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At the heart of Vert.x is a set of Java APIs that we call Vert.x Core

Vert.x core provides functionality for things like:

  • Writing TCP clients and servers

  • Writing HTTP clients and servers including support for WebSockets

  • The Event bus

  • Shared data - local maps and clustered distributed maps

  • Periodic and delayed actions

  • Deploying and undeploying Verticles

  • Datagram Sockets

  • DNS client

  • File system access

  • High availability

  • Clustering

The functionality in core is fairly low level - you won’t find stuff like database access, authorisation or high level web functionality here - that kind of stuff you’ll find in Vert.x ext (extensions).

Vert.x core is small and lightweight. You just use the parts you want. It’s also entirely embeddable in your existing applications - we don’t force you to structure your applications in a special way just so you can use Vert.x.

You can use core from any of the other languages that Vert.x supports. But here’a a cool bit - we don’t force you to use the Java API directly from, say, JavaScript or Ruby - after all, different languages have different conventions and idioms, and it would be odd to force Java idioms on Ruby developers (for example). Instead, we automatically generate an idiomatic equivalent of the core Java APIs for each language.

From now on we’ll just use the word core to refer to Vert.x core.

If you are using Maven or Gradle, add the following dependency to the dependencies section of your project descriptor to access the Vert.x Core API:

  • Maven (in your pom.xml):

<dependency>
  <groupId>io.vertx</groupId>
  <artifactId>vertx-core</artifactId>
  <version>3.3.3</version>
</dependency>
  • Gradle (in your build.gradle file):

compile io.vertx:vertx-core:3.3.3

Let’s discuss the different concepts and features in core.

In the beginning there was Vert.x

Note
Much of this is Java specific - need someway of swapping in language specific parts

You can’t do much in Vert.x-land unless you can commune with a Vertx object!

It’s the control centre of Vert.x and is how you do pretty much everything, including creating clients and servers, getting a reference to the event bus, setting timers, as well as many other things.

So how do you get an instance?

If you’re embedding Vert.x then you simply create an instance as follows:

Vertx vertx = Vertx.vertx();

If you’re using Verticles

Note
Most applications will only need a single Vert.x instance, but it’s possible to create multiple Vert.x instances if you require, for example, isolation between the event bus or different groups of servers and clients.

Specifying options when creating a Vertx object

When creating a Vertx object you can also specify options if the defaults aren’t right for you:

Vertx vertx = Vertx.vertx(new VertxOptions().setWorkerPoolSize(40));

The VertxOptions object has many settings and allows you to configure things like clustering, high availability, pool sizes and various other settings. The Javadoc describes all the settings in detail.

Creating a clustered Vert.x object

If you’re creating a clustered Vert.x (See the section on the event bus for more information on clustering the event bus), then you will normally use the asynchronous variant to create the Vertx object.

This is because it usually takes some time (maybe a few seconds) for the different Vert.x instances in a cluster to group together. During that time, we don’t want to block the calling thread, so we give the result to you asynchronously.

Are you fluent?

You may have noticed that in the previous examples a fluent API was used.

A fluent API is where multiple methods calls can be chained together. For example:

request.response().putHeader("Content-Type", "text/plain").write("some text").end();

This is a common pattern throughout Vert.x APIs, so get used to it.

Chaining calls like this allows you to write code that’s a little bit less verbose. Of course, if you don’t like the fluent approach we don’t force you to do it that way, you can happily ignore it if you prefer and write your code like this:

HttpServerResponse response = request.response();
response.putHeader("Content-Type", "text/plain");
response.write("some text");
response.end();

Don’t call us, we’ll call you.

The Vert.x APIs are largely event driven. This means that when things happen in Vert.x that you are interested in, Vert.x will call you by sending you events.

Some example events are:

  • a timer has fired

  • some data has arrived on a socket,

  • some data has been read from disk

  • an exception has occurred

  • an HTTP server has received a request

You handle events by providing handlers to the Vert.x APIs. For example to receive a timer event every second you would do:

vertx.setPeriodic(1000, id -> {
  // This handler will get called every second
  System.out.println("timer fired!");
});

Or to receive an HTTP request:

server.requestHandler(request -> {
  // This handler will be called every time an HTTP request is received at the server
  request.response().end("hello world!");
});

Some time later when Vert.x has an event to pass to your handler Vert.x will call it asynchronously.

This leads us to some important concepts in Vert.x:

Don’t block me!

With very few exceptions (i.e. some file system operations ending in 'Sync'), none of the APIs in Vert.x block the calling thread.

If a result can be provided immediately, it will be returned immediately, otherwise you will usually provide a handler to receive events some time later.

Because none of the Vert.x APIs block threads that means you can use Vert.x to handle a lot of concurrency using just a small number of threads.

With a conventional blocking API the calling thread might block when:

  • Reading data from a socket

  • Writing data to disk

  • Sending a message to a recipient and waiting for a reply.

  • …​ Many other situations

In all the above cases, when your thread is waiting for a result it can’t do anything else - it’s effectively useless.

This means that if you want a lot of concurrency using blocking APIs then you need a lot of threads to prevent your application grinding to a halt.

Threads have overhead in terms of the memory they require (e.g. for their stack) and in context switching.

For the levels of concurrency required in many modern applications, a blocking approach just doesn’t scale.

Reactor and Multi-Reactor

We mentioned before that Vert.x APIs are event driven - Vert.x passes events to handlers when they are available.

In most cases Vert.x calls your handlers using a thread called an event loop.

As nothing in Vert.x or your application blocks, the event loop can merrily run around delivering events to different handlers in succession as they arrive.

Because nothing blocks, an event loop can potentially deliver huge amounts of events in a short amount of time. For example a single event loop can handle many thousands of HTTP requests very quickly.

We call this the Reactor Pattern.

You may have heard of this before - for example Node.js implements this pattern.

In a standard reactor implementation there is a single event loop thread which runs around in a loop delivering all events to all handlers as they arrive.

The trouble with a single thread is it can only run on a single core at any one time, so if you want your single threaded reactor application (e.g. your Node.js application) to scale over your multi-core server you have to start up and manage many different processes.

Vert.x works differently here. Instead of a single event loop, each Vertx instance maintains several event loops. By default we choose the number based on the number of available cores on the machine, but this can be overridden.

This means a single Vertx process can scale across your server, unlike Node.js.

We call this pattern the Multi-Reactor Pattern to distinguish it from the single threaded reactor pattern.

Note
Even though a Vertx instance maintains multiple event loops, any particular handler will never be executed concurrently, and in most cases (with the exception of worker verticles) will always be called using the exact same event loop.

The Golden Rule - Don’t Block the Event Loop

We already know that the Vert.x APIs are non blocking and won’t block the event loop, but that’s not much help if you block the event loop yourself in a handler.

If you do that, then that event loop will not be able to do anything else while it’s blocked. If you block all of the event loops in Vertx instance then your application will grind to a complete halt!

So don’t do it! You have been warned.

Examples of blocking include:

  • Thread.sleep()

  • Waiting on a lock

  • Waiting on a mutex or monitor (e.g. synchronized section)

  • Doing a long lived database operation and waiting for a result

  • Doing a complex calculation that takes some significant time.

  • Spinning in a loop

If any of the above stop the event loop from doing anything else for a significant amount of time then you should go immediately to the naughty step, and await further instructions.

So…​ what is a significant amount of time?

How long is a piece of string? It really depends on your application and the amount of concurrency you require.

If you have a single event loop, and you want to handle 10000 http requests per second, then it’s clear that each request can’t take more than 0.1 ms to process, so you can’t block for any more time than that.

The maths is not hard and shall be left as an exercise for the reader.

If your application is not responsive it might be a sign that you are blocking an event loop somewhere. To help you diagnose such issues, Vert.x will automatically log warnings if it detects an event loop hasn’t returned for some time. If you see warnings like these in your logs, then you should investigate.

Thread vertx-eventloop-thread-3 has been blocked for 20458 ms

Vert.x will also provide stack traces to pinpoint exactly where the blocking is occurring.

If you want to turn off these warnings or change the settings, you can do that in the VertxOptions object before creating the Vertx object.

Running blocking code

In a perfect world, there will be no war or hunger, all APIs will be written asynchronously and bunny rabbits will skip hand-in-hand with baby lambs across sunny green meadows.

But…​ the real world is not like that. (Have you watched the news lately?)

Fact is, many, if not most libraries, especially in the JVM ecosystem have synchronous APIs and many of the methods are likely to block. A good example is the JDBC API - it’s inherently synchronous, and no matter how hard it tries, Vert.x cannot sprinkle magic pixie dust on it to make it asynchronous.

We’re not going to rewrite everything to be asynchronous overnight so we need to provide you a way to use "traditional" blocking APIs safely within a Vert.x application.

As discussed before, you can’t call blocking operations directly from an event loop, as that would prevent it from doing any other useful work. So how can you do this?

It’s done by calling executeBlocking specifying both the blocking code to execute and a result handler to be called back asynchronous when the blocking code has been executed.

vertx.executeBlocking(future -> {
  // Call some blocking API that takes a significant amount of time to return
  String result = someAPI.blockingMethod("hello");
  future.complete(result);
}, res -> {
  System.out.println("The result is: " + res.result());
});

By default, if executeBlocking is called several times from the same context (e.g. the same verticle instance) then the different executeBlocking are executed serially (i.e. one after another).

If you don’t care about ordering you can call executeBlocking specifying false as the argument to ordered. In this case any executeBlocking may be executed in parallel on the worker pool.

An alternative way to run blocking code is to use a worker verticle

A worker verticle is always executed with a thread from the worker pool.

By default blocking code is executed on the Vert.x blocking code pool, configured with setWorkerPoolSize.

Additional pools can be created for different purposes:

WorkerExecutor executor = vertx.createSharedWorkerExecutor("my-worker-pool");
executor.executeBlocking(future -> {
  // Call some blocking API that takes a significant amount of time to return
  String result = someAPI.blockingMethod("hello");
  future.complete(result);
}, res -> {
  System.out.println("The result is: " + res.result());
});

The worker executor must be closed when it’s not necessary anymore:

executor.close();

When several workers are created with the same name, they will share the same pool. The worker pool is destroyed when all the worker executors using it are closed.

When an executor is created in a Verticle, Vert.x will close it automatically for you when the Verticle is undeployed.

Worker executors can be configured when created:

int poolSize = 10;

// 2 minutes
long maxExecuteTime = 120000;

WorkerExecutor executor = vertx.createSharedWorkerExecutor("my-worker-pool", poolSize, maxExecuteTime);
Note
the configuration is set when the worker pool is created

Async coordination

Coordination of multiple asynchronous results can be achieved with Vert.x futures. It supports concurrent composition (run several async operations in parallel) and sequential composition (chain async operations).

Concurrent composition

CompositeFuture.all takes several futures arguments (up to 6) and returns a future that is succeeded when all the futures are and failed when at least one of the futures is failed:

Future<HttpServer> httpServerFuture = Future.future();
httpServer.listen(httpServerFuture.completer());

Future<NetServer> netServerFuture = Future.future();
netServer.listen(netServerFuture.completer());

CompositeFuture.all(httpServerFuture, netServerFuture).setHandler(ar -> {
  if (ar.succeeded()) {
    // All servers started
  } else {
    // At least one server failed
  }
});

The operations run concurrently, the Handler attached to the returned future is invoked upon completion of the composition. When one of the operation fails (one of the passed future is marked as a failure), the resulting future is marked as failed too. When all the operations succeed, the resulting future is completed with a success.

Alternatively, you can pass a list (potentially empty) of futures:

CompositeFuture.all(Arrays.asList(future1, future2, future3));

While the all composition waits until all futures are successful (or one fails), the any composition waits for the first succeeded future. CompositeFuture.any takes several futures arguments (up to 6) and returns a future that is succeeded when one of the futures is, and failed when all the futures are failed:

CompositeFuture.any(future1, future2).setHandler(ar -> {
  if (ar.succeeded()) {
    // At least one is succeeded
  } else {
    // All failed
  }
});

A list of futures can be used also:

CompositeFuture.any(Arrays.asList(f1, f2, f3));

The join composition waits until all futures are completed, either with a success or a failure. CompositeFuture.join takes several futures arguments (up to 6) and returns a future that is succeeded when all the futures are succeeded, and failed when all the futures are completed and at least one of them is failed:

CompositeFuture.join(future1, future2, future3).setHandler(ar -> {
  if (ar.succeeded()) {
    // All succeeded
  } else {
    // All completed and at least one failed
  }
});

A list of futures can be used also:

CompositeFuture.join(Arrays.asList(future1, future2, future3));

Sequential composition

While all and any are implementing concurrent composition, compose can be used for chaining futures (so sequential composition).

FileSystem fs = vertx.fileSystem();
Future<Void> startFuture = Future.future();

Future<Void> fut1 = Future.future();
fs.createFile("/foo", fut1.completer());

fut1.compose(v -> {
  // When the file is created (fut1), execute this:
  Future<Void> fut2 = Future.future();
  fs.writeFile("/foo", Buffer.buffer(), fut2.completer());
  return fut2;
}).compose(v -> {
          // When the file is written (fut2), execute this:
          Future<Void> fut3 = Future.future();
          fs.move("/foo", "/bar", fut3.completer());
        },
        // mark the start future as completed when all the chain has been completed,
        // or mark it as failed if any step fails.
        startFuture);

In this example, 3 operations are chained:

  1. a file is created (fut1)

  2. something is written in the file (fut2)

  3. the file is moved (fut3)

When these 3 steps are successful, the final future (startFuture) is completed with a success. However, if one of the steps fails, the final future is completed with a failure.

This example uses:

  • compose: when the current future completes, run the given function, that returns a future. When this returned future completes, it completes the composition.

  • compose: when the current future completes, run the given handler that completes the given future (next).

In this second case, the Handler should complete the next future to report its success or failure.

You can use completer that completes a future with the operation result or failure. It avoids having to write the traditional: if success then complete the future else fail the future.

Verticles

Vert.x comes with a simple, scalable, actor-like deployment and concurrency model out of the box that you can use to save you writing your own.

This model is entirely optional and Vert.x does not force you to create your applications in this way if you don’t want to..

The model does not claim to be a strict actor-model implementation, but it does share similarities especially with respect to concurrency, scaling and deployment.

To use this model, you write your code as set of verticles.

Verticles are chunks of code that get deployed and run by Vert.x. A Vert.x instance maintains N event loop threads (where N by default is core*2) by default. Verticles can be written in any of the languages that Vert.x supports and a single application can include verticles written in multiple languages.

You can think of a verticle as a bit like an actor in the Actor Model.

An application would typically be composed of many verticle instances running in the same Vert.x instance at the same time. The different verticle instances communicate with each other by sending messages on the event bus.

Writing Verticles

Verticle classes must implement the Verticle interface.

They can implement it directly if you like but usually it’s simpler to extend the abstract class AbstractVerticle.

Here’s an example verticle:

public class MyVerticle extends AbstractVerticle {

  // Called when verticle is deployed
  public void start() {
  }

  // Optional - called when verticle is undeployed
  public void stop() {
  }

}

Normally you would override the start method like in the example above.

When Vert.x deploys the verticle it will call the start method, and when the method has completed the verticle will be considered started.

You can also optionally override the stop method. This will be called by Vert.x when the verticle is undeployed and when the method has completed the verticle will be considered stopped.

Asynchronous Verticle start and stop

Sometimes you want to do something in your verticle start-up which takes some time and you don’t want the verticle to be considered deployed until that happens. For example you might want to deploy other verticles in the start method.

You can’t block waiting for the other verticles to deploy in your start method as that would break the Golden Rule.

So how can you do this?

The way to do it is to implement the asynchronous start method. This version of the method takes a Future as a parameter. When the method returns the verticle will not be considered deployed.

Some time later, after you’ve done everything you need to do (e.g. start other verticles), you can call complete on the Future (or fail) to signal that you’re done.

Here’s an example:

public class MyVerticle extends AbstractVerticle {

  public void start(Future<Void> startFuture) {
    // Now deploy some other verticle:

    vertx.deployVerticle("com.foo.OtherVerticle", res -> {
      if (res.succeeded()) {
        startFuture.complete();
      } else {
        startFuture.fail(res.cause());
      }
    });
  }
}

Similarly, there is an asynchronous version of the stop method too. You use this if you want to do some verticle cleanup that takes some time.

public class MyVerticle extends AbstractVerticle {

  public void start() {
    // Do something
  }

  public void stop(Future<Void> stopFuture) {
    obj.doSomethingThatTakesTime(res -> {
      if (res.succeeded()) {
        stopFuture.complete();
      } else {
        stopFuture.fail();
      }
    });
  }
}

INFO: You don’t need to manually undeploy child verticles started by a verticle, in the verticle’s stop method. Vert.x will automatically undeploy any child verticles when the parent is undeployed.

Verticle Types

There are three different types of verticles:

Standard Verticles

These are the most common and useful type - they are always executed using an event loop thread. We’ll discuss this more in the next section.

Worker Verticles

These run using a thread from the worker pool. An instance is never executed concurrently by more than one thread.

Multi-threaded worker verticles

These run using a thread from the worker pool. An instance can be executed concurrently by more than one thread.

Standard verticles

Standard verticles are assigned an event loop thread when they are created and the start method is called with that event loop. When you call any other methods that takes a handler on a core API from an event loop then Vert.x will guarantee that those handlers, when called, will be executed on the same event loop.

This means we can guarantee that all the code in your verticle instance is always executed on the same event loop (as long as you don’t create your own threads and call it!).

This means you can write all the code in your application as single threaded and let Vert.x worrying about the threading and scaling. No more worrying about synchronized and volatile any more, and you also avoid many other cases of race conditions and deadlock so prevalent when doing hand-rolled 'traditional' multi-threaded application development.

Worker verticles

A worker verticle is just like a standard verticle but it’s executed not using an event loop, but using a thread from the Vert.x worker thread pool.

Worker verticles are designed for calling blocking code, as they won’t block any event loops.

If you don’t want to use a worker verticle to run blocking code, you can also run inline blocking code directly while on an event loop.

If you want to deploy a verticle as a worker verticle you do that with setWorker.

DeploymentOptions options = new DeploymentOptions().setWorker(true);
vertx.deployVerticle("com.mycompany.MyOrderProcessorVerticle", options);

Worker verticle instances are never executed concurrently by Vert.x by more than one thread, but can executed by different threads at different times.

Multi-threaded worker verticles

A multi-threaded worker verticle is just like a normal worker verticle but it can be executed concurrently by different threads.

Warning
Multi-threaded worker verticles are an advanced feature and most applications will have no need for them. Because of the concurrency in these verticles you have to be very careful to keep the verticle in a consistent state using standard Java techniques for multi-threaded programming.

Deploying verticles programmatically

You can deploy a verticle using one of the deployVerticle method, specifying a verticle name or you can pass in a verticle instance you have already created yourself.

Note
Deploying Verticle instances is Java only.
Verticle myVerticle = new MyVerticle();
vertx.deployVerticle(myVerticle);

You can also deploy verticles by specifying the verticle name.

The verticle name is used to look up the specific VerticleFactory that will be used to instantiate the actual verticle instance(s).

Different verticle factories are available for instantiating verticles in different languages and for various other reasons such as loading services and getting verticles from Maven at run-time.

This allows you to deploy verticles written in any language from any other language that Vert.x supports.

Here’s an example of deploying some different types of verticles:

vertx.deployVerticle("com.mycompany.MyOrderProcessorVerticle");

// Deploy a JavaScript verticle
vertx.deployVerticle("verticles/myverticle.js");

// Deploy a Ruby verticle verticle
vertx.deployVerticle("verticles/my_verticle.rb");

Rules for mapping a verticle name to a verticle factory

When deploying verticle(s) using a name, the name is used to select the actual verticle factory that will instantiate the verticle(s).

Verticle names can have a prefix - which is a string followed by a colon, which if present will be used to look-up the factory, e.g.

js:foo.js // Use the JavaScript verticle factory
groovy:com.mycompany.SomeGroovyCompiledVerticle // Use the Groovy verticle factory
service:com.mycompany:myorderservice // Uses the service verticle factory

If no prefix is present, Vert.x will look for a suffix and use that to lookup the factory, e.g.

foo.js // Will also use the JavaScript verticle factory
SomeScript.groovy // Will use the Groovy verticle factory

If no prefix or suffix is present, Vert.x will assume it’s a Java fully qualified class name (FQCN) and try and instantiate that.

How are Verticle Factories located?

Most Verticle factories are loaded from the classpath and registered at Vert.x startup.

You can also programmatically register and unregister verticle factories using registerVerticleFactory and unregisterVerticleFactory if you wish.

Waiting for deployment to complete

Verticle deployment is asynchronous and may complete some time after the call to deploy has returned.

If you want to be notified when deployment is complete you can deploy specifying a completion handler:

vertx.deployVerticle("com.mycompany.MyOrderProcessorVerticle", res -> {
  if (res.succeeded()) {
    System.out.println("Deployment id is: " + res.result());
  } else {
    System.out.println("Deployment failed!");
  }
});

The completion handler will be passed a result containing the deployment ID string, if deployment succeeded.

This deployment ID can be used later if you want to undeploy the deployment.

Undeploying verticle deployments

Deployments can be undeployed with undeploy.

Un-deployment is itself asynchronous so if you want to be notified when un-deployment is complete you can deploy specifying a completion handler:

vertx.undeploy(deploymentID, res -> {
  if (res.succeeded()) {
    System.out.println("Undeployed ok");
  } else {
    System.out.println("Undeploy failed!");
  }
});

Specifying number of verticle instances

When deploying a verticle using a verticle name, you can specify the number of verticle instances that you want to deploy:

DeploymentOptions options = new DeploymentOptions().setInstances(16);
vertx.deployVerticle("com.mycompany.MyOrderProcessorVerticle", options);

This is useful for scaling easily across multiple cores. For example you might have a web-server verticle to deploy and multiple cores on your machine, so you want to deploy multiple instances to take utilise all the cores.

Passing configuration to a verticle

Configuration in the form of JSON can be passed to a verticle at deployment time:

JsonObject config = new JsonObject().put("name", "tim").put("directory", "/blah");
DeploymentOptions options = new DeploymentOptions().setConfig(config);
vertx.deployVerticle("com.mycompany.MyOrderProcessorVerticle", options);

This configuration is then available via the Context object or directly using the config method.

The configuration is returned as a JSON object so you can retrieve data as follows:

System.out.println("Configuration: " + config().getString("name"));

Accessing environment variables in a Verticle

Environment variables and system properties are accessible using the Java API:

System.getProperty("prop");
System.getenv("HOME");

Verticle Isolation Groups

By default, Vert.x has a flat classpath. I.e, when Vert.x deploys verticles it does so with the current classloader - it doesn’t create a new one. In the majority of cases this is the simplest, clearest and sanest thing to do.

However, in some cases you may want to deploy a verticle so the classes of that verticle are isolated from others in your application.

This might be the case, for example, if you want to deploy two different versions of a verticle with the same class name in the same Vert.x instance, or if you have two different verticles which use different versions of the same jar library.

When using an isolation group you provide a list of the class names that you want isolated using setIsolatedClasses- an entry can be a fully qualified classname such as com.mycompany.myproject.engine.MyClass or it can be a wildcard which will match any classes in a package and any sub-packages, e.g. com.mycompany.myproject.* would match any classes in the package com.mycompany.myproject or any sub-packages.

Please note that only the classes that match will be isolated - any other classes will be loaded by the current class loader.

Extra classpath entries can also be provided with setExtraClasspath so if you want to load classes or resources that aren’t already present on the main classpath you can add this.

