Building a Super Simple HTTP Proxy in Ruby in just 9 lines of code

Oct 1, 2023 ยท 3 min read

Building a Simple HTTP Proxy in Ruby

Ruby makes it easy to write network applications with its socket library and HTTP libraries like net/http.

First we require the needed libraries:

require 'socket'
require 'net/http'

Next we create a TCPServer to listen for connections:

server ='localhost', 3000)

Then we loop through each connection:

while (connection = server.accept)
  # handle request

To handle each request we:

  • Read the request
  • request = connection.read_nonblock(256)
  • Extract the URL
  • url = request.split[1]
  • Make the proxied request
  • response = Net::HTTP.get_response(URI(url))
  • Write back the response
  • connection.puts response

    The full script:

    require 'socket'
    require 'net/http'
    server ='localhost', 3000)
    while (connection = server.accept)
      request = connection.read_nonblock(256)
      url = request.split[1]
      response = Net::HTTP.get_response(URI(url))
      connection.puts response

    This gives you a very simple HTTP proxy in Ruby in just a few lines. Many improvements could be made but it demonstrates the basic approach.

    This is great as a learning exercise but it is easy to see that even the proxy server itself is prone to get blocked as it uses a single IP. In this scenario where you may want a proxy that handles thousands of fetches every day using a professional rotating proxy service to rotate IPs is almost a must.

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