mosquitto_sub — an MQTT version 3.1.1/3.1 client for subscribing to topics
msg count] [
client id prefix] [
keepalive time] [
message QoS] [
--retained-only ] [
message processing timeout] [
] | [
mosquitto_sub is a simple MQTT version 3.1.1 client that will subscribe to topics and print the messages that it receives.
In addition to subscribing to topics,
mosquitto_sub can filter out received messages
so they are not printed (see the
-T option) or
unsubscribe from topics (see the
Unsubscribing from topics is useful for clients connecting with
clean session set to false.
mosquitto_sub supports TLS encrypted connections. It is strongly recommended that you use an encrypted connection for anything more than the most basic setup.
To enable TLS connections when using x509 certificates, one of
be provided as an option.
To enable TLS connections when using TLS-PSK, you must use the
--psk and the
The options below may be given on the command line, but may also
be placed in a config file located at
$HOME/.config/mosquitto_sub with one pair of
per line. The values in the config file will be used as defaults
and can be overridden by using the command line. The exceptions to
-T, which if
given in the config file will not be overridden. Note also that
currently some options cannot be negated, e.g.
-S. Config file lines that have a
# as the first character are treated as comments
and not processed any further.
Bind the outgoing connection to a local ip address/hostname. Use this argument if you need to restrict network communication to a particular interface.
Disable the 'clean session' flag. This means that all of the subscriptions for the client will be maintained after it disconnects, along with subsequent QoS 1 and QoS 2 messages that arrive. When the client reconnects, it will receive all of the queued messages.
If using this option, the client id must be set
Define the path to a file containing PEM encoded CA certificates that are trusted. Used to enable SSL communication.
Define the path to a directory containing PEM encoded CA certificates that are trusted. Used to enable SSL communication.
--capath to work correctly, the
certificate files must have ".crt" as the file ending
and you must run "openssl rehash <path to capath>" each
time you add/remove a certificate.
Define the path to a file containing a PEM encoded certificate for this client, if required by the server.
An openssl compatible list of TLS ciphers to support in the client. See ciphers(1) for more information.
Disconnect and exit the program immediately after the given count of messages have been received. This may be useful in shell scripts where on a single status value is required, for example.
-R to print only the
first set of fresh messages (i.e. that does not have
the retained flag set), or with
filter which topics are processed.
Enable debug messages.
Specify output printing format. This option allows you to choose what information from each message is printed to the screen. See the Output Format section below for full details.
This option overrides the
but does not override the
Display usage information.
Specify the host to connect to. Defaults to localhost.
The id to use for this client. If not given, defaults
to mosquitto_sub_ appended with the process id of the
client. Cannot be used at the same time as the
Provide a prefix that the client id will be built
from by appending the process id of the client. This is
useful where the broker is using the clientid_prefixes
option. Cannot be used at the same time as the
When using certificate based encryption, this option disables verification of the server hostname in the server certificate. This can be useful when testing initial server configurations but makes it possible for a malicious third party to impersonate your server through DNS spoofing, for example. Use this option in testing only. If you need to resort to using this option in a production environment, your setup is at fault and there is no point using encryption.
The number of seconds between sending PING commands to the broker for the purposes of informing it we are still connected and functioning. Defaults to 60 seconds.
Define the path to a file containing a PEM encoded private key for this client, if required by the server.
Specify specify user, password, hostname, port and topic at once as a URL. The URL must be in the form: mqtt(s)://[username[:password]@]host[:port]/topic
If the scheme is mqtt:// then the port defaults to 1883. If the scheme is mqtts:// then the port defaults to 8883.
Do not append an end of line character to the payload
when printing. This allows streaming of payload data
from multiple messages directly to another application
unmodified. Only really makes sense when not using
Connect to the port specified. If not given, the default of 1883 for plain MQTT or 8883 for MQTT over TLS will be used.
Provide a password to be used for authenticating with
the broker. Using this argument without also specifying
a username is invalid. See also the
Specify a SOCKS5 proxy to connect through. "None" and
"username" authentication types are supported. The
socks-url must be of the form
The protocol prefix
socks5h means that
hostnames are resolved by the proxy. The symbols %25,
%3A and %40 are URL decoded into %, : and @
respectively, if present in the username or
If username is not given, then no authentication is attempted. If the port is not given, then the default of 1080 is used.
More SOCKS versions may be available in the future, depending on demand, and will use different protocol prefixes as described in curl(1).
Provide the hexadecimal (no leading 0x)
pre-shared-key matching the one used on the broker to
use TLS-PSK encryption support.
--psk-identity must also be provided
to enable TLS-PSK.
The client identity to use with TLS-PSK support. This may be used instead of a username if the broker is configured to do so.
Specify the quality of service desired for the incoming messages, from 0, 1 and 2. Defaults to 0. See mqtt(7) for more information on QoS.
The QoS is identical for all topics subscribed to in a single instance of mosquitto_sub.
If this argument is given, no runtime errors will be
printed. This excludes any error messages given in case of
invalid user input (e.g. using
--port without a
If this argument is given, messages that are received that have the retain bit set will not be printed. Messages with retain set are "stale", in that it is not known when they were originally published. When subscribing to a wildcard topic there may be a large number of retained messages. This argument suppresses their display.
If this argument is given, only messages that are received that have the retain bit set will be printed. Messages with retain set are "stale", in that it is not known when they were originally published. With this argument in use, the receipt of the first non-stale message will cause the client to exit.
Use SRV lookups to determine which host to connect
to. Performs lookups to
_mqtt._tcp.<host> when used in
-h, otherwise uses
The MQTT topic to subscribe to. See mqtt(7) for more information on MQTT topics.
