Http Client

class Cake\Http\Client(mixed $config = [])

CakePHP includes a basic but powerful HTTP client which can be used for making requests. It is a great way to communicate with webservices, and remote APIs.

Changed in version 3.3.0: Prior to 3.3.0 you should use Cake\Network\Http\Client.

Doing Requests

Doing requests is simple and straight forward. Doing a GET request looks like:

use Cake\Network\Http\Client;

$http = new Client();

// Simple get
$response = $http->get('');

// Simple get with querystring
$response = $http->get('', ['q' => 'widget']);

// Simple get with querystring & additional headers
$response = $http->get('', ['q' => 'widget'], [
  'headers' => ['X-Requested-With' => 'XMLHttpRequest']

Doing POST and PUT requests is equally simple:

// Send a POST request with application/x-www-form-urlencoded encoded data
$http = new Client();
$response = $http->post('', [
  'title' => 'testing',
  'body' => 'content in the post'

// Send a PUT request with application/x-www-form-urlencoded encoded data
$response = $http->put('', [
  'title' => 'testing',
  'body' => 'content in the post'

// Other methods as well.

Creating Multipart Requests with Files

You can include files in request bodies by including a filehandle in the array:

$http = new Client();
$response = $http->post('', [
  'image' => fopen('/path/to/a/file', 'r'),

The filehandle will be read until its end; it will not be rewound before being read.


For compatibility reasons, strings beginning with @ will be evaluated as local or remote file paths.

This functionality is deprecated as of CakePHP 3.0.5 and will be removed in a future version. Until that happens, user data being passed to the Http Client must be sanitized as follows:

$response = $http->post('', [
    'search' => ltrim($this->request->getData('search'), '@'),

If it is necessary to preserve leading @ characters in query strings, you can pass a pre-encoded query string from http_build_query():

$response = $http->post('', http_build_query([
    'search' => $this->request->getData('search'),

Building Multipart Request Bodies by Hand

There may be times when you need to build a request body in a very specific way. In these situations you can often use Cake\Network\Http\FormData to craft the specific multipart HTTP request you want:

use Cake\Network\Http\FormData;

$data = new FormData();

// Create an XML part
$xml = $data->newPart('xml', $xmlString);
// Set the content type.

// Create a file upload with addFile()
// This will append the file to the form data as well.
$file = $data->addFile('upload', fopen('/some/file.txt', 'r'));

// Send the request.
$response = $http->post(
    ['headers' => ['Content-Type' => $data->contentType()]]

Sending Request Bodies

When dealing with REST API’s you often need to send request bodies that are not form encoded. Http\Client exposes this through the type option:

// Send a JSON request body.
$http = new Client();
$response = $http->post(
  ['type' => 'json']

The type key can either be a one of ‘json’, ‘xml’ or a full mime type. When using the type option, you should provide the data as a string. If you’re doing a GET request that needs both querystring parameters and a request body you can do the following:

// Send a JSON body in a GET request with query string parameters.
$http = new Client();
$response = $http->get(
  ['q' => 'test', '_content' => json_encode($data)],
  ['type' => 'json']

Request Method Options

Each HTTP method takes an $options parameter which is used to provide addition request information. The following keys can be used in $options:

  • headers - Array of additional headers
  • cookie - Array of cookies to use.
  • proxy - Array of proxy information.
  • auth - Array of authentication data, the type key is used to delegate to an authentication strategy. By default Basic auth is used.
  • ssl_verify_peer - defaults to true. Set to false to disable SSL certification verification (not recommended).
  • ssl_verify_peer_name - defaults to true. Set to false to disable host name verification when verifying SSL certificates (not recommended).
  • ssl_verify_depth - defaults to 5. Depth to traverse in the CA chain.
  • ssl_verify_host - defaults to true. Validate the SSL certificate against the host name.
  • ssl_cafile - defaults to built in cafile. Overwrite to use custom CA bundles.
  • timeout - Duration to wait before timing out in seconds.
  • type - Send a request body in a custom content type. Requires $data to either be a string, or the _content option to be set when doing GET requests.
  • redirect - Number of redirects to follow. Defaults to false.

The options parameter is always the 3rd parameter in each of the HTTP methods. They can also be used when constructing Client to create scoped clients.


Cake\Http\Client supports a few different authentication systems. Different authentication strategies can be added by developers. Auth strategies are called before the request is sent, and allow headers to be added to the request context.

Using Basic Authentication

An example of basic authentication:

$http = new Client();
$response = $http->get('', [], [
  'auth' => ['username' => 'mark', 'password' => 'secret']

By default Cake\Http\Client will use basic authentication if there is no 'type' key in the auth option.

