Message Subsystem

Table of Contents


The message subsystem can be used to send arbitrary length messages to receivers. A receiver is any other node in the network. It can be identified both by its public key, or an IP address in its announced range. The message subsystem can be interacted with both via the HTTP API, which is documented here, or via the mycelium binary. By default, the messages do not interpret the data in any way. When using the binary, the message is slightly modified to include an optional topic at the start of the message. Note that in the HTTP API, all messages are encoded in base64. This might make it difficult to consume these messages without additional tooling.

Curl Examples

These examples assume you have at least 2 nodes running, and that they are both part of the same network.

Send a message on node1, waiting up to 2 minutes for a possible reply:

curl -v -H 'Content-Type: application/json' -d '{"dst": {"pk": "bb39b4a3a4efd70f3e05e37887677e02efbda14681d0acd3882bc0f754792c32"}, "payload": "xuV+"}' http://localhost:8989/api/v1/messages\?reply_timeout\=120

Listen for a message on node2. Note that messages received while nothing is listening are added to a queue for later consumption. Wait for up to 1 minute.

curl -v http://localhost:8989/api/v1/messages\?timeout\=60\

The system will (immediately) receive our previously sent message:


To send a reply, we can post a message on the reply path, with the received message id (still on node2):

curl -H 'Content-Type: application/json' -d '{"dst": {"pk":"955bf6bea5e1150fd8e270c12e5b2fc08f08f7c5f3799d10550096cc137d671b"}, "payload": "xuC+"}' http://localhost:8989/api/v1/messages/reply/e47b25063912f4a9

If you did this fast enough, the initial sender (node1) will now receive the reply.

Mycelium Binary Examples

As explained above, while using the binary the message is slightly modified to insert the optional topic. As such, when using the binary to send messages, it is suggested to make sure the receiver is also using the binary to listen for messages. The options discussed here are not covering all possibilities, use the --help flag (mycelium message send --help and mycelium message receive --help) for a full overview.

Once again, send a message. This time using a topic (example.topic). Note that there are no constraints on what a valid topic is, other than that it is valid UTF-8, and at most 255 bytes in size. The --wait flag can be used to indicate that we are waiting for a reply. If it is set, we can also use an additional --timeout flag to govern exactly how long (in seconds) to wait for. The default is to wait forever.

mycelium message send 2e4:9ace:9252:630:beee:e405:74c0:d876 'this is a message' -t example.topic --wait

On the second node, listen for messages with this topic. If a different topic is used, the previous message won't be received. If no topic is set, all messages are received. An optional timeout flag can be specified, which indicates how long to wait for. Absence of this flag will cause the binary to wait forever.

mycelium message receive -t example.topic

Again, if the previous command was executed a message will be received immediately:

{"id":"4a6c956e8d36381f","topic":"example.topic","srcIp":"34f:b680:ba6e:7ced:355f:346f:d97b:eecb","srcPk":"955bf6bea5e1150fd8e270c12e5b2fc08f08f7c5f3799d10550096cc137d671b","dstIp":"2e4:9ace:9252:630:beee:e405:74c0:d876","dstPk":"bb39b4a3a4efd70f3e05e37887677e02efbda14681d0acd3882bc0f754792c32","payload":"this is a message"}

And once again, we can use the ID from this message to reply to the original sender, who might be waiting for this reply (notice we used the hex encoded public key to identify the receiver here, rather than an IP):

mycelium message send 955bf6bea5e1150fd8e270c12e5b2fc08f08f7c5f3799d10550096cc137d671b "this is a reply" --reply-to 4a6c956e8d36381f
Last change: 2024-02-27