Warning
Use this feature with caution. Class-loaders can be a can of worms, and can make debugging difficult, amongst other things.

Here’s an example of using an isolation group to isolate a verticle deployment.

DeploymentOptions options = new DeploymentOptions().setIsolationGroup("mygroup");
options.setIsolatedClasses(Arrays.asList("com.mycompany.myverticle.*",
                   "com.mycompany.somepkg.SomeClass", "org.somelibrary.*"));
vertx.deployVerticle("com.mycompany.myverticle.VerticleClass", options);

High Availability

Verticles can be deployed with High Availability (HA) enabled. In that context, when a verticle is deployed on a vert.x instance that dies abruptly, the verticle is redeployed on another vert.x instance from the cluster.

To run an verticle with the high availability enabled, just append the -ha switch:

vertx run my-verticle.js -ha

When enabling high availability, no need to add -cluster.

More details about the high availability feature and configuration in the High Availability and Fail-Over section.

Running Verticles from the command line

You can use Vert.x directly in your Maven or Gradle projects in the normal way by adding a dependency to the Vert.x core library and hacking from there.

However you can also run Vert.x verticles directly from the command line if you wish.

To do this you need to download and install a Vert.x distribution, and add the bin directory of the installation to your PATH environment variable. Also make sure you have a Java 8 JDK on your PATH.

Note
The JDK is required to support on the fly compilation of Java code.

You can now run verticles by using the vertx run command. Here are some examples:

# Run a JavaScript verticle
vertx run my_verticle.js

# Run a Ruby verticle
vertx run a_n_other_verticle.rb

# Run a Groovy script verticle, clustered
vertx run FooVerticle.groovy -cluster

You can even run Java source verticles without compiling them first!

vertx run SomeJavaSourceFile.java

Vert.x will compile the Java source file on the fly before running it. This is really useful for quickly prototyping verticles and great for demos. No need to set-up a Maven or Gradle build first to get going!

For full information on the various options available when executing vertx on the command line, type vertx at the command line.

Causing Vert.x to exit

Threads maintained by Vert.x instances are not daemon threads so they will prevent the JVM from exiting.

If you are embedding Vert.x and you have finished with it, you can call close to close it down.

This will shut-down all internal thread pools and close other resources, and will allow the JVM to exit.

The Context object

When Vert.x provides an event to a handler or calls the start or stop methods of a Verticle, the execution is associated with a Context. Usually a context is an event-loop context and is tied to a specific event loop thread. So executions for that context always occur on that exact same event loop thread. In the case of worker verticles and running inline blocking code a worker context will be associated with the execution which will use a thread from the worker thread pool.

To retrieve the context, use the getOrCreateContext method:

Context context = vertx.getOrCreateContext();

If the current thread has a context associated with it, it reuses the context object. If not a new instance of context is created. You can test the type of context you have retrieved:

Context context = vertx.getOrCreateContext();
if (context.isEventLoopContext()) {
  System.out.println("Context attached to Event Loop");
} else if (context.isWorkerContext()) {
  System.out.println("Context attached to Worker Thread");
} else if (context.isMultiThreadedWorkerContext()) {
  System.out.println("Context attached to Worker Thread - multi threaded worker");
} else if (! Context.isOnVertxThread()) {
  System.out.println("Context not attached to a thread managed by vert.x");
}

When you have retrieved the context object, you can run code in this context asynchronously. In other words, you submit a task that will be eventually run in the same context, but later:

vertx.getOrCreateContext().runOnContext( (v) -> {
  System.out.println("This will be executed asynchronously in the same context");
});

When several handlers run in the same context, they may want to share data. The context object offers methods to store and retrieve data shared in the context. For instance, it lets you pass data to some action run with runOnContext:

final Context context = vertx.getOrCreateContext();
context.put("data", "hello");
context.runOnContext((v) -> {
  String hello = context.get("data");
});

The context object also let you access verticle configuration using the config method. Check the Passing configuration to a verticle section for more details about this configuration.

Executing periodic and delayed actions

It’s very common in Vert.x to want to perform an action after a delay, or periodically.

In standard verticles you can’t just make the thread sleep to introduce a delay, as that will block the event loop thread.

Instead you use Vert.x timers. Timers can be one-shot or periodic. We’ll discuss both

One-shot Timers

A one shot timer calls an event handler after a certain delay, expressed in milliseconds.

To set a timer to fire once you use setTimer method passing in the delay and a handler

long timerID = vertx.setTimer(1000, id -> {
  System.out.println("And one second later this is printed");
});

System.out.println("First this is printed");

The return value is a unique timer id which can later be used to cancel the timer. The handler is also passed the timer id.

Periodic Timers

You can also set a timer to fire periodically by using setPeriodic.

There will be an initial delay equal to the period.

The return value of setPeriodic is a unique timer id (long). This can be later used if the timer needs to be cancelled.

The argument passed into the timer event handler is also the unique timer id:

Keep in mind that the timer will fire on a periodic basis. If your periodic treatment takes a long amount of time to proceed, your timer events could run continuously or even worse : stack up.

In this case, you should consider using setTimer instead. Once your treatment has finished, you can set the next timer.

long timerID = vertx.setPeriodic(1000, id -> {
  System.out.println("And every second this is printed");
});

System.out.println("First this is printed");

Cancelling timers

To cancel a periodic timer, call cancelTimer specifying the timer id. For example:

vertx.cancelTimer(timerID);

Automatic clean-up in verticles

If you’re creating timers from inside verticles, those timers will be automatically closed when the verticle is undeployed.

Verticle worker pool

Verticle use the Vert.x worker pool for executing blocking actions, i.e executeBlocking or worker verticle.

A different worker pool can be specified in deployment options:

vertx.deployVerticle("the-verticle", new DeploymentOptions().setWorkerPoolName("the-specific-pool"));

The Event Bus

The event bus is the nervous system of Vert.x.

There is a single event bus instance for every Vert.x instance and it is obtained using the method eventBus.

The event bus allows different parts of your application to communicate with each other irrespective of what language they are written in, and whether they’re in the same Vert.x instance, or in a different Vert.x instance.

It can even be bridged to allow client side JavaScript running in a browser to communicate on the same event bus.

The event bus forms a distributed peer-to-peer messaging system spanning multiple server nodes and multiple browsers.

The event bus supports publish/subscribe, point to point, and request-response messaging.

The event bus API is very simple. It basically involves registering handlers, unregistering handlers and sending and publishing messages.

First some theory:

The Theory

Addressing

Messages are sent on the event bus to an address.

Vert.x doesn’t bother with any fancy addressing schemes. In Vert.x an address is simply a string. Any string is valid. However it is wise to use some kind of scheme, e.g. using periods to demarcate a namespace.

Some examples of valid addresses are europe.news.feed1, acme.games.pacman, sausages, and X.

Handlers

Messages are received in handlers. You register a handler at an address.

Many different handlers can be registered at the same address.

A single handler can be registered at many different addresses.

Publish / subscribe messaging

The event bus supports publishing messages.

Messages are published to an address. Publishing means delivering the message to all handlers that are registered at that address.

This is the familiar publish/subscribe messaging pattern.

Point to point and Request-Response messaging

The event bus also supports point to point messaging.

Messages are sent to an address. Vert.x will then route it to just one of the handlers registered at that address.

If there is more than one handler registered at the address, one will be chosen using a non-strict round-robin algorithm.

With point to point messaging, an optional reply handler can be specified when sending the message.

When a message is received by a recipient, and has been handled, the recipient can optionally decide to reply to the message. If they do so the reply handler will be called.

When the reply is received back at the sender, it too can be replied to. This can be repeated ad-infinitum, and allows a dialog to be set-up between two different verticles.

This is a common messaging pattern called the request-response pattern.

Best-effort delivery

Vert.x does it’s best to deliver messages and won’t consciously throw them away. This is called best-effort delivery.

However, in case of failure of all or parts of the event bus, there is a possibility messages will be lost.

If your application cares about lost messages, you should code your handlers to be idempotent, and your senders to retry after recovery.

Types of messages

Out of the box Vert.x allows any primitive/simple type, String, or buffers to be sent as messages.

However it’s a convention and common practice in Vert.x to send messages as JSON

JSON is very easy to create, read and parse in all the languages that Vert.x supports so it has become a kind of lingua franca for Vert.x.

However you are not forced to use JSON if you don’t want to.

The event bus is very flexible and also supports sending arbitrary objects over the event bus. You do this by defining a codec for the objects you want to send.

The Event Bus API

Let’s jump into the API

Getting the event bus

You get a reference to the event bus as follows:

EventBus eb = vertx.eventBus();

There is a single instance of the event bus per Vert.x instance.

Registering Handlers

This simplest way to register a handler is using consumer. Here’s an example:

EventBus eb = vertx.eventBus();

eb.consumer("news.uk.sport", message -> {
  System.out.println("I have received a message: " + message.body());
});

When a message arrives for your handler, your handler will be called, passing in the message.

The object returned from call to consumer() is an instance of MessageConsumer

This object can subsequently be used to unregister the handler, or use the handler as a stream.

Alternatively you can use consumer to to return a MessageConsumer with no handler set, and then set the handler on that. For example:

EventBus eb = vertx.eventBus();

MessageConsumer<String> consumer = eb.consumer("news.uk.sport");
consumer.handler(message -> {
  System.out.println("I have received a message: " + message.body());
});

When registering a handler on a clustered event bus, it can take some time for the registration to reach all nodes of the cluster.

If you want to be notified when this has completed, you can register a completion handler on the MessageConsumer object.

consumer.completionHandler(res -> {
  if (res.succeeded()) {
    System.out.println("The handler registration has reached all nodes");
  } else {
    System.out.println("Registration failed!");
  }
});

Un-registering Handlers

To unregister a handler, call unregister.

If you are on a clustered event bus, un-registering can take some time to propagate across the nodes, if you want to be notified when this is complete use unregister.

consumer.unregister(res -> {
  if (res.succeeded()) {
    System.out.println("The handler un-registration has reached all nodes");
  } else {
    System.out.println("Un-registration failed!");
  }
});

Publishing messages

Publishing a message is simple. Just use publish specifying the address to publish it to.

eventBus.publish("news.uk.sport", "Yay! Someone kicked a ball");

That message will then be delivered to all handlers registered against the address news.uk.sport.

Sending messages

Sending a message will result in only one handler registered at the address receiving the message. This is the point to point messaging pattern. The handler is chosen in a non-strict round-robin fashion.

You can send a message with send

eventBus.send("news.uk.sport", "Yay! Someone kicked a ball");

Setting headers on messages

Messages sent over the event bus can also contain headers.

This can be specified by providing a DeliveryOptions when sending or publishing:

DeliveryOptions options = new DeliveryOptions();
options.addHeader("some-header", "some-value");
eventBus.send("news.uk.sport", "Yay! Someone kicked a ball", options);

Message ordering

Vert.x will deliver messages to any particular handler in the same order they were sent from any particular sender.

The Message object

The object you receive in a message handler is a Message.

The body of the message corresponds to the object that was sent or published.

The headers of the message are available with headers.

Acknowledging messages / sending replies

When using send the event bus attempts to deliver the message to a MessageConsumer registered with the event bus.

In some cases it’s useful for the sender to know when the consumer has received the message and "processed" it.

To acknowledge that the message has been processed the consumer can reply to the message by calling reply.

When this happens it causes a reply to be sent back to the sender and the reply handler is invoked with the reply.

An example will make this clear:

The receiver:

MessageConsumer<String> consumer = eventBus.consumer("news.uk.sport");
consumer.handler(message -> {
  System.out.println("I have received a message: " + message.body());
  message.reply("how interesting!");
});

The sender:

eventBus.send("news.uk.sport", "Yay! Someone kicked a ball across a patch of grass", ar -> {
  if (ar.succeeded()) {
    System.out.println("Received reply: " + ar.result().body());
  }
});

The reply can contain a message body which can contain useful information.

What the "processing" actually means is application defined and depends entirely on what the message consumer does and is not something that the Vert.x event bus itself knows or cares about.

Some examples:

  • A simple message consumer which implements a service which returns the time of the day would acknowledge with a message containing the time of day in the reply body

  • A message consumer which implements a persistent queue, might acknowledge with true if the message was successfully persisted in storage, or false if not.

  • A message consumer which processes an order might acknowledge with true when the order has been successfully processed so it can be deleted from the database

Sending with timeouts

When sending a message with a reply handler you can specify a timeout in the DeliveryOptions.

If a reply is not received within that time, the reply handler will be called with a failure.

The default timeout is 30 seconds.

Send Failures

Message sends can fail for other reasons, including:

  • There are no handlers available to send the message to

  • The recipient has explicitly failed the message using fail

In all cases the reply handler will be called with the specific failure.

Message Codecs

You can send any object you like across the event bus if you define and register a message codec for it.

Message codecs have a name and you specify that name in the DeliveryOptions when sending or publishing the message:

eventBus.registerCodec(myCodec);

DeliveryOptions options = new DeliveryOptions().setCodecName(myCodec.name());

eventBus.send("orders", new MyPOJO(), options);

If you always want the same codec to be used for a particular type then you can register a default codec for it, then you don’t have to specify the codec on each send in the delivery options:

eventBus.registerDefaultCodec(MyPOJO.class, myCodec);

eventBus.send("orders", new MyPOJO());

You unregister a message codec with unregisterCodec.

Message codecs don’t always have to encode and decode as the same type. For example you can write a codec that allows a MyPOJO class to be sent, but when that message is sent to a handler it arrives as a MyOtherPOJO class.

Clustered Event Bus

The event bus doesn’t just exist in a single Vert.x instance. By clustering different Vert.x instances together on your network they can form a single, distributed, event bus.

Clustering programmatically

If you’re creating your Vert.x instance programmatically you get a clustered event bus by configuring the Vert.x instance as clustered;

VertxOptions options = new VertxOptions();
Vertx.clusteredVertx(options, res -> {
  if (res.succeeded()) {
    Vertx vertx = res.result();
    EventBus eventBus = vertx.eventBus();
    System.out.println("We now have a clustered event bus: " + eventBus);
  } else {
    System.out.println("Failed: " + res.cause());
  }
});

You should also make sure you have a ClusterManager implementation on your classpath, for example the default HazelcastClusterManager.

Clustering on the command line

You can run Vert.x clustered on the command line with

vertx run my-verticle.js -cluster

Automatic clean-up in verticles

If you’re registering event bus handlers from inside verticles, those handlers will be automatically unregistered when the verticle is undeployed.

Configuring the event bus

The event bus can be configured. It is particularly useful when the event bus is clustered. Under the hood the event bus uses TCP connections to send and receive message, so the EventBusOptions let you configure all aspects of these TCP connections. As the event bus acts as a server and client, the configuration is close to NetClientOptions and NetServerOptions.

VertxOptions options = new VertxOptions()
    .setEventBusOptions(new EventBusOptions()
        .setSsl(true)
        .setKeyStoreOptions(new JksOptions().setPath("keystore.jks").setPassword("wibble"))
        .setTrustStoreOptions(new JksOptions().setPath("keystore.jks").setPassword("wibble"))
        .setClientAuth(ClientAuth.REQUIRED)
    );

Vertx.clusteredVertx(options, res -> {
  if (res.succeeded()) {
    Vertx vertx = res.result();
    EventBus eventBus = vertx.eventBus();
    System.out.println("We now have a clustered event bus: " + eventBus);
  } else {
    System.out.println("Failed: " + res.cause());
  }
});

The previous snippet depicts how you can use SSL connections for the event bus, instead of plain TCP connections.

WARNING: to enforce the security in clustered mode, you must configure the cluster manager to use encryption or enforce security. Refer to the documentation of the cluster manager for further details.

The event bus configuration needs to be consistent in all the cluster nodes.

The EventBusOptions also lets you specify whether or not the event bus is clustered, the port and host, as you would do with setClustered, getClusterHost and getClusterPort.

When used in containers, you can also configure the public host and port:

VertxOptions options = new VertxOptions()
    .setEventBusOptions(new EventBusOptions()
        .setClusterPublicHost("whatever")
        .setClusterPublicPort(1234)
    );

Vertx.clusteredVertx(options, res -> {
  if (res.succeeded()) {
    Vertx vertx = res.result();
    EventBus eventBus = vertx.eventBus();
    System.out.println("We now have a clustered event bus: " + eventBus);
  } else {
    System.out.println("Failed: " + res.cause());
  }
});

JSON

Unlike some other languages, Java does not have first class support for JSON so we provide two classes to make handling JSON in your Vert.x applications a bit easier.

JSON objects

The JsonObject class represents JSON objects.

A JSON object is basically just a map which has string keys and values can be of one of the JSON supported types (string, number, boolean).

JSON objects also support null values.

Creating JSON objects

Empty JSON objects can be created with the default constructor.

You can create a JSON object from a string JSON representation as follows:

String jsonString = "{\"foo\":\"bar\"}";
JsonObject object = new JsonObject(jsonString);

Putting entries into a JSON object

Use the put methods to put values into the JSON object.

The method invocations can be chained because of the fluent API:

JsonObject object = new JsonObject();
object.put("foo", "bar").put("num", 123).put("mybool", true);

Getting values from a JSON object

You get values from a JSON object using the getXXX methods, for example:

String val = jsonObject.getString("some-key");
int intVal = jsonObject.getInteger("some-other-key");

Encoding the JSON object to a String

You use encode to encode the object to a String form.

JSON arrays

The JsonArray class represents JSON arrays.

A JSON array is a sequence of values (string, number, boolean).

JSON arrays can also contain null values.

Creating JSON arrays

Empty JSON arrays can be created with the default constructor.

You can create a JSON array from a string JSON representation as follows:

String jsonString = "[\"foo\",\"bar\"]";
JsonArray array = new JsonArray(jsonString);

Adding entries into a JSON array

You add entries to a JSON array using the add methods.

JsonArray array = new JsonArray();
array.add("foo").add(123).add(false);

Getting values from a JSON array

You get values from a JSON array using the getXXX methods, for example:

String val = array.getString(0);
Integer intVal = array.getInteger(1);
Boolean boolVal = array.getBoolean(2);

Encoding the JSON array to a String

You use encode to encode the array to a String form.

Buffers

Most data is shuffled around inside Vert.x using buffers.

A buffer is a sequence of zero or more bytes that can read from or written to and which expands automatically as necessary to accommodate any bytes written to it. You can perhaps think of a buffer as smart byte array.

Creating buffers

Buffers can create by using one of the static Buffer.buffer methods.

Buffers can be initialised from strings or byte arrays, or empty buffers can be created.

Here are some examples of creating buffers:

Create a new empty buffer:

Buffer buff = Buffer.buffer();

Create a buffer from a String. The String will be encoded in the buffer using UTF-8.

Buffer buff = Buffer.buffer("some string");

Create a buffer from a String: The String will be encoded using the specified encoding, e.g:

Buffer buff = Buffer.buffer("some string", "UTF-16");

Create a buffer from a byte[]

byte[] bytes = new byte[] {1, 3, 5};
Buffer buff = Buffer.buffer(bytes);

Create a buffer with an initial size hint. If you know your buffer will have a certain amount of data written to it you can create the buffer and specify this size. This makes the buffer initially allocate that much memory and is more efficient than the buffer automatically resizing multiple times as data is written to it.

Note that buffers created this way are empty. It does not create a buffer filled with zeros up to the specified size.

Buffer buff = Buffer.buffer(10000);

Writing to a Buffer

There are two ways to write to a buffer: appending, and random access. In either case buffers will always expand automatically to encompass the bytes. It’s not possible to get an IndexOutOfBoundsException with a buffer.

Appending to a Buffer

To append to a buffer, you use the appendXXX methods. Append methods exist for appending various different types.

The return value of the appendXXX methods is the buffer itself, so these can be chained:

Buffer buff = Buffer.buffer();

buff.appendInt(123).appendString("hello\n");

socket.write(buff);

Random access buffer writes

You can also write into the buffer at a specific index, by using the setXXX methods. Set methods exist for various different data types. All the set methods take an index as the first argument - this represents the position in the buffer where to start writing the data.

The buffer will always expand as necessary to accommodate the data.

Buffer buff = Buffer.buffer();

buff.setInt(1000, 123);
buff.setString(0, "hello");

Reading from a Buffer

Data is read from a buffer using the getXXX methods. Get methods exist for various datatypes. The first argument to these methods is an index in the buffer from where to get the data.

Buffer buff = Buffer.buffer();
for (int i = 0; i < buff.length(); i += 4) {
  System.out.println("int value at " + i + " is " + buff.getInt(i));
}

Working with unsigned numbers

Unsigned numbers can be read from or appended/set to a buffer with the getUnsignedXXX, appendUnsignedXXX and setUnsignedXXX methods. This is useful when implementing a codec for a network protocol optimized to minimize bandwidth consumption.

In the following example, value 200 is set at specified position with just one byte:

Buffer buff = Buffer.buffer(128);
int pos = 15;
buff.setUnsignedByte(pos, (short) 200);
System.out.println(buff.getUnsignedByte(pos));

The console shows '200'.

Buffer length

Use length to obtain the length of the buffer. The length of a buffer is the index of the byte in the buffer with the largest index + 1.

Copying buffers

Use copy to make a copy of the buffer

Slicing buffers

A sliced buffer is a new buffer which backs onto the original buffer, i.e. it does not copy the underlying data. Use slice to create a sliced buffers

Buffer re-use

After writing a buffer to a socket or other similar place, they cannot be re-used.

Writing TCP servers and clients

Vert.x allows you to easily write non blocking TCP clients and servers.

Creating a TCP server

The simplest way to create a TCP server, using all default options is as follows:

NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer();

Configuring a TCP server

If you don’t want the default, a server can be configured by passing in a NetServerOptions instance when creating it:

NetServerOptions options = new NetServerOptions().setPort(4321);
NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer(options);

Start the Server Listening

To tell the server to listen for incoming requests you use one of the listen alternatives.

To tell the server to listen at the host and port as specified in the options:

NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer();
server.listen();

Or to specify the host and port in the call to listen, ignoring what is configured in the options:

NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer();
server.listen(1234, "localhost");

The default host is 0.0.0.0 which means 'listen on all available addresses' and the default port is 0, which is a special value that instructs the server to find a random unused local port and use that.

The actual bind is asynchronous so the server might not actually be listening until some time after the call to listen has returned.

If you want to be notified when the server is actually listening you can provide a handler to the listen call. For example:

NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer();
server.listen(1234, "localhost", res -> {
  if (res.succeeded()) {
    System.out.println("Server is now listening!");
  } else {
    System.out.println("Failed to bind!");
  }
});

Listening on a random port

If 0 is used as the listening port, the server will find an unused random port to listen on.

To find out the real port the server is listening on you can call actualPort.

NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer();
server.listen(0, "localhost", res -> {
  if (res.succeeded()) {
    System.out.println("Server is now listening on actual port: " + server.actualPort());
  } else {
    System.out.println("Failed to bind!");
  }
});

Getting notified of incoming connections

To be notified when a connection is made you need to set a connectHandler:

NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer();
server.connectHandler(socket -> {
  // Handle the connection in here
});

When a connection is made the handler will be called with an instance of NetSocket.

This is a socket-like interface to the actual connection, and allows you to read and write data as well as do various other things like close the socket.

Reading data from the socket

To read data from the socket you set the handler on the socket.

This handler will be called with an instance of Buffer every time data is received on the socket.

NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer();
server.connectHandler(socket -> {
  socket.handler(buffer -> {
    System.out.println("I received some bytes: " + buffer.length());
  });
});

Writing data to a socket

You write to a socket using one of write.

