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Gisle Aas


Net::HTTP - Low-level HTTP client connection


This module is experimental. Details of its interface is likely to change in the future.


 use Net::HTTP;
 my $s = Net::HTTP->new(Host => "www.perl.com) || die $@;
 $s->write_request(GET => "/", 'User-Agent' => "Mozilla/5.0");
 my($code, $mess, %h) = $s->read_response_headers;

 while (1) {
    my $buf;
    my $n = $s->read_entity_body($buf, 1024);
    last unless $n;
    print $buf;


The Net::HTTP class is a low-level HTTP client. An instance of the Net::HTTP class represents a connection to an HTTP server. The HTTP protocol is described in RFC 2616.

Net::HTTP is a sub-class of IO::Socket::INET. You can mix the methods described below with reading and writing from the socket directly.

The follwing methods are provided (in addition to those of IO::Socket::INET):

$s = Net::HTTP->new( %options )

The Net::HTTP constructor takes the same options as IO::Socket::INET as well as these:

  Host:            Initial host attribute value
  KeepAlive:       Initial keep_alive attribute value
  HTTPVersion:     Initial http_version attribute value
  PeerHTTPVersion: Initial peer_http_version attribute value

Get/set the default value of the Host header to send.


Get/set the keep-alive value. If this value is TRUE then the request will sendt with headers indicating that the server should try to keep the connection open.


Get/set the HTTP version number that this client should announce. This value can only be set to "1.0" or "1.1". The default is "1.1".


Get/set the protocol version number of our peer. This value will initially be "1.0", but will be updated by a successful read_response_headers() method call. The value of this header influence what headers are added to the request on keep-alive.

$s->format_request($method, $uri, %headers, [$content])

Format a request message and return it as a string. If the headers do not include a Host header, then a header is inserted with the value of the host attribute. Headers like Connection and Keep-Alive might also be added depending on the keep-alive status.

If $content is given (and it is non-empty), then a Content-Length header is automatically added unless it was already present.

$s->write_request($method, $uri, %headers, [$content])

Format and send a request message. Arguments are the same as for format_request(). Returns true if successful.

($code, $mess, %headers) = $s->read_response_headers

Read response headers from server.

$n = $s->read_entity_body($buf, $size);

Reads chunks of the entity body content. Basically the same interface as for read() and sysread(), but buffer offset is not supported yet.

%headers = $s->get_trailers

After read_entity_body() has returned 0 to indicate end of the entity body, you might call this method to pick up any trailers.


Get/set the read buffer content. The read_response_headers() and read_entity_body() methods use an internal buffer which they will look for data before they actually sysread more from the socket itself. If they read too much, the remaining data will be left in this buffer.


Returns the number of bytes in the read buffer.


The read_response_headers() and read_entity_body() will invoke the method xread() when they need more data. This method takes the same arguments as sysread() and the is in fact implemented as a call to sysread(). Subclasses might want to override this method to contol how reading takes place.

The object itself is a glob.


LWP, IO::Socket::INET, Net::HTTP::NB


Copyright 2001 Gisle Aas.

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