HTTPie - Curl Replacement

HTTPie is a CLI tool for accessing web content. Many people have used curl or other CLI tools, but I prefer HTTPie for the simple syntax and sane defaults.

How To

$ http\?query=value Header:Value postbody=value
Access-Control-Allow-Credentials: true
Access-Control-Allow-Origin: *
Connection: keep-alive
Content-Length: 135
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2021 12:50:44 GMT
Server: gunicorn/19.9.0

Pretty simple. Query params are part of the URL, as normal. Put a : between a key and value to send a header. Put an = between a key and value to switch to POST and send that value. But how is this better than curl? Let’s look at an example calling a local service; something I use constantly while developing.

$ http -p h :3000 
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
X-Request-Id: fee0fcbc-b5bb-49f9-a50b-b81046a34fdc
X-Runtime: 0.003309

What does that do? -p tells what to print, response headers (h) in this case. Then I tell it to connect to port 3000 on localhost with :3000. That’s all you need. It infers localhost.

How about a bit of json (edited for brevity)?

$ http PUT hola=mundo
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Server: gunicorn/19.9.0

    "data": "{\"hola\": \"mundo\"}",
    "headers": {
        "Accept": "application/json, */*;q=0.5",
    "json": {
        "hola": "mundo"

JSON is auto formatted and syntax highlighted. Pretty colours and human readable output. The code highlighting on my blog does NOT do this justice. Check it out for yourself.

Now for something that’s just downright cool:

$ http -pb\?0
Weather report: London

       .-.      Light rain
      (   ).    66 °F          
     (___(__)   ← 3 mph        
      ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘   6 mi           
     ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘    0.0 in         

I can take no credit for, but you should totally check it out.