Wsta – a cli for working with WebSockets written in Rust

Datetime:2016-08-22 22:33:52         Topic: Rust  WebSocket          Share        Original >>
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The WebSocket Transfer Agent

wsta is a cli tool written in rust for interfacing with WebSockets. wsta has the philosophy of being an easy tool to learn and thus gets out of your way to let you work your UNIX magic directly on the WebSocket traffic. The way wsta does this is to be as pipe-friendly as possible, letting you chain it into complex pipelines or bash scripts as you see fit, or just keep it simple and use it as is.

See themanual or type man wsta for details.

Cool things you can do

Since wsta is really pipe-friendly, you can easily work with your output in a way that suits you. If you have a websocket-service that returns JSON, you might want to have your data printed in a nice, readable format. jq is perfect for that.

$ wsta ws:// '{"values":{"test": "what?"}}' | jq .values
Connected to ws://
  "test": "what?"

Because wsta reads from stdin, it can also be used as an interactive prompt if you wish to send messages to the server interactively.

$ wsta ws://
Connected to ws://

If you're debugging some nasty problem with your stream, you are probably only interested in frames related to your problem. Good news, grep is here to save the day!

$ while true; do echo  $(( RANDOM %= 200 )); sleep 0.2; done | wsta ws:// | grep '147'

Use wsta to monitor your websocket uptime. Use the --ping option to keep the connection alive, and check the exit code for issues. You could also potentially send the last few messages with POST data.


while true; do

  # Start persistent connection, pinging evey 10 seconds to stay alive
  wsta --ping 10 ws://

  if [ $? -gt 0 ]; then
    curl -X POST

  sleep 30



Currently the only requirement to run wsta is openssl. If you get an error about a missing or similar, search your package manager for openssl or similar to add this library.

64-bit Linux

I've set up a download page here that you can get wsta

I'm working on getting more distributions, as well as 32-bit into the Open Build Service pipeline, which is what creates the releases on that page. For now, you need a 64-bit system to use that page. If you don't use a 64-bit system, have a look below at compiling it yourself.

Mac OS X

To install on Max OS X, ensure you have homebrew installed, then run the following commands. It's going to take a while, please be patient.

brew tap esphen/wsta
brew install wsta

Other 64-bit Linux distributions

I only have 64-bit Linux machines available to create binaries with, but if you have a 64-bit Linux machine, I do provide the binary in every release here on GitHub. Have a look at the most recent release, and place the attached binary into your $PATH .


See "Compile it yourself".

Compile it yourself

DON'T PANIC. It's really easy to compile and install wsta yourself! Rust provides solid tools like cargo for automating the compilation. If you compile wsta yourself, it should run on all of rust's supported platforms . I have only tested Linux, however, so YMMV.

# Install the rust language and tools
curl -sSf | sh -s -- --channel=beta

# Install required libraries, using your distribution's package manager
dnf install -y gcc openssl-devel

# Clone the git repository
mkdir -p ~/workspace
cd ~/workspace
git clone
cd wsta

# Finally: compile and install it to your system
sudo make install

Development setup

Install the rust language and tools . We use some cargo environment variables that are beta features (cargo 0.10).

curl -sSf | sh -s -- --channel=beta

Run the program

cargo run -- -vvv -I -e ws://

In order to generate the man page, groff is needed

make man

If updates to the man page are done, remember to generate the markdown manual afterwards



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