popsicle editorconfig travis-ci npm

Simple HTTP requests for node and the browser


NPM version NPM downloads Build status Test coverage

Popsicle is the easiest way to make HTTP requests - a consistent, intuitive and tiny API that works on node and the browser. 9.64 kB in browsers, after minification and gzipping.

  .then(function (res) {
    console.log(res.status) //=> 200
    console.log(res.body) //=> { ... }
    console.log(res.headers) //=> { ... }


npm install popsicle --save


var popsicle = require('popsicle')

  method: 'POST',
  url: 'http://example.com/api/users',
  body: {
    username: 'blakeembrey',
    password: 'hunter2'
  headers: {
    'Content-Type': 'application/x-www-form-urlencoded'
  .then(function (res) {
    console.log(res.status) // => 200
    console.log(res.body) //=> { ... }
    console.log(res.get('Content-Type')) //=> 'application/json'

Popsicle is a promise-based HTTP request library designed for extensibility. Here’s the functions you can import from popsicle:

  • request(options) The default request handler (alias of get)
  • get(options) Alias for defaults({ method: 'get' })
  • del(options) Alias for defaults({ method: 'delete' })
  • head(options) Alias for defaults({ method: 'head' })
  • patch(options) Alias for defaults({ method: 'patch' })
  • post(options) Alias for defaults({ method: 'post' })
  • put(options) Alias for defaults({ method: 'put' })
  • defaults(options) Create a new Popsicle instance with defaults
  • form(obj?) Cross-platform form data object
  • plugins Exposes the default plugins (Object)
  • jar(store?) Create a cookie jar instance for Node.js
  • transport Default transportation layer (Object)
  • Request(options) Constructor for the Request class
  • Response(options) Constructor for the Response class

Handling Requests

  • url The resource location
  • method The HTTP request method (default: "GET")
  • headers An object with HTTP headers, header name to value (default: {})
  • query An object or string to be appended to the URL as the query string
  • body An object, string, form data, stream (node), etc to pass with the request
  • timeout The number of milliseconds to wait before aborting the request (default: Infinity)
  • use The array of plugins to be used (default: [stringify(), headers()])
  • transport Set the transport layer (default: createTransport({ type: 'text' }))

Built-in Plugins

stringify (default)

Automatically serialize the request body into a string (E.g. JSON, URL-encoded or multipart).

headers (default)

Sets up default headers for environments. For example, Content-Length, User-Agent, Accept, etc.


Automatically parses allowed response type(s).

  • json Parse response as JSON
  • urlencoded Parse response as URL-encoded
  .use(popsicle.plugins.parse(['json', 'urlencoded']))
  .then(() => ...)

Built-in Transports

Popsicle comes with two built-in transports, one for node (using {http,https}.request) and one for browsers (using XMLHttpRequest). These transports have a number of “types” built-in for handling the response body.

  • text Handle response as a string (default)
  • document responseType === 'document' (browsers)
  • blob responseType === 'blob' (browsers)
  • arraybuffer responseType === 'arraybuffer' (browsers)
  • buffer Handle response as a buffer (node.js)
  • array Handle response as an array of integers (node.js)
  • uint8array Handle the response as a Uint8Array (node.js)
  • stream Respond with the response body stream (node.js)

Node transport options

  • type Handle the response (default: text)
  • unzip Automatically unzip response bodies (default: true)
  • jar An instance of a cookie jar (popsicle.jar()) (default: null)
  • agent Custom HTTP pooling agent
  • maxRedirects Override the number of redirects allowed (default: 5)
  • maxBufferSize The maximum size of the buffered response body (default: 2000000)
  • rejectUnauthorized Reject invalid SSL certificates (default: true)
  • confirmRedirect Confirm redirects on 307 and 308 status codes (default: () => false)
  • ca A string, Buffer or array of strings or Buffers of trusted certificates in PEM format
  • key Private key to use for SSL (default: null)
  • cert Public x509 certificate to use (default: null)

Browser transport options

  • type Handle the XHR response (default: text)
  • withCredentials Send cookies with CORS requests (default: false)
  • overrideMimeType Override the XHR response MIME type

Short-hand Methods

Common methods have a short hand exported (created using defaults({ method })).


