Lightweight HTTP Request library.

npm install unirest
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Unirest for Node.js Build Status

Unirest is a set of lightweight HTTP libraries available in multiple languages.

Created with love by nijikokun @ mashape.com


To utilize unirest for node.js install the the npm module:

npm install unirest

After installing the npm package you can now start simplifying requests like so:

var unirest = require('unirest');

Creating Requests

You're probably wondering how by using Unirest makes creating requests easier. Besides automatically supporting gzip, and parsing responses, lets start with a basic working example:

.headers({ 'Accept': 'application/json' })
.send({ "parameter": 23, "foo": "bar" })
.end(function (response) {

Uploading Files

Transferring file data has been simplified:

.headers({ 'Accept': 'application/json' })
.field('parameter', 'value') // Form field
.attach('file', '/tmp/file') // Attachment
.end(function (response) {

Custom Entity Body

.headers({ 'Accept': 'application/json' })
.send(new Buffer([1,2,3]))
.end(function (response) {


A request can be initiated by invoking the appropriate method on the unirest object, then calling .end() to send the request. Alternatively you can send the request directly by providing a callback along with the url.

unirest(method [, uri, headers, body, callback])

  • method - Request type (GET, PUT, POST, etc...)
  • uri - Optional; When declared the method will return a Request object.
        Otherwise it will return the method below with `method` set to the method given.
  • headers (Object) - Optional; Will be aliased to unirest[method] headers argument when uri is present.
  • body (Mixed) - Optional; Will be aliased to unirest[method] body argument when uri is present.
  • callback (Function) - Optional; Will be aliased to unirest[method] callback argument when uri is present.

unirest[method](url [, headers, body, callback])

  • method - Request type, pre-defined methods, see below.
  • url - Request location.
  • headers (Object | Function) - Optional; When Object headers are passed along to the Request.set() method, when Function this argument is used as the callback.
  • body (Mixed | Function) - Optional; When body is not a Function it will be passed along to Request.send() method, otherwise when a Function it will be used as the callback.
  • callback (Function) - Optional; Calls end with given argument, otherwise Request is returned.

All arguments above, with the exclusion of url, will accept a Function as the callback. When no callback is present, the Request object will be returned.


Returns a Request object with the method option set to GET

var Request = unirest.get('http://httpbin.org/get');

Returns a Request object with the method option set to HEAD

var Request = unirest.head('http://httpbin.org/get');


Returns a Request object with the method option set to POST

var Request = unirest.post('http://httpbin.org/post');


Returns a Request object with the method option set to PATCH

var Request = unirest.patch('http://httpbin.org/patch');


Returns a Request object with the method option set to DELETE

var Request = unirest.delete('http://httpbin.org/delete');


Creates a container to store multiple cookies, i.e. a cookie jar.

var CookieJar = unirest.jar();
CookieJar.add(unirest.cookie('some value'));

Creates a cookie, see above for example.


mikeal/request library (the underlying layer of unirest-nodejs) for direct use.


Provides simple and easy to use methods for manipulating the request prior to being sent. This object is created when a Unirest Method is invoked. This object contains methods that are chainable like other libraries such as jQuery and popular request module Superagent (which this library is modeled after slightly).


var Request = unirest.post('http://httpbin.org/post');

  'Accepts': 'application/json'
}).end(function (response) {

Request Methods

Request Methods differ from Option Methods (See Below) in that these methods transform, or handle the data in a sugared way, where as Option Methods require a more hands on approach.

Request.auth(Object) or (user, pass, sendImmediately)

Accepts either an Object containing user, pass, and optionally sendImmediately.

  • user (String) - Authentication Username
  • pass (String) - Authentication Password
  • sendImmediately (String) - Optional; Defaults to true; Flag to determine whether Request should send the basic authentication header along with the request. Upon being false, Request will retry with a proper authentication header after receiving a 401 response from the server (which must contain a WWW-Authenticate header indicating the required authentication method)


  user: 'Nijiko',
  pass: 'insecure',
  sendImmediately: true


Request.auth('Nijiko', 'insecure', true);

Request.header(Object) or (field, value)

Suggested Method for setting Headers

Accepts either an Object containing header-name: value entries, or field and value arguments. Each entry is then stored in a two locations, one in the case-sensitive Request.options.headers and the other on a private _headers object that is case-insensitive for internal header lookup.

  • field (String) - Header name, such as Accepts
  • value (String) - Header value, such as application/json


  'Accepts': 'application/json'
, 'User-Agent': 'Unirest Node.js'


Request.set('Accepts', 'application/json');



Similiar to Request.multipart() except it only allows one object to be passed at a time and does the pre-processing on necessary body values for you.

Each object is then appended to the Request.options.multipart array.

