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Speak HTTP like a native


Speak HTTP like a local

Talking to an HTTP server with curl can be fun, but most of the time it's a PITA.

http-console is a simple and intuitive interface for speaking the HTTP protocol.

PS: HTTP has never been this much fun.




http-console was written for node, so make sure you have that installed first. Then you need npm, node's package manager.

Once you're all set, to install globally, run:

$ npm install http-console -g

It'll download the dependencies, and install the command-line tool in /usr/local/bin (you may need to make use of sudo or equivalent to gain access).

Installing the bleeding edge

The latest release will often be available on npm as http-console@latest, so you can run:

$ npm install http-console@latest

Alternatively, you can download a tarball of this repo, or clone it. Just make sure you have the latest version of node.


Let's assume we have a CouchDB instance running locally.


To connect, we run http-console, passing it the server host and port as such:

$ http-console 


Once connected, we should see the http prompt:>

server navigation is similar to directory navigation, except a little simpler:> /logs> /46> ..> ..>


HTTP requests are issued with the HTTP verbs GET, PUT, POST, HEAD and DELETE, and a relative path:> GET /
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Mon, 31 May 2010 04:43:39 GMT
Content-Length: 41

    couchdb: "Welcome",
    version: "0.11.0"
}> GET /bob
HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found
Date: Mon, 31 May 2010 04:45:32 GMT
Content-Length: 44

    error: "not_found",
    reason: "no_db_file"

When issuing POST and PUT commands, we have the opportunity to send data too:> /rabbits> POST
... {"name":"Roger"}

HTTP/1.1 201 Created
Date: Mon, 31 May 2010 05:09:15 GMT
Content-Length: 95

    ok: true,
    id: "2fd9db055885e6982462a10e54003127",
    rev: "1-0c3db91854f26486d1c3922f1a651d86"

Make sure you have your Content-Type header set properly, if the API requires it. More in the section below.

Note that if you're trying to POST to a form handler, you'll most probably want to send data in multipart/form-data format, such as name=roger&hair=black. http-console sends your POST/PUT data as is, so make sure you've got the format right, and the appropriate Content-Type header.

setting headers

Sometimes, it's useful to set HTTP headers:> Accept: application/json> X-Lodge: black

These headers are sent with all requests in this session. To see all active headers, run the .headers command:> .headers
Accept: application/json
X-Lodge: black

Removing headers is just as easy:> Accept:> .headers
X-Lodge: black

Because JSON is such a common data format, http-console has a way to automatically set the Content-Type header to application/json. Just pass the --json option when starting http-console, or run the .json command:

$ http-console --json> .headers
Accept: */*
Content-Type: application/json


You can enable cookie tracking with the --cookies option flag. To see what cookies are stored, use the .cookies command.


To enable SSL, pass the --ssl flag, or specify the address with https.

quitting> .q

nuff' said.