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Consume RESTful APIs effortlessly
 Project Readme

Restfully Build Status

Restfully is a general-purpose client library for RESTful APIs. It is written in Ruby. Its goal is to abstract the nitty-gritty details of exchanging HTTP requests between the user-agent and the server. It also discovers resources at runtime, which means should the API change and add a new functionality, the client will automatically discover it.

It works on simple concepts:

  1. All APIs are made of resources, and collections of resources.
  2. The media-type of a resource dictates the relationships between that resource and the other resources, and what it is possible to do with them.

Therefore, Restfully can work with any reasonably RESTful API provided that:

  • The API returns semantically correct HTTP status codes;
  • The API make use of GET, POST, PUT, DELETE HTTP methods;
  • The API returns a valid Content-Type header in all responses;
  • The API returns a Location HTTP header on 201 and 202 responses;
  • The API returns links to other resources in all responses (the so-called HATEOAS constraint of REST).

If one of the API Content-Type is not already supported by one of the Restfully::MediaType objects (see lib/restfully/media_type), then you just have to build it and register it with Restfully.

Documentation can be found at


$ gem install restfully

If you require media-types that need an XML parser, you must also install the libxml-ruby library:

$ gem install libxml-ruby


Command line

$ export RUBYOPT="-rubygems"
$ restfully --uri URI [-u username] [-p password]

e.g., for the Grid'5000 API:

$ restfully --uri -u username -p password

If the connection was successful, you should get a prompt. You may enter:

ruby-1.8.7-p249 > pp root
#<Resource:0x3fe42a129ba4 uri="/sid"
    environments, network_equipments, notifications, parent, self, sites, users, version, versions
=> nil

And then follow the links advertised under the RELATIONSHIPS header to discover the other API resources. For instance, the sites resource can be accessed as follows:

ruby-1.8.7-p249 > pp root.sites
#<Collection:0x3fe42a195890 uri="/sid/sites"
  ITEMS (0..10)/10
    #<Resource:0x3fe42a1c4fc8 uri="/sid/sites/grenoble">
    #<Resource:0x3fe42a1d4b80 uri="/sid/sites/lille">
    #<Resource:0x3fe42a1e6bb4 uri="/sid/sites/luxembourg">
    #<Resource:0x3fe42a1f487c uri="/sid/sites/lyon">
    #<Resource:0x3fe428c6b8d4 uri="/sid/sites/nancy">
    #<Resource:0x3fe42906bd94 uri="/sid/sites/nantes">
    #<Resource:0x3fe4290900a4 uri="/sid/sites/reims">
    #<Resource:0x3fe4291eea40 uri="/sid/sites/rennes">
    #<Resource:0x3fe429226954 uri="/sid/sites/sophia">
    #<Resource:0x3fe42925e714 uri="/sid/sites/toulouse">>
=> nil

Note that we're using pp to pretty-print the output, but it's not required.

A Collection is a specific kind of Resource, and it has access to all the methods provided by the Ruby Enumerable module.

For ease of use and better security, you may prefer to use a configuration file to avoid re-entering the Restfully options every time:

$ echo '
username: MYLOGIN
password: MYPASSWORD
' > ~/.restfully/ && chmod 600 ~/.restfully/

And then:

$ restfully -c ~/.restfully/

If you want to record the commands you enter in your interactive session, just add the --record flag, and at the end of your session the commands you entered will have been written into SESSION_FILE (by default: restfully-tape).

Note: depending on your Readline installation, you might see the following message: "Bond has detected EditLine and may not work with it. See the README's Limitations section". You can safely ignore it.


Restfully can replay a sequence of ruby expressions. Just pass the FILE (local or HTTP URI) as argument to the restfully tool:

$ restfully -c ~/.restfully/my-config.yml path/to/file.rb
$ restfully -c ~/.restfully/my-config.yml

Or via STDIN:

$ echo "pp root" | restfully -c ~/.restfully/config.yml

Don't hesitate to play with the --replay option, which outputs the content of the FILE line by line, and the result of each expression.

By default, the program exits when the content of the FILE has been executed. Pass the --shell flag to keep a shell open in the same Restfully session after FILE has been executed. This is useful if you want to manipulate the variables defined by the FILE.

Also, note that any declaration in the code you execute will have its configuration overridden with anything given on the command line (either in a configuration file or as arguments). Therefore you can easily execute scripts written by others, in your own context.

As a library

See the examples directory for examples.



  • rake spec; or
  • run autotest in the project directory.

Note on Patches/Pull Requests

  • Fork the project.
  • Make your feature addition or bug fix.
  • Add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.
  • Commit, do not mess with Rakefile, version, or history (if you want to have your own version, that is fine but bump version in a commit by itself I can ignore when I pull).
  • Send me a pull request.


Copyright (c) 2009-2015 Cyril Rohr, INRIA Rennes - Bretagne Atlantique.

See LICENSE for details ([CeCILL-B] cecillb, a BSD style license).