  'content-type': 'application/json'
, body: { foo: 'bar' }
  'content-type': 'text/html'
, body: '<strong>Hello World!</strong>'

Request.query(Object) or (String)

When Object is passed value is processed as a querystring representation, otherwise we directly use the String passed and append it to Request.options.url. If Request.options.url has a trailing ? already, we append it with & + value otherwise we append as ? + value

  pet: 'spot'
.end(function (response) {

Request.send(Object | String)

Ease of use method for setting the body without having to worry about processing the data for popular formats such as JSON, Form Encoded, otherwise the body is set on Request.options as the given value.

By default sending strings with no Content-Type preset will set Content-Type to application/x-www-form-urlencoded, and multiple calls will be concatenated with &. Otherwise multiple calls will be appended to the previous body value.


  foo: 'bar',
  hello: 3
.end(function (response) {

FORM Encoded

// Body would be:
// name=nijiko&pet=turtle
.end(function (response) {

HTML / Other

.set('Content-Type', 'text/html')
.send('<strong>Hello World!</strong>')
.end(function (response) {


Sets the header Content-Type through either lookup for extensions (xml, png, json, etc...) using mime or using the full value such as application/json.

Uses Request.header() to set header value.

Request.type('application/json') // Content-Type: application/json
Request.type('json') // Content-Type: application/json
Request.type('html') // Content-Type: text/html

Request Form Methods

The following methods are sugar methods for attaching files, and form fields. Instead of handling files and processing them yourself Unirest can do that for you.

Request.attach(Object) or (name, path)

Object should consist of name: 'path' otherwise use name and path.

  • name (String) - File field name
  • path (String | Object) - File value, A String will be parsed based on its value. If path contains http or https Request will handle it as a remote file, otherwise if it contains :// and not http or https it will consider it to be a direct file path. If no :// is found it will be considered a relative file path. An Object is directly set, so you can do pre-processing if you want without worrying about the string value.


.headers({ 'Accept': 'application/json' })
  'parameter': 'value'
  'file': 'dog.png'
, 'relative file': fs.createReadStream(path.join(__dirname, 'dog.png'),
, 'remote file': unirest.request('http://google.com/doodle.png')
.end(function (response) {


.headers({ 'Accept': 'application/json' })
.field('parameter', 'value') // Form field
.attach('file', 'dog.png') // Attachment
.attach('remote file', fs.createReadStream(path.join(__dirname, 'dog.png')) // Same as above.
.attach('remote file', unirest.request('http://google.com/doodle.png'))
.end(function (response) {

Request.field(Object) or (name, value)

Object should consist of name: 'value' otherwise use name and value

See Request.attach for usage.


The options object is where almost all of the request settings live. Each option method sugars to a field on this object to allow for chaining and ease of use. If you have trouble with an option method and wish to directly access the options object you are free to do so.

This object is modeled after the request libraries options that are passed along through its constructor.

  • url (String | Object) - Url, or object parsed from url.parse()
  • qs (Object) - Object consisting of querystring values to append to url upon request.
  • method (String) - Default GET; HTTP Method.
  • headers (Object) - Default {}; HTTP Headers.
  • body (String | Object) - Entity body for certain requests.
  • form (Object) - Form data.
  • auth (Object) - See Request.auth() below.
  • multipart (Object) - Experimental; See documentation below.
  • followRedirect (Boolean) - Default true; Follow HTTP 3xx responses as redirects.
  • followAllRedirects (Boolean) - Default false; Follow Non-GET HTTP 3xx responses as redirects.
  • maxRedirects (Number) - Default 10; Maximum number of redirects before aborting.
  • encoding (String) - Encoding to be used on setEncoding of response data.
  • timeout (Number) - Number of milliseconds to wait before aborting.
  • proxy (String) - See Request.proxy() below.
  • oauth (Object) - See Request.oauth() below.
  • hawk (Object) - See Request.hawk() below
  • strictSSL (Boolean) - Default true; See Request.strictSSL() below.
  • secureProtocol (String) - See Request.secureProtocol() below.
  • jar (Boolean | Jar) - See Request.jar() below.
  • aws (Object) - See Request.aws() below.
  • httpSignature (Object) - See Request.httpSignature() Below.
  • localAddress (String) - See Request.localAddress() Below.
  • pool && pool.maxSockets - Advanced agent technology, that is supported.

Request Option Methods


Sets url location of the current request on Request.options to the given String



Sets method value on Request.options to the given value.



Sets form object on Request.options to the given object.

When used body is set to the object passed as a querystring representation and the Content-Type header to application/x-www-form-urlencoded; charset=utf-8

  key: 'value'



Sets multipart array containing multipart-form objects on Request.options to be sent along with the Request.

Each objects property with the exclusion of body is treated as a header value. Each body value must be pre-processed if necessary when using this method.

  'content-type': 'application/json'
, body: JSON.stringify({
    foo: 'bar'
}, {
  'content-type': 'text/html'
, body: '<strong>Hello World!</strong>'


Sets maxRedirects, the number of redirects the current Request will follow, on Request.options based on the given value.



