header(options = "text/html") public

Create an HTTP header block as a string.

Includes the empty line that ends the header block.

options can be a string specifying the Content-Type (defaults to text/html), or a hash of header key/value pairs. The following header keys are recognized:


the Content-Type header. Defaults to “text/html”


the charset of the body, appended to the Content-Type header.


a boolean value. If true, prepend protocol string and status code, and date; and sets default values for “server” and “connection” if not explicitly set.


the HTTP status code, returned as the Status header. See the list of available status codes below.


the server software, returned as the Server header.


the connection type, returned as the Connection header (for instance, “close”.


the length of the content that will be sent, returned as the Content-Length header.


the language of the content, returned as the Content-Language header.


the time on which the current content expires, as a Time object, returned as the Expires header.


a cookie or cookies, returned as one or more Set-Cookie headers. The value can be the literal string of the cookie; a CGI::Cookie object; an Array of literal cookie strings or Cookie objects; or a hash all of whose values are literal cookie strings or Cookie objects. These cookies are in addition to the cookies held in the @output_cookies field.

Other header lines can also be set; they are appended as key: value.

  # Content-Type: text/html

  # Content-Type: text/plain

header("nph"        => true,
       "status"     => "OK",  # == "200 OK"
         # "status"     => "200 GOOD",
       "server"     => ENV['SERVER_SOFTWARE'],
       "connection" => "close",
       "type"       => "text/html",
       "charset"    => "iso-2022-jp",
         # Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-2022-jp
       "length"     => 103,
       "language"   => "ja",
       "expires"    => Time.now + 30,
       "cookie"     => [cookie1, cookie2],
       "my_header1" => "my_value"
       "my_header2" => "my_value")

The status codes are:

"OK"                  --> "200 OK"
"PARTIAL_CONTENT"     --> "206 Partial Content"
"MULTIPLE_CHOICES"    --> "300 Multiple Choices"
"MOVED"               --> "301 Moved Permanently"
"REDIRECT"            --> "302 Found"
"NOT_MODIFIED"        --> "304 Not Modified"
"BAD_REQUEST"         --> "400 Bad Request"
"AUTH_REQUIRED"       --> "401 Authorization Required"
"FORBIDDEN"           --> "403 Forbidden"
"NOT_FOUND"           --> "404 Not Found"
"METHOD_NOT_ALLOWED"  --> "405 Method Not Allowed"
"NOT_ACCEPTABLE"      --> "406 Not Acceptable"
"LENGTH_REQUIRED"     --> "411 Length Required"
"PRECONDITION_FAILED" --> "412 Precondition Failed"
"SERVER_ERROR"        --> "500 Internal Server Error"
"NOT_IMPLEMENTED"     --> "501 Method Not Implemented"
"BAD_GATEWAY"         --> "502 Bad Gateway"
"VARIANT_ALSO_VARIES" --> "506 Variant Also Negotiates"

This method does not perform charset conversion.

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