Usage will differ based on whether you are writing an HTTP client, or a server-side application.

For HTTP client purposes, you will create and populate a Request instance, and the client should return a Response instance.

For server-side applications, you will create a ServerRequest instance, and populate and return a Response instance.

HTTP Clients

A client will send a request, and return a response. As a developer, you will create and populate the request, and then introspect the response. Both requests and responses are immutable; if you make changes — e.g., by calling setter methods — you must capture the return value, as it is a new instance.

// Create a request
$request = (new Zend\Diactoros\Request())
    ->withUri(new Zend\Diactoros\Uri(''))
    ->withAddedHeader('Authorization', 'Bearer ' . $token)
    ->withAddedHeader('Content-Type', 'application/json');

// OR:
$request = new Zend\Diactoros\Request(
        'Authorization' => 'Bearer ' . $token,
        'Content-Type'  => 'application/json',

// If you want to set a non-origin-form request target, set the
// request-target explicitly:
$request = $request->withRequestTarget((string) $uri);       // absolute-form
$request = $request->withRequestTarget($uri->getAuthority()); // authority-form
$request = $request->withRequestTarget('*');                 // asterisk-form

// Once you have the instance:
$response = $client->send($request);

printf("Response status: %d (%s)\n", $response->getStatusCode(), $response->getReasonPhrase());
foreach ($response->getHeaders() as $header => $values) {
    printf("    %s: %s\n", $header, implode(', ', $values));
printf("Message:\n%s\n", $response->getBody());

(Note: zend-diactoros does NOT ship with a client implementation; the above is just an illustration of a possible implementation.)

Server-Side Applications

Server-side applications will need to marshal the incoming request based on superglobals, and will then populate and send a response.

Marshaling an incoming Request

PHP contains a plethora of information about the incoming request, and keeps that information in a variety of locations. Zend\Diactoros\ServerRequestFactory::fromGlobals() can simplify marshaling that information into a request instance.

You can call the factory method with or without the following arguments, in the following order:

  • $server, typically $_SERVER
  • $query, typically $_GET
  • $body, typically $_POST
  • $cookies, typically $_COOKIE
  • $files, typically $_FILES

The method will then return a Zend\Diactoros\ServerRequest instance. If any argument is omitted, the associated superglobal will be used.

$request = Zend\Diactoros\ServerRequestFactory::fromGlobals(

When no cookie array is supplied, fromGlobals will first try to parse the supplied cookie header before falling back to the $_COOKIE superglobal. This is done because PHP has some legacy handling for request parameters which were then registered as global variables. Due to this, cookies with a period in the name were renamed with underlines. By getting the cookies directly from the cookie header, you have access to the original cookies in the way you set them in your application and they are send by the user agent.

Manipulating the Response

Use the response object to add headers and provide content for the response. Writing to the body does not create a state change in the response, so it can be done without capturing the return value. Manipulating headers does, however.

$response = new Zend\Diactoros\Response();

// Write to the response body:
$response->getBody()->write("some content\n");

// Multiple calls to write() append:
$response->getBody()->write("more content\n"); // now "some content\nmore content\n"

// Add headers
// Note: headers do not need to be added before data is written to the body!
$response = $response
    ->withHeader('Content-Type', 'text/plain')
    ->withAddedHeader('X-Show-Something', 'something');

"Serving" an Application


The class Zend\Diactoros\Server is deprecated as of the 1.8.0 release. We recommend using the class Zend\HttpHandlerRunner\RequestHandlerRunner via the package zendframework/zend-httphandlerrunner instead.

Zend\Diactoros\Server mimics a portion of the API of node's http.Server class. It invokes a callback, passing it an ServerRequest, an Response, and optionally a callback to use for incomplete/unhandled requests.

You can create a server in one of three ways:

// Direct instantiation, with a callback handler, request, and response
$server = new Zend\Diactoros\Server(
    function ($request, $response, $done) {
        $response->getBody()->write("Hello world!");

// Using the createServer factory, providing it with the various superglobals:
$server = Zend\Diactoros\Server::createServer(
    function ($request, $response, $done) {
        $response->getBody()->write("Hello world!");

// Using the createServerFromRequest factory, and providing it a request:
$server = Zend\Diactoros\Server::createServerFromRequest(
  function ($request, $response, $done) {
      $response->getBody()->write("Hello world!");

Server callbacks can expect up to three arguments, in the following order:

  • $request - the request object
  • $response - the response object
  • $done - an optional callback to call when complete

Once you have your server instance, you must instruct it to listen:


At this time, you can optionally provide a callback to listen(); this will be passed to the handler as the third argument ($done):

$server->listen(function ($request, $response, $error = null) {
    if (! $error) {
    // do something with the error...

Typically, the listen callback will be an error handler, and can expect to receive the request, response, and error as its arguments (though the error may be null).

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