Python HTTP Requests

Python can use a module called requests to send HTTP commands to a server and process the response. This is similar to using curl or postman. This is especially useful when accessing a RESTful API.


The requests module is not part of Python by default. It can be installed with pip:

C:\>pip install requests
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  Consider adding this directory to PATH or, if you prefer to suppress this warning, use --no-warn-script-location.
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Before using requests, it must be imported with import requests.

GET Requests

GET commands are very easy. In the example on the right, we make a simple GET request to an unauthenticated API, publically available on the internet.

We use requests to send a get to the API listed in the URL variable. The server’s response is stored in the response variable.

The final line just parses the result to pull out a single piece of data. You could also use response.json() to print the entire response, or response.content for XML.

>>> import requests
>>> url = ""
>>> response = requests.get(url)
>>> response.json()[1]['name']
'Trashy Blonde'

response.status_code returns the HTTP status code. Often you would want to see ‘200’ as the response.

>>> response.status_code

response.headers will show all the headers that the server sent back.

>>> response.headers
{'Content-Type': 'application/json; charset=utf-8', 'Connection': 'keep-alive', 'strict-transport-security': 'max-age=15552000; includeSubDomains', 'x-frame-options': 'SAMEORIGIN', 'x-content-type-options': 'nosniff'}