Extending with Defaults

Create a new request function with defaults pre-populated. Handy for a common cookie jar or transport to be used.

var cookiePopsicle = popsicle.defaults({
  transport: popsicle.createTransport({
    jar: popsicle.jar()

Automatically Stringify Request Body

Popsicle will automatically serialize the request body using the stringify plugin. If an object is supplied, it will automatically be stringified as JSON unless the Content-Type was set otherwise. If the Content-Type is application/json, multipart/form-data or application/x-www-form-urlencoded, it will be automatically serialized accordingly.

  url: 'http://example.com/api/users',
  body: {
    username: 'blakeembrey'
  headers: {
    'Content-Type': 'application/x-www-form-urlencoded'

Multipart Request Bodies

You can manually create form data by calling popsicle.form. When you pass a form data instance as the body, it’ll automatically set the correct Content-Type - complete with boundary.

var form = popsicle.form({
  username: 'blakeembrey',
  profileImage: fs.createReadStream('image.png')

  url: '/users',
  body: form

Aborting Requests

All requests can be aborted before or during execution by calling Request#abort.

var request = popsicle.get('http://example.com')

setTimeout(function () {
}, 100)

request.catch(function (err) {
  console.log(err) //=> { message: 'Request aborted', code: 'EABORTED' }


The request object can be used to check progress at any time.

  • request.uploadedBytes Current upload size in bytes
  • request.uploadLength Total upload size in bytes
  • request.uploaded Total uploaded as a percentage
  • request.downloadedBytes Current download size in bytes
  • request.downloadLength Total download size in bytes
  • request.downloaded Total downloaded as a percentage
  • request.completed Total uploaded and downloaded as a percentage

All percentage properties (request.uploaded, request.downloaded, request.completed) are a number between 0 and 1. Aborting the request will emit a progress event, if the request had started.

var request = popsicle.get('http://example.com')

request.uploaded //=> 0
request.downloaded //=> 0

request.progress(function () {
  console.log(request) //=> { uploaded: 1, downloaded: 0, completed: 0.5, aborted: false }

request.then(function (response) {
  console.log(request.downloaded) //=> 1

Cookie Jar (Node only)

You can create a reusable cookie jar instance for requests by calling popsicle.jar.

var jar = popsicle.jar()

  method: 'post',
  url: '/users',
  transport: popsicle.createTransport({
    jar: jar

Handling Responses

Promises and node-style callbacks are supported.


Promises are the most expressive interface. Just chain using Request#then or Request#catch and continue.

  .then(function (res) {
    // Success!
  .catch(function (err) {
    // Something broke.

If you live on the edge, try with generators (co) or ES7 async/await.

co(function * () {
  const users = yield popsicle.get('/users')

async function () {
  const users = await popsicle.get('/users')


For tooling that expects node-style callbacks, you can use Request#exec. This accepts a single function to call when the response is complete.

  .exec(function (err, res) {
    if (err) {
      // Something broke.

    // Success!

Response Objects

Every response will give a Response object on success. The object provides an intuitive interface for accessing common properties.

  • status The HTTP response status code
  • body An object (if parsed using a plugin), string (if using concat) or stream that is the HTTP response body
  • headers An object of lower-cased keys to header values
  • url The final response URL (after redirects)
  • statusType() Return an integer with the HTTP status type (E.g. 200 -> 2)
  • get(key) Retrieve a HTTP header using a case-insensitive key
  • name(key) Retrieve the original HTTP header name using a case-insensitive key
  • type() Return the response type (E.g. application/json)

Error Handling

All response handling methods can return an error. Errors have a popsicle property set to the request object and a code string. The built-in codes are documented below, but custom errors can be created using request.error(message, code, cause).

