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How can I get all the request headers in Django?

Posted by: admin November 30, 2017 Leave a comment


I need to get all the Django request headers. From what i’ve read, Django simply dumps everything into the request.META variable along with a lot aof other data. What would be the best way to get all the headers that the client sent to my Django application?

I’m going use these to build a httplib request.


According to the documentation request.META is a “standard Python dictionary containing all available HTTP headers”. If you want to get all the headers you can simply iterate through the dictionary.

Which part of your code to do this depends on your exact requirement. Anyplace that has access to request should do.


I need to access it in a Middleware class but when i iterate over it, I get a lot of values apart from HTTP headers.

From the documentation:

With the exception of CONTENT_LENGTH and CONTENT_TYPE, as given above, any HTTP headers in the request are converted to META keys by converting all characters to uppercase, replacing any hyphens with underscores and adding an HTTP_ prefix to the name.

(Emphasis added)

To get the HTTP headers alone, just filter by keys prefixed with HTTP_.

Update 2

could you show me how I could build a dictionary of headers by filtering out all the keys from the request.META variable which begin with a HTTP_ and strip out the leading HTTP_ part.

Sure. Here is one way to do it.

import re
regex = re.compile('^HTTP_')
dict((regex.sub('', header), value) for (header, value) 
       in request.META.items() if header.startswith('HTTP_'))


This is another way to do it, very similar to Manoj Govindan‘s answer above:

import re
regex_http_          = re.compile(r'^HTTP_.+$')
regex_content_type   = re.compile(r'^CONTENT_TYPE$')
regex_content_length = re.compile(r'^CONTENT_LENGTH$')

request_headers = {}
for header in request.META:
    if regex_http_.match(header) or regex_content_type.match(header) or regex_content_length.match(header):
        request_headers[header] = request.META[header]

That will also grab the CONTENT_TYPE and CONTENT_LENGTH request headers, along with the HTTP_ ones. request_headers['some_key] == request.META['some_key'].

Modify accordingly if you need to include/omit certain headers. Django lists a bunch, but not all, of them here: https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/dev/ref/request-response/#django.http.HttpRequest.META

Django’s algorithm for request headers:

  1. Replace hyphen - with underscore _
  2. Convert to UPPERCASE.
  3. Prepend HTTP_ to all headers in original request, except for CONTENT_TYPE and CONTENT_LENGTH.

The values of each header should be unmodified.


I don’t think there is any easy way to get only HTTP headers. You have to iterate through request.META dict to get what all you need.

django-debug-toolbar takes the same approach to show header information. Have a look at this file responsible for retrieving header information.


For what it’s worth, it appears your intent is to use the incoming HTTP request to form another HTTP request. Sort of like a gateway. There is an excellent module django-revproxy that accomplishes exactly this.

The source is a pretty good reference on how to accomplish what you are trying to do.



you can get that from this file though…

{% for k_meta, v_meta in request.META.items %}
  <code>{{ k_meta }}</code> : {{ v_meta }} <br>
{% endfor %}