Quick Start Guide


Follow the steps below to try quickly and get a basic idea of how it works:

Build uses Gradle as the build system. The following points summarize some basic tasks that can be run:

  1. Build (implies test)

     ./gradlew build
  2. Test

     ./gradlew test
  3. Clean

     ./gradlew clean
  4. Generate and clean IntelliJ IDEA project stub

     ./gradlew idea
     ./gradlew cleanIdea
  5. Generate and clean Eclipse project stub

     ./gradlew eclipse
     ./gradlew cleanEclipse

Tasks can be executed on a per-module basis. For example, do this to only build the restli-server and its dependencies:

./gradlew :restli-server:build

Run the Examples comes with a set of examples to illustrate how the server and client interact. Rest.Li provides gradle tasks to run the server and client. There are 4 variants; all of them reside in restli-example-server and restli-example-client modules:


To start, run the basic example server by doing this:

./gradlew startExampleBasicServer

The build will be paused after printing “Basic example server running on port 7279. Press any key to stop server.” until you hit return. To quickly verify, use cURL as:

curl http://localhost:7279/photos/1

You should see a JSON object with some “photo” information. Do this to run the client:

./gradlew startExampleBasicClient

The client will make a variety of requests to the server, print informative messages, and then shutdown. Each time, the result may be slightly different.


To use the D2 variants, you need ZooKeeper 3.3.4 and upward to be downloaded and running on port 2121. Before starting the server, some D2 related data must be initialized in ZooKeeper with D2ConfigDiscovery:

./gradlew exampleConfigDiscovery

The D2 example server and client are started by this:

./gradlew startExampleD2Server
./gradlew startExampleD2Client

The client should successfully retrieve some “album” information from server and intentionally make a bad request to retrieve a non-existent photo, followed by a stack trace.


Throughout the examples, we can frequently see “photo” and “album” objects. These data schemas are defined in the restli-example-api module. API module are the interface modules with contents shared by or exchanged between the server and client. Generally speaking, we usually put 3 kinds of files in API:

  • Pegasus Data Schema — These files define data schemas such as “photo” and “album” above. The syntax of PDL is Java-like. Take a look at Photo.pdl, and the comments inside could be useful. For more information, see Data.
  • restspec.json — These files are IDLs that define the interface and protocol a resource exposes. You can find the “photo” resource IDL at For more information, check User Guide.
  • Common Java classes — Shared by server and client.

Code Generator

Pegasus comes with many code generators:

  • Schema (PDL) binding generator — Java classes can be generated from all data schema files. These generated classes come with methods and fields to interact with the underlying data object and provide native Java interop interface.
  • restspec.json generator — While schema files are usually handwritten, restspec.json files are generated from resource classes using the class.
  • Builder generator — Java classes can also be generated from all .restspec.json files. These builder classes provide convenient methods to construct requests with various parameters.

You can find example Gradle scripts of how to call the generators in the build_script directory.