Buffer buffer = Buffer.buffer().appendFloat(12.34f).appendInt(123);
socket.write(buffer);

// Write a string in UTF-8 encoding
socket.write("some data");

// Write a string using the specified encoding
socket.write("some data", "UTF-16");

Write operations are asynchronous and may not occur until some time after the call to write has returned.

Closed handler

If you want to be notified when a socket is closed, you can set a closeHandler on it:

socket.closeHandler(v -> {
  System.out.println("The socket has been closed");
});

Handling exceptions

You can set an exceptionHandler to receive any exceptions that happen on the socket.

Event bus write handler

Every socket automatically registers a handler on the event bus, and when any buffers are received in this handler, it writes them to itself.

This enables you to write data to a socket which is potentially in a completely different verticle or even in a different Vert.x instance by sending the buffer to the address of that handler.

The address of the handler is given by writeHandlerID

Local and remote addresses

The local address of a NetSocket can be retrieved using localAddress.

The remote address, (i.e. the address of the other end of the connection) of a NetSocket can be retrieved using remoteAddress.

Sending files or resources from the classpath

Files and classpath resources can be written to the socket directly using sendFile. This can be a very efficient way to send files, as it can be handled by the OS kernel directly where supported by the operating system.

Please see the chapter about serving files from the classpath for restrictions of the classpath resolution or disabling it.

socket.sendFile("myfile.dat");

Streaming sockets

Instances of NetSocket are also ReadStream and WriteStream instances so they can be used to pump data to or from other read and write streams.

See the chapter on streams and pumps for more information.

Upgrading connections to SSL/TLS

A non SSL/TLS connection can be upgraded to SSL/TLS using upgradeToSsl.

The server or client must be configured for SSL/TLS for this to work correctly. Please see the chapter on SSL/TLS for more information.

Closing a TCP Server

Call close to close the server. Closing the server closes any open connections and releases all server resources.

The close is actually asynchronous and might not complete until some time after the call has returned. If you want to be notified when the actual close has completed then you can pass in a handler.

This handler will then be called when the close has fully completed.

server.close(res -> {
  if (res.succeeded()) {
    System.out.println("Server is now closed");
  } else {
    System.out.println("close failed");
  }
});

Automatic clean-up in verticles

If you’re creating TCP servers and clients from inside verticles, those servers and clients will be automatically closed when the verticle is undeployed.

Scaling - sharing TCP servers

The handlers of any TCP server are always executed on the same event loop thread.

This means that if you are running on a server with a lot of cores, and you only have this one instance deployed then you will have at most one core utilised on your server.

In order to utilise more cores of your server you will need to deploy more instances of the server.

You can instantiate more instances programmatically in your code:

for (int i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
  NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer();
  server.connectHandler(socket -> {
    socket.handler(buffer -> {
      // Just echo back the data
      socket.write(buffer);
    });
  });
  server.listen(1234, "localhost");
}

or, if you are using verticles you can simply deploy more instances of your server verticle by using the -instances option on the command line:

vertx run com.mycompany.MyVerticle -instances 10

or when programmatically deploying your verticle

DeploymentOptions options = new DeploymentOptions().setInstances(10);
vertx.deployVerticle("com.mycompany.MyVerticle", options);

Once you do this you will find the echo server works functionally identically to before, but all your cores on your server can be utilised and more work can be handled.

At this point you might be asking yourself 'How can you have more than one server listening on the same host and port? Surely you will get port conflicts as soon as you try and deploy more than one instance?'

Vert.x does a little magic here.*

When you deploy another server on the same host and port as an existing server it doesn’t actually try and create a new server listening on the same host/port.

Instead it internally maintains just a single server, and, as incoming connections arrive it distributes them in a round-robin fashion to any of the connect handlers.

Consequently Vert.x TCP servers can scale over available cores while each instance remains single threaded.

Creating a TCP client

The simplest way to create a TCP client, using all default options is as follows:

NetClient client = vertx.createNetClient();

Configuring a TCP client

If you don’t want the default, a client can be configured by passing in a NetClientOptions instance when creating it:

NetClientOptions options = new NetClientOptions().setConnectTimeout(10000);
NetClient client = vertx.createNetClient(options);

Making connections

To make a connection to a server you use connect, specifying the port and host of the server and a handler that will be called with a result containing the NetSocket when connection is successful or with a failure if connection failed.

NetClientOptions options = new NetClientOptions().setConnectTimeout(10000);
NetClient client = vertx.createNetClient(options);
client.connect(4321, "localhost", res -> {
  if (res.succeeded()) {
    System.out.println("Connected!");
    NetSocket socket = res.result();
  } else {
    System.out.println("Failed to connect: " + res.cause().getMessage());
  }
});

Configuring connection attempts

A client can be configured to automatically retry connecting to the server in the event that it cannot connect. This is configured with setReconnectInterval and setReconnectAttempts.

Note
Currently Vert.x will not attempt to reconnect if a connection fails, reconnect attempts and interval only apply to creating initial connections.
NetClientOptions options = new NetClientOptions().
    setReconnectAttempts(10).
    setReconnectInterval(500);

NetClient client = vertx.createNetClient(options);

By default, multiple connection attempts are disabled.

Logging network activity

For debugging purposes, network activity can be logged:

NetServerOptions options = new NetServerOptions().setLogActivity(true);

NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer(options);

for the client

NetClientOptions options = new NetClientOptions().setLogActivity(true);

NetClient client = vertx.createNetClient(options);

Network activity is logged by Netty with the DEBUG level and with the io.netty.handler.logging.LoggingHandler name. When using network activity logging there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • logging is not performed by Vert.x logging but by Netty

  • this is not a production feature

Netty will try to locate the following logger implementations, in the following order:

  • Slf4j

  • Log4j

  • JDK

The presense of the slf4j or log4j classes on the classpath is enough to pick up the logging implementation.

The logger implementation can be forced to a specific implementation by setting Netty’s internal logger implementation directly:

// Force logging to SLF4J
InternalLoggerFactory.setDefaultFactory(Log4JLoggerFactory.INSTANCE);

Configuring servers and clients to work with SSL/TLS

TCP clients and servers can be configured to use Transport Layer Security - earlier versions of TLS were known as SSL.

The APIs of the servers and clients are identical whether or not SSL/TLS is used, and it’s enabled by configuring the NetClientOptions or NetServerOptions instances used to create the servers or clients.

Enabling SSL/TLS on the server

SSL/TLS is enabled with ssl.

By default it is disabled.

Specifying key/certificate for the server

SSL/TLS servers usually provide certificates to clients in order verify their identity to clients.

Certificates/keys can be configured for servers in several ways:

The first method is by specifying the location of a Java key-store which contains the certificate and private key.

Java key stores can be managed with the keytool utility which ships with the JDK.

The password for the key store should also be provided:

NetServerOptions options = new NetServerOptions().setSsl(true).setKeyStoreOptions(
    new JksOptions().
        setPath("/path/to/your/server-keystore.jks").
        setPassword("password-of-your-keystore")
);
NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer(options);

Alternatively you can read the key store yourself as a buffer and provide that directly:

Buffer myKeyStoreAsABuffer = vertx.fileSystem().readFileBlocking("/path/to/your/server-keystore.jks");
JksOptions jksOptions = new JksOptions().
    setValue(myKeyStoreAsABuffer).
    setPassword("password-of-your-keystore");
NetServerOptions options = new NetServerOptions().
    setSsl(true).
    setKeyStoreOptions(jksOptions);
NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer(options);

Key/certificate in PKCS#12 format (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PKCS_12), usually with the .pfx or the .p12 extension can also be loaded in a similar fashion than JKS key stores:

NetServerOptions options = new NetServerOptions().setSsl(true).setPfxKeyCertOptions(
    new PfxOptions().
        setPath("/path/to/your/server-keystore.pfx").
        setPassword("password-of-your-keystore")
);
NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer(options);

Buffer configuration is also supported:

Buffer myKeyStoreAsABuffer = vertx.fileSystem().readFileBlocking("/path/to/your/server-keystore.pfx");
PfxOptions pfxOptions = new PfxOptions().
    setValue(myKeyStoreAsABuffer).
    setPassword("password-of-your-keystore");
NetServerOptions options = new NetServerOptions().
    setSsl(true).
    setPfxKeyCertOptions(pfxOptions);
NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer(options);

Another way of providing server private key and certificate separately using .pem files.

NetServerOptions options = new NetServerOptions().setSsl(true).setPemKeyCertOptions(
    new PemKeyCertOptions().
        setKeyPath("/path/to/your/server-key.pem").
        setCertPath("/path/to/your/server-cert.pem")
);
NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer(options);

Buffer configuration is also supported:

Buffer myKeyAsABuffer = vertx.fileSystem().readFileBlocking("/path/to/your/server-key.pem");
Buffer myCertAsABuffer = vertx.fileSystem().readFileBlocking("/path/to/your/server-cert.pem");
PemKeyCertOptions pemOptions = new PemKeyCertOptions().
    setKeyValue(myKeyAsABuffer).
    setCertValue(myCertAsABuffer);
NetServerOptions options = new NetServerOptions().
    setSsl(true).
    setPemKeyCertOptions(pemOptions);
NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer(options);

Keep in mind that pem configuration, the private key is not crypted.

Specifying trust for the server

SSL/TLS servers can use a certificate authority in order to verify the identity of the clients.

Certificate authorities can be configured for servers in several ways:

Java trust stores can be managed with the keytool utility which ships with the JDK.

The password for the trust store should also be provided:

NetServerOptions options = new NetServerOptions().
    setSsl(true).
    setClientAuth(ClientAuth.REQUIRED).
    setTrustStoreOptions(
        new JksOptions().
            setPath("/path/to/your/truststore.jks").
            setPassword("password-of-your-truststore")
    );
NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer(options);

Alternatively you can read the trust store yourself as a buffer and provide that directly:

Buffer myTrustStoreAsABuffer = vertx.fileSystem().readFileBlocking("/path/to/your/truststore.jks");
NetServerOptions options = new NetServerOptions().
    setSsl(true).
    setClientAuth(ClientAuth.REQUIRED).
    setTrustStoreOptions(
        new JksOptions().
            setValue(myTrustStoreAsABuffer).
            setPassword("password-of-your-truststore")
    );
NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer(options);

Certificate authority in PKCS#12 format (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PKCS_12), usually with the .pfx or the .p12 extension can also be loaded in a similar fashion than JKS trust stores:

NetServerOptions options = new NetServerOptions().
    setSsl(true).
    setClientAuth(ClientAuth.REQUIRED).
    setPfxTrustOptions(
        new PfxOptions().
            setPath("/path/to/your/truststore.pfx").
            setPassword("password-of-your-truststore")
    );
NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer(options);

Buffer configuration is also supported:

Buffer myTrustStoreAsABuffer = vertx.fileSystem().readFileBlocking("/path/to/your/truststore.pfx");
NetServerOptions options = new NetServerOptions().
    setSsl(true).
    setClientAuth(ClientAuth.REQUIRED).
    setPfxTrustOptions(
        new PfxOptions().
            setValue(myTrustStoreAsABuffer).
            setPassword("password-of-your-truststore")
    );
NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer(options);

Another way of providing server certificate authority using a list .pem files.

NetServerOptions options = new NetServerOptions().
    setSsl(true).
    setClientAuth(ClientAuth.REQUIRED).
    setPemTrustOptions(
        new PemTrustOptions().
            addCertPath("/path/to/your/server-ca.pem")
    );
NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer(options);

Buffer configuration is also supported:

Buffer myCaAsABuffer = vertx.fileSystem().readFileBlocking("/path/to/your/server-ca.pfx");
NetServerOptions options = new NetServerOptions().
    setSsl(true).
    setClientAuth(ClientAuth.REQUIRED).
    setPemTrustOptions(
        new PemTrustOptions().
            addCertValue(myCaAsABuffer)
    );
NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer(options);

Enabling SSL/TLS on the client

Net Clients can also be easily configured to use SSL. They have the exact same API when using SSL as when using standard sockets.

To enable SSL on a NetClient the function setSSL(true) is called.

Client trust configuration

If the trustALl is set to true on the client, then the client will trust all server certificates. The connection will still be encrypted but this mode is vulnerable to 'man in the middle' attacks. I.e. you can’t be sure who you are connecting to. Use this with caution. Default value is false.

NetClientOptions options = new NetClientOptions().
    setSsl(true).
    setTrustAll(true);
NetClient client = vertx.createNetClient(options);

If trustAll is not set then a client trust store must be configured and should contain the certificates of the servers that the client trusts.

By default, host verification is disabled on the client. To enable host verification, set the algorithm to use on your client (only HTTPS and LDAPS is currently supported):

NetClientOptions options = new NetClientOptions().
        setSsl(true).
        setHostnameVerificationAlgorithm("HTTPS");
NetClient client = vertx.createNetClient(options);

Likewise server configuration, the client trust can be configured in several ways:

The first method is by specifying the location of a Java trust-store which contains the certificate authority.

It is just a standard Java key store, the same as the key stores on the server side. The client trust store location is set by using the function path on the jks options. If a server presents a certificate during connection which is not in the client trust store, the connection attempt will not succeed.

NetClientOptions options = new NetClientOptions().
    setSsl(true).
    setTrustStoreOptions(
        new JksOptions().
            setPath("/path/to/your/truststore.jks").
            setPassword("password-of-your-truststore")
    );
NetClient client = vertx.createNetClient(options);

Buffer configuration is also supported:

Buffer myTrustStoreAsABuffer = vertx.fileSystem().readFileBlocking("/path/to/your/truststore.jks");
NetClientOptions options = new NetClientOptions().
    setSsl(true).
    setTrustStoreOptions(
        new JksOptions().
            setValue(myTrustStoreAsABuffer).
            setPassword("password-of-your-truststore")
    );
NetClient client = vertx.createNetClient(options);

Certificate authority in PKCS#12 format (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PKCS_12), usually with the .pfx or the .p12 extension can also be loaded in a similar fashion than JKS trust stores:

NetClientOptions options = new NetClientOptions().
    setSsl(true).
    setPfxTrustOptions(
        new PfxOptions().
            setPath("/path/to/your/truststore.pfx").
            setPassword("password-of-your-truststore")
    );
NetClient client = vertx.createNetClient(options);

Buffer configuration is also supported:

Buffer myTrustStoreAsABuffer = vertx.fileSystem().readFileBlocking("/path/to/your/truststore.pfx");
NetClientOptions options = new NetClientOptions().
    setSsl(true).
    setPfxTrustOptions(
        new PfxOptions().
            setValue(myTrustStoreAsABuffer).
            setPassword("password-of-your-truststore")
    );
NetClient client = vertx.createNetClient(options);

Another way of providing server certificate authority using a list .pem files.

NetClientOptions options = new NetClientOptions().
    setSsl(true).
    setPemTrustOptions(
        new PemTrustOptions().
            addCertPath("/path/to/your/ca-cert.pem")
    );
NetClient client = vertx.createNetClient(options);

Buffer configuration is also supported:

Buffer myTrustStoreAsABuffer = vertx.fileSystem().readFileBlocking("/path/to/your/ca-cert.pem");
NetClientOptions options = new NetClientOptions().
    setSsl(true).
    setPemTrustOptions(
        new PemTrustOptions().
            addCertValue(myTrustStoreAsABuffer)
    );
NetClient client = vertx.createNetClient(options);

Specifying key/certificate for the client

If the server requires client authentication then the client must present its own certificate to the server when connecting. The client can be configured in several ways:

The first method is by specifying the location of a Java key-store which contains the key and certificate. Again it’s just a regular Java key store. The client keystore location is set by using the function path on the jks options.

NetClientOptions options = new NetClientOptions().setSsl(true).setKeyStoreOptions(
    new JksOptions().
        setPath("/path/to/your/client-keystore.jks").
        setPassword("password-of-your-keystore")
);
NetClient client = vertx.createNetClient(options);

Buffer configuration is also supported:

Buffer myKeyStoreAsABuffer = vertx.fileSystem().readFileBlocking("/path/to/your/client-keystore.jks");
JksOptions jksOptions = new JksOptions().
    setValue(myKeyStoreAsABuffer).
    setPassword("password-of-your-keystore");
NetClientOptions options = new NetClientOptions().
    setSsl(true).
    setKeyStoreOptions(jksOptions);
NetClient client = vertx.createNetClient(options);

Key/certificate in PKCS#12 format (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PKCS_12), usually with the .pfx or the .p12 extension can also be loaded in a similar fashion than JKS key stores:

NetClientOptions options = new NetClientOptions().setSsl(true).setPfxKeyCertOptions(
    new PfxOptions().
        setPath("/path/to/your/client-keystore.pfx").
        setPassword("password-of-your-keystore")
);
NetClient client = vertx.createNetClient(options);

Buffer configuration is also supported:

Buffer myKeyStoreAsABuffer = vertx.fileSystem().readFileBlocking("/path/to/your/client-keystore.pfx");
PfxOptions pfxOptions = new PfxOptions().
    setValue(myKeyStoreAsABuffer).
    setPassword("password-of-your-keystore");
NetClientOptions options = new NetClientOptions().
    setSsl(true).
    setPfxKeyCertOptions(pfxOptions);
NetClient client = vertx.createNetClient(options);

Another way of providing server private key and certificate separately using .pem files.

NetClientOptions options = new NetClientOptions().setSsl(true).setPemKeyCertOptions(
    new PemKeyCertOptions().
        setKeyPath("/path/to/your/client-key.pem").
        setCertPath("/path/to/your/client-cert.pem")
);
NetClient client = vertx.createNetClient(options);

Buffer configuration is also supported:

Buffer myKeyAsABuffer = vertx.fileSystem().readFileBlocking("/path/to/your/client-key.pem");
Buffer myCertAsABuffer = vertx.fileSystem().readFileBlocking("/path/to/your/client-cert.pem");
PemKeyCertOptions pemOptions = new PemKeyCertOptions().
    setKeyValue(myKeyAsABuffer).
    setCertValue(myCertAsABuffer);
NetClientOptions options = new NetClientOptions().
    setSsl(true).
    setPemKeyCertOptions(pemOptions);
NetClient client = vertx.createNetClient(options);

Keep in mind that pem configuration, the private key is not crypted.

Revoking certificate authorities

Trust can be configured to use a certificate revocation list (CRL) for revoked certificates that should no longer be trusted. The crlPath configures the crl list to use:

NetClientOptions options = new NetClientOptions().
    setSsl(true).
    setTrustStoreOptions(trustOptions).
    addCrlPath("/path/to/your/crl.pem");
NetClient client = vertx.createNetClient(options);

Buffer configuration is also supported:

Buffer myCrlAsABuffer = vertx.fileSystem().readFileBlocking("/path/to/your/crl.pem");
NetClientOptions options = new NetClientOptions().
    setSsl(true).
    setTrustStoreOptions(trustOptions).
    addCrlValue(myCrlAsABuffer);
NetClient client = vertx.createNetClient(options);

Configuring the Cipher suite

By default, the TLS configuration will use the Cipher suite of the JVM running Vert.x. This Cipher suite can be configured with a suite of enabled ciphers:

NetServerOptions options = new NetServerOptions().
    setSsl(true).
    setKeyStoreOptions(keyStoreOptions).
    addEnabledCipherSuite("ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256").
    addEnabledCipherSuite("ECDHE-ECDSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256").
    addEnabledCipherSuite("ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384").
    addEnabledCipherSuite("CDHE-ECDSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384");
NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer(options);

Cipher suite can be specified on the NetServerOptions or NetClientOptions configuration.

Configuring TLS protocol versions

By default, the TLS configuration will use the following protocol versions: SSLv2Hello, TLSv1, TLSv1.1 and TLSv1.2. Protocol versions can be configured by explicitly adding enabled protocols:

NetServerOptions options = new NetServerOptions().
    setSsl(true).
    setKeyStoreOptions(keyStoreOptions).
    addEnabledSecureTransportProtocol("TLSv1.1").
    addEnabledSecureTransportProtocol("TLSv1.2");
    NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer(options);

Protocol versions can be specified on the NetServerOptions or NetClientOptions configuration.

SSL engine

The engine implementation can be configured to use OpenSSL instead of the JDK implementation. OpenSSL provides better performances and CPU usage than the JDK engine, as well as JDK version independence.

The engine options to use is

NetServerOptions options = new NetServerOptions().
    setSsl(true).
    setKeyStoreOptions(keyStoreOptions);

// Use JDK SSL engine explicitly
options = new NetServerOptions().
    setSsl(true).
    setKeyStoreOptions(keyStoreOptions).
    setJdkSslEngineOptions(new JdkSSLEngineOptions());

// Use OpenSSL engine
options = new NetServerOptions().
    setSsl(true).
    setKeyStoreOptions(keyStoreOptions).
    setOpenSslEngineOptions(new OpenSSLEngineOptions());

Application-Layer Protocol Negotiation

ALPN is a TLS extension for applicationl layer protocol negotitation. It is used by HTTP/2: during the TLS handshake the client gives the list of application protocols it accepts and the server responds with a protocol it supports.

Java 8 does not supports ALPN out of the box, so ALPN should be enabled by other means:

  • OpenSSL support

  • Jetty-ALPN support

The engine options to use is

OpenSSL ALPN support

OpenSSL provides native ALPN support.

OpenSSL requires to configure setOpenSslEngineOptions and use netty-tcnative jar on the classpath. Using tcnative may require OpenSSL to be installed on your OS depending on the tcnative implementation.

Jetty-ALPN support

Jetty-ALPN is a small jar that overrides a few classes of Java 8 distribution to support ALPN.

The JVM must be started with the alpn-boot-${version}.jar in its bootclasspath:

-Xbootclasspath/p:/path/to/alpn-boot${version}.jar

where ${version} depends on the JVM version, e.g. 8.1.7.v20160121 for OpenJDK 1.8.0u74 . The complete list is available on the Jetty-ALPN page.

The main drawback is that the version depends on the JVM.

To solve this problem the Jetty ALPN agent can be use instead. The agent is a JVM agent that will chose the correct ALPN version for the JVM running it:

-javaagent:/path/to/alpn/agent

Using a proxy for client connections

The NetClient supports either a HTTP/1.x CONNECT, SOCKS4a or SOCKS5 proxy.

The proxy can be configured in the NetClientOptions by setting a ProxyOptions object containing proxy type, hostname, port and optionally username and password.

Here’s an example:

NetClientOptions options = new NetClientOptions()
    .setProxyOptions(new ProxyOptions().setType(ProxyType.SOCKS5)
        .setHost("localhost").setPort(1080)
        .setUsername("username").setPassword("secret"));
NetClient client = vertx.createNetClient(options);

The DNS resolution is always done on the proxy server, to achieve the functionality of a SOCKS4 client, it is necessary to resolve the DNS address locally.

Writing HTTP servers and clients

Vert.x allows you to easily write non blocking HTTP clients and servers.

Vert.x supports the HTTP/1.0, HTTP/1.1 and HTTP/2 protocols.

The base API for HTTP is the same for HTTP/1.x and HTTP/2, specific API features are available for dealing with the HTTP/2 protocol.

Creating an HTTP Server

The simplest way to create an HTTP server, using all default options is as follows:

HttpServer server = vertx.createHttpServer();

Configuring an HTTP server

If you don’t want the default, a server can be configured by passing in a HttpServerOptions instance when creating it:

HttpServerOptions options = new HttpServerOptions().setMaxWebsocketFrameSize(1000000);

HttpServer server = vertx.createHttpServer(options);

Configuring an HTTP/2 server

Vert.x supports HTTP/2 over TLS h2 and over TCP h2c.

