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Proxygen: Facebook's C++ HTTP Libraries

This project comprises the core C++ HTTP abstractions used at
Facebook. Internally, it is used as the basis for building many HTTP
servers, proxies, and clients. This release focuses on the common HTTP
abstractions and our simple HTTPServer framework. Future releases will
provide simple client APIs as well. The framework supports HTTP/1.1,
SPDY/3, and SPDY/3.1. HTTP/2 support is in progress. The goal is to
provide a simple, performant, and modern C++ HTTP library.

We have a Google group for general discussions at

The original blog post
also has more background on the project.

Build Status:


Note that currently this project has only been tested on Ubuntu 14.04,
although it likely works on many other platforms. Support for Mac OSX is

You will need at least 2 GiB of memory to compile proxygen and its

Easy Install

Just run ./ from the proxygen/ directory to get and build all
the dependencies and proxygen. It will also run all the tests. Then run
./ to install it. You can run ./ && ./
whenever to rebase the dependencies, and then rebuild and reinstall proxygen.

A note on compatibility: this project relies on system installed fbthrift
and folly. If you rebase proxygen and make starts to fail, you likely
need to update to the latest version of fbthrift and folly. Running
./ && ./ will do this for you. We are still working
on a solution to manage depencies more predictably.

Other Platforms

If you are running on another platform, you may need to install several
packages first. Proxygen, fbthrift, and folly are all autotools based projects.


Directory structure and contents:

Directory Purpose
proxygen/external/ Contains non-installed 3rd-party code proxygen depends on.
proxygen/lib/ Core networking abstractions.
proxygen/lib/http/ HTTP specific code.
proxygen/lib/services/ Connection management and server code.
proxygen/lib/ssl/ TLS abstractions and OpenSSL wrappers.
proxygen/lib/utils/ Miscellaneous helper code.
proxygen/httpserver/ Contains code wrapping proxygen/lib/ for building simple C++ http servers. We recommend building on top of these APIs.


The central abstractions to understand in proxygen/lib are the session, codec,
transaction, and handler. These are the lowest level abstractions, and we
don't generally recommend building off of these directly.

When bytes are read off the wire, the HTTPCodec stored inside
HTTPSession parses these into higher level objects and associates with
it a transaction identifier. The codec then calls into HTTPSession which
is responsible for maintaining the mapping between transaction identifier
and HTTPTransaction objects. Each HTTP request/response pair has a
separate HTTPTransaction object. Finally, HTTPTransaction forwards the
call to a handler object which implements HTTPTransaction::Handler. The
handler is responsible for implementing business logic for the request or

The handler then calls back into the transaction to generate egress
(whether the egress is a request or response). The call flows from the
transaction back to the session, which uses the codec to convert the
higher level semantics of the particular call into the appropriate bytes
to send on the wire.

The same handler and transaction interfaces are used to both create requests
and handle responses. The API is generic enough to allow
both. HTTPSession is specialized slightly differently depending on
whether you are using the connection to issue or respond to HTTP

Moving into higher levels of abstraction, proxygen/httpserver has a
simpler set of APIs and is the recommended way to interface with proxygen
when acting as a server if you don't need the full control of the lower
level abstractions.

The basic components here are HTTPServer, RequestHandlerFactory, and
RequestHandler. An HTTPServer takes some configuration and is given a
RequestHandlerFactory. Once the server is started, the installed
RequestHandlerFactory spawns a RequestHandler for each HTTP
request. RequestHandler is a simple interface users of the library
implement. Subclasses of RequestHandler should use the inherited
protected member ResponseHandler* downstream_ to send the response.

Using it

Proxygen is a library. After installing it, you can build your own C++
server. Try cding to the directory containing the echo server at
proxygen/httpserver/samples/echo/. You can then build it with this one

g++ -std=c++11 -o my_echo EchoServer.cpp EchoHandler.cpp -lproxygenhttpserver -lfolly -lglog -lgflags -pthread

After running ./my_echo, we can verify it works using curl in a different terminal:

$ curl -v http://localhost:11000/
*   Trying
* Connected to localhost ( port 11000 (#0)
> GET / HTTP/1.1
> User-Agent: curl/7.35.0
> Host: localhost:11000
> Accept: */*
< HTTP/1.1 200 OK
< Request-Number: 1
< Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:07:36 GMT
< Connection: keep-alive
< Content-Length: 0
* Connection #0 to host localhost left intact


We use Doxygen for Proxygen's internal documentation. You can generate a
copy of these docs by running doxygen Doxyfile from the project
root. You'll want to look at html/namespaceproxygen.html to start. This
will also generate folly and thrift documentation.


Contribututions to Proxygen are more than welcome. Read the guidelines in
Make sure you've signed the CLA before sending in a pull request.


Facebook has a bounty program for
the safe disclosure of security bugs. If you find a vulnerability, please
go through the process outlined on that page and do not file a public issue.

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