This option may be repeated to subscribe to multiple topics.
Suppress printing of topics that match the filter. This allows subscribing to a wildcard topic and only printing a partial set of the wildcard hierarchy.
For example, subscribe to the BBC tree, but suppress output from Radio 3:
This option may be repeated to filter out multiple topics or topic trees.
Choose which TLS protocol version to use when
communicating with the broker. Valid options are
tlsv1. The default value is
tlsv1.2. If the installed version of
openssl is too old, only
tlsv1 will be
available. Must match the protocol version used by the
Provide a username to be used for authenticating with
the broker. See also the
A topic that will be unsubscribed from. This may be
used on its own or in conjunction with the
--topic option and only makes sense
when used in conjunction with
If used with
subscriptions will be processed before
Note that it is only possible to unsubscribe from
subscriptions that have previously been made. It is not
possible to punch holes in wildcard subscriptions. For
example, subscribing to
then unsubscribing from
sensors/+/temperature as shown below
will still result in messages matching the
sensors/+/temperature being delivered
to the client.
Note also that because retained messages are published by the broker on receipt of a SUBSCRIBE command, subscribing and unsubscribing to the same topic may result in messages being received at the client.
This option may be repeated to unsubscribe from multiple topics.
Print received messages verbosely. With this argument, messages will be printed as "topic payload". When this argument is not given, the messages are printed as "payload".
Specify which version of the MQTT protocol should be
used when connecting to the rmeote broker. Can be
Provide a timeout as an integer number of seconds. mosquitto_sub will stop processing messages and disconnect after this number of seconds has passed. The timeout starts just after the client has connected to the broker.
Specify a message that will be stored by the broker
and sent out if this client disconnects unexpectedly. This
must be used in conjunction with
The QoS to use for the Will. Defaults to 0. This must
be used in conjunction with
If given, if the client disconnects unexpectedly the
message sent out will be treated as a retained message.
This must be used in conjunction with
The topic on which to send a Will, in the event that the client disconnects unexpectedly.
There are three ways of formatting the output from mosquitto_sub.
In all cases a new-line character is appended for each message
received unless the
-N argument is passed to
Payload-only is the default output format and will print the payload exactly as it is received.
Verbose mode is activated with
-v and prints the
message topic and the payload, separated by a space.
The final option is formatted output, which allows the user to
define a custom output format. The behaviour is controlled with
-F format-string option. The format string is
a free text string where interpreted sequences are replaced by
different parameters. The available interpreted sequences are
Three characters are used to start an interpreted sequence:
Sequences starting with
% are either parameters
related to the MQTT message being printed, or are helper sequences
to avoid the need to type long date format strings for example.
Sequences starting with
@ are passed to the
function (with the @ replaced with a % - note that only the
character immediately after the @ is passed to strftime). This
allows the construction of a wide variety of time based outputs.
The output options for strftime vary from platform to platform, so
please check what is available for your platform. mosquitto_sub
does provide one extension to strftime which is
@N, which can be used to obtain the number of
nanoseconds passed in the current second. The resolution of this
option varies depending on the platform. The final sequence
\, which is used to input some
characters that would otherwise be difficult to enter.
%% a literal %.
%l the length of the payload in bytes.
%m the message id (only relevant for messages with QoS>0).
%p the payload raw bytes (may produce non-printable characters depending on the payload).
%q the message QoS.
%r the retained flag for the message.
%t the message topic.
%x the payload with each byte as a hexadecimal number (lower case).
%X the payload with each byte as a hexadecimal number (upper case).
%I ISO-8601 format date and time, e.g. 2016-08-10T09:47:38+0100
%j JSON output of message
parameters and timestamp, with a quoted and escaped
payload. For example
%J JSON output of message
parameters and timestamp, with a non-quoted and
non-escaped payload - this means the payload must
itself be valid JSON. For example:
%I ISO-8601 format date and time, e.g. 2016-08-10T09:47:38+0100
%U Unix timestamp with nanoseconds, e.g. 1470818943.786368637
@@ a literal @.
@X pass the character represented
X to the strftime function as
%X. The options supported are platform
@N the number of nanoseconds that
have passed in the current second, with varying timing
resolution depending on platform.
\\ a literal \.
\0 a null character. Can be used
to separate different parameters that may contain spaces
(e.g. topic, payload) so that processing with tools such as
\e the escape sequence, which can
be used with ANSI colour codes to provide coloured output
\n end of line.
\r carriage return.
\t horizontal tab.
\v vertical tab.
mosquitto_sub can register a message with the broker that will be sent out if it disconnects unexpectedly. See mqtt(7) for more information.
The minimum requirement for this is to use
specify which topic the will should be sent out on. This will result in
a non-retained, zero length message with QoS 0.
--will-qos arguments to
modify the other will parameters.
Note that these really are examples - the subscriptions will work if you run them as shown, but there must be something publishing messages on those topics for you to receive anything.
Subscribe to temperature information on localhost with QoS 1:
Subscribe to hard drive temperature updates on multiple machines/hard drives. This expects each machine to be publishing its hard drive temperature to sensors/machines/HOSTNAME/temperature/HD_NAME.
Subscribe to all broker status messages:
Specify the output format as "ISO-8601 date : topic : payload in hex"
-F '@Y-@m-@dT@H:@M:@S@z : %t : %x'
Specify the output format as "seconds since epoch.nanoseconds : retained flag : qos : mid : payload length"
-F '%@s.@N : %r : %q : %m : %l'
Topic and payload output, but with colour where supported.
-F '\e[92m%t \e[96m%p\e[0m'
Configuration file for default options.
mosquitto bug information can be found at https://github.com/eclipse/mosquitto/issues