Using Digest Authentication

An example of basic authentication:

$http = new Client();
$response = $http->get('', [], [
  'auth' => [
    'type' => 'digest',
    'username' => 'mark',
    'password' => 'secret',
    'realm' => 'myrealm',
    'nonce' => 'onetimevalue',
    'qop' => 1,
    'opaque' => 'someval'

By setting the ‘type’ key to ‘digest’, you tell the authentication subsystem to use digest authentication.

OAuth 1 Authentication

Many modern web-services require OAuth authentication to access their API’s. The included OAuth authentication assumes that you already have your consumer key and consumer secret:

$http = new Client();
$response = $http->get('', [], [
  'auth' => [
    'type' => 'oauth',
    'consumerKey' => 'bigkey',
    'consumerSecret' => 'secret',
    'token' => '...',
    'tokenSecret' => '...',
    'realm' => 'tickets',

OAuth 2 Authentication

Because OAuth2 is often a single header, there is not a specialized authentication adapter. Instead you can create a client with the access token:

$http = new Client([
    'headers' => ['Authorization' => 'Bearer ' . $accessToken]
$response = $http->get('');

Proxy Authentication

Some proxies require authentication to use them. Generally this authentication is Basic, but it can be implemented by any authentication adapter. By default Http\Client will assume Basic authentication, unless the type key is set:

$http = new Client();
$response = $http->get('', [], [
  'proxy' => [
    'username' => 'mark',
    'password' => 'testing',
    'proxy' => '',

The second proxy parameter must be a string with an IP or a domain without protocol. The username and password information will be passed through the request headers, while the proxy string will be passed through stream_context_create().

Creating Scoped Clients

Having to re-type the domain name, authentication and proxy settings can become tedious & error prone. To reduce the chance for mistake and relieve some of the tedium, you can create scoped clients:

// Create a scoped client.
$http = new Client([
  'host' => '',
  'scheme' => 'https',
  'auth' => ['username' => 'mark', 'password' => 'testing']

// Do a request to
$response = $http->get('/test.php');

The following information can be used when creating a scoped client:

  • host
  • scheme
  • proxy
  • auth
  • port
  • cookies
  • timeout
  • ssl_verify_peer
  • ssl_verify_depth
  • ssl_verify_host

Any of these options can be overridden by specifying them when doing requests. host, scheme, proxy, port are overridden in the request URL:

// Using the scoped client we created earlier.
$response = $http->get('');

The above will replace the domain, scheme, and port. However, this request will continue using all the other options defined when the scoped client was created. See Request Method Options for more information on the options supported.

Setting and Managing Cookies

Http\Client can also accept cookies when making requests. In addition to accepting cookies, it will also automatically store valid cookies set in responses. Any response with cookies, will have them stored in the originating instance of Http\Client. The cookies stored in a Client instance are automatically included in future requests to domain + path combinations that match:

$http = new Client([
    'host' => ''

// Do a request that sets some cookies
$response = $http->get('/');

// Cookies from the first request will be included
// by default.
$response2 = $http->get('/changelogs');

You can always override the auto-included cookies by setting them in the request’s $options parameters:

// Replace a stored cookie with a custom value.
$response = $http->get('/changelogs', [], [
    'cookies' => ['sessionid' => '123abc']

Response Objects

class Cake\Http\Client\Response

Response objects have a number of methods for inspecting the response data.

Changed in version 3.3.0: As of 3.3.0 Cake\Http\Client\Response implements the PSR-7 ResponseInterface.

Reading Response Bodies

You read the entire response body as a string:

// Read the entire response as a string.

// As a property

You can also access the stream object for the response and use its methods:

// Get a Psr\Http\Message\StreamInterface containing the response body
$stream = $response->getBody();

// Read a stream 100 bytes at a time.
while (!$stream->eof()) {
    echo $stream->read(100);

Reading JSON and XML Response Bodies

Since JSON and XML responses are commonly used, response objects provide easy to use accessors to read decoded data. JSON data is decoded into an array, while XML data is decoded into a SimpleXMLElement tree:

// Get some XML
$http = new Client();
$response = $http->get('');
$xml = $response->xml;

// Get some JSON
$http = new Client();
$response = $http->get('');
$json = $response->json;

The decoded response data is stored in the response object, so accessing it multiple times has no additional cost.

Accessing Response Headers

You can access headers through a few different methods. Header names are always treated as case-insensitive values when accessing them through methods:

// Get all the headers as an associative array.

// Get a single header as an array.

// Get a header as a string

// Get the response encoding

// Get an array of key=>value for all headers

Checking the Status Code

Response objects provide a few methods for checking status codes:

// Was the response a 20x

// Was the response a 30x

// Get the status code

// __get() helper