  • h2 identifies the HTTP/2 protocol when used over TLS negotiated by Application-Layer Protocol Negotiation (ALPN)

  • h2c identifies the HTTP/2 protocol when using in clear text over TCP, such connections are established either with an HTTP/1.1 upgraded request or directly

To handle h2 requests, TLS must be enabled along with setUseAlpn:

HttpServerOptions options = new HttpServerOptions()
    .setUseAlpn(true)
    .setSsl(true)
    .setKeyStoreOptions(new JksOptions().setPath("/path/to/my/keystore"));

HttpServer server = vertx.createHttpServer(options);

ALPN is a TLS extension that negotiates the protocol before the client and the server start to exchange data.

Clients that don’t support ALPN will still be able to do a classic SSL handshake.

ALPN will usually agree on the h2 protocol, although http/1.1 can be used if the server or the client decides so.

To handle h2c requests, TLS must be disabled, the server will upgrade to HTTP/2 any request HTTP/1.1 that wants to upgrade to HTTP/2. It will also accept a direct h2c connection beginning with the PRI * HTTP/2.0\r\nSM\r\n preface.

Warning
most browsers won’t support h2c, so for serving web sites you should use h2 and not h2c.

When a server accepts an HTTP/2 connection, it sends to the client its initial settings. The settings define how the client can use the connection, the default initial settings for a server are:

Logging network server activity

For debugging purposes, network activity can be logged.

HttpServerOptions options = new HttpServerOptions().setLogActivity(true);

HttpServer server = vertx.createHttpServer(options);

See the chapter on logging network activity for a detailed explanation.

Start the Server Listening

To tell the server to listen for incoming requests you use one of the listen alternatives.

To tell the server to listen at the host and port as specified in the options:

HttpServer server = vertx.createHttpServer();
server.listen();

Or to specify the host and port in the call to listen, ignoring what is configured in the options:

HttpServer server = vertx.createHttpServer();
server.listen(8080, "myhost.com");

The default host is 0.0.0.0 which means 'listen on all available addresses' and the default port is 80.

The actual bind is asynchronous so the server might not actually be listening until some time after the call to listen has returned.

If you want to be notified when the server is actually listening you can provide a handler to the listen call. For example:

HttpServer server = vertx.createHttpServer();
server.listen(8080, "myhost.com", res -> {
  if (res.succeeded()) {
    System.out.println("Server is now listening!");
  } else {
    System.out.println("Failed to bind!");
  }
});

Getting notified of incoming requests

To be notified when a request arrives you need to set a requestHandler:

HttpServer server = vertx.createHttpServer();
server.requestHandler(request -> {
  // Handle the request in here
});

Handling requests

When a request arrives, the request handler is called passing in an instance of HttpServerRequest. This object represents the server side HTTP request.

The handler is called when the headers of the request have been fully read.

If the request contains a body, that body will arrive at the server some time after the request handler has been called.

The server request object allows you to retrieve the uri, path, params and headers, amongst other things.

Each server request object is associated with one server response object. You use response to get a reference to the HttpServerResponse object.

Here’s a simple example of a server handling a request and replying with "hello world" to it.

vertx.createHttpServer().requestHandler(request -> {
  request.response().end("Hello world");
}).listen(8080);

Request version

The version of HTTP specified in the request can be retrieved with version

Request method

Use method to retrieve the HTTP method of the request. (i.e. whether it’s GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, HEAD, OPTIONS, etc).

Request URI

Use uri to retrieve the URI of the request.

Note that this is the actual URI as passed in the HTTP request, and it’s almost always a relative URI.

Request path

Use path to return the path part of the URI

For example, if the request URI was:

a/b/c/page.html?param1=abc&param2=xyz

Then the path would be

/a/b/c/page.html

Request query

Use query to return the query part of the URI

For example, if the request URI was:

a/b/c/page.html?param1=abc&param2=xyz

Then the query would be

param1=abc&param2=xyz

Request headers

Use headers to return the headers of the HTTP request.

This returns an instance of MultiMap - which is like a normal Map or Hash but allows multiple values for the same key - this is because HTTP allows multiple header values with the same key.

It also has case-insensitive keys, that means you can do the following:

MultiMap headers = request.headers();

// Get the User-Agent:
System.out.println("User agent is " + headers.get("user-agent"));

// You can also do this and get the same result:
System.out.println("User agent is " + headers.get("User-Agent"));

Request host

Use host to return the host of the HTTP request.

For HTTP/1.x requests the host header is returned, for HTTP/1 requests the :authority pseudo header is returned.

Request parameters

Use params to return the parameters of the HTTP request.

Just like headers this returns an instance of MultiMap as there can be more than one parameter with the same name.

Request parameters are sent on the request URI, after the path. For example if the URI was:

/page.html?param1=abc&param2=xyz

Then the parameters would contain the following:

param1: 'abc'
param2: 'xyz

Note that these request parameters are retrieved from the URL of the request. If you have form attributes that have been sent as part of the submission of an HTML form submitted in the body of a multi-part/form-data request then they will not appear in the params here.

Remote address

The address of the sender of the request can be retrieved with remoteAddress.

Absolute URI

The URI passed in an HTTP request is usually relative. If you wish to retrieve the absolute URI corresponding to the request, you can get it with absoluteURI

End handler

The endHandler of the request is invoked when the entire request, including any body has been fully read.

Reading Data from the Request Body

Often an HTTP request contains a body that we want to read. As previously mentioned the request handler is called when just the headers of the request have arrived so the request object does not have a body at that point.

This is because the body may be very large (e.g. a file upload) and we don’t generally want to buffer the entire body in memory before handing it to you, as that could cause the server to exhaust available memory.

To receive the body, you can use the handler on the request, this will get called every time a chunk of the request body arrives. Here’s an example:

request.handler(buffer -> {
  System.out.println("I have received a chunk of the body of length " + buffer.length());
});

The object passed into the handler is a Buffer, and the handler can be called multiple times as data arrives from the network, depending on the size of the body.

In some cases (e.g. if the body is small) you will want to aggregate the entire body in memory, so you could do the aggregation yourself as follows:

Buffer totalBuffer = Buffer.buffer();

request.handler(buffer -> {
  System.out.println("I have received a chunk of the body of length " + buffer.length());
  totalBuffer.appendBuffer(buffer);
});

request.endHandler(v -> {
  System.out.println("Full body received, length = " + totalBuffer.length());
});

This is such a common case, that Vert.x provides a bodyHandler to do this for you. The body handler is called once when all the body has been received:

request.bodyHandler(totalBuffer -> {
  System.out.println("Full body received, length = " + totalBuffer.length());
});

Pumping requests

The request object is a ReadStream so you can pump the request body to any WriteStream instance.

See the chapter on streams and pumps for a detailed explanation.

Handling HTML forms

HTML forms can be submitted with either a content type of application/x-www-form-urlencoded or multipart/form-data.

For url encoded forms, the form attributes are encoded in the url, just like normal query parameters.

For multi-part forms they are encoded in the request body, and as such are not available until the entire body has been read from the wire.

Multi-part forms can also contain file uploads.

If you want to retrieve the attributes of a multi-part form you should tell Vert.x that you expect to receive such a form before any of the body is read by calling setExpectMultipart with true, and then you should retrieve the actual attributes using formAttributes once the entire body has been read:

server.requestHandler(request -> {
  request.setExpectMultipart(true);
  request.endHandler(v -> {
    // The body has now been fully read, so retrieve the form attributes
    MultiMap formAttributes = request.formAttributes();
  });
});

Handling form file uploads

Vert.x can also handle file uploads which are encoded in a multi-part request body.

To receive file uploads you tell Vert.x to expect a multi-part form and set an uploadHandler on the request.

This handler will be called once for every upload that arrives on the server.

The object passed into the handler is a HttpServerFileUpload instance.

server.requestHandler(request -> {
  request.setExpectMultipart(true);
  request.uploadHandler(upload -> {
    System.out.println("Got a file upload " + upload.name());
  });
});

File uploads can be large we don’t provide the entire upload in a single buffer as that might result in memory exhaustion, instead, the upload data is received in chunks:

request.uploadHandler(upload -> {
  upload.handler(chunk -> {
    System.out.println("Received a chunk of the upload of length " + chunk.length());
  });
});

The upload object is a ReadStream so you can pump the request body to any WriteStream instance. See the chapter on streams and pumps for a detailed explanation.

If you just want to upload the file to disk somewhere you can use streamToFileSystem:

request.uploadHandler(upload -> {
  upload.streamToFileSystem("myuploads_directory/" + upload.filename());
});
Warning
Make sure you check the filename in a production system to avoid malicious clients uploading files to arbitrary places on your filesystem. See security notes for more information.

Receiving custom HTTP/2 frames

HTTP/2 is a framed protocol with various frames for the HTTP request/response model. The protocol allows other kind of frames to be sent and received.

To receive custom frames, you can use the customFrameHandler on the request, this will get called every time a custom frame arrives. Here’s an example:

request.customFrameHandler(frame -> {

  System.out.println("Received a frame type=" + frame.type() +
      " payload" + frame.payload().toString());
});

HTTP/2 frames are not subject to flow control - the frame handler will be called immediatly when a custom frame is received whether the request is paused or is not

Non standard HTTP methods

The OTHER HTTP method is used for non standard methods, in this case rawMethod returns the HTTP method as sent by the client.

Sending back responses

The server response object is an instance of HttpServerResponse and is obtained from the request with response.

You use the response object to write a response back to the HTTP client.

Setting status code and message

The default HTTP status code for a response is 200, representing OK.

Use setStatusCode to set a different code.

You can also specify a custom status message with setStatusMessage.

If you don’t specify a status message, the default one corresponding to the status code will be used.

Note
for HTTP/2 the status won’t be present in the response since the protocol won’t transmit the message to the client

Writing HTTP responses

To write data to an HTTP response, you use one the write operations.

These can be invoked multiple times before the response is ended. They can be invoked in a few ways:

With a single buffer:

HttpServerResponse response = request.response();
response.write(buffer);

With a string. In this case the string will encoded using UTF-8 and the result written to the wire.

HttpServerResponse response = request.response();
response.write("hello world!");

With a string and an encoding. In this case the string will encoded using the specified encoding and the result written to the wire.

HttpServerResponse response = request.response();
response.write("hello world!", "UTF-16");

Writing to a response is asynchronous and always returns immediately after the write has been queued.

If you are just writing a single string or buffer to the HTTP response you can write it and end the response in a single call to the end

The first call to write results in the response header being being written to the response. Consequently, if you are not using HTTP chunking then you must set the Content-Length header before writing to the response, since it will be too late otherwise. If you are using HTTP chunking you do not have to worry.

Ending HTTP responses

Once you have finished with the HTTP response you should end it.

This can be done in several ways:

With no arguments, the response is simply ended.

HttpServerResponse response = request.response();
response.write("hello world!");
response.end();

It can also be called with a string or buffer in the same way write is called. In this case it’s just the same as calling write with a string or buffer followed by calling end with no arguments. For example:

HttpServerResponse response = request.response();
response.end("hello world!");

Closing the underlying connection

You can close the underlying TCP connection with close.

Non keep-alive connections will be automatically closed by Vert.x when the response is ended.

Keep-alive connections are not automatically closed by Vert.x by default. If you want keep-alive connections to be closed after an idle time, then you configure setIdleTimeout.

HTTP/2 connections send a GOAWAY frame before closing the response.

Setting response headers

HTTP response headers can be added to the response by adding them directly to the headers:

HttpServerResponse response = request.response();
MultiMap headers = response.headers();
headers.set("content-type", "text/html");
headers.set("other-header", "wibble");

Or you can use putHeader

HttpServerResponse response = request.response();
response.putHeader("content-type", "text/html").putHeader("other-header", "wibble");

Headers must all be added before any parts of the response body are written.

Chunked HTTP responses and trailers

This allows the HTTP response body to be written in chunks, and is normally used when a large response body is being streamed to a client and the total size is not known in advance.

You put the HTTP response into chunked mode as follows:

HttpServerResponse response = request.response();
response.setChunked(true);

Default is non-chunked. When in chunked mode, each call to one of the write methods will result in a new HTTP chunk being written out.

When in chunked mode you can also write HTTP response trailers to the response. These are actually written in the final chunk of the response.

Note
chunked response has no effect for an HTTP/2 stream

To add trailers to the response, add them directly to the trailers.

HttpServerResponse response = request.response();
response.setChunked(true);
MultiMap trailers = response.trailers();
trailers.set("X-wibble", "woobble").set("X-quux", "flooble");

Or use putTrailer.

HttpServerResponse response = request.response();
response.setChunked(true);
response.putTrailer("X-wibble", "woobble").putTrailer("X-quux", "flooble");

Serving files directly from disk or the classpath

If you were writing a web server, one way to serve a file from disk would be to open it as an AsyncFile and pump it to the HTTP response.

Or you could load it it one go using readFile and write it straight to the response.

Alternatively, Vert.x provides a method which allows you to serve a file from disk or the filesystem to an HTTP response in one operation. Where supported by the underlying operating system this may result in the OS directly transferring bytes from the file to the socket without being copied through user-space at all.

This is done by using sendFile, and is usually more efficient for large files, but may be slower for small files.

Here’s a very simple web server that serves files from the file system using sendFile:

vertx.createHttpServer().requestHandler(request -> {
  String file = "";
  if (request.path().equals("/")) {
    file = "index.html";
  } else if (!request.path().contains("..")) {
    file = request.path();
  }
  request.response().sendFile("web/" + file);
}).listen(8080);

Sending a file is asynchronous and may not complete until some time after the call has returned. If you want to be notified when the file has been writen you can use sendFile

Please see the chapter about serving files from the classpath for restrictions about the classpath resolution or disabling it.

Note
If you use sendFile while using HTTPS it will copy through user-space, since if the kernel is copying data directly from disk to socket it doesn’t give us an opportunity to apply any encryption.
Warning
If you’re going to write web servers directly using Vert.x be careful that users cannot exploit the path to access files outside the directory from which you want to serve them or the classpath It may be safer instead to use Vert.x Web.

When there is a need to serve just a segment of a file, say starting from a given byte, you can achieve this by doing:

vertx.createHttpServer().requestHandler(request -> {
  long offset = 0;
  try {
    offset = Long.parseLong(request.getParam("start"));
  } catch (NumberFormatException e) {
    // error handling...
  }

  long end = Long.MAX_VALUE;
  try {
    end = Long.parseLong(request.getParam("end"));
  } catch (NumberFormatException e) {
    // error handling...
  }

  request.response().sendFile("web/mybigfile.txt", offset, end);
}).listen(8080);

You are not required to supply the length if you want to send a file starting from an offset until the end, in this case you can just do:

vertx.createHttpServer().requestHandler(request -> {
  long offset = 0;
  try {
    offset = Long.parseLong(request.getParam("start"));
  } catch (NumberFormatException e) {
    // error handling...
  }

  request.response().sendFile("web/mybigfile.txt", offset);
}).listen(8080);

Pumping responses

The server response is a WriteStream instance so you can pump to it from any ReadStream, e.g. AsyncFile, NetSocket, WebSocket or HttpServerRequest.

Here’s an example which echoes the request body back in the response for any PUT methods. It uses a pump for the body, so it will work even if the HTTP request body is much larger than can fit in memory at any one time:

vertx.createHttpServer().requestHandler(request -> {
  HttpServerResponse response = request.response();
  if (request.method() == HttpMethod.PUT) {
    response.setChunked(true);
    Pump.pump(request, response).start();
    request.endHandler(v -> response.end());
  } else {
    response.setStatusCode(400).end();
  }
}).listen(8080);

Writing HTTP/2 frames

HTTP/2 is a framed protocol with various frames for the HTTP request/response model. The protocol allows other kind of frames to be sent and received.

To send such frames, you can use the writeCustomFrame on the response. Here’s an example:

int frameType = 40;
int frameStatus = 10;
Buffer payload = Buffer.buffer("some data");

// Sending a frame to the client
response.writeCustomFrame(frameType, frameStatus, payload);

These frames are sent immediately and are not subject to flow control - when such frame is sent there it may be done before other DATA frames.

Stream reset

HTTP/1.x does not allow a clean reset of a request or a response stream, for example when a client uploads a resource already present on the server, the server needs to accept the entire response.

HTTP/2 supports stream reset at any time during the request/response:

request.response().reset();

By default the NO_ERROR (0) error code is sent, another code can sent instead:

request.response().reset(8);

The HTTP/2 specification defines the list of error codes one can use.

The request handler are notified of stream reset events with the request handler and response handler:

request.response().exceptionHandler(err -> {
  if (err instanceof StreamResetException) {
    StreamResetException reset = (StreamResetException) err;
    System.out.println("Stream reset " + reset.getCode());
  }
});

Server push

Server push is a new feature of HTTP/2 that enables sending multiple responses in parallel for a single client request.

When a server process a request, it can push a request/response to the client:

HttpServerResponse response = request.response();

// Push main.js to the client
response.push(HttpMethod.GET, "/main.js", ar -> {

  if (ar.succeeded()) {

    // The server is ready to push the response
    HttpServerResponse pushedResponse = ar.result();

    // Send main.js response
    pushedResponse.
        putHeader("content-type", "application/json").
        end("alert(\"Push response hello\")");
  } else {
    System.out.println("Could not push client resource " + ar.cause());
  }
});

// Send the requested resource
response.sendFile("<html><head><script src=\"/main.js\"></script></head><body></body></html>");

When the server is ready to push the response, the push response handler is called and the handler can send the response.

The push response handler may receive a failure, for instance the client may cancel the push because it already has main.js in its cache and does not want it anymore.

The push method must be called before the initiating response ends, however the pushed response can be written after.

HTTP Compression

Vert.x comes with support for HTTP Compression out of the box.

This means you are able to automatically compress the body of the responses before they are sent back to the client.

If the client does not support HTTP compression the responses are sent back without compressing the body.

This allows to handle Client that support HTTP Compression and those that not support it at the same time.

To enable compression use can configure it with setCompressionSupported.

By default compression is not enabled.

When HTTP compression is enabled the server will check if the client includes an Accept-Encoding header which includes the supported compressions. Commonly used are deflate and gzip. Both are supported by Vert.x.

If such a header is found the server will automatically compress the body of the response with one of the supported compressions and send it back to the client.

Be aware that compression may be able to reduce network traffic but is more CPU-intensive.

Creating an HTTP client

You create an HttpClient instance with default options as follows:

HttpClient client = vertx.createHttpClient();

If you want to configure options for the client, you create it as follows:

HttpClientOptions options = new HttpClientOptions().setKeepAlive(false);
HttpClient client = vertx.createHttpClient(options);

Vert.x supports HTTP/2 over TLS h2 and over TCP h2c.

By default the http client performs HTTP/1.1 requests, to perform HTTP/2 requests the setProtocolVersion must be set to HTTP_2.

For h2 requests, TLS must be enabled with Application-Layer Protocol Negotiation:

HttpClientOptions options = new HttpClientOptions().
    setProtocolVersion(HttpVersion.HTTP_2).
    setSsl(true).
    setUseAlpn(true).
    setTrustAll(true);

HttpClient client = vertx.createHttpClient(options);

For h2c requests, TLS must be disabled, the client will do an HTTP/1.1 requests and try an upgrade to HTTP/2:

HttpClientOptions options = new HttpClientOptions().setProtocolVersion(HttpVersion.HTTP_2);

HttpClient client = vertx.createHttpClient(options);

h2c connections can also be established directly, i.e connection started with a prior knowledge, when setHttp2ClearTextUpgrade options is set to false: after the connection is established, the client will send the HTTP/2 connection preface and expect to receive the same preface from the server.

The http server may not support HTTP/2, the actual version can be checked with version when the response arrives.

When a clients connects to an HTTP/2 server, it sends to the server its initial settings. The settings define how the server can use the connection, the default initial settings for a client are the default values defined by the HTTP/2 RFC.

Logging network client activity

For debugging purposes, network activity can be logged.

HttpClientOptions options = new HttpClientOptions().setLogActivity(true);
HttpClient client = vertx.createHttpClient(options);

See the chapter on logging network activity for a detailed explanation.

Making requests

The http client is very flexible and there are various ways you can make requests with it.

Often you want to make many requests to the same host/port with an http client. To avoid you repeating the host/port every time you make a request you can configure the client with a default host/port:

HttpClientOptions options = new HttpClientOptions().setDefaultHost("wibble.com");
// Can also set default port if you want...
HttpClient client = vertx.createHttpClient(options);
client.getNow("/some-uri", response -> {
  System.out.println("Received response with status code " + response.statusCode());
});

Alternatively if you find yourself making lots of requests to different host/ports with the same client you can simply specify the host/port when doing the request.

HttpClient client = vertx.createHttpClient();

// Specify both port and host name
client.getNow(8080, "myserver.mycompany.com", "/some-uri", response -> {
  System.out.println("Received response with status code " + response.statusCode());
});

// This time use the default port 80 but specify the host name
client.getNow("foo.othercompany.com", "/other-uri", response -> {
  System.out.println("Received response with status code " + response.statusCode());
});

Both methods of specifying host/port are supported for all the different ways of making requests with the client.

Simple requests with no request body

Often, you’ll want to make HTTP requests with no request body. This is usually the case with HTTP GET, OPTIONS and HEAD requests.

The simplest way to do this with the Vert.x http client is using the methods prefixed with Now. For example getNow.

These methods create the http request and send it in a single method call and allow you to provide a handler that will be called with the http response when it comes back.

HttpClient client = vertx.createHttpClient();

// Send a GET request
client.getNow("/some-uri", response -> {
  System.out.println("Received response with status code " + response.statusCode());
});

// Send a GET request
client.headNow("/other-uri", response -> {
  System.out.println("Received response with status code " + response.statusCode());
});

Writing general requests

At other times you don’t know the request method you want to send until run-time. For that use case we provide general purpose request methods such as request which allow you to specify the HTTP method at run-time:

HttpClient client = vertx.createHttpClient();

client.request(HttpMethod.GET, "some-uri", response -> {
  System.out.println("Received response with status code " + response.statusCode());
}).end();

client.request(HttpMethod.POST, "foo-uri", response -> {
  System.out.println("Received response with status code " + response.statusCode());
}).end("some-data");

Writing request bodies

Sometimes you’ll want to write requests which have a body, or perhaps you want to write headers to a request before sending it.

To do this you can call one of the specific request methods such as post or one of the general purpose request methods such as request.

These methods don’t send the request immediately, but instead return an instance of HttpClientRequest which can be used to write to the request body or write headers.

Here are some examples of writing a POST request with a body: m

HttpClient client = vertx.createHttpClient();

HttpClientRequest request = client.post("some-uri", response -> {
  System.out.println("Received response with status code " + response.statusCode());
});

// Now do stuff with the request
request.putHeader("content-length", "1000");
request.putHeader("content-type", "text/plain");
request.write(body);

// Make sure the request is ended when you're done with it
request.end();

// Or fluently:

client.post("some-uri", response -> {
  System.out.println("Received response with status code " + response.statusCode());
}).putHeader("content-length", "1000").putHeader("content-type", "text/plain").write(body).end();

// Or event more simply:

client.post("some-uri", response -> {
  System.out.println("Received response with status code " + response.statusCode());
}).putHeader("content-type", "text/plain").end(body);

Methods exist to write strings in UTF-8 encoding and in any specific encoding and to write buffers:

request.write("some data");

// Write string encoded in specific encoding
request.write("some other data", "UTF-16");

// Write a buffer
Buffer buffer = Buffer.buffer();
buffer.appendInt(123).appendLong(245l);
request.write(buffer);

If you are just writing a single string or buffer to the HTTP request you can write it and end the request in a single call to the end function.

request.end("some simple data");

// Write buffer and end the request (send it) in a single call
Buffer buffer = Buffer.buffer().appendDouble(12.34d).appendLong(432l);
request.end(buffer);

When you’re writing to a request, the first call to write will result in the request headers being written out to the wire.