Sets followRedirect flag on Request.options for whether the current Request should follow HTTP redirects based on the given value.



Sets timeout, number of milliseconds Request should wait for a response before aborting, on Request.options based on the given value.



Sets encoding, encoding to be used on setEncoding of response data if set to null, the body is returned as a Buffer, on Request.options based on given value.



Sets strictSSL flag to require that SSL certificates be valid on Request.options based on given value.



Sets httpSignature


Sets proxy, HTTP Proxy to be set on Request.options based on value.



Sets the secure protocol to use:

// or 

See openssl.org for all possible values.


Sets aws, AWS Signing Credentials, on Request.options

  key: 'AWS_S3_KEY'
, secret: 'AWS_S3_SECRET'
, bucket: 'BUCKET NAME'


Sets oauth, list of oauth credentials, on Request.options based on given object.

var Request = unirest.get('https://api.twitter.com/oauth/request_token');

  callback: 'http://mysite.com/callback/'
, consumer_key: 'CONSUMER_KEY'
, consumer_secret: 'CONSUMER_SECRET'
}).end(function (response) {
  var access_token = response.body;

  Request = unirest.post('https://api.twitter.com/oauth/access_token');
    consumer_key: 'CONSUMER_KEY'
  , consumer_secret: 'CONSUMER_SECRET'
  , token: access_token.oauth_token
  , verifier: token: access_token.oauth_verifier
  }).end(function (response) {
    var token = response.body;

    Request = unirest.get('https://api.twitter.com/1/users/show.json');
      consumer_key: 'CONSUMER_KEY'
    , consumer_secret: 'CONSUMER_SECRET'
    , token: token.oauth_token
    , token_secret: token.oauth_token_secret
      screen_name: token.screen_name
    , user_id: token.user_id
    }).end(function (response) {


Sets hawk object on Request.options to the given object.

Hawk requires a field credentials as seen in their documentation, and below.

  credentials: {
    key: 'werxhqb98rpaxn39848xrunpaw3489ruxnpa98w4rxn'
  , algorithm: 'sha256'
  , user: 'Steve'


Sets localAddress, local interface to bind for network connections, on Request.options


Request.jar(Boolean) or Request.jar(Jar)

Sets jar, cookie container, on Request.options. When set to true it stores cookies for future usage.

See unirest.jar for more information on how to use Jar argument.

Request Aliases


Alias for Request.header()


Alias for Request.header()


Alias for Request.maxRedirects()


Alias for Request.followRedirect()


Alias for Request.strictSSL()


Alias for Request.localAddress()


Alias for Request.end()


Alias for Request.end()


Alias for Request.end()


Alias for Request.end()


Upon ending a request, and recieving a Response the object that is returned contains a number of helpful properties to ease coding pains.


  • body (Mixed) - Processed body data
  • raw_body (Mixed) - Unprocessed body data
  • headers (Object) - Header details
  • cookies (Object) - Cookies from set-cookies, and cookie headers.
  • httpVersion (String) - Server http version. (e.g. 1.1)
  • httpVersionMajor (Number) - Major number (e.g. 1)
  • httpVersionMinor (Number) - Minor number (e.g. 1)
  • url (String) - Dependant on input, can be empty.
  • domain (String | null) - Dependant on input, can be empty.
  • method (String | null) - Method used, dependant on input.
  • client (Object) - Client Object. Detailed information regarding the Connection and Byte throughput.
  • connection (Object) - Client Object. Specific connection object, useful for events such as errors. Advanced
  • socket (Object) Client Object. Socket specific object and information. Most throughput is same across all three client objects.
  • request (Object) - Initial request object.
  • setEncoding (Function) - Set encoding type.

Status Information

  • code (Number) - Status Code, i.e. 200
  • status (Number) - Status Code, same as above.
  • statusType (Number) - Status Code Range Type
    • 1 - Info
    • 2 - Ok
    • 3 - Miscellaneous
    • 4 - Client Error
    • 5 - Server Error
  • info (Boolean) - Status Range Info?
  • ok (Boolean) - Status Range Ok?
  • clientError (Boolean) - Status Range Client Error?
  • serverError (Boolean) - Status Range Server Error?
  • accepted (Boolean) - Status Code 202?
  • noContent (Boolean) - Status Code 204 or 1223?
  • badRequest (Boolean) - Status Code 400?
  • unauthorized (Boolean) - Status Code 401?
  • notAcceptable (Boolean) - Status Code 406?
  • notFound (Boolean) - Status Code 404?
  • forbidden (Boolean) - Status Code 403?
  • error (Boolean | Object) - Dependant on status code range.

Sugar method for retrieving a cookie from the response.cookies object.

var CookieJar = unirest.jar();
CookieJar.add(unirest.cookie('another cookie=23'));

unirest.get('http://google.com').jar(CookieJar).end(function (response) {
  // Except google trims the value passed :/
  console.log(response.cookie('another cookie'));
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