:4567
    url: http://localhost:9292
    username: user
    password: pass

Then invoke:

$ restclient private_site

Use as a one-off, curl-style:

$ restclient get > output_body

$ restclient put < input_body


To enable logging you can:

  • set RestClient.log with a Ruby Logger, or
  • set an environment variable to avoid modifying the code (in this case you can use a file name, "stdout" or "stderr"):
$ RESTCLIENT_LOG=stdout path/to/my/program

Either produces logs like this:

RestClient.get "http://some/resource"
# => 200 OK | text/html 250 bytes
RestClient.put "http://some/resource", "payload"
# => 401 Unauthorized | application/xml 340 bytes

Note that these logs are valid Ruby, so you can paste them into the restclient shell or a script to replay your sequence of rest calls.


All calls to RestClient, including Resources, will use the proxy specified by RestClient.proxy:

RestClient.proxy = ""
RestClient.get "http://some/resource"
# => response from some/resource as proxied through

Often the proxy URL is set in an environment variable, so you can do this to use whatever proxy the system is configured to use:

  RestClient.proxy = ENV['http_proxy']

New in 2.0: Specify a per-request proxy by passing the :proxy option to RestClient::Request. This will override any proxies set by environment variable or by the global RestClient.proxy value.

RestClient::Request.execute(method: :get, url: '',
                            proxy: '')
# => single request proxied through the proxy

This can be used to disable the use of a proxy for a particular request.

RestClient.proxy = ""
RestClient::Request.execute(method: :get, url: '', proxy: nil)
# => single request sent without a proxy

Query parameters

Rest-client can render a hash as HTTP query parameters for GET/HEAD/DELETE requests or as HTTP post data in x-www-form-urlencoded format for POST requests.

New in 2.0: Even though there is no standard specifying how this should work, rest-client follows a similar convention to the one used by Rack / Rails servers for handling arrays, nested hashes, and null values.

The implementation in ./lib/rest-client/utils.rb closely follows Rack::Utils.build_nested_query, but treats empty arrays and hashes as nil. (Rack drops them entirely, which is confusing behavior.)

If you don't like this behavior and want more control, just serialize params yourself (e.g. with URI.encode_www_form) and add the query string to the URL directly for GET parameters or pass the payload as a string for POST requests.

Basic GET params:

RestClient.get('', params: {foo: 'bar', baz: 'qux'})
# GET ""

Basic x-www-form-urlencoded POST params:

>> r ='', {foo: 'bar', baz: 'qux'})
# POST "", data: "foo=bar&baz=qux"
=> <RestClient::Response 200 "{\n  \"args\":...">
>> JSON.parse(r.body)
=> {"args"=>{},
    "form"=>{"baz"=>"qux", "foo"=>"bar"},
        "Accept-Encoding"=>"gzip, deflate",

Advanced GET params (arrays):

>> r = RestClient.get('', params: {foo: [1,2,3]})
# GET "[]=1&foo[]=2&foo[]=3"
=> <RestClient::Response 200 "Method: GET...">
>> puts r.body
query_string: "foo[]=1&foo[]=2&foo[]=3"
decoded:      "foo[]=1&foo[]=2&foo[]=3"

  {"foo"=>["1", "2", "3"]}

Advanced GET params (nested hashes):

>> r = RestClient.get('', params: {outer: {foo: 123, bar: 456}})
# GET "[foo]=123&outer[bar]=456"
=> <RestClient::Response 200 "Method: GET...">
>> puts r.body
query_string: "outer[foo]=123&outer[bar]=456"
decoded:      "outer[foo]=123&outer[bar]=456"

  {"outer"=>{"foo"=>"123", "bar"=>"456"}}

New in 2.0: The new RestClient::ParamsArray class allows callers to provide ordering even to structured parameters. This is useful for unusual cases where the server treats the order of parameters as significant or you want to pass a particular key multiple times.

Multiple fields with the same name using ParamsArray:

>> RestClient.get('', params:
        [[:foo, 1], [:foo, 2]]))
# GET ""

Nested ParamsArray:

>> RestClient.get('', params:
                  {foo:[[:a, 1], [:a, 2]])})
# GET "[a]=1&foo[a]=2"


Request headers can be set by passing a ruby hash containing keys and values representing header names and values:

# GET request with modified headers
RestClient.get '', {:Authorization => 'Bearer cT0febFoD5lxAlNAXHo6g'}

# POST request with modified headers '', {:foo => 'bar', :baz => 'qux'}, {:Authorization => 'Bearer cT0febFoD5lxAlNAXHo6g'}

# DELETE request with modified headers
RestClient.delete '', {:Authorization => 'Bearer cT0febFoD5lxAlNAXHo6g'}


Request and Response objects know about HTTP cookies, and will automatically extract and set headers for them as needed:

response = RestClient.get ''
# => {"_applicatioN_session_id" => "1234"}

response2 =
  {:param1 => "foo"},
  {:cookies => {:session_id => "1234"}}
# ...response body

Full cookie jar support (new in 1.8)

The original cookie implementation was very naive and ignored most of the cookie RFC standards. New in 1.8: An HTTP::CookieJar of cookies

Response objects now carry a cookie_jar method that exposes an HTTP::CookieJar of cookies, which supports full standards compliant behavior.

SSL/TLS support

Various options are supported for configuring rest-client's TLS settings. By default, rest-client will verify certificates using the system's CA store on all platforms. (This is intended to be similar to how browsers behave.) You can specify an :ssl_ca_file, :ssl_ca_path, or :ssl_cert_store to customize the certificate authorities accepted.

SSL Client Certificates
  :ssl_client_cert  =>"cert.pem")),
  :ssl_client_key   =>"key.pem"), "passphrase, if any"),
  :ssl_ca_file      =>  "ca_certificate.pem",
  :verify_ssl       =>  OpenSSL::SSL::VERIFY_PEER

Self-signed certificates can be generated with the openssl command-line tool.


RestClient.add_before_execution_proc add a Proc to be called before each execution. It's handy if you need direct access to the HTTP request.


# Add oauth support using the oauth gem
require 'oauth'
access_token = ...

RestClient.add_before_execution_proc do |req, params|
  access_token.sign! req

RestClient.get ''


Need caching, more advanced logging or any ability provided by Rack middleware?

Have a look at rest-client-components:


REST Client Team Andy Brody
Creator Adam Wiggins
Maintainers Emeriti Lawrence Leonard Gilbert, Matthew Manning, Julien Kirch
Major contributions Blake Mizerany, Julien Kirch

A great many generous folks have contributed features and patches. See AUTHORS for the full list.


Released under the MIT License:

"Master Shake" photo ( by "SolGrundy"; used under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license (

Code for reading Windows root certificate store derived from work by Puppet; used under terms of the Apache License, Version 2.0.