The actual write is asynchronous and might not occur until some time after the call has returned.

Non-chunked HTTP requests with a request body require a Content-Length header to be provided.

Consequently, if you are not using chunked HTTP then you must set the Content-Length header before writing to the request, as it will be too late otherwise.

If you are calling one of the end methods that take a string or buffer then Vert.x will automatically calculate and set the Content-Length header before writing the request body.

If you are using HTTP chunking a a Content-Length header is not required, so you do not have to calculate the size up-front.

Writing request headers

You can write headers to a request using the headers multi-map as follows:

MultiMap headers = request.headers();
headers.set("content-type", "application/json").set("other-header", "foo");

The headers are an instance of MultiMap which provides operations for adding, setting and removing entries. Http headers allow more than one value for a specific key.

You can also write headers using putHeader

request.putHeader("content-type", "application/json").putHeader("other-header", "foo");

If you wish to write headers to the request you must do so before any part of the request body is written.

Non standard HTTP methods

The OTHER HTTP method is used for non standard methods, when this method is used, setRawMethod must be used to set the raw method to send to the server.

Ending HTTP requests

Once you have finished with the HTTP request you must end it with one of the end operations.

Ending a request causes any headers to be written, if they have not already been written and the request to be marked as complete.

Requests can be ended in several ways. With no arguments the request is simply ended:

request.end();

Or a string or buffer can be provided in the call to end. This is like calling write with the string or buffer before calling end with no arguments

request.end("some-data");

// End it with a buffer
Buffer buffer = Buffer.buffer().appendFloat(12.3f).appendInt(321);
request.end(buffer);

Chunked HTTP requests

Vert.x supports HTTP Chunked Transfer Encoding for requests.

This allows the HTTP request body to be written in chunks, and is normally used when a large request body is being streamed to the server, whose size is not known in advance.

You put the HTTP request into chunked mode using setChunked.

In chunked mode each call to write will cause a new chunk to be written to the wire. In chunked mode there is no need to set the Content-Length of the request up-front.

request.setChunked(true);

// Write some chunks
for (int i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
  request.write("this-is-chunk-" + i);
}

request.end();

Request timeouts

You can set a timeout for a specific http request using setTimeout.

If the request does not return any data within the timeout period an exception will be passed to the exception handler (if provided) and the request will be closed.

Handling exceptions

You can handle exceptions corresponding to a request by setting an exception handler on the HttpClientRequest instance:

HttpClientRequest request = client.post("some-uri", response -> {
  System.out.println("Received response with status code " + response.statusCode());
});
request.exceptionHandler(e -> {
  System.out.println("Received exception: " + e.getMessage());
  e.printStackTrace();
});

This does not handle non 2xx response that need to be handled in the HttpClientResponse code:

HttpClientRequest request = client.post("some-uri", response -> {
  if (response.statusCode() == 200) {
    System.out.println("Everything fine");
    return;
  }
  if (response.statusCode() == 500) {
    System.out.println("Unexpected behavior on the server side");
    return;
  }
});
request.end();
Important
XXXNow methods cannot receive an exception handler.

Specifying a handler on the client request

Instead of providing a response handler in the call to create the client request object, alternatively, you can not provide a handler when the request is created and set it later on the request object itself, using handler, for example:

HttpClientRequest request = client.post("some-uri");
request.handler(response -> {
  System.out.println("Received response with status code " + response.statusCode());
});

Using the request as a stream

The HttpClientRequest instance is also a WriteStream which means you can pump to it from any ReadStream instance.

For, example, you could pump a file on disk to a http request body as follows:

request.setChunked(true);
Pump pump = Pump.pump(file, request);
file.endHandler(v -> request.end());
pump.start();

Writing HTTP/2 frames

HTTP/2 is a framed protocol with various frames for the HTTP request/response model. The protocol allows other kind of frames to be sent and received.

To send such frames, you can use the write on the request. Here’s an example:

int frameType = 40;
int frameStatus = 10;
Buffer payload = Buffer.buffer("some data");

// Sending a frame to the server
request.writeCustomFrame(frameType, frameStatus, payload);

Stream reset

HTTP/1.x does not allow a clean reset of a request or a response stream, for example when a client uploads a resource already present on the server, the server needs to accept the entire response.

HTTP/2 supports stream reset at any time during the request/response:

request.reset();

By default the NO_ERROR (0) error code is sent, another code can sent instead:

request.reset(8);

The HTTP/2 specification defines the list of error codes one can use.

The request handler are notified of stream reset events with the request handler and response handler:

request.exceptionHandler(err -> {
  if (err instanceof StreamResetException) {
    StreamResetException reset = (StreamResetException) err;
    System.out.println("Stream reset " + reset.getCode());
  }
});

Handling http responses

You receive an instance of HttpClientResponse into the handler that you specify in of the request methods or by setting a handler directly on the HttpClientRequest object.

You can query the status code and the status message of the response with statusCode and statusMessage.

client.getNow("some-uri", response -> {
  // the status code - e.g. 200 or 404
  System.out.println("Status code is " + response.statusCode());

  // the status message e.g. "OK" or "Not Found".
  System.out.println("Status message is " + response.statusMessage());
});

Using the response as a stream

The HttpClientResponse instance is also a ReadStream which means you can pump it to any WriteStream instance.

Response headers and trailers

Http responses can contain headers. Use headers to get the headers.

The object returned is a MultiMap as HTTP headers can contain multiple values for single keys.

String contentType = response.headers().get("content-type");
String contentLength = response.headers().get("content-lengh");

Chunked HTTP responses can also contain trailers - these are sent in the last chunk of the response body.

You use trailers to get the trailers. Trailers are also a MultiMap.

Reading the request body

The response handler is called when the headers of the response have been read from the wire.

If the response has a body this might arrive in several pieces some time after the headers have been read. We don’t wait for all the body to arrive before calling the response handler as the response could be very large and we might be waiting a long time, or run out of memory for large responses.

As parts of the response body arrive, the handler is called with a Buffer representing the piece of the body:

client.getNow("some-uri", response -> {

  response.handler(buffer -> {
    System.out.println("Received a part of the response body: " + buffer);
  });
});

If you know the response body is not very large and want to aggregate it all in memory before handling it, you can either aggregate it yourself:

client.getNow("some-uri", response -> {

  // Create an empty buffer
  Buffer totalBuffer = Buffer.buffer();

  response.handler(buffer -> {
    System.out.println("Received a part of the response body: " + buffer.length());

    totalBuffer.appendBuffer(buffer);
  });

  response.endHandler(v -> {
    // Now all the body has been read
    System.out.println("Total response body length is " + totalBuffer.length());
  });
});

Or you can use the convenience bodyHandler which is called with the entire body when the response has been fully read:

client.getNow("some-uri", response -> {

  response.bodyHandler(totalBuffer -> {
    // Now all the body has been read
    System.out.println("Total response body length is " + totalBuffer.length());
  });
});

Response end handler

The response endHandler is called when the entire response body has been read or immediately after the headers have been read and the response handler has been called if there is no body.

Reading cookies from the response

You can retrieve the list of cookies from a response using cookies.

Alternatively you can just parse the Set-Cookie headers yourself in the response.

100-Continue handling

According to the HTTP 1.1 specification a client can set a header Expect: 100-Continue and send the request header before sending the rest of the request body.

The server can then respond with an interim response status Status: 100 (Continue) to signify to the client that it is ok to send the rest of the body.

The idea here is it allows the server to authorise and accept/reject the request before large amounts of data are sent. Sending large amounts of data if the request might not be accepted is a waste of bandwidth and ties up the server in reading data that it will just discard.

Vert.x allows you to set a continueHandler on the client request object

This will be called if the server sends back a Status: 100 (Continue) response to signify that it is ok to send the rest of the request.

This is used in conjunction with `sendHead`to send the head of the request.

Here’s an example:

HttpClientRequest request = client.put("some-uri", response -> {
  System.out.println("Received response with status code " + response.statusCode());
});

request.putHeader("Expect", "100-Continue");

request.continueHandler(v -> {
  // OK to send rest of body
  request.write("Some data");
  request.write("Some more data");
  request.end();
});

On the server side a Vert.x http server can be configured to automatically send back 100 Continue interim responses when it receives an Expect: 100-Continue header.

This is done by setting the option setHandle100ContinueAutomatically.

If you’d prefer to decide whether to send back continue responses manually, then this property should be set to false (the default), then you can inspect the headers and call writeContinue to have the client continue sending the body:

httpServer.requestHandler(request -> {
  if (request.getHeader("Expect").equalsIgnoreCase("100-Continue")) {

    // Send a 100 continue response
    request.response().writeContinue();

    // The client should send the body when it receives the 100 response
    request.bodyHandler(body -> {
      // Do something with body
    });

    request.endHandler(v -> {
      request.response().end();
    });
  }
});

You can also reject the request by sending back a failure status code directly: in this case the body should either be ignored or the connection should be closed (100-Continue is a performance hint and cannot be a logical protocol constraint):

httpServer.requestHandler(request -> {
  if (request.getHeader("Expect").equalsIgnoreCase("100-Continue")) {

    //
    boolean rejectAndClose = true;
    if (rejectAndClose) {

      // Reject with a failure code and close the connection
      // this is probably best with persistent connection
      request.response()
          .setStatusCode(405)
          .putHeader("Connection", "close")
          .end();
    } else {

      // Reject with a failure code and ignore the body
      // this may be appropriate if the body is small
      request.response()
          .setStatusCode(405)
          .end();
    }
  }
});

Client push

Server push is a new feature of HTTP/2 that enables sending multiple responses in parallel for a single client request.

A push handler can be set on a request to receive the request/response pushed by the server:

HttpClientRequest request = client.get("/index.html", response -> {
  // Process index.html response
});

// Set a push handler to be aware of any resource pushed by the server
request.pushHandler(pushedRequest -> {

  // A resource is pushed for this request
  System.out.println("Server pushed " + pushedRequest.path());

  // Set an handler for the response
  pushedRequest.handler(pushedResponse -> {
    System.out.println("The response for the pushed request");
  });
});

// End the request
request.end();

If the client does not want to receive a pushed request, it can reset the stream:

request.pushHandler(pushedRequest -> {
  if (pushedRequest.path().equals("/main.js")) {
    pushedRequest.reset();
  } else {
    // Handle it
  }
});

When no handler is set, any stream pushed will be automatically cancelled by the client with a stream reset (8 error code).

Receiving custom HTTP/2 frames

HTTP/2 is a framed protocol with various frames for the HTTP request/response model. The protocol allows other kind of frames to be sent and received.

To receive custom frames, you can use the customFrameHandler on the request, this will get called every time a custom frame arrives. Here’s an example:

response.customFrameHandler(frame -> {

  System.out.println("Received a frame type=" + frame.type() +
      " payload" + frame.payload().toString());
});

Enabling compression on the client

The http client comes with support for HTTP Compression out of the box.

This means the client can let the remote http server know that it supports compression, and will be able to handle compressed response bodies.

An http server is free to either compress with one of the supported compression algorithms or to send the body back without compressing it at all. So this is only a hint for the Http server which it may ignore at will.

To tell the http server which compression is supported by the client it will include an Accept-Encoding header with the supported compression algorithm as value. Multiple compression algorithms are supported. In case of Vert.x this will result in the following header added:

Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate

The server will choose then from one of these. You can detect if a server ompressed the body by checking for the Content-Encoding header in the response sent back from it.

If the body of the response was compressed via gzip it will include for example the following header:

Content-Encoding: gzip

To enable compression set setTryUseCompression on the options used when creating the client.

By default compression is disabled.

HTTP/1.x pooling and keep alive

Http keep alive allows http connections to be used for more than one request. This can be a more efficient use of connections when you’re making multiple requests to the same server.

For HTTP/1.x versions, the http client supports pooling of connections, allowing you to reuse connections between requests.

For pooling to work, keep alive must be true using setKeepAlive on the options used when configuring the client. The default value is true.

When keep alive is enabled. Vert.x will add a Connection: Keep-Alive header to each HTTP/1.0 request sent. When keep alive is disabled. Vert.x will add a Connection: Close header to each HTTP/1.1 request sent to signal that the connection will be closed after completion of the response.

The maximum number of connections to pool for each server is configured using setMaxPoolSize

When making a request with pooling enabled, Vert.x will create a new connection if there are less than the maximum number of connections already created for that server, otherwise it will add the request to a queue.

Keep alive connections will not be closed by the client automatically. To close them you can close the client instance.

Alternatively you can set idle timeout using setIdleTimeout - any connections not used within this timeout will be closed. Please note the idle timeout value is in seconds not milliseconds.

HTTP/1.1 pipe-lining

The client also supports pipe-lining of requests on a connection.

Pipe-lining means another request is sent on the same connection before the response from the preceding one has returned. Pipe-lining is not appropriate for all requests.

To enable pipe-lining, it must be enabled using setPipelining. By default pipe-lining is disabled.

When pipe-lining is enabled requests will be written to connections without waiting for previous responses to return.

The number of pipe-lined requests over a single connection is limited by setPipeliningLimit. This option defines the maximum number of http requests sent to the server awaiting for a response. This limit ensures the fairness of the distribution of the client requests over the connections to the same server.

HTTP/2 multiplexing

HTTP/2 advocates to use a single connection to a server, by default the http client uses a single connection for each server, all the streams to the same server are multiplexed over the same connection.

When the clients needs to use more than a single connection and use pooling, the setHttp2MaxPoolSize shall be used.

When it is desirable to limit the number of multiplexed streams per connection and use a connection pool instead of a single connection, setHttp2MultiplexingLimit can be used.

HttpClientOptions clientOptions = new HttpClientOptions().
    setHttp2MultiplexingLimit(10).
    setHttp2MaxPoolSize(3);

// Uses up to 3 connections and up to 10 streams per connection
HttpClient client = vertx.createHttpClient(clientOptions);

The multiplexing limit for a connection is a setting set on the client that limits the number of streams of a single connection. The effective value can be even lower if the server sets a lower limit with the SETTINGS_MAX_CONCURRENT_STREAMS setting.

HTTP/2 connections will not be closed by the client automatically. To close them you can call close or close the client instance.

Alternatively you can set idle timeout using setIdleTimeout - any connections not used within this timeout will be closed. Please note the idle timeout value is in seconds not milliseconds.

HTTP connections

The HttpConnection offers the API for dealing with HTTP connection events, lifecycle and settings.

HTTP/2 implements fully the HttpConnection API.

HTTP/1.x implements partially the HttpConnection API: only the close operation, the close handler and exception handler are implemented. This protocol does not provide semantics for the other operations.

Server connections

The connection method returns the request connection on the server:

HttpConnection connection = request.connection();

A connection handler can be set on the server to be notified of any incoming connection:

HttpServer server = vertx.createHttpServer(http2Options);

server.connectionHandler(connection -> {
  System.out.println("A client connected");
});

Client connections

The connection method returns the request connection on the client:

HttpConnection connection = request.connection();

A connection handler can be set on the request to be notified when the connection happens:

request.connectionHandler(connection -> {
  System.out.println("Connected to the server");
});

Connection settings

The configuration of an HTTP/2 is configured by the Http2Settings data object.

Each endpoint must respect the settings sent by the other side of the connection.

When a connection is established, the client and the server exchange initial settings. Initial settings are configured by setInitialSettings on the client and setInitialSettings on the server.

The settings can be changed at any time after the connection is established:

connection.updateSettings(new Http2Settings().setMaxConcurrentStreams(100));

As the remote side should acknowledge on reception of the settings update, it’s possible to give a callback to be notified of the acknowledgment:

connection.updateSettings(new Http2Settings().setMaxConcurrentStreams(100), ar -> {
  if (ar.succeeded()) {
    System.out.println("The settings update has been acknowledged ");
  }
});

Conversely the remoteSettingsHandler is notified when the new remote settings are received:

connection.remoteSettingsHandler(settings -> {
  System.out.println("Received new settings");
});
Note
this only applies to the HTTP/2 protocol

Connection ping

HTTP/2 connection ping is useful for determining the connection round-trip time or check the connection validity: ping sends a PING frame to the remote endpoint:

Buffer data = Buffer.buffer();
for (byte i = 0;i < 8;i++) {
  data.appendByte(i);
}
connection.ping(data, pong -> {
  System.out.println("Remote side replied");
});

Vert.x will send automatically an acknowledgement when a PING frame is received, an handler can be set to be notified for each ping received:

connection.pingHandler(ping -> {
  System.out.println("Got pinged by remote side");
});

The handler is just notified, the acknowledgement is sent whatsoever. Such feature is aimed for implementing protocols on top of HTTP/2.

Note
this only applies to the HTTP/2 protocol

Connection shutdown and go away

Calling shutdown will send a GOAWAY frame to the remote side of the connection, asking it to stop creating streams: a client will stop doing new requests and a server will stop pushing responses. After the GOAWAY frame is sent, the connection waits some time (30 seconds by default) until all current streams closed and close the connection:

connection.shutdown();

The shutdownHandler notifies when all streams have been closed, the connection is not yet closed.

It’s possible to just send a GOAWAY frame, the main difference with a shutdown is that it will just tell the remote side of the connection to stop creating new streams without scheduling a connection close:

connection.goAway(0);

Conversely, it is also possible to be notified when GOAWAY are received:

connection.goAwayHandler(goAway -> {
  System.out.println("Received a go away frame");
});

The shutdownHandler will be called when all current streams have been closed and the connection can be closed:

connection.goAway(0);
connection.shutdownHandler(v -> {

  // All streams are closed, close the connection
  connection.close();
});

This applies also when a GOAWAY is received.

Note
this only applies to the HTTP/2 protocol

Connection close

Connection close closes the connection:

  • it closes the socket for HTTP/1.x

  • a shutdown with no delay for HTTP/2, the GOAWAY frame will still be sent before the connection is closed. *

The closeHandler notifies when a connection is closed.

HttpClient usage

The HttpClient can be used in a Verticle or embedded.

When used in a Verticle, the Verticle should use its own client instance.

More generally a client should not be shared between different Vert.x contexts as it can lead to unexpected behavior.

For example a keep-alive connection will call the client handlers on the context of the request that opened the connection, subsequent requests will use the same context.

When this happen Vert.x detects it and log a warn:

Reusing a connection with a different context: an HttpClient is probably shared between different Verticles

The HttpClient can be embedded in a non Vert.x thread like a unit test or a plain java main: the client handlers will be called by different Vert.x threads and contexts, such contexts are created as needed. For production this usage is not recommended.

Server sharing

When several HTTP servers listen on the same port, vert.x orchestrates the request handling using a round-robin strategy.

Let’s take a verticle creating a HTTP server such as:

io.vertx.examples.http.sharing.HttpServerVerticle
vertx.createHttpServer().requestHandler(request -> {
  request.response().end("Hello from server " + this);
}).listen(8080);

This service is listening on the port 8080. So, when this verticle is instantiated multiple times as with: vertx run io.vertx.examples.http.sharing.HttpServerVerticle -instances 2, what’s happening ? If both verticles would bind to the same port, you would receive a socket exception. Fortunately, vert.x is handling this case for you. When you deploy another server on the same host and port as an existing server it doesn’t actually try and create a new server listening on the same host/port. It binds only once to the socket. When receiving a request it calls the server handlers following a round robin strategy.

Let’s now imagine a client such as:

vertx.setPeriodic(100, (l) -> {
  vertx.createHttpClient().getNow(8080, "localhost", "/", resp -> {
    resp.bodyHandler(body -> {
      System.out.println(body.toString("ISO-8859-1"));
    });
  });
});

Vert.x delegates the requests to one of the server sequentially:

Hello from i.v.e.h.s.HttpServerVerticle@1
Hello from i.v.e.h.s.HttpServerVerticle@2
Hello from i.v.e.h.s.HttpServerVerticle@1
Hello from i.v.e.h.s.HttpServerVerticle@2
...

Consequently the servers can scale over available cores while each Vert.x verticle instance remains strictly single threaded, and you don’t have to do any special tricks like writing load-balancers in order to scale your server on your multi-core machine.

Using HTTPS with Vert.x

Vert.x http servers and clients can be configured to use HTTPS in exactly the same way as net servers.

Please see configuring net servers to use SSL for more information.

WebSockets

WebSockets are a web technology that allows a full duplex socket-like connection between HTTP servers and HTTP clients (typically browsers).

Vert.x supports WebSockets on both the client and server-side.

WebSockets on the server

There are two ways of handling WebSockets on the server side.

WebSocket handler

The first way involves providing a websocketHandler on the server instance.

When a WebSocket connection is made to the server, the handler will be called, passing in an instance of ServerWebSocket.

server.websocketHandler(websocket -> {
  System.out.println("Connected!");
});

You can choose to reject the WebSocket by calling reject.

server.websocketHandler(websocket -> {
  if (websocket.path().equals("/myapi")) {
    websocket.reject();
  } else {
    // Do something
  }
});
Upgrading to WebSocket

The second way of handling WebSockets is to handle the HTTP Upgrade request that was sent from the client, and call upgrade on the server request.

server.requestHandler(request -> {
  if (request.path().equals("/myapi")) {

    ServerWebSocket websocket = request.upgrade();
    // Do something

  } else {
    // Reject
    request.response().setStatusCode(400).end();
  }
});
The server WebSocket

The ServerWebSocket instance enables you to retrieve the headers, path, query and URI of the HTTP request of the WebSocket handshake.

WebSockets on the client

The Vert.x HttpClient supports WebSockets.

You can connect a WebSocket to a server using one of the websocket operations and providing a handler.

The handler will be called with an instance of WebSocket when the connection has been made:

client.websocket("/some-uri", websocket -> {
  System.out.println("Connected!");
});

Writing messages to WebSockets

If you wish to write a single binary WebSocket message to the WebSocket you can do this with writeBinaryMessage:

Buffer buffer = Buffer.buffer().appendInt(123).appendFloat(1.23f);

websocket.writeBinaryMessage(buffer);

If the WebSocket message is larger than the maximum websocket frame size as configured with setMaxWebsocketFrameSize then Vert.x will split it into multiple WebSocket frames before sending it on the wire.

Writing frames to WebSockets

A WebSocket message can be composed of multiple frames. In this case the first frame is either a binary or text frame followed by zero or more continuation frames.

The last frame in the message is marked as final.

To send a message consisting of multiple frames you create frames using WebSocketFrame.binaryFrame , WebSocketFrame.textFrame or WebSocketFrame.continuationFrame and write them to the WebSocket using writeFrame.

Here’s an example for binary frames:

WebSocketFrame frame1 = WebSocketFrame.binaryFrame(buffer1, false);
websocket.writeFrame(frame1);

WebSocketFrame frame2 = WebSocketFrame.continuationFrame(buffer2, false);
websocket.writeFrame(frame2);

// Write the final frame
WebSocketFrame frame3 = WebSocketFrame.continuationFrame(buffer2, true);
websocket.writeFrame(frame3);

In many cases you just want to send a websocket message that consists of a single final frame, so we provide a couple of shortcut methods to do that with writeFinalBinaryFrame and writeFinalTextFrame.