  • EABORT Request has been aborted by user
  • EUNAVAILABLE Unable to connect to the remote URL
  • EINVALID Request URL is invalid
  • ETIMEOUT Request has exceeded the allowed timeout
  • ESTRINGIFY Request body threw an error during stringification plugin
  • EPARSE Response body threw an error during parse
  • EMAXREDIRECTS Maximum number of redirects exceeded (Node only)
  • EBODY Unable to handle request body (Node only)
  • EBLOCKED The request was blocked (HTTPS -> HTTP) (Browsers only)
  • ECSP Request violates the documents Content Security Policy (Browsers only)
  • ETYPE Invalid transport type


Plugins can be set as an array with the initial options (which overrides default plugins), or they can be used via Request#use.

External Plugins

  • Server - Automatically mount a server on an available for the request (helpful for testing a la supertest)
  • Status - Reject responses on HTTP failure status codes
  • No Cache - Prevent caching of HTTP requests in browsers
  • Basic Auth - Add a basic authentication header to each request
  • Prefix - Prefix all HTTP requests
  • Resolve - Resolve all HTTP requests against a base URL
  • Limit - Transparently handle API rate limits by grouping requests
  • Group - Group requests and perform operations on them all at once
  • Proxy Agent - Enable HTTP(s) proxying under node (with environment variable support)
  • Retry - Retry a HTTP request on network error or server error
  • Rewrite - Rewrite request URLs dynamically
  • Cache - Enable caching for HTTP requests into a store (E.g. filesystem)

Helpful Utilities

  • throat - Throttle promise-based functions with concurrency support
  • is-browser - Check if your in a browser environment (E.g. Browserify, Webpack)
  • parse-link-header - Handy for parsing HTTP link headers

Creating Plugins

Plugins must be a function that accept config and return a middleware function. For example, here’s a basic URL prefix plugin.

function prefix (url) {
  return function (self, next) {
    self.url = url + self.url
    return next()

  .then(function (response) {
    console.log(response.url) //=> "http://example.com/user"

Middleware functions accept two arguments - the current request and a function to proceed to the next middleware function (a la Koa 2.x).

P.S. The middleware array is exposed on request.middleware, which allows you to clone requests and omit middleware - for example, using request.middleware.slice(request.middleware.indexOf(currentFn)). This is useful, as the pre and post steps of previous middleware attach before currentFn is executed.

Transportation Layers

Creating a custom transportation layer is just a matter creating an object with open, abort and use options set. The open method should set any request information required between called as request._raw. Abort must abort the current request instance, while open must always resolve to a promise. You can set use to an empty array if no plugins should be used by default. However, it’s recommended you keep use set to the defaults, or as close as possible using your transport layer.


This project is written using TypeScript and typings. Since version 1.3.1, you can install the type definition using typings.

typings install npm:popsicle --save


Install dependencies and run the test runners (node and Electron using Tape).

npm install && npm test

Related Projects

  • Superagent - HTTP requests for node and browsers
  • Fetch - Browser polyfill for promise-based HTTP requests
  • Axios - HTTP request API based on Angular’s $http service



Related Repositories



Simple, extensible interpolation framework ...



Simple HTTP requests for node and the browser ...



Multiple USB File Flasher ...



An Open Source bridge tester for popsicle stick bridge competitions. ...

Top Contributors

blakeembrey greenkeeperio-bot leitasat garethhunt jseip1679 rcravago xiaohanyu yongpingchen


-   v9.0.0 zip tar
-   v8.2.0 zip tar
-   v8.1.1 zip tar
-   v8.1.0 zip tar
-   v8.0.4 zip tar
-   v8.0.3 zip tar
-   v8.0.2 zip tar
-   v8.0.1 zip tar
-   v8.0.0 zip tar
-   v7.0.1 zip tar
-   v7.0.0 zip tar
-   v6.2.2 zip tar
-   v6.2.1 zip tar
-   v6.2.0 zip tar
-   v6.1.0 zip tar
-   v6.0.0 zip tar
-   v5.0.1 zip tar
-   v5.0.0 zip tar
-   v4.0.0 zip tar
-   v3.2.2 zip tar
-   v3.2.1 zip tar
-   v3.2.0 zip tar
-   v3.1.1 zip tar
-   v3.1.0 zip tar
-   v3.0.3 zip tar
-   v3.0.2 zip tar
-   v3.0.1 zip tar
-   v3.0.0 zip tar
-   v2.0.2 zip tar
-   v2.0.1 zip tar