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coap-client - Man Page

CoAP Client based on libcoap


coap-client [-a addr] [-b [num,]size] [-e text] [-f file] [-l loss] [-m method] [-o file] [-p port] [-q tls_engine_conf_file] [-r] [-s duration] [-t type] [-v num] [-w] [-A type] [-B seconds] [-E oscore_conf_file[,seq_file]] [-G count] [-H hoplimit] [-K interval] [-L value] [-N] [-O num,text] [-P scheme://addr[:port]] [-T token] [-U] [-V num] [-X size] [[-h match_hint_file] [-k key] [-u user]] [[-c certfile] [-j keyfile] [-n] [-C cafile] [-J pkcs11_pin] [-M rpk_file] [-R trust_casfile]] URI

For coap-client versions that use libcoap compiled for different (D)TLS libraries, coap-client-notls, coap-client-gnutls, coap-client-openssl, coap-client-mbedtls or coap-client-tinydtls may be available. Otherwise, coap-client uses the default libcoap (D)TLS support.


coap-client is a CoAP client to communicate with 6LoWPAN devices via the protocol CoAP (RFC 7252) using the URI given as argument on the command line. The URI must have the scheme coap, coap+tcp, coaps or coaps+tcp.

coaps and coaps+tcp are only supported when coap-client is built with support for secure (D)TLS communication.

If coaps or coaps+tcp is being used, provided the CoAP server supports PKI and is configured with a certificate and private key, the coap-client does not need to have a Pre-Shared Key (-k) or certificate (-c) configured.

The URI’s host part may be a DNS name, a literal IP address or a Unix domain name. For Unix domain names, %2F is used as the / separator to differentiate between the host and patch definitions. For IPv6 address references, angle brackets are required (c.f. Examples) to delimit the host portion of the URI.

Options - General

-a addr

The local address of the interface that has to be used.

Note: Do not use this option if the interface is likely to be transient - i.e. it is a tunnel interface that may come and go, as this is likely to cause "No such device" errors on transmission.

-b [num,]size

The block size to be used in GET/PUT/POST requests (value must be 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512 or 1024). If num is present, the request chain will start at block num. When the server includes a Block2 option in its response to a GET request, coap-client will automatically retrieve the subsequent block from the server until there are no more outstanding blocks for the requested content.

-e text

Include text as payload (use percent-encoding for non-ASCII characters).

-f file

File to send with PUT/POST (use - for STDIN).

-l list

Fail to send some datagrams specified by a comma separated list of numbers or number ranges (debugging only).

-l loss%

Randomly failed to send datagrams with the specified probability - 100% all datagrams, 0% no datagrams (debugging only).

-m method

The request method for action (get|put|post|delete), default is get. (Note that the string passed to -m is compared case-insensitive.)

-o file

A filename to store data retrieved with GET.

-p port

The port to send from.

-q tls_engine_conf_file

tls_engine_conf_file contains TLS ENGINE configuration. Only OpenSSL is currently supported. See coap-tls-engine-conf(5) for definitions.


Use reliable protocol (TCP or TLS).

-s duration

Subscribe to / observe the resource specified by URI for the given duration in seconds.

-t type

Content format for given resource for PUT/POST. type must be either a numeric value reflecting a valid CoAP content format or a string describing a registered format. The following registered content format descriptors are supported, with alternative shortcuts given in parentheses:

text/plain (plain)
application/link-format (link, link-format)
application/xml (xml)
application/octet-stream (binary, octet-stream)
application/exi (exi)
application/json (json)
application/cbor (cbor)
-v num

The verbosity level to use (default 4, maximum is 8) for general CoAP logging.


Append a newline to received data.

-A type

Accepted media type. type must be either a numeric value reflecting a valid CoAP content format or a string that specifies a registered format as described for option -t.

-B seconds

Break operation after waiting given seconds (default is 90).

-E oscore_conf_file[,seq_file]

oscore_conf_file contains OSCORE configuration. See coap-oscore-conf(5) for definitions. Optional seq_file (which is created if needed) is used to save the current transmit sequence number, so on client restart sequence numbers continue to increase and are not reset to prevent anti-replay mechanisms being triggered.

-G count

Repeat the Request count times with a second delay between each one. Must have a value between 1 and 255 inclusive. Default is 1.

-H hoplimit

Set the Hop Limit count to hoplimit for proxies. Must have a value between 1 and 255 inclusive. Default is 16.

-K interval

Send a ping after interval seconds of inactivity. If not specified (or 0), keep-alive is disabled (default).

-L value

Sum of one or more COAP_BLOCK_* flag values for different block handling methods. Default is 1 (COAP_BLOCK_USE_LIBCOAP).


Send NON-confirmable message. If option -N is not specified, a confirmable message will be sent.

-O num,text

Add option num with contents of text to the request. If the text begins with 0x, then the hex text (two [0-9a-f] per byte) is converted to binary data.

