Httplib2: A Python Library for HTTP Client Features


httplib2 is a comprehensive HTTP client library, supports many features left out of other HTTP libraries.

If you want to help this project by bug report or code change, contribution guidelines may contain useful information.


HTTPS support is only available if the socket module was compiled with SSL support.


Supports HTTP 1.1 Keep-Alive, keeping the socket open and performing multiple requests over the same connection if possible.


The following three types of HTTP Authentication are supported. These can be used over both HTTP and HTTPS.

  • Digest
  • Basic
  • WSSE


The module can optionally operate with a private cache that understands the Cache-Control: header and uses both the ETag and Last-Modified cache validators.

All Methods

The module can handle any HTTP request method, not just GET and POST.


Automatically follows 3XX redirects on GETs.


Handles both 'deflate' and 'gzip' types of compression.

Lost update support

Automatically adds back ETags into PUT requests to resources we have already cached. This implements Section 3.2 of Detecting the Lost Update Problem Using Unreserved Checkout.

Unit Tested

A large and growing set of unit tests.


$ pip install httplib2


A simple retrieval:

import httplib2
h = httplib2.Http(".cache")
(resp_headers, content) = h.request("", "GET")

The 'content' is the content retrieved from the URL. The content is already decompressed or unzipped if necessary.

To PUT some content to a server that uses SSL and Basic authentication:

import httplib2
h = httplib2.Http(".cache")
h.add_credentials('name', 'password')
(resp, content) = h.request("",
                            "PUT", body="This is text",
                            headers={'content-type':'text/plain'} )

Use the Cache-Control: header to control how the caching operates.

import httplib2
h = httplib2.Http(".cache")
(resp, content) = h.request("", "GET")
(resp, content) = h.request("", "GET",

The first request will be cached and since this is a request to it will be set to be cached for two hours, because that is how I have my server configured. Any subsequent GET to that URI will return the value from the on-disk cache and no request will be made to the server. You can use the Cache-Control: header to change the caches behavior and in this example the second request adds the Cache-Control: header with a value of 'no-cache' which tells the library that the cached copy must not be used when handling this request.

More example usage can be found at:

Download details:

Author: httplib2

License: View license


Httplib2: A Python Library for HTTP Client Features
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