Here’s an example:

websocket.writeFinalTextFrame("Geronimo!");

// Send a websocket messages consisting of a single final binary frame:

Buffer buff = Buffer.buffer().appendInt(12).appendString("foo");

websocket.writeFinalBinaryFrame(buff);

Reading frames from WebSockets

To read frames from a WebSocket you use the frameHandler.

The frame handler will be called with instances of WebSocketFrame when a frame arrives, for example:

websocket.frameHandler(frame -> {
  System.out.println("Received a frame of size!");
});

Closing WebSockets

Use close to close the WebSocket connection when you have finished with it.

Streaming WebSockets

The WebSocket instance is also a ReadStream and a WriteStream so it can be used with pumps.

When using a WebSocket as a write stream or a read stream it can only be used with WebSockets connections that are used with binary frames that are no split over multiple frames.

Using a proxy for HTTP/HTTPS connections

The http client supports accessing http/https URLs via a HTTP proxy (e.g. Squid) or SOCKS4a or SOCKS5 proxy. The CONNECT protocol uses HTTP/1.x but can connect to HTTP/1.x and HTTP/2 servers.

Connecting to h2c (unencrypted HTTP/2 servers) is likely not supported by http proxies since they will support HTTP/1.1 only.

The proxy can be configured in the HttpClientOptions by setting a ProxyOptions object containing proxy type, hostname, port and optionally username and password.

Here’s an example of using an HTTP proxy:

HttpClientOptions options = new HttpClientOptions()
    .setProxyOptions(new ProxyOptions().setType(ProxyType.HTTP)
        .setHost("localhost").setPort(3128)
        .setUsername("username").setPassword("secret"));
HttpClient client = vertx.createHttpClient(options);

When the client connects to an http URL, it connects to the proxy server and provides the full URL in the HTTP request ("GET http://www.somehost.com/path/file.html HTTP/1.1").

When the client connects to an https URL, it asks the proxy to create a tunnel to the remote host with the CONNECT method.

For a SOCKS5 proxy:

HttpClientOptions options = new HttpClientOptions()
    .setProxyOptions(new ProxyOptions().setType(ProxyType.SOCKS5)
        .setHost("localhost").setPort(1080)
        .setUsername("username").setPassword("secret"));
HttpClient client = vertx.createHttpClient(options);

The DNS resolution is always done on the proxy server, to achieve the functionality of a SOCKS4 client, it is necessary to resolve the DNS address locally.

Automatic clean-up in verticles

If you’re creating http servers and clients from inside verticles, those servers and clients will be automatically closed when the verticle is undeployed.

Using Shared Data with Vert.x

Shared data contains functionality that allows you to safely share data between different parts of your application, or different applications in the same Vert.x instance or across a cluster of Vert.x instances.

Shared data includes local shared maps, distributed, cluster-wide maps, asynchronous cluster-wide locks and asynchronous cluster-wide counters.

Important
The behavior of the distributed data structure depends on the cluster manager you use. Backup (replication) and behavior when a network partition is faced are defined by the cluster manager and its configuration. Refer to the cluster manager documentation as well as to the underlying framework manual.

Local shared maps

Local shared maps allow you to share data safely between different event loops (e.g. different verticles) in the same Vert.x instance.

Local shared maps only allow certain data types to be used as keys and values. Those types must either be immutable, or certain other types that can be copied like Buffer. In the latter case the key/value will be copied before putting it in the map.

This way we can ensure there is no shared access to mutable state between different threads in your Vert.x application so you don’t have to worry about protecting that state by synchronising access to it.

Here’s an example of using a shared local map:

SharedData sd = vertx.sharedData();

LocalMap<String, String> map1 = sd.getLocalMap("mymap1");

map1.put("foo", "bar"); // Strings are immutable so no need to copy

LocalMap<String, Buffer> map2 = sd.getLocalMap("mymap2");

map2.put("eek", Buffer.buffer().appendInt(123)); // This buffer will be copied before adding to map

// Then... in another part of your application:

map1 = sd.getLocalMap("mymap1");

String val = map1.get("foo");

map2 = sd.getLocalMap("mymap2");

Buffer buff = map2.get("eek");

Cluster-wide asynchronous maps

Cluster-wide asynchronous maps allow data to be put in the map from any node of the cluster and retrieved from any other node.

This makes them really useful for things like storing session state in a farm of servers hosting a Vert.x web application.

You get an instance of AsyncMap with getClusterWideMap.

Getting the map is asynchronous and the result is returned to you in the handler that you specify. Here’s an example:

SharedData sd = vertx.sharedData();

sd.<String, String>getClusterWideMap("mymap", res -> {
  if (res.succeeded()) {
    AsyncMap<String, String> map = res.result();
  } else {
    // Something went wrong!
  }
});

Putting data in a map

You put data in a map with put.

The actual put is asynchronous and the handler is notified once it is complete:

map.put("foo", "bar", resPut -> {
  if (resPut.succeeded()) {
    // Successfully put the value
  } else {
    // Something went wrong!
  }
});

Getting data from a map

You get data from a map with get.

The actual get is asynchronous and the handler is notified with the result some time later

map.get("foo", resGet -> {
  if (resGet.succeeded()) {
    // Successfully got the value
    Object val = resGet.result();
  } else {
    // Something went wrong!
  }
});
Other map operations

You can also remove entries from an asynchronous map, clear them and get the size.

See the API docs for more information.

Cluster-wide locks

Cluster wide locks allow you to obtain exclusive locks across the cluster - this is useful when you want to do something or access a resource on only one node of a cluster at any one time.

Cluster wide locks have an asynchronous API unlike most lock APIs which block the calling thread until the lock is obtained.

To obtain a lock use getLock.

This won’t block, but when the lock is available, the handler will be called with an instance of Lock, signifying that you now own the lock.

While you own the lock no other caller, anywhere on the cluster will be able to obtain the lock.

When you’ve finished with the lock, you call release to release it, so another caller can obtain it.

sd.getLock("mylock", res -> {
  if (res.succeeded()) {
    // Got the lock!
    Lock lock = res.result();

    // 5 seconds later we release the lock so someone else can get it

    vertx.setTimer(5000, tid -> lock.release());

  } else {
    // Something went wrong
  }
});

You can also get a lock with a timeout. If it fails to obtain the lock within the timeout the handler will be called with a failure:

sd.getLockWithTimeout("mylock", 10000, res -> {
  if (res.succeeded()) {
    // Got the lock!
    Lock lock = res.result();

  } else {
    // Failed to get lock
  }
});

Cluster-wide counters

It’s often useful to maintain an atomic counter across the different nodes of your application.

You can do this with Counter.

You obtain an instance with getCounter:

sd.getCounter("mycounter", res -> {
  if (res.succeeded()) {
    Counter counter = res.result();
  } else {
    // Something went wrong!
  }
});

Once you have an instance you can retrieve the current count, atomically increment it, decrement and add a value to it using the various methods.

See the API docs for more information.

Using the file system with Vert.x

The Vert.x FileSystem object provides many operations for manipulating the file system.

There is one file system object per Vert.x instance, and you obtain it with fileSystem.

A blocking and a non blocking version of each operation is provided. The non blocking versions take a handler which is called when the operation completes or an error occurs.

Here’s an example of an asynchronous copy of a file:

FileSystem fs = vertx.fileSystem();

// Copy file from foo.txt to bar.txt
fs.copy("foo.txt", "bar.txt", res -> {
    if (res.succeeded()) {
        // Copied ok!
    } else {
        // Something went wrong
    }
});

The blocking versions are named xxxBlocking and return the results or throw exceptions directly. In many cases, depending on the operating system and file system, some of the potentially blocking operations can return quickly, which is why we provide them, but it’s highly recommended that you test how long they take to return in your particular application before using them from an event loop, so as not to break the Golden Rule.

Here’s the copy using the blocking API:

FileSystem fs = vertx.fileSystem();

// Copy file from foo.txt to bar.txt synchronously
fs.copyBlocking("foo.txt", "bar.txt");

Many operations exist to copy, move, truncate, chmod and many other file operations. We won’t list them all here, please consult the API docs for the full list.

Let’s see a couple of examples using asynchronous methods:

Vertx vertx = Vertx.vertx();

// Read a file
vertx.fileSystem().readFile("target/classes/readme.txt", result -> {
    if (result.succeeded()) {
        System.out.println(result.result());
    } else {
        System.err.println("Oh oh ..." + result.cause());
    }
});

// Copy a file
vertx.fileSystem().copy("target/classes/readme.txt", "target/classes/readme2.txt", result -> {
    if (result.succeeded()) {
        System.out.println("File copied");
    } else {
        System.err.println("Oh oh ..." + result.cause());
    }
});

// Write a file
vertx.fileSystem().writeFile("target/classes/hello.txt", Buffer.buffer("Hello"), result -> {
    if (result.succeeded()) {
        System.out.println("File written");
    } else {
        System.err.println("Oh oh ..." + result.cause());
    }
});

// Check existence and delete
vertx.fileSystem().exists("target/classes/junk.txt", result -> {
    if (result.succeeded() && result.result()) {
        vertx.fileSystem().delete("target/classes/junk.txt", r -> {
            System.out.println("File deleted");
        });
    } else {
        System.err.println("Oh oh ... - cannot delete the file: " + result.cause());
    }
});

Asynchronous files

Vert.x provides an asynchronous file abstraction that allows you to manipulate a file on the file system.

You open an AsyncFile as follows:

OpenOptions options = new OpenOptions();
fileSystem.open("myfile.txt", options, res -> {
    if (res.succeeded()) {
        AsyncFile file = res.result();
    } else {
        // Something went wrong!
    }
});

AsyncFile implements ReadStream and WriteStream so you can pump files to and from other stream objects such as net sockets, http requests and responses, and WebSockets.

They also allow you to read and write directly to them.

Random access writes

To use an AsyncFile for random access writing you use the write method.

The parameters to the method are:

  • buffer: the buffer to write.

  • position: an integer position in the file where to write the buffer. If the position is greater or equal to the size of the file, the file will be enlarged to accommodate the offset.

  • handler: the result handler

Here is an example of random access writes:

Vertx vertx = Vertx.vertx();
vertx.fileSystem().open("target/classes/hello.txt", new OpenOptions(), result -> {
    if (result.succeeded()) {
        AsyncFile file = result.result();
        Buffer buff = Buffer.buffer("foo");
        for (int i = 0; i < 5; i++) {
            file.write(buff, buff.length() * i, ar -> {
                if (ar.succeeded()) {
                    System.out.println("Written ok!");
                    // etc
                } else {
                    System.err.println("Failed to write: " + ar.cause());
                }
            });
        }
    } else {
        System.err.println("Cannot open file " + result.cause());
    }
});

Random access reads

To use an AsyncFile for random access reads you use the read method.

The parameters to the method are:

  • buffer: the buffer into which the data will be read.

  • offset: an integer offset into the buffer where the read data will be placed.

  • position: the position in the file where to read data from.

  • length: the number of bytes of data to read

  • handler: the result handler

Here’s an example of random access reads:

Vertx vertx = Vertx.vertx();
vertx.fileSystem().open("target/classes/les_miserables.txt", new OpenOptions(), result -> {
    if (result.succeeded()) {
        AsyncFile file = result.result();
        Buffer buff = Buffer.buffer(1000);
        for (int i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
            file.read(buff, i * 100, i * 100, 100, ar -> {
                if (ar.succeeded()) {
                    System.out.println("Read ok!");
                } else {
                    System.err.println("Failed to write: " + ar.cause());
                }
            });
        }
    } else {
        System.err.println("Cannot open file " + result.cause());
    }
});

Opening Options

When opening an AsyncFile, you pass an OpenOptions instance. These options describe the behavior of the file access. For instance, you can configure the file permissions with the setRead, setWrite and setPerms methods.

You can also configure the behavior if the open file already exists with setCreateNew and setTruncateExisting.

You can also mark the file to be deleted on close or when the JVM is shutdown with setDeleteOnClose.

Flushing data to underlying storage.

In the OpenOptions, you can enable/disable the automatic synchronisation of the content on every write using setDsync. In that case, you can manually flush any writes from the OS cache by calling the flush method.

This method can also be called with an handler which will be called when the flush is complete.

Using AsyncFile as ReadStream and WriteStream

AsyncFile implements ReadStream and WriteStream. You can then use them with a pump to pump data to and from other read and write streams. For example, this would copy the content to another AsyncFile:

Vertx vertx = Vertx.vertx();
final AsyncFile output = vertx.fileSystem().openBlocking("target/classes/plagiary.txt", new OpenOptions());

vertx.fileSystem().open("target/classes/les_miserables.txt", new OpenOptions(), result -> {
    if (result.succeeded()) {
        AsyncFile file = result.result();
        Pump.pump(file, output).start();
        file.endHandler((r) -> {
            System.out.println("Copy done");
        });
    } else {
        System.err.println("Cannot open file " + result.cause());
    }
});

You can also use the pump to write file content into HTTP responses, or more generally in any WriteStream.

Accessing files from the classpath

When vert.x cannot find the file on the filesystem it tries to resolve the file from the class path. Note that classpath resource paths never start with a /.

Due to the fact that Java does not offer async access to classpath resources, the file is copied to the filesystem in a worker thread when the classpath resource is accessed the very first time and served from there asynchrously. When the same resource is accessed a second time, the file from the filesystem is served directly from the filesystem. The original content is served even if the classpath resource changes (e.g. in a development system).

This caching behaviour can be disabled by setting the system property vertx.disableFileCaching to true. The path where the files are cached is .vertx by default and can be customized by setting the system property vertx.cacheDirBase.

The whole classpath resolving feature can be disabled by setting the system property vertx.disableFileCPResolving to true.

Note
these system properties are evaluated once when the the io.vertx.core.impl.FileResolver class is loaded, so these properties should be set before loading this class or as a JVM system property when launching it.

Closing an AsyncFile

To close an AsyncFile call the close method. Closing is asynchronous and if you want to be notified when the close has been completed you can specify a handler function as an argument.

Datagram sockets (UDP)

Using User Datagram Protocol (UDP) with Vert.x is a piece of cake.

UDP is a connection-less transport which basically means you have no persistent connection to a remote peer.

Instead you can send and receive packages and the remote address is contained in each of them.

Beside this UDP is not as safe as TCP to use, which means there are no guarantees that a send Datagram packet will receive it’s endpoint at all.

The only guarantee is that it will either receive complete or not at all.

Also you usually can’t send data which is bigger then the MTU size of your network interface, this is because each packet will be send as one packet.

But be aware even if the packet size is smaller then the MTU it may still fail.

At which size it will fail depends on the Operating System etc. So rule of thumb is to try to send small packets.

Because of the nature of UDP it is best fit for Applications where you are allowed to drop packets (like for example a monitoring application).

The benefits are that it has a lot less overhead compared to TCP, which can be handled by the NetServer and NetClient (see above).

Creating a DatagramSocket

To use UDP you first need t create a DatagramSocket. It does not matter here if you only want to send data or send and receive.

DatagramSocket socket = vertx.createDatagramSocket(new DatagramSocketOptions());

The returned DatagramSocket will not be bound to a specific port. This is not a problem if you only want to send data (like a client), but more on this in the next section.

Sending Datagram packets

As mentioned before, User Datagram Protocol (UDP) sends data in packets to remote peers but is not connected to them in a persistent fashion.

This means each packet can be sent to a different remote peer.

Sending packets is as easy as shown here:

DatagramSocket socket = vertx.createDatagramSocket(new DatagramSocketOptions());
Buffer buffer = Buffer.buffer("content");
// Send a Buffer
socket.send(buffer, 1234, "10.0.0.1", asyncResult -> {
  System.out.println("Send succeeded? " + asyncResult.succeeded());
});
// Send a String
socket.send("A string used as content", 1234, "10.0.0.1", asyncResult -> {
  System.out.println("Send succeeded? " + asyncResult.succeeded());
});

Receiving Datagram packets

If you want to receive packets you need to bind the DatagramSocket by calling listen(…​)} on it.

This way you will be able to receive DatagramPacket`s that were sent to the address and port on which the `DatagramSocket listens.

Beside this you also want to set a Handler which will be called for each received DatagramPacket.

The DatagramPacket has the following methods:

  • sender: The InetSocketAddress which represent the sender of the packet

  • data: The Buffer which holds the data which was received.

So to listen on a specific address and port you would do something like shown here:

DatagramSocket socket = vertx.createDatagramSocket(new DatagramSocketOptions());
socket.listen(1234, "0.0.0.0", asyncResult -> {
  if (asyncResult.succeeded()) {
    socket.handler(packet -> {
      // Do something with the packet
    });
  } else {
    System.out.println("Listen failed" + asyncResult.cause());
  }
});

Be aware that even if the {code AsyncResult} is successed it only means it might be written on the network stack, but gives no guarantee that it ever reached or will reach the remote peer at all.

If you need such a guarantee then you want to use TCP with some handshaking logic build on top.

Multicast

Sending Multicast packets

Multicast allows multiple sockets to receive the same packets. This works by have same join a multicast group to which you can send packets.

We will look at how you can joint a Multicast Group and so receive packets in the next section.

For now let us focus on how to send those. Sending multicast packets is not different to send normal Datagram Packets.

The only difference is that you would pass in a multicast group address to the send method.

This is show here:

DatagramSocket socket = vertx.createDatagramSocket(new DatagramSocketOptions());
Buffer buffer = Buffer.buffer("content");
// Send a Buffer to a multicast address
socket.send(buffer, 1234, "230.0.0.1", asyncResult -> {
  System.out.println("Send succeeded? " + asyncResult.succeeded());
});

All sockets that have joined the multicast group 230.0.0.1 will receive the packet.

Receiving Multicast packets

If you want to receive packets for specific Multicast group you need to bind the DatagramSocket by calling listen(…​) on it and join the Multicast group.

This way you will be able to receive DatagramPackets that were sent to the address and port on which the DatagramSocket listens and also to those sent to the Multicast group.

Beside this you also want to set a Handler which will be called for each received DatagramPacket.

The DatagramPacket has the following methods:

  • sender(): The InetSocketAddress which represent the sender of the packet

  • data(): The Buffer which holds the data which was received.

So to listen on a specific address and port and also receive packets for the Multicast group 230.0.0.1 you would do something like shown here:

DatagramSocket socket = vertx.createDatagramSocket(new DatagramSocketOptions());
socket.listen(1234, "0.0.0.0", asyncResult -> {
  if (asyncResult.succeeded()) {
    socket.handler(packet -> {
      // Do something with the packet
    });

    // join the multicast group
    socket.listenMulticastGroup("230.0.0.1", asyncResult2 -> {
        System.out.println("Listen succeeded? " + asyncResult2.succeeded());
    });
  } else {
    System.out.println("Listen failed" + asyncResult.cause());
  }
});
Unlisten / leave a Multicast group

There are sometimes situations where you want to receive packets for a Multicast group for a limited time.

In this situations you can first start to listen for them and then later unlisten.

This is shown here:

DatagramSocket socket = vertx.createDatagramSocket(new DatagramSocketOptions());
socket.listen(1234, "0.0.0.0", asyncResult -> {
    if (asyncResult.succeeded()) {
      socket.handler(packet -> {
        // Do something with the packet
      });

      // join the multicast group
      socket.listenMulticastGroup("230.0.0.1", asyncResult2 -> {
          if (asyncResult2.succeeded()) {
            // will now receive packets for group

            // do some work

            socket.unlistenMulticastGroup("230.0.0.1", asyncResult3 -> {
              System.out.println("Unlisten succeeded? " + asyncResult3.succeeded());
            });
          } else {
            System.out.println("Listen failed" + asyncResult2.cause());
          }
      });
    } else {
      System.out.println("Listen failed" + asyncResult.cause());
    }
});
Blocking multicast

Beside unlisten a Multicast address it’s also possible to just block multicast for a specific sender address.

Be aware this only work on some Operating Systems and kernel versions. So please check the Operating System documentation if it’s supported.

This an expert feature.

To block multicast from a specific address you can call blockMulticastGroup(…​) on the DatagramSocket like shown here:

DatagramSocket socket = vertx.createDatagramSocket(new DatagramSocketOptions());

// Some code

// This would block packets which are send from 10.0.0.2
socket.blockMulticastGroup("230.0.0.1", "10.0.0.2", asyncResult -> {
  System.out.println("block succeeded? " + asyncResult.succeeded());
});

DatagramSocket properties

When creating a DatagramSocket there are multiple properties you can set to change it’s behaviour with the DatagramSocketOptions object. Those are listed here:

  • setSendBufferSize Sets the send buffer size in bytes.

  • setReceiveBufferSize Sets the TCP receive buffer size in bytes.

  • setReuseAddress If true then addresses in TIME_WAIT state can be reused after they have been closed.

  • setTrafficClass

  • setBroadcast Sets or clears the SO_BROADCAST socket option. When this option is set, Datagram (UDP) packets may be sent to a local interface’s broadcast address.

  • setMulticastNetworkInterface Sets or clears the IP_MULTICAST_LOOP socket option. When this option is set, multicast packets will also be received on the local interface.

  • setMulticastTimeToLive Sets the IP_MULTICAST_TTL socket option. TTL stands for "Time to Live," but in this context it specifies the number of IP hops that a packet is allowed to go through, specifically for multicast traffic. Each router or gateway that forwards a packet decrements the TTL. If the TTL is decremented to 0 by a router, it will not be forwarded.

DatagramSocket Local Address

You can find out the local address of the socket (i.e. the address of this side of the UDP Socket) by calling localAddress. This will only return an InetSocketAddress if you bound the DatagramSocket with listen(…​) before, otherwise it will return null.

Closing a DatagramSocket

You can close a socket by invoking the close method. This will close the socket and release all resources

DNS client

Often you will find yourself in situations where you need to obtain DNS informations in an asynchronous fashion.

Unfortunally this is not possible with the API that is shipped with the Java Virtual Machine itself. Because of this Vert.x offers it’s own API for DNS resolution which is fully asynchronous.

To obtain a DnsClient instance you will create a new via the Vertx instance.

DnsClient client = vertx.createDnsClient(53, "10.0.0.1");

Be aware that you can pass in a varargs of InetSocketAddress arguments to specifiy more then one DNS Server to try to query for DNS resolution. The DNS Servers will be queried in the same order as specified here. Where the next will be used once the first produce an error while be used.

lookup

Try to lookup the A (ipv4) or AAAA (ipv6) record for a given name. The first which is returned will be used, so it behaves the same way as you may be used from when using "nslookup" on your operation system.

To lookup the A / AAAA record for "vertx.io" you would typically use it like:

DnsClient client = vertx.createDnsClient(53, "10.0.0.1");
client.lookup("vertx.io", ar -> {
  if (ar.succeeded()) {
    System.out.println(ar.result());
  } else {
    System.out.println("Failed to resolve entry" + ar.cause());
  }
});

lookup4

Try to lookup the A (ipv4) record for a given name. The first which is returned will be used, so it behaves the same way as you may be used from when using "nslookup" on your operation system.

To lookup the A record for "vertx.io" you would typically use it like:

DnsClient client = vertx.createDnsClient(53, "10.0.0.1");
client.lookup4("vertx.io", ar -> {
  if (ar.succeeded()) {
    System.out.println(ar.result());
  } else {
    System.out.println("Failed to resolve entry" + ar.cause());
  }
});

lookup6

Try to lookup the AAAA (ipv6) record for a given name. The first which is returned will be used, so it behaves the same way as you may be used from when using "nslookup" on your operation system.

