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Gisle Aas


HTTP::Daemon - a simple http server class


  use HTTP::Daemon;
  use HTTP::Status;

  my $d = new HTTP::Daemon;
  print "Please contact me at: <URL:", $d->url, ">\n";
  while (my $c = $d->accept) {
      while (my $r = $c->get_request) {
          if ($r->method eq 'GET' and $r->url->path eq "/xyzzy") {
              # remember, this is *not* recommened practice :-)
          } else {


Instances of the HTTP::Daemon class are HTTP/1.1 servers that listens on a socket for incoming requests. The HTTP::Daemon is a sub-class of IO::Socket::INET, so you can do socket operations directly on it too.

The accept() method will return when a connection from a client is available. The returned value will be a reference to a object of the HTTP::Daemon::ClientConn class which is another IO::Socket::INET subclass. Calling the get_request() method on this object will read data from the client and return an HTTP::Request object reference.

This HTTP daemon does not fork(2) for you. Your application, i.e. the user of the HTTP::Daemon is reponsible for forking if that is desirable. Also note that the user is responsible for generating responses that conforms to the HTTP/1.1 protocol. The HTTP::Daemon::ClientConn provide some methods that make this easier.


The following is a list of methods that are new (or enhanced) relative to the IO::Socket::INET base class.

$d = new HTTP::Daemon

The object constructor takes the same parameters as the IO::Socket::INET constructor. It can be called without specifying any parameters. The daemon will then set up a listen queue of 5 connections and allocate some random port number. A server that want to bind to some specific address on the standard HTTP port will be constructed like this:

  $d = new HTTP::Daemon
        LocalAddr => 'www.someplace.com',
        LocalPort => 80;
$c = $d->accept([$pkg])

Same as IO::Socket::accept but will return an HTTP::Daemon::ClientConn reference by default. It will return undef if you have specified a timeout and no connection is made within that time.


Returns a URL string that can be used to access the server root.


Returns the name that this server will use to identify itself. This is the string that is sent with the Server response header. The main reason to have this method is that subclasses can override it if they want to use another product name.

The HTTP::Daemon::ClientConn is also a IO::Socket::INET subclass. Instances of this class are returned by the accept() method of the HTTP::Daemon. The following additional methods are provided:


This method will read data from the client and turn it into a HTTP::Request object which is then returned. It returns undef if reading of the request fails. If it fails, then the HTTP::Daemon::ClientConn object ($c) should be discarded, and you should not call this method again. The $c->reason method might give you some information on why $c->get_request returned undef.

The $c->get_request method support HTTP/1.1 request content bodies, including chunked transfer encoding with footer and self delimiting multipart/* content types.

The $c->get_request method will normally not return until the whole request has been received from the client. This might not be what you want if the request is an upload of a multi-mega-byte file (and with chunked transfer encoding HTTP can even support infinite request messages - uploading live audio for instance). If you pass a TRUE value as the $headers_only argument, then $c->get_request will return immediately after parsing the request headers and you are responsible for reading the rest of the request content (and if you are going to call $c->get_request again on the same connection you better read the correct number of bytes).


Bytes read by $c->get_request, but not used are placed in the read buffer. The next time $c->get_request is called it will consume the bytes in this buffer before reading more data from the network connection itself. The read buffer is invalid after $c->get_request has returned an undefined value.

If you handle the reading of the request content yourself you need to empty this buffer before you read more and you need to place unconsumed bytes here. You also need this buffer if you implement services like 101 Switching Protocols.

This method always return the old buffer content and can optionally update the buffer content if you pass it an argument.


When $c->get_request returns undef you can obtain a short string describing why it happened by calling $c->reason.


Returns TRUE if the client announced a protocol with version number greater or equal to the given argument. The $proto argument can be a string like "HTTP/1.1" or just "1.1".


Returns TRUE if the client speaks the HTTP/0.9 protocol. No status code and no headers should be returned to such a client. This should be the same as !$c->proto_ge("HTTP/1.0").


Make sure that $c->get_request will not try to read more requests off this connection. If you generate a response that is not self delimiting, then you should signal this fact by calling this method.

This attribute is turned on automatically if the client announce protocol HTTP/1.0 or worse and does not include a "Connection: Keep-Alive" header. It is also turned on automatically when HTTP/1.1 or better clients send the "Connection: close" request header.

$c->send_status_line( [$code, [$mess, [$proto]]] )

Sends the status line back to the client. If $code is omitted 200 is assumed. If $mess is omitted, then a message corresponding to $code is inserted. If $proto is missing the content of the $HTTP::Daemon::PROTO variable is used.


Send the CRLF sequence to the client.

$c->send_basic_header( [$code, [$mess, [$proto]]] )

Sends the status line and the "Date:" and "Server:" headers back to the client. This header is assumed to be continued and does not end with an empty CRLF line.

$c->send_response( [$res] )

Takes a HTTP::Response object as parameter and write it back to the client as the response. We try hard to make sure that the response is self delimiting so that the connection can stay persistent for further request/response exchanges.

The content attribute of the HTTP::Response object can be a normal string or a subroutine reference. If it is a subroutine, then whatever this callback routine returns will be written back to the client as the response content. The routine will be called until it return an undefined or empty value. If the client is HTTP/1.1 aware then we will use the chunked transfer encoding for the response.

$c->send_redirect( $loc, [$code, [$entity_body]] )

Sends a redirect response back to the client. The location ($loc) can be an absolute or a relative URL. The $code must be one the redirect status codes, and it defaults to "301 Moved Permanently"

$c->send_error( [$code, [$error_message]] )

Send an error response back to the client. If the $code is missing a "Bad Request" error is reported. The $error_message is a string that is incorporated in the body of the HTML entity body.


Send back a response with the specified $filename as content. If the file happen to be a directory we will try to generate an HTML index of it.


Copies the file back to the client. The file can be a string (which will be interpreted as a filename) or a reference to an IO::Handle or glob.


Return a reference to the corresponding HTTP::Daemon object.


RFC 2068

IO::Socket, Apache


Copyright 1996-1998, Gisle Aas

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.