-P scheme://addr[:port]

Scheme, address and optional port to define how to connect to a CoAP proxy (automatically adds Proxy-Uri option to request) to forward the request to. Scheme is one of coap, coaps, coap+tcp, coaps+tcp, coap+ws, and coaps+ws.

-T token

Define the initial starting token for the request (up to 24 characters).


Never include Uri-Host or Uri-Port options.

-V num

The verbosity level to use (default 3, maximum is 7) for (D)TLS library logging.

-X size

Maximum message size to use for TCP based connections (default is 8388864). Maximum value of 2^32 -1.

Options - PSK

(If supported by underlying (D)TLS library)

-h match_hint_file

This is a file that contains one or more lines of received Identity Hints to match to use different user identity and associated pre-shared key (PSK) (comma separated) instead of the -k key and -u user options. E.g., per line


A line that starts with # is treated as a comment.

Note: -k key and -u user still need to be defined for the default case in case there is no match.

-k key

Pre-shared key for the specified user identity (-u option also required).

If the key begins with 0x, then the hex text (two [0-9a-f] per byte) is converted to binary data.

-u user

User identity to send for pre-shared key mode (-k option also required).

Options - Pki

(If supported by underlying (D)TLS library)

Note: If any one of certfile, keyfile or cafile is in PKCS11 URI naming format (pkcs11: prefix), then any remaining non PKCS11 URI file definitions have to be in DER, not PEM, format. Otherwise all of certfile, keyfile or cafile are in PEM format.

-c certfile

PEM file or PKCS11 URI for the certificate. The private key can also be in the PEM file, or has the same PKCS11 URI. If not, the private key is defined by -j keyfile.

-j keyfile

PEM file or PKCS11 URI for the private key for the certificate in -c certfile if the parameter is different from certfile in -c certfile.


Disable remote peer certificate checking.

-C cafile

PEM file or PKCS11 URI for the CA certificate and any intermediate CAs that was used to sign the server certfile. Ideally the client certificate should be signed by the same CA so that mutual authentication can take place. The contents of cafile are added to the trusted store of root CAs. Using the -C or -R options will trigger the validation of the server certificate unless overridden by the -n option.

-J pkcs11_pin

The user pin to unlock access to the PKCS11 token.

-M rpk_file

Raw Public Key (RPK) PEM file or PKCS11 URI that contains both PUBLIC KEY and PRIVATE KEY or just EC PRIVATE KEY. (GnuTLS and TinyDTLS(PEM) support only). -C cafile or -R trust_casfile are not required.

-R trust_casfile

PEM file containing the set of trusted root CAs that are to be used to validate the server certificate. Alternatively, this can point to a directory containing a set of CA PEM files. The -C cafile CA does not have to be in this list and is trusted for the validation. Using -R trust_casfile disables common CA mutual authentication which can only be done by using -C cafile. Using the -C or -R options will trigger the validation of the server certificate unless overridden by the -n option.


coap-client coap://libcoap.net

Query the resource / from server libcoap.net (using the GET method).

coap-client -m get coap://[::1]/

Query the resource / on localhost using the GET method to get back the summary information.

coap-client -m get -P coap://upstream-proxy coap://[::1]/

Query the resource / on upstream-proxy using the GET method to get back the summary information.

coap-client -m get coap://%2Fsome%2Funix%2Fdomain%2Fpath/time

Query the resource /time on server listening on datagram Unix domain /some/unix/domain/path using the GET method to get back the current time. The %2F is the hex encoding for / and indicates which is the host definition separator and the simple / is for the path definition separator.

coap-client -m get coap://[::1]/.well-known/core

Query on the resource .well-known/core on localhost to get back a list of the known resources along with their attribute definitions.

echo -n "mode=on" | coap-client -m put \
coap://[2001:db8:c001:f00d:221:2eff:ff00:2704]:5683/actuators/leds?color=r -f-

Send text mode=on to resource actuators/leds?color=r on the endpoint with address 2001:db8:c001:f00d:221:2eff:ff00:2704 and port 5683. Note that the port 5683 is the default port and isn’t actually required in this instance.

coap-client -m put coap://[fec0::3]/ck -T 3a -t binary -f to_upload

Put the contents of file to_upload with content type binary (i.e. application/octet-stream) into resource ck on fec0::3 using a token of 3a via the PUT method.


There are no configuration files.

Exit Status




Failure (syntax or usage error; configuration error; document processing failure; unexpected error)

See Also

coap-server(5) and coap-oscore-conf(5)


Please raise an issue on GitHub at https://github.com/obgm/libcoap/issues to report any bugs.

Please raise a Pull Request at https://github.com/obgm/libcoap/pulls for any fixes.


The libcoap project <libcoap-developers@lists.sourceforge.net>

Referenced By

coap(7), coap-oscore-conf(5), coap-server(5), coap-tls-engine-conf(5).

The man pages coap-client-gnutls(5), coap-client-mbedtls(5), coap-client-notls(5) and coap-client-openssl(5) are aliases of coap-client(5).

06/07/2024 coap-client 4.3.5rc1 coap-client Manual