To lookup the A record for "vertx.io" you would typically use it like:

DnsClient client = vertx.createDnsClient(53, "10.0.0.1");
client.lookup6("vertx.io", ar -> {
  if (ar.succeeded()) {
    System.out.println(ar.result());
  } else {
    System.out.println("Failed to resolve entry" + ar.cause());
  }
});

resolveA

Try to resolve all A (ipv4) records for a given name. This is quite similar to using "dig" on unix like operation systems.

To lookup all the A records for "vertx.io" you would typically do:

DnsClient client = vertx.createDnsClient(53, "10.0.0.1");
client.resolveA("vertx.io", ar -> {
  if (ar.succeeded()) {
    List<String> records = ar.result();
    for (String record : records) {
      System.out.println(record);
    }
  } else {
    System.out.println("Failed to resolve entry" + ar.cause());
  }
});

resolveAAAA

Try to resolve all AAAA (ipv6) records for a given name. This is quite similar to using "dig" on unix like operation systems.

To lookup all the AAAAA records for "vertx.io" you would typically do:

DnsClient client = vertx.createDnsClient(53, "10.0.0.1");
client.resolveAAAA("vertx.io", ar -> {
  if (ar.succeeded()) {
    List<String> records = ar.result();
    for (String record : records) {
      System.out.println(record);
    }
  } else {
    System.out.println("Failed to resolve entry" + ar.cause());
  }
});

resolveCNAME

Try to resolve all CNAME records for a given name. This is quite similar to using "dig" on unix like operation systems.

To lookup all the CNAME records for "vertx.io" you would typically do:

DnsClient client = vertx.createDnsClient(53, "10.0.0.1");
client.resolveCNAME("vertx.io", ar -> {
  if (ar.succeeded()) {
    List<String> records = ar.result();
    for (String record : records) {
      System.out.println(record);
    }
  } else {
    System.out.println("Failed to resolve entry" + ar.cause());
  }
});

resolveMX

Try to resolve all MX records for a given name. The MX records are used to define which Mail-Server accepts emails for a given domain.

To lookup all the MX records for "vertx.io" you would typically do:

DnsClient client = vertx.createDnsClient(53, "10.0.0.1");
client.resolveMX("vertx.io", ar -> {
  if (ar.succeeded()) {
    List<MxRecord> records = ar.result();
    for (MxRecord record: records) {
      System.out.println(record);
    }
  } else {
    System.out.println("Failed to resolve entry" + ar.cause());
  }
});

Be aware that the List will contain the MxRecord sorted by the priority of them, which means MX records with smaller priority coming first in the List.

The MxRecord allows you to access the priority and the name of the MX record by offer methods for it like:

record.priority();
record.name();

resolveTXT

Try to resolve all TXT records for a given name. TXT records are often used to define extra informations for a domain.

To resolve all the TXT records for "vertx.io" you could use something along these lines:

DnsClient client = vertx.createDnsClient(53, "10.0.0.1");
client.resolveTXT("vertx.io", ar -> {
  if (ar.succeeded()) {
    List<String> records = ar.result();
    for (String record: records) {
      System.out.println(record);
    }
  } else {
    System.out.println("Failed to resolve entry" + ar.cause());
  }
});

resolveNS

Try to resolve all NS records for a given name. The NS records specify which DNS Server hosts the DNS informations for a given domain.

To resolve all the NS records for "vertx.io" you could use something along these lines:

DnsClient client = vertx.createDnsClient(53, "10.0.0.1");
client.resolveNS("vertx.io", ar -> {
  if (ar.succeeded()) {
    List<String> records = ar.result();
    for (String record: records) {
      System.out.println(record);
    }
  } else {
    System.out.println("Failed to resolve entry" + ar.cause());
  }
});

resolveSRV

Try to resolve all SRV records for a given name. The SRV records are used to define extra informations like port and hostname of services. Some protocols need this extra informations.

To lookup all the SRV records for "vertx.io" you would typically do:

DnsClient client = vertx.createDnsClient(53, "10.0.0.1");
client.resolveSRV("vertx.io", ar -> {
  if (ar.succeeded()) {
    List<SrvRecord> records = ar.result();
    for (SrvRecord record: records) {
      System.out.println(record);
    }
  } else {
    System.out.println("Failed to resolve entry" + ar.cause());
  }
});

Be aware that the List will contain the SrvRecords sorted by the priority of them, which means SrvRecords with smaller priority coming first in the List.

The SrvRecord allows you to access all informations contained in the SRV record itself:

record.priority();
record.name();
record.weight();
record.port();
record.protocol();
record.service();
record.target();

Please refer to the API docs for the exact details.

resolvePTR

Try to resolve the PTR record for a given name. The PTR record maps an ipaddress to a name.

To resolve the PTR record for the ipaddress 10.0.0.1 you would use the PTR notion of "1.0.0.10.in-addr.arpa"

DnsClient client = vertx.createDnsClient(53, "10.0.0.1");
client.resolvePTR("1.0.0.10.in-addr.arpa", ar -> {
  if (ar.succeeded()) {
    String record = ar.result();
    System.out.println(record);
  } else {
    System.out.println("Failed to resolve entry" + ar.cause());
  }
});

reverseLookup

Try to do a reverse lookup for an ipaddress. This is basically the same as resolve a PTR record, but allows you to just pass in the ipaddress and not a valid PTR query string.

To do a reverse lookup for the ipaddress 10.0.0.1 do something similar like this:

DnsClient client = vertx.createDnsClient(53, "10.0.0.1");
client.reverseLookup("10.0.0.1", ar -> {
  if (ar.succeeded()) {
    String record = ar.result();
    System.out.println(record);
  } else {
    System.out.println("Failed to resolve entry" + ar.cause());
  }
});

Error handling

As you saw in previous sections the DnsClient allows you to pass in a Handler which will be notified with an AsyncResult once the query was complete.

In case of an error it will be notified with a DnsException which will hole a DnsResponseCode that indicate why the resolution failed. This DnsResponseCode can be used to inspect the cause in more detail.

Possible DnsResponseCodes are:

All of those errors are "generated" by the DNS Server itself.

You can obtain the DnsResponseCode from the DnsException like:

DnsClient client = vertx.createDnsClient(53, "10.0.0.1");
client.lookup("nonexisting.vert.xio", ar -> {
  if (ar.succeeded()) {
    String record = ar.result();
    System.out.println(record);
  } else {
    Throwable cause = ar.cause();
    if (cause instanceof DnsException) {
      DnsException exception = (DnsException) cause;
      DnsResponseCode code = exception.code();
      // ...
    } else {
      System.out.println("Failed to resolve entry" + ar.cause());
    }
  }
});

Streams

There are several objects in Vert.x that allow items to be read from and written.

In previous versions the streams.adoc package was manipulating Buffer objects exclusively. From now, streams are not coupled to buffers anymore and they work with any kind of objects.

In Vert.x, write calls return immediately, and writes are queued internally.

It’s not hard to see that if you write to an object faster than it can actually write the data to its underlying resource, then the write queue can grow unbounded - eventually resulting in memory exhaustion.

To solve this problem a simple flow control (back-pressure) capability is provided by some objects in the Vert.x API.

Any flow control aware object that can be written-to implements WriteStream, while any flow control object that can be read-from is said to implement ReadStream.

Let’s take an example where we want to read from a ReadStream then write the data to a WriteStream.

A very simple example would be reading from a NetSocket then writing back to the same NetSocket - since NetSocket implements both ReadStream and WriteStream. Note that this works between any ReadStream and WriteStream compliant object, including HTTP requests, HTTP responses, async files I/O, WebSockets, etc.

A naive way to do this would be to directly take the data that has been read and immediately write it to the NetSocket:

NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer(
    new NetServerOptions().setPort(1234).setHost("localhost")
);
server.connectHandler(sock -> {
  sock.handler(buffer -> {
    // Write the data straight back
    sock.write(buffer);
  });
}).listen();

There is a problem with the example above: if data is read from the socket faster than it can be written back to the socket, it will build up in the write queue of the NetSocket, eventually running out of RAM. This might happen, for example if the client at the other end of the socket wasn’t reading fast enough, effectively putting back-pressure on the connection.

Since NetSocket implements WriteStream, we can check if the WriteStream is full before writing to it:

NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer(
    new NetServerOptions().setPort(1234).setHost("localhost")
);
server.connectHandler(sock -> {
  sock.handler(buffer -> {
    if (!sock.writeQueueFull()) {
      sock.write(buffer);
    }
  });

}).listen();

This example won’t run out of RAM but we’ll end up losing data if the write queue gets full. What we really want to do is pause the NetSocket when the write queue is full:

NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer(
    new NetServerOptions().setPort(1234).setHost("localhost")
);
server.connectHandler(sock -> {
  sock.handler(buffer -> {
    sock.write(buffer);
    if (sock.writeQueueFull()) {
      sock.pause();
    }
  });
}).listen();

We’re almost there, but not quite. The NetSocket now gets paused when the file is full, but we also need to unpause it when the write queue has processed its backlog:

NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer(
    new NetServerOptions().setPort(1234).setHost("localhost")
);
server.connectHandler(sock -> {
  sock.handler(buffer -> {
    sock.write(buffer);
    if (sock.writeQueueFull()) {
      sock.pause();
      sock.drainHandler(done -> {
        sock.resume();
      });
    }
  });
}).listen();

And there we have it. The drainHandler event handler will get called when the write queue is ready to accept more data, this resumes the NetSocket that allows more data to be read.

Wanting to do this is quite common while writing Vert.x applications, so we provide a helper class called Pump that does all of this hard work for you. You just feed it the ReadStream plus the WriteStream then start it:

NetServer server = vertx.createNetServer(
    new NetServerOptions().setPort(1234).setHost("localhost")
);
server.connectHandler(sock -> {
  Pump.pump(sock, sock).start();
}).listen();

This does exactly the same thing as the more verbose example.

Let’s now look at the methods on ReadStream and WriteStream in more detail:

ReadStream

Functions:

  • handler: set a handler which will receive items from the ReadStream.

  • pause: pause the handler. When paused no items will be received in the handler.

  • resume: resume the handler. The handler will be called if any item arrives.

  • exceptionHandler: Will be called if an exception occurs on the ReadStream.

  • endHandler: Will be called when end of stream is reached. This might be when EOF is reached if the ReadStream represents a file, or when end of request is reached if it’s an HTTP request, or when the connection is closed if it’s a TCP socket.

WriteStream

Functions:

  • write: write an object to the WriteStream. This method will never block. Writes are queued internally and asynchronously written to the underlying resource.

  • setWriteQueueMaxSize: set the number of object at which the write queue is considered full, and the method writeQueueFull returns true. Note that, when the write queue is considered full, if write is called the data will still be accepted and queued. The actual number depends on the stream implementation, for Buffer the size represents the actual number of bytes written and not the number of buffers.

  • writeQueueFull: returns true if the write queue is considered full.

  • exceptionHandler: Will be called if an exception occurs on the WriteStream.

  • drainHandler: The handler will be called if the WriteStream is considered no longer full.

Pump

Instances of Pump have the following methods:

A pump can be started and stopped multiple times.

When a pump is first created it is not started. You need to call the start() method to start it.

Record Parser

The record parser allows you to easily parse protocols which are delimited by a sequence of bytes, or fixed size records.

It transforms a sequence of input buffer to a sequence of buffer structured as configured (either fixed size or separated records).

For example, if you have a simple ASCII text protocol delimited by '\n' and the input is the following:

buffer1:HELLO\nHOW ARE Y
buffer2:OU?\nI AM
buffer3: DOING OK
buffer4:\n

The record parser would produce

buffer1:HELLO
buffer2:HOW ARE YOU?
buffer3:I AM DOING OK

Let’s see the associated code:

final RecordParser parser = RecordParser.newDelimited("\n", h -> {
  System.out.println(h.toString());
});

parser.handle(Buffer.buffer("HELLO\nHOW ARE Y"));
parser.handle(Buffer.buffer("OU?\nI AM"));
parser.handle(Buffer.buffer("DOING OK"));
parser.handle(Buffer.buffer("\n"));

You can also produce fixed sized chunks as follows:

RecordParser.newFixed(4, h -> {
  System.out.println(h.toString());
});

For more details, check out the RecordParser class.

Thread safety

Most Vert.x objects are safe to access from different threads. However performance is optimised when they are accessed from the same context they were created from.

For example if you have deployed a verticle which creates a NetServer which provides NetSocket instances in it’s handler, then it’s best to always access that socket instance from the event loop of the verticle.

If you stick to the standard Vert.x verticle deployment model and avoid sharing objects between verticles then this should be the case without you having to think about it.

Metrics SPI

By default Vert.x does not record any metrics. Instead it provides an SPI for others to implement which can be added to the classpath. The metrics SPI is an advanced feature which allows implementers to capture events from Vert.x in order to gather metrics. For more information on this, please consult the API Documentation.

You can also specify a metrics factory programmatically if embedding Vert.x using setFactory.

OSGi

Vert.x Core is packaged as an OSGi bundle, so can be used in any OSGi R4.2+ environment such as Apache Felix or Eclipse Equinox. The bundle exports io.vertx.core*.

However, the bundle has some dependencies on Jackson and Netty. To get the vert.x core bundle resolved deploy:

  • Jackson Annotation [2.6.0,3)

  • Jackson Core [2.6.2,3)

  • Jackson Databind [2.6.2,3)

  • Netty Buffer [4.0.31,5)

  • Netty Codec [4.0.31,5)

  • Netty Codec/Socks [4.0.31,5)

  • Netty Codec/Common [4.0.31,5)

  • Netty Codec/Handler [4.0.31,5)

  • Netty Codec/Transport [4.0.31,5)

Here is a working deployment on Apache Felix 5.2.0:

14|Active     |    1|Jackson-annotations (2.6.0)
15|Active     |    1|Jackson-core (2.6.2)
16|Active     |    1|jackson-databind (2.6.2)
18|Active     |    1|Netty/Buffer (4.0.31.Final)
19|Active     |    1|Netty/Codec (4.0.31.Final)
20|Active     |    1|Netty/Codec/HTTP (4.0.31.Final)
21|Active     |    1|Netty/Codec/Socks (4.0.31.Final)
22|Active     |    1|Netty/Common (4.0.31.Final)
23|Active     |    1|Netty/Handler (4.0.31.Final)
24|Active     |    1|Netty/Transport (4.0.31.Final)
25|Active     |    1|Netty/Transport/SCTP (4.0.31.Final)
26|Active     |    1|Vert.x Core (3.1.0)

On Equinox, you may want to disable the ContextFinder with the following framework property: eclipse.bundle.setTCCL=false

The 'vertx' command line

The vertx command is used to interact with Vert.x from the command line. It’s main use is to run Vert.x verticles. To do this you need to download and install a Vert.x distribution, and add the bin directory of the installation to your PATH environment variable. Also make sure you have a Java 8 JDK on your PATH.

Note
The JDK is required to support on the fly compilation of Java code.

Run verticles

You can run raw Vert.x verticles directly from the command line using vertx run. Here is a couple of examples of the run command:

vertx run my-verticle.js                                 (1)
vertx run my-verticle.groovy                             (2)
vertx run my-verticle.rb                                 (3)

vertx run io.vertx.example.MyVerticle                    (4)
vertx run io.vertx.example.MVerticle -cp my-verticle.jar (5)

vertx run MyVerticle.java                                (6)
  1. Deploys a JavaScript verticle

  2. Deploys a Groovy verticle

  3. Deploys a Ruby verticle

  4. Deploys an already compiled Java verticle. Classpath root is the current directory

  5. Deploys a verticle packaged in a Jar, the jar need to be in the classpath

  6. Compiles the Java source and deploys it

As you can see in the case of Java, the name can either be the fully qualified class name of the verticle, or you can specify the Java Source file directly and Vert.x compiles it for you.

You can also prefix the verticle with the name of the language implementation to use. For example if the verticle is a compiled Groovy class, you prefix it with groovy: so that Vert.x knows it’s a Groovy class not a Java class.

vertx run groovy:io.vertx.example.MyGroovyVerticle

The vertx run command can take a few optional parameters, they are:

  • -conf <config_file> - Provides some configuration to the verticle. config_file is the name of a text file containing a JSON object that represents the configuration for the verticle. This is optional.

  • -cp <path> - The path on which to search for the verticle and any other resources used by the verticle. This defaults to . (current directory). If your verticle references other scripts, classes or other resources (e.g. jar files) then make sure these are on this path. The path can contain multiple path entries separated by : (colon) or ; (semi-colon) depending on the operating system. Each path entry can be an absolute or relative path to a directory containing scripts, or absolute or relative filenames for jar or zip files. An example path might be -cp classes:lib/otherscripts:jars/myjar.jar:jars/otherjar.jar. Always use the path to reference any resources that your verticle requires. Do not put them on the system classpath as this can cause isolation issues between deployed verticles.

  • -instances <instances> - The number of instances of the verticle to instantiate. Each verticle instance is strictly single threaded so to scale your application across available cores you might want to deploy more than one instance. If omitted a single instance will be deployed.

  • -worker - This option determines whether the verticle is a worker verticle or not.

  • -cluster - This option determines whether the Vert.x instance will attempt to form a cluster with other Vert.x instances on the network. Clustering Vert.x instances allows Vert.x to form a distributed event bus with other nodes. Default is false (not clustered).

  • -cluster-port - If the cluster option has also been specified then this determines which port will be used for cluster communication with other Vert.x instances. Default is 0 - which means 'choose a free random port'. You don’t usually need to specify this parameter unless you really need to bind to a specific port.

  • -cluster-host - If the cluster option has also been specified then this determines which host address will be used for cluster communication with other Vert.x instances. By default it will try and pick one from the available interfaces. If you have more than one interface and you want to use a specific one, specify it here.

  • -ha - if specified the verticle will be deployed as high availability (HA) deployment. See related section for more details

  • -quorum - used in conjunction with -ha. It specifies the minimum number of nodes in the cluster for any HA deploymentIDs to be active. Defaults to 0.

  • -hagroup - used in conjunction with -ha. It specifies the HA group this node will join. There can be multiple HA groups in a cluster. Nodes will only failover to other nodes in the same group. The default value is ` __DEFAULT__`

You can also set system properties using: -Dkey=value.

Here are some more examples:

Run a JavaScript verticle server.js with default settings

vertx run server.js

Run 10 instances of a pre-compiled Java verticle specifying classpath

vertx run com.acme.MyVerticle -cp "classes:lib/myjar.jar" -instances 10

Run 10 instances of a Java verticle by source file

vertx run MyVerticle.java -instances 10

Run 20 instances of a ruby worker verticle

vertx run order_worker.rb -instances 20 -worker

Run two JavaScript verticles on the same machine and let them cluster together with each other and any other servers on the network

vertx run handler.js -cluster
vertx run sender.js -cluster

Run a Ruby verticle passing it some config

vertx run my_verticle.rb -conf my_verticle.conf

Where my_verticle.conf might contain something like:

{
 "name": "foo",
 "num_widgets": 46
}

The config will be available inside the verticle via the core API.

When using the high-availability feature of vert.x you may want to create a bare instance of vert.x. This instance does not deploy any verticles when launched, but will receive a verticle if another node of the cluster dies. To create a bare instance, launch:

vertx bare

Depending on your cluster configuration, you may have to append the cluster-host and cluster-port parameters.

Executing a Vert.x application packaged as a fat jar

A fat jar is an executable jar embedding its dependencies. This means you don’t have to have Vert.x pre-installed on the machine on which you execute the jar. Like any executable Java jar it can be executed with.

java -jar my-application-fat.jar

There is nothing really Vert.x specific about this, you could do this with any Java application

You can either create your own main class and specify that in the manifest, but it’s recommended that you write your code as verticles and use the Vert.x Launcher class (io.vertx.core.Launcher) as your main class. This is the same main class used when running Vert.x at the command line and therefore allows you to specify command line arguments, such as -instances in order to scale your application more easily.

To deploy your verticle in a fatjar like this you must have a manifest with:

  • Main-Class set to io.vertx.core.Launcher

  • Main-Verticle specifying the main verticle (fully qualified class name or script file name)

You can also provide the usual command line arguments that you would pass to vertx run:

java -jar my-verticle-fat.jar -cluster -conf myconf.json
java -jar my-verticle-fat.jar -cluster -conf myconf.json -cp path/to/dir/conf/cluster_xml
Note
Please consult the Maven/Gradle simplest and Maven/Gradle verticle examples in the examples repository for examples of building applications as fatjars.

A fat jar executes the run command, by default.

Displaying version of Vert.x

To display the vert.x version, just launch:

vertx version

Other commands

The vertx command line and the Launcher also provide other commands in addition to run and version:

You can create a bare instance using:

vertx bare
# or
java -jar my-verticle-fat.jar bare

You can also start an application in background using:

java -jar my-verticle-fat.jar start -Dvertx-id=my-app-name

If my-app-name is not set, a random id will be generated, and printed on the command prompt. You can pass run options to the start command:

java -jar my-verticle-fat.jar start -Dvertx-id=my-app-name -cluster

Once launched in background, you can stop it with the stop command:

java -jar my-verticle-fat.jar stop my-app-name

You can also list the vert.x application launched in background using:

java -jar my-verticle-fat.jar list

The start, stop and list command are also available from the vertx tool. The start` command supports a couple of options:

  • vertx-id : the application id, uses a random UUID if not set

  • java-opts : the Java Virtual Machine options, uses the JAVA_OPTS environment variable if not set.

  • redirect-output : redirect the spawned process output and error streams to the parent process streams.

    If option values contain spaces, don't forget to wrap the value between `""` (double-quotes).
    As the `start` command spawns a new process, the java options passed to the JVM are not propagated, so you **must**
    use `java-opts` to configure the JVM (`-X`, `-D`...). If you use the `CLASSPATH` environment variable, be sure it
    contains all the required jars (vertx-core, your jars and all the dependencies).

The set of commands is extensible, refer to the Extending the vert.x Launcher section.

Live Redeploy

When developing it may be convenient to automatically redeploy your application upon file changes. The vertx command line tool and more generally the Launcher class offers this feature. Here are some examples:

vertx run MyVerticle.groovy --redeploy="**/*.groovy" --launcher-class=io.vertx.core.Launcher
vertx run MyVerticle.groovy --redeploy="**/*.groovy,**/*.rb"  --launcher-class=io.vertx.core.Launcher
java io.vertx.core.Launcher run org.acme.MyVerticle --redeploy="**/*.class"  --launcher-class=io.vertx.core
.Launcher -cp ...

The redeployment process is implemented as follows. First your application is launched as a background application (with the start command). On matching file changes, the process is stopped and the application is restarted. This way avoids leaks.

To enable the live redeploy, pass the --redeploy option to the run command. The --redeploy indicates the set of file to watch. This set can use Ant-style patterns (with **, * and ?). You can specify several sets by separating them using a comma (,). Patterns are relative to the current working directory.

Parameters passed to the run command are passed to the application. Java Virtual Machine options can be configured using --java-opts.

The --launcher-class option determine with with main class the application is launcher. It’s generally Launcher, but you have use you own main.

The redeploy feature can be used in your IDE:

  • Eclipse - create a Run configuration, using the io.vertx.core.Launcher class a main class. In the Program arguments area (in the Arguments tab), write run your-verticle-fully-qualified-name --redeploy=**/*.java --launcher-class=io.vertx.core.Launcher. You can also add other parameters. The redeployment works smoothly as Eclipse incrementally compiles your files on save.

  • IntelliJ - create a Run configuration (Application), set the Main class to io.vertx.core.Launcher. In the Program arguments write: run your-verticle-fully-qualified-name --redeploy=**/*.class --launcher-class=io.vertx.core.Launcher. To trigger the redeployment, you need to make the project or the module explicitly (Build menu → Make project).

