API Users Guide

This guide is intended for people who would like to use Beer Garden’s API. Basically, if you want to use Beer Garden without the web interface you’ve come to the right place!

If you feel like you know REST pretty well, Beer Garden comes with OpenAPI (formerly known as Swagger) documentation that helps you explore the REST API yourself. You can find a SwaggerUI page linked from the About page of any Beer Garden web UI.
This guide assumes you’re at least somewhat aware of how Beer Garden is organized. If you need a refresher you should check out what is Beer Garden?

Client Libraries

Currently, the only supported library is in the python language. We produce a set of bindings called brewtils to help you, not only create plugins, but also interact with Beer Garden and its varied interfaces. If you’d like to learn more about brewtils, you should check out the API documentation.


The Request API is arguably the most important endpoint that Beer Garden provides. Remember that Requests are units of work that you want Beer Garden to perform. So to get Beer Garden (and plugins) to do anything useful you’ll need to create a request.

Let’s assume you have a System called echo with a Command say which takes a single parameter message. Let’s run through how to get Beer Garden to execute this request.

Create with Python

The brewtils Python library includes a SystemClient designed to make this as easy as possible. Create a SystemClient for a particular Beer Garden system and then invoke methods on the client as if it were a normal Python object:

SystemClient Example
from brewtils.rest.system_client import SystemClient

client = SystemClient("localhost", 2337, system_name="echo") (1)

request = client.echo(message="Hello, World!") (2)

1 Create the client, passing Beer Garden connection parameters and the target System name
2 Create a Request for the 'echo' Command as if you were calling a method

The SystemClient is a blocking client that will make a rest request that is formatted correctly and returns a request object. This request object can then be queried the same way you would query a normal request object.

If the system you are using is multi-instanced, you can specify the default instance to use at the system level:

Default Instance Example
client = SystemClient("localhost", 2337, system_name="echo", default_instance="01")

request = client.say(message="Hello, Instance 01!")

You can also specify a different instance when creating a Request:

request = client.say(message="Hello, Instance 02!", _instance_name="02")

Create with REST

The SystemClient is a nice abstraction, but it can be useful to know what’s happening under the hood. Internally the SystemClient is making a POST request to the /api/v1/requests endpoint with a Request definition. You can replicate this using curl:

Create a Request with curl
$ curl -X POST -H 'Content-Type: application/json' -d \
  "namespace": "default"
  "system": "echo",
  "system_version": "1.0.0.dev",
  "instance_name": "default",
  "command": "say",
  "parameters": {"message": "Hello from curl!" }
}' \

Assuming everything works (you do have a System named 'echo' right?) Beer Garden will return a response with status code 204 and JSON representing the Request you just created.

Check the Status

Now you have a brand new Request. That’s cool, but it’s missing the most important field: the output. That’s because the Request definition Beer Garden returned really was brand new - it hadn’t been processed by the 'echo' plugin yet. You can verify this yourself by looking at the "status" and "output" fields: they’ll be CREATED and null, respectively.

Unless your Beer Garden is very busy, by the time you’ve read this far your 'echo' plugin should have processed your Request. All we need to get an update is the 'id' field of the Request. You can find it by looking at the response from the POST you just made. Let’s pretend it’s 555a56fae9a45a2ad182ac16.

Get a Request with curl
$ curl http://localhost:2337/api/v1/requests/555a56fae9a45a2ad182ac16

It is possible that your request will not be done, and the status could say something like CREATED or IN_PROGRESS. If your request failed, you will see ERROR as the status field.

As you can see, the Request API is fairly easy to use, and helps keep a nice audit log for what happened on your system.

Do More with Rest

Creating and querying a Request is just the tip of the REST iceberg. If you’re interesting in seeing everything Beer Garden can do through REST calls you should really check out the Swagger documentation. You can get to it from the About page of any Beer Garden UI, and from there you’ll be able to see all the available endpoints with their expected input and output models.

Each endpoint also has a 'Try it out' feature to let you easily experiment, and it’ll even show you the equivalent curl command.