Guzzle uses stream objects to represent request and response message bodies. These stream objects allow you to work with various types of data all using a common interface.

HTTP messages consist of a start-line, headers, and a body. The body of an HTTP message can be very small or extremely large. Attempting to represent the body of a message as a string can easily consume more memory than intended because the body must be stored completely in memory. Attempting to store the body of a request or response in memory would preclude the use of that implementation from being able to work with large message bodies. The StreamInterface is used in order to hide the implementation details of where a stream of data is read from or written to.

Guzzle’s StreamInterface exposes several methods that enable streams to be read from, written to, and traversed effectively.

Streams expose their capabilities using three methods: isReadable(), isWritable(), and isSeekable(). These methods can be used by stream collaborators to determine if a stream is capable of their requirements.

Each stream instance has various capabilities: they can be read-only, write-only, read-write, allow arbitrary random access (seeking forwards or backwards to any location), or only allow sequential access (for example in the case of a socket or pipe).

Creating Streams

The best way to create a stream is using the static factory method, GuzzleHttp\Stream\Stream::factory(). This factory accepts strings, resources returned from fopen(), an object that implements __toString(), and an object that implements GuzzleHttp\Stream\StreamInterface.

use GuzzleHttp\Stream\Stream;

$stream = Stream::factory('string data');
echo $stream;
// string data
echo $stream->read(3);
// str
echo $stream->getContents();
// ing data
// true
// 11


Guzzle streams expose stream metadata through the getMetadata() method. This method provides the data you would retrieve when calling PHP’s stream_get_meta_data() function, and can optionally expose other custom data.

use GuzzleHttp\Stream\Stream;

$resource = fopen('/path/to/file', 'r');
$stream = Stream::factory($resource);
echo $stream->getMetadata('uri');
// /path/to/file
// true
// false
// true

Stream Decorators

With the small and focused interface, add custom functionality to streams is very simple with stream decorators. Guzzle provides several built-in decorators that provide additional stream functionality.


The CachingStream is used to allow seeking over previously read bytes on non-seekable streams. This can be useful when transferring a non-seekable entity body fails due to needing to rewind the stream (for example, resulting from a redirect). Data that is read from the remote stream will be buffered in a PHP temp stream so that previously read bytes are cached first in memory, then on disk.

use GuzzleHttp\Stream\Stream;
use GuzzleHttp\Stream\CachingStream;

$original = Stream::factory(fopen('', 'r'));
$stream = new CachingStream($original);

echo $stream->tell();
// 1024

echo $stream->tell();
// 0


LimitStream can be used to read a subset or slice of an existing stream object. This can be useful for breaking a large file into smaller pieces to be sent in chunks (e.g. Amazon S3’s multipart upload API).

use GuzzleHttp\Stream\Stream;
use GuzzleHttp\Stream\LimitStream;

$original = Stream::factory(fopen('/tmp/test.txt', 'r+'));
echo $original->getSize();
// >>> 1048576

// Limit the size of the body to 1024 bytes and start reading from byte 2048
$stream = new LimitStream($original, 1024, 2048);
echo $stream->getSize();
// >>> 1024
echo $stream->tell();
// >>> 0


NoSeekStream wraps a stream and does not allow seeking.

use GuzzleHttp\Stream\Stream;
use GuzzleHttp\Stream\LimitStream;

$original = Stream::factory('foo');
$noSeek = new NoSeekStream($original);

echo $noSeek->read(3);
// foo
// false

Creating Custom Decorators

Creating a stream decorator is very easy thanks to the GuzzleHttp\Stream\StreamDecoratorTrait. This trait provides methods that implement GuzzleHttp\Stream\StreamInterface by proxying to an underlying stream. Just use the StreamDecoratorTrait and implement your custom methods.

For example, let’s say we wanted to call a specific function each time the last byte is read from a stream. This could be implemented by overriding the read() method.

use GuzzleHttp\Stream\StreamDecoratorTrait;

class EofCallbackStream implements StreamInterface
    use StreamDecoratorTrait;

    private $callback;

    public function __construct(StreamInterface $stream, callable $callback)
        $this->stream = $stream;
        $this->callback = $callback;

    public function read($length)
        $result = $this->stream->read($length);

        // Invoke the callback when EOF is hit.
        if ($this->eof()) {

        return $result;

This decorator could be added to any existing stream and used like so:

use GuzzleHttp\Stream\Stream;

$original = Stream::factory('foo');
$eofStream = new EofCallbackStream($original, function () {
    echo 'EOF!';

// echoes "EOF!"
// echoes "EOF!"