To debug your application, create your run configuration as a remote application and configure the debugger using --java-opts. However, don’t forget to re-plug the debugger after every redeployment as a new process is created every time.

You can also hook your build process in the redeploy cycle:

java -jar target/my-fat-jar.jar --redeploy="**/*.java" --on-redeploy="mvn package"
java -jar build/libs/my-fat-jar.jar --redeploy="src/**/*.java" --on-redeploy='./gradlew shadowJar'

The "on-redeploy" option specifies a command invoked after the shutdown of the application and before the restart. So you can hook your build tool if it updates some runtime artifacts. For instance, you can launch gulp or grunt to update your resources.

The redeploy feature also supports the following settings:

  • redeploy-scan-period : the file system check period (in milliseconds), 250ms by default

  • redeploy-grace-period : the amount of time (in milliseconds) to wait between 2 re-deployments, 1000ms by default

  • redeploy-termination-period : the amount of time to wait after having stopped the application (before launching user command). This is useful on Windows, where the process is not killed immediately. The time is given in milliseconds. 0 ms by default.

Cluster Managers

In Vert.x a cluster manager is used for various functions including:

  • Discovery and group membership of Vert.x nodes in a cluster

  • Maintaining cluster wide topic subscriber lists (so we know which nodes are interested in which event bus addresses)

  • Distributed Map support

  • Distributed Locks

  • Distributed Counters

Cluster managers do not handle the event bus inter-node transport, this is done directly by Vert.x with TCP connections.

The default cluster manager used in the Vert.x distributions is one that uses Hazelcast but this can be easily replaced by a different implementation as Vert.x cluster managers are pluggable.

A cluster manager must implement the interface ClusterManager. Vert.x locates cluster managers at run-time by using the Java Service Loader functionality to locate instances of ClusterManager on the classpath.

If you are using Vert.x at the command line and you want to use clustering you should make sure the lib directory of the Vert.x installation contains your cluster manager jar.

If you are using Vert.x from a Maven or Gradle project just add the cluster manager jar as a dependency of your project.

You can also specify cluster managers programmatically if embedding Vert.x using setClusterManager.

Logging

Vert.x logs using it’s in-built logging API. The default implementation uses the JDK (JUL) logging so no extra logging dependencies are needed.

Configuring JUL logging

A JUL logging configuration file can be specified in the normal JUL way by providing a system property called: java.util.logging.config.file with the value being your configuration file. For more information on this and the structure of a JUL config file please consult the JUL logging documentation.

Vert.x also provides a slightly more convenient way to specify a configuration file without having to set a system property. Just provide a JUL config file with the name vertx-default-jul-logging.properties on your classpath (e.g. inside your fatjar) and Vert.x will use that to configure JUL.

Using another logging framework

If you don’t want Vert.x to use JUL for it’s own logging you can configure it to use another logging framework, e.g. Log4J or SLF4J.

To do this you should set a system property called vertx.logger-delegate-factory-class-name with the name of a Java class which implements the interface LogDelegateFactory. We provide pre-built implementations for Log4J (version 1), Log4J 2 and SLF4J with the class names io.vertx.core.logging.Log4jLogDelegateFactory, io.vertx.core.logging.Log4j2LogDelegateFactory and io.vertx.core.logging.SLF4JLogDelegateFactory respectively. If you want to use these implementations you should also make sure the relevant Log4J or SLF4J jars are on your classpath.

Notice that, the provided delegate for Log4J 1 does not support parameterized message. The delegate for Log4J 2 uses the {} syntax like the SLF4J delegate. JUL delegate uses the {x} syntax.

Logging from your application

Vert.x itself is just a library and you can use whatever logging library you prefer to log from your own application, using that logging library’s API.

However, if you prefer you can use the Vert.x logging facility as described above to provide logging for your application too.

To do that you use LoggerFactory to get an instance of Logger which you then use for logging, e.g.

Logger logger = LoggerFactory.getLogger(className);

logger.info("something happened");
logger.error("oops!", exception);

Host name resolution

Vert.x uses an an address resolver for resolving host name into IP addresses instead of the JVM built-in blocking resolver.

An host name resolves to an IP address using:

  • the hosts file of the operating system

  • otherwise DNS queries against a list of servers

By default it will use the list of the system DNS server addresses from the environment, if that list cannot be retrieved it will use Google’s public DNS servers "8.8.8.8" and "8.8.4.4".

DNS servers can be also configured when creating a Vertx instance:

Vertx vertx = Vertx.vertx(new VertxOptions().
    setAddressResolverOptions(
        new AddressResolverOptions().
            addServer("192.168.0.1").
            addServer("192.168.0.2:40000"))
);

The default port of a DNS server is 53, when a server uses a different port, this port can be set using a colon delimiter: 192.168.0.2:40000.

The resolver can be configured to use an alternative hosts file:

Vertx vertx = Vertx.vertx(new VertxOptions().
    setAddressResolverOptions(
        new AddressResolverOptions().
            setHostsPath("/path/to/hosts"))
);

By default the resolver will use the system DNS search domains from the environment. Alternatively an explicit search domain list can be provided:

Vertx vertx = Vertx.vertx(new VertxOptions().
    setAddressResolverOptions(
        new AddressResolverOptions().addSearchDomain("foo.com").addSearchDomain("bar.com"))
);

When a search domain list is used, the threshold for the number of dots is 1 or loaded from /etc/resolv.conf on Linux, it can be configured to a specific value with setNdots.

Note
sometimes it can be desirable to use the JVM built-in resolver, the JVM system property -Dvertx.disableDnsResolver=true activates this behavior

High Availability and Fail-Over

Vert.x allows you to run your verticles with high availability (HA) support. In that case, when a vert.x instance running a verticle dies abruptly, the verticle is migrated to another vertx instance. The vert.x instances must be in the same cluster.

Automatic failover

When vert.x runs with HA enabled, if a vert.x instance where a verticle runs fails or dies, the verticle is redeployed automatically on another vert.x instance of the cluster. We call this verticle fail-over.

To run vert.x with the HA enabled, just add the -ha flag to the command line:

vertx run my-verticle.js -ha

Now for HA to work, you need more than one Vert.x instances in the cluster, so let’s say you have another Vert.x instance that you have already started, for example:

vertx run my-other-verticle.js -ha

If the Vert.x instance that is running my-verticle.js now dies (you can test this by killing the process with kill -9), the Vert.x instance that is running my-other-verticle.js will automatic deploy my-verticle .js so now that Vert.x instance is running both verticles.

Note
the migration is only possible if the second vert.x instance has access to the verticle file (here my-verticle.js).
Important
Please note that cleanly closing a Vert.x instance will not cause failover to occur, e.g. CTRL-C or kill -SIGINT

You can also start bare Vert.x instances - i.e. instances that are not initially running any verticles, they will also failover for nodes in the cluster. To start a bare instance you simply do:

vertx run -ha

When using the -ha switch you do not need to provide the -cluster switch, as a cluster is assumed if you want HA.

Note
depending on your cluster configuration, you may need to customize the cluster manager configuration (Hazelcast by default), and/or add the cluster-host and cluster-port parameters.

HA groups

When running a Vert.x instance with HA you can also optional specify a HA group. A HA group denotes a logical group of nodes in the cluster. Only nodes with the same HA group will failover onto one another. If you don’t specify a HA group the default group __DEFAULT__ is used.

To specify an HA group you use the -hagroup switch when running the verticle, e.g.

vertx run my-verticle.js -ha -ha-group my-group

Let’s look at an example:

In a first terminal:

vertx run my-verticle.js -ha -hagroup g1

In a second terminal, let’s run another verticle using the same group:

vertx run my-other-verticle.js -ha -hagroup g1

Finally, in a third terminal, launch another verticle using a different group:

vertx run yet-another-verticle.js -ha -hagroup g2

If we kill the instance in terminal 1, it will fail over to the instance in terminal 2, not the instance in terminal 3 as that has a different group.

If we kill the instance in terminal 3, it won’t get failed over as there is no other vert.x instance in that group.

Dealing with network partitions - Quora

The HA implementation also supports quora. A quorum is the minimum number of votes that a distributed transaction has to obtain in order to be allowed to perform an operation in a distributed system.

When starting a Vert.x instance you can instruct it that it requires a quorum before any HA deployments will be deployed. In this context, a quorum is a minimum number of nodes for a particular group in the cluster. Typically you chose your quorum size to Q = 1 + N/2 where N is the number of nodes in the group. If there are less than Q nodes in the cluster the HA deployments will undeploy. They will redeploy again if/when a quorum is re-attained. By doing this you can prevent against network partitions, a.k.a. split brain.

There is more information on quora here.

To run vert.x instances with a quorum you specify -quorum on the command line, e.g.

In a first terminal:

vertx run my-verticle.js -ha -quorum 3

At this point the Vert.x instance will start but not deploy the module (yet) because there is only one node in the cluster, not 3.

In a second terminal:

vertx run my-other-verticle.js -ha -quorum 3

At this point the Vert.x instance will start but not deploy the module (yet) because there are only two nodes in the cluster, not 3.

In a third console, you can start another instance of vert.x:

vertx run yet-another-verticle.js -ha -quorum 3

Yay! - we have three nodes, that’s a quorum. At this point the modules will automatically deploy on all instances.

If we now close or kill one of the nodes the modules will automatically undeploy on the other nodes, as there is no longer a quorum.

Quora can also be used in conjunction with ha groups. In that case, quora are resolved for each particular group.

Security notes

Vert.x is a toolkit, not an opinionated framework where we force you to do things in a certain way. This gives you great power as a developer but with that comes great responsibility.

As with any toolkit, it’s possible to write insecure applications, so you should always be careful when developing your application especially if it’s exposed to the public (e.g. over the internet).

Web applications

If writing a web application it’s highly recommended that you use Vert.x-Web instead of Vert.x core directly for serving resources and handling file uploads.

Vert.x-Web normalises the path in requests to prevent malicious clients from crafting URLs to access resources outside of the web root.

Similarly for file uploads Vert.x-Web provides functionality for uploading to a known place on disk and does not rely on the filename provided by the client in the upload which could be crafted to upload to a different place on disk.

Vert.x core itself does not provide such checks so it would be up to you as a developer to implement them yourself.

Clustered event bus traffic

When clustering the event bus between different Vert.x nodes on a network, the traffic is sent un-encrypted across the wire, so do not use this if you have confidential data to send and your Vert.x nodes are not on a trusted network.

Standard security best practices

Any service can have potentially vulnerabilities whether it’s written using Vert.x or any other toolkit so always follow security best practice, especially if your service is public facing.

For example you should always run them in a DMZ and with an user account that has limited rights in order to limit the extent of damage in case the service was compromised.

Vert.x Command Line Interface API

Vert.x Core provides an API for parsing command line arguments passed to programs.

It’s also able to print help messages detailing the options available for a command line tool. Even if such features are far from the Vert.x core topics, this API is used in the Launcher class that you can use in fat-jar and in the vertx command line tools. In addition, it’s polyglot (can be used from any supported language) and is used in Vert.x Shell.

Vert.x CLI provides a model to describe your command line interface, but also a parser. This parser supports different types of syntax:

  • POSIX like options (ie. tar -zxvf foo.tar.gz)

  • GNU like long options (ie. du --human-readable --max-depth=1)

  • Java like properties (ie. java -Djava.awt.headless=true -Djava.net.useSystemProxies=true Foo)

  • Short options with value attached (ie. gcc -O2 foo.c)

  • Long options with single hyphen (ie. ant -projecthelp)

Using the CLI api is a 3-steps process:

  1. The definition of the command line interface

  2. The parsing of the user command line

  3. The query / interrogation

Definition Stage

Each command line interface must define the set of options and arguments that will be used. It also requires a name. The CLI API uses the Option and Argument classes to describe options and arguments:

CLI cli = CLI.create("copy")
    .setSummary("A command line interface to copy files.")
    .addOption(new Option()
        .setLongName("directory")
        .setShortName("R")
        .setDescription("enables directory support")
        .setFlag(true))
    .addArgument(new Argument()
        .setIndex(0)
        .setDescription("The source")
        .setArgName("source"))
    .addArgument(new Argument()
        .setIndex(0)
        .setDescription("The destination")
        .setArgName("target"));

As you can see, you can create a new CLI using CLI.create. The passed string is the name of the CLI. Once created you can set the summary and description. The summary is intended to be short (one line), while the description can contain more details. Each option and argument are also added on the CLI object using the addArgument and addOption methods.

Options

An Option is a command line parameter identified by a key present in the user command line. Options must have at least a long name or a short name. Long name are generally used using a -- prefix, while short names are used with a single -. Options can get a description displayed in the usage (see below). Options can receive 0, 1 or several values. An option receiving 0 values is a flag, and must be declared using setFlag. By default, options receive a single value, however, you can configure the option to receive several values using setMultiValued:

CLI cli = CLI.create("some-name")
    .setSummary("A command line interface illustrating the options valuation.")
    .addOption(new Option()
        .setLongName("flag").setShortName("f").setFlag(true).setDescription("a flag"))
    .addOption(new Option()
        .setLongName("single").setShortName("s").setDescription("a single-valued option"))
    .addOption(new Option()
        .setLongName("multiple").setShortName("m").setMultiValued(true)
        .setDescription("a multi-valued option"));

Options can be marked as mandatory. A mandatory option not set in the user command line throws an exception during the parsing:

CLI cli = CLI.create("some-name")
    .addOption(new Option()
        .setLongName("mandatory")
        .setRequired(true)
        .setDescription("a mandatory option"));

Non-mandatory options can have a default value. This value would be used if the user does not set the option in the command line:

CLI cli = CLI.create("some-name")
    .addOption(new Option()
        .setLongName("optional")
        .setDefaultValue("hello")
        .setDescription("an optional option with a default value"));

An option can be hidden using the setHidden method. Hidden option are not listed in the usage, but can still be used in the user command line (for power-users).

If the option value is contrained to a fixed set, you can set the different acceptable choices:

CLI cli = CLI.create("some-name")
    .addOption(new Option()
        .setLongName("color")
        .setDefaultValue("green")
        .addChoice("blue").addChoice("red").addChoice("green")
        .setDescription("a color"));

Options can also be instantiated from their JSON form.

Arguments

Unlike options, arguments do not have a key and are identified by their index. For example, in java com.acme.Foo, com.acme.Foo is an argument.

Arguments do not have a name, there are identified using a 0-based index. The first parameter has the index 0:

CLI cli = CLI.create("some-name")
    .addArgument(new Argument()
        .setIndex(0)
        .setDescription("the first argument")
        .setArgName("arg1"))
    .addArgument(new Argument()
        .setIndex(1)
        .setDescription("the second argument")
        .setArgName("arg2"));

If you don’t set the argument indexes, it computes it automatically by using the declaration order.

CLI cli = CLI.create("some-name")
    // will have the index 0
    .addArgument(new Argument()
        .setDescription("the first argument")
        .setArgName("arg1"))
    // will have the index 1
    .addArgument(new Argument()
        .setDescription("the second argument")
        .setArgName("arg2"));

The argName is optional and used in the usage message.

As options, Argument can:

Arguments can also be instantiated from their JSON form.

Usage generation

Once your CLI instance is configured, you can generate the usage message:

CLI cli = CLI.create("copy")
    .setSummary("A command line interface to copy files.")
    .addOption(new Option()
        .setLongName("directory")
        .setShortName("R")
        .setDescription("enables directory support")
        .setFlag(true))
    .addArgument(new Argument()
        .setIndex(0)
        .setDescription("The source")
        .setArgName("source"))
    .addArgument(new Argument()
        .setIndex(0)
        .setDescription("The destination")
        .setArgName("target"));

StringBuilder builder = new StringBuilder();
cli.usage(builder);

It generates an usage message like this one:

Usage: copy [-R] source target

A command line interface to copy files.

  -R,--directory   enables directory support

If you need to tune the usage message, check the UsageMessageFormatter class.

Parsing Stage

Once your CLI instance is configured, you can parse the user command line to evaluate each option and argument:

CommandLine commandLine = cli.parse(userCommandLineArguments);

The parse method returns a CommandLine object containing the values. By default, it validates the user command line and checks that each mandatory options and arguments have been set as well as the number of values received by each option. You can disable the validation by passing false as second parameter of parse. This is useful if you want to check an argument or option is present even if the parsed command line is invalid.

You can check whether or not the CommandLine is valid using isValid.

Query / Interrogation Stage

Once parsed, you can retrieve the values of the options and arguments from the CommandLine object returned by the parse method:

CommandLine commandLine = cli.parse(userCommandLineArguments);
String opt = commandLine.getOptionValue("my-option");
boolean flag = commandLine.isFlagEnabled("my-flag");
String arg0 = commandLine.getArgumentValue(0);

One of your option can have been marked as "help". If a user command line enabled a "help" option, the validation won’t failed, but give you the opportunity to check if the user asks for help:

CLI cli = CLI.create("test")
    .addOption(
        new Option().setLongName("help").setShortName("h").setFlag(true).setHelp(true))
    .addOption(
        new Option().setLongName("mandatory").setRequired(true));

CommandLine line = cli.parse(Collections.singletonList("-h"));

// The parsing does not fail and let you do:
if (!line.isValid() && line.isAskingForHelp()) {
  StringBuilder builder = new StringBuilder();
  cli.usage(builder);
  stream.print(builder.toString());
}

Typed options and arguments

The described Option and Argument classes are untyped, meaning that the only get String values.

TypedOption and TypedArgument let you specify a type, so the (String) raw value is converted to the specified type.

Instead of Option and Argument, use TypedOption and TypedArgument in the CLI definition:

CLI cli = CLI.create("copy")
    .setSummary("A command line interface to copy files.")
    .addOption(new TypedOption<Boolean>()
        .setType(Boolean.class)
        .setLongName("directory")
        .setShortName("R")
        .setDescription("enables directory support")
        .setFlag(true))
    .addArgument(new TypedArgument<File>()
        .setType(File.class)
        .setIndex(0)
        .setDescription("The source")
        .setArgName("source"))
    .addArgument(new TypedArgument<File>()
        .setType(File.class)
        .setIndex(0)
        .setDescription("The destination")
        .setArgName("target"));

Then you can retrieve the converted values as follows:

CommandLine commandLine = cli.parse(userCommandLineArguments);
boolean flag = commandLine.getOptionValue("R");
File source = commandLine.getArgumentValue("source");
File target = commandLine.getArgumentValue("target");

The vert.x CLI is able to convert to classes:

  • having a constructor with a single String argument, such as File or JsonObject

  • with a static from or fromString method

  • with a static valueOf method, such as primitive types and enumeration

In addition, you can implement your own Converter and instruct the CLI to use this converter:

CLI cli = CLI.create("some-name")
    .addOption(new TypedOption<Person>()
        .setType(Person.class)
        .setConverter(new PersonConverter())
        .setLongName("person"));

For booleans, the boolean values are evaluated to true: on, yes, 1, true.

If one of your option as an enum as type, it computes the set of choices automatically.

Using annotations

You can also define your CLI using annotations. Definition is done using annotation on the class and on setter methods:

@Name("some-name")
@Summary("some short summary.")
@Description("some long description")
public class AnnotatedCli {

  private boolean flag;
  private String name;
  private String arg;

 @Option(shortName = "f", flag = true)
 public void setFlag(boolean flag) {
   this.flag = flag;
 }

 @Option(longName = "name")
 public void setName(String name) {
   this.name = name;
 }

 @Argument(index = 0)
 public void setArg(String arg) {
  this.arg = arg;
 }
}

Once annotated, you can define the CLI and inject the values using:

CLI cli = CLI.create(AnnotatedCli.class);
CommandLine commandLine = cli.parse(userCommandLineArguments);
AnnotatedCli instance = new AnnotatedCli();
CLIConfigurator.inject(commandLine, instance);

The vert.x Launcher

The vert.x Launcher is used in fat jar as main class, and by the vertx command line utility. It executes a set of commands such as run, bare, start…​

Extending the vert.x Launcher

You can extend the set of command by implementing your own Command (in Java only):

@Name("my-command")
@Summary("A simple hello command.")
public class MyCommand extends DefaultCommand {

  private String name;

  @Option(longName = "name", required = true)
  public void setName(String n) {
    this.name = n;
  }

  @Override
  public void run() throws CLIException {
    System.out.println("Hello " + name);
  }
}

You also need an implementation of CommandFactory:

public class HelloCommandFactory extends DefaultCommandFactory<HelloCommand> {
  public HelloCommandFactory() {
   super(HelloCommand.class);
  }
}

Then, create the src/main/resources/META-INF/services/io.vertx.core.spi.launcher.CommandFactory and add a line indicating the fully qualified name of the factory:

io.vertx.core.launcher.example.HelloCommandFactory

Builds the jar containing the command. Be sure to includes the SPI file (META-INF/services/io.vertx.core.spi.launcher.CommandFactory).

Then, place the jar containing the command into the classpath of your fat-jar (or include it inside) or in the lib directory of your vert.x distribution, and you would be able to execute:

vertx hello vert.x
java -jar my-fat-jar.jar hello vert.x

Using the Launcher in fat jars

To use the Launcher class in a fat-jar just set the Main-Class of the MANIFEST to io.vertx.core.Launcher. In addition, set the Main-Verticle MANIFEST entry to the name of your main verticle.

By default, it executed the run command. However, you can configure the default command by setting the Main-Command MANIFEST entry. The default command is used if the fat jar is launched without a command.

Sub-classing the Launcher

You can also create a sub-class of Launcher to start your application. The class has been designed to be easily extensible.

A Launcher sub-class can:

Launcher and exit code

When you use the Launcher class as main class, it uses the following exit code:

  • 0 if the process ends smoothly, or if an uncaught error is thrown

  • 1 for general purpose error

  • 11 if Vert.x cannot be initialized

  • 12 if a spawn process cannot be started, found or stopped. This error code is used by the start and stop command

  • 14 if the system configuration is not meeting the system requirement (shc as java not found)

  • 15 if the main verticle cannot be deployed

Configuring Vert.x cache

When Vert.x needs to read a file from the classpath (embedded in a fat jar, in a jar form the classpath or a file that is on the classpath), it copies it to a cache directory. The reason behind this is simple: reading a file from a jar or from an input stream is blocking. So to avoid to pay the price every time, Vert.x copies the file to its cache directory and reads it from there every subsequent read. This behavior can be configured.

First, by default, Vert.x uses $CWD/.vertx as cache directory. It creates a unique directory inside this one to avoid conflicts. This location can be configured by using the vertx.cacheDirBase system property. For instance if the current working directory is not writable (such as in an immutable container context), launch your application with:

vertx run my.Verticle -Dvertx.cacheDirBase=/tmp/vertx-cache
# or
java -jar my-fat.jar vertx.cacheDirBase=/tmp/vertx-cache
Important
the directory must be writable.

When you are editing resources such as HTML, CSS or JavaScript, this cache mechanism can be annoying as it serves only the first version of the file (and so you won’t see your edits if you reload your page). To avoid this behavior, launch your application with -Dvertx.disableFileCaching=true. With this setting, Vert.x still uses the cache, but always refresh the version stored in the cache with the original source. So if you edit a file served from the classpath and refresh your browser, Vert.x reads it from the classpath, copies it to the cache directory and serves it from there. Do not use this setting in production, it can kill your performances.

Finally, you can disable completely the cache by using -Dvertx.disableFileCPResolving=true. This setting is not without consequences. Vert.x would be unable to read any files from the classpath (only from the file system). Be very careful when using this settings.