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How can I see the entire HTTP request that's being sent by my Python application?

Posted by: admin November 1, 2017 Leave a comment


In my case, I’m using the requests library to call PayPal’s API over HTTPS. Unfortunately, I’m getting an error from PayPal, and PayPal support cannot figure out what the error is or what’s causing it. They want me to “Please provide the entire request, headers included”.

How can I do that?


A simple method: enable logging in recent versions of Requests (1.x and higher.)

Requests uses the http.client and logging module configuration to control logging verbosity, as described here.


Code excerpted from the linked documentation:

import requests
import logging

# These two lines enable debugging at httplib level (requests->urllib3->http.client)
# You will see the REQUEST, including HEADERS and DATA, and RESPONSE with HEADERS but without DATA.
# The only thing missing will be the response.body which is not logged.
    import http.client as http_client
except ImportError:
    # Python 2
    import httplib as http_client
http_client.HTTPConnection.debuglevel = 1

# You must initialize logging, otherwise you'll not see debug output.
requests_log = logging.getLogger("requests.packages.urllib3")
requests_log.propagate = True


Example Output

$ python requests-logging.py 
INFO:requests.packages.urllib3.connectionpool:Starting new HTTPS connection (1): httpbin.org
send: 'GET /headers HTTP/1.1\r\nHost: httpbin.org\r\nAccept-Encoding: gzip, deflate, compress\r\nAccept: */*\r\nUser-Agent: python-requests/1.2.0 CPython/2.7.3 Linux/3.2.0-48-generic\r\n\r\n'
reply: 'HTTP/1.1 200 OK\r\n'
header: Content-Type: application/json
header: Date: Sat, 29 Jun 2013 11:19:34 GMT
header: Server: gunicorn/0.17.4
header: Content-Length: 226
header: Connection: keep-alive
DEBUG:requests.packages.urllib3.connectionpool:"GET /headers HTTP/1.1" 200 226

r = requests.get('https://api.github.com', auth=('user', 'pass'))

r is a response. It has a request attribute which has the information you need.

r.request.allow_redirects  r.request.headers          r.request.response
r.request.auth             r.request.hooks            r.request.send
r.request.cert             r.request.method           r.request.sent
r.request.config           r.request.params           r.request.session
r.request.cookies          r.request.path_url         r.request.timeout
r.request.data             r.request.prefetch         r.request.url
r.request.deregister_hook  r.request.proxies          r.request.verify
r.request.files            r.request.redirect         
r.request.full_url         r.request.register_hook

r.request.headers gives the headers:

{'Accept': '*/*',
 'Accept-Encoding': 'identity, deflate, compress, gzip',
 'Authorization': u'Basic dXNlcjpwYXNz',
 'User-Agent': 'python-requests/0.12.1'}

Then r.request.data has the body as a mapping. You can convert this with urllib.urlencode if they prefer:

import urllib
b = r.request.data
encoded_body = urllib.urlencode(b)


If you’re using Python 2.x, try installing a urllib2 opener. That should print out your headers, although you may have to combine that with other openers you’re using to hit the HTTPS.

import urllib2


The verbose configuration option might allow you to see what you want. There is an example in the documentation.

NOTE: Read the comments below: The verbose config options doesn’t seem to be available anymore.