Crate http

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A general purpose library of common HTTP types

This crate is a general purpose library for common types found when working with the HTTP protocol. You’ll find Request and Response types for working as either a client or a server as well as all of their components. Notably you’ll find Uri for what a Request is requesting, a Method for how it’s being requested, a StatusCode for what sort of response came back, a Version for how this was communicated, and HeaderName/HeaderValue definitions to get grouped in a HeaderMap to work with request/response headers.

You will notably not find an implementation of sending requests or spinning up a server in this crate. It’s intended that this crate is the “standard library” for HTTP clients and servers without dictating any particular implementation. Note that this crate is still early on in its lifecycle so the support libraries that integrate with the http crate are a work in progress! Stay tuned and we’ll be sure to highlight crates here in the future.

§Requests and Responses

Perhaps the main two types in this crate are the Request and Response types. A Request could either be constructed to get sent off as a client or it can also be received to generate a Response for a server. Similarly as a client a Response is what you get after sending a Request, whereas on a server you’ll be manufacturing a Response to send back to the client.

Each type has a number of accessors for the component fields. For as a server you might want to inspect a requests URI to dispatch it:

use http::{Request, Response};

fn response(req: Request<()>) -> http::Result<Response<()>> {
    match req.uri().path() {
        "/" => index(req),
        "/foo" => foo(req),
        "/bar" => bar(req),
        _ => not_found(req),

On a Request you’ll also find accessors like method to return a Method and headers to inspect the various headers. A Response has similar methods for headers, the status code, etc.

In addition to getters, request/response types also have mutable accessors to edit the request/response:

use http::{HeaderValue, Response, StatusCode};
use http::header::CONTENT_TYPE;

fn add_server_headers<T>(response: &mut Response<T>) {
        .insert(CONTENT_TYPE, HeaderValue::from_static("text/html"));
    *response.status_mut() = StatusCode::OK;

And finally, one of the most important aspects of requests/responses, the body! The Request and Response types in this crate are generic in what their body is. This allows downstream libraries to use different representations such as Request<Vec<u8>>, Response<impl Read>, Request<impl Stream<Item = Vec<u8>, Error = _>>, or even Response<MyCustomType> where the custom type was deserialized from JSON.

The body representation is intentionally flexible to give downstream libraries maximal flexibility in implementing the body as appropriate.

§HTTP Headers

Another major piece of functionality in this library is HTTP header interpretation and generation. The HeaderName type serves as a way to define header names, or what’s to the left of the colon. A HeaderValue conversely is the header value, or what’s to the right of a colon.

For example, if you have an HTTP request that looks like:

GET /foo HTTP/1.1
Accept: text/html

Then "Accept" is a HeaderName while "text/html" is a HeaderValue. Each of these is a dedicated type to allow for a number of interesting optimizations and to also encode the static guarantees of each type. For example a HeaderName is always a valid &str, but a HeaderValue may not be valid UTF-8.

The most common header names are already defined for you as constant values in the header module of this crate. For example:

use http::header::{self, HeaderName};

let name: HeaderName = header::ACCEPT;
assert_eq!(name.as_str(), "accept");

You can, however, also parse header names from strings:

use http::header::{self, HeaderName};

let name = "Accept".parse::<HeaderName>().unwrap();
assert_eq!(name, header::ACCEPT);

Header values can be created from string literals through the from_static function:

use http::HeaderValue;

let value = HeaderValue::from_static("text/html");
assert_eq!(value.as_bytes(), b"text/html");

And header values can also be parsed like names:

use http::HeaderValue;

let value = "text/html";
let value = value.parse::<HeaderValue>().unwrap();

Most HTTP requests and responses tend to come with more than one header, so it’s not too useful to just work with names and values only! This crate also provides a HeaderMap type which is a specialized hash map for keys as HeaderName and generic values. This type, like header names, is optimized for common usage but should continue to scale with your needs over time.


Each HTTP Request has an associated URI with it. This may just be a path like /index.html but it could also be an absolute URL such as A URI has a number of accessors to interpret it:

use http::Uri;
use http::uri::Scheme;

let uri = "".parse::<Uri>().unwrap();

assert_eq!(uri.scheme(), Some(&Scheme::HTTPS));
assert_eq!(, Some(""));
assert_eq!(uri.path(), "/index.html");
assert_eq!(uri.query(), None);




  • A generic “error” for HTTP connections
  • A type map of protocol extensions.

Type Aliases§

  • A Result typedef to use with the http::Error type