The Pulsar Java client

The Pulsar Java client can be used both to create Java producers, consumers, and readers of messages and to perform administrative tasks. The current version of the Java client is 2.0.1-incubating.

Javadoc for the Pulsar client is divided up into two domains, by package:

Package Description Maven Artifact
org.apache.pulsar.client.api The producer and consumer API org.apache.pulsar:pulsar-client:2.0.1-incubating
org.apache.pulsar.client.admin The Java admin API org.apache.pulsar:pulsar-client-admin:2.0.1-incubating

This document will focus only on the client API for producing and consuming messages on Pulsar topics. For a guide to using the Java admin client, see The Pulsar admin interface.


The latest version of the Pulsar Java client library is available via Maven Central. To use the latest version, add the pulsar-client library to your build configuration.


If you’re using Maven, add this to your pom.xml:

<!-- in your <properties> block -->

<!-- in your <dependencies> block -->


If you’re using Gradle, add this to your build.gradle file:

def pulsarVersion = '2.0.1-incubating'

dependencies {
    compile group: 'org.apache.pulsar', name: 'pulsar-client', version: pulsarVersion

Connection URLs

To connect to Pulsar using client libraries, you need to specify a Pulsar protocol URL.

Pulsar protocol URLs are assigned to specific clusters, use the pulsar scheme and have a default port of 6650. Here’s an example for localhost:


A URL for a production Pulsar cluster may look something like this:


If you’re using TLS authentication, the URL will look like something like this:


Client configuration

You can instantiate a PulsarClient object using just a URL for the target Pulsar cluster, like this:

PulsarClient client = PulsarClient.builder()

Default broker URLs for standalone clusters

If you’re running a cluster in standalone mode, the broker will be available at the pulsar://localhost:6650 URL by default.

Check out the Javadoc for the PulsarClient class for a full listing of configurable parameters.

In addition to client-level configuration, you can also apply producer- and consumer-specific configuration, as you’ll see in the sections below.


In Pulsar, producers write messages to topics. Once you’ve instantiated a PulsarClient object (as in the section above), you can create a Producer for a specific Pulsar topic.

Producer<byte[]> producer = client.newProducer()

// You can then send messages to the broker and topic you specified:
producer.send("My message".getBytes());

By default, producers produce messages that consist of byte arrays. You can produce different types, however, by specifying a message schema.

Producer<String> stringProducer = client.newProducer(Schema.STRING)
stringProducer.send("My message");

You should always make sure to close your producers, consumers, and clients when they are no longer needed:


Close operations can also be asynchronous:

    .thenRun(() -> System.out.println("Producer closed"));
    .exceptionally((ex) -> {
        System.err.println("Failed to close producer: " + ex);
        return ex;

Configuring producers

If you instantiate a Producer object specifying only a topic name, as in the example above, the producer will use the default configuration. To use a non-default configuration, there’s a variety of configurable parameters that you can set. For a full listing, see the Javadoc for the ProducerBuilder class. Here’s an example:

Producer<byte[]> producer = client.newProducer()
    .batchingMaxPublishDelay(10, TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS)
    .sendTimeout(10, TimeUnit.SECONDS)

Message routing

When using partitioned topics, you can specify the routing mode whenever you publish messages using a producer. For more on specifying a routing mode using the Java client, see the Partitioned Topics cookbook.

Async send

You can also publish messages asynchronously using the Java client. With async send, the producer will put the message in a blocking queue and return immediately. The client library will then send the message to the broker in the background. If the queue is full (max size configurable), the producer could be blocked or fail immediately when calling the API, depending on arguments passed to the producer.

Here’s an example async send operation:

producer.sendAsync("my-async-message".getBytes()).thenAccept(msgId -> {
    System.out.printf("Message with ID %s successfully sent", msgId);

As you can see from the example above, async send operations return a MessageId wrapped in a CompletableFuture.

Configuring messages

In addition to a value, it’s possible to set additional items on a given message:

    .property("my-key", "my-value")
    .property("my-other-key", "my-other-value")

As for the previous case, it’s also possible to terminate the builder chain with sendAsync() and get a future returned.


In Pulsar, consumers subscribe to topics and handle messages that producers publish to those topics. You can instantiate a new consumer by first instantiating a PulsarClient object and passing it a URL for a Pulsar broker (as above).

Once you’ve instantiated a PulsarClient object, you can create a Consumer by specifying a topic and a subscription.

Consumer consumer = client.newConsumer()

The subscribe method will automatically subscribe the consumer to the specified topic and subscription. One way to make the consumer listen on the topic is to set up a while loop. In this example loop, the consumer listens for messages, prints the contents of any message that’s received, and then acknowledges that the message has been processed:

do {
  // Wait for a message
  Message msg = consumer.receive();

  System.out.printf("Message received: %s", new String(msg.getData()));

  // Acknowledge the message so that it can be deleted by the message broker
} while (true);

Configuring consumers

If you instantiate a Consumer object specifying only a topic and subscription name, as in the example above, the consumer will use the default configuration. To use a non-default configuration, there’s a variety of configurable parameters that you can set. For a full listing, see the Javadoc for the ConsumerBuilder class. Here’s an example:

Here’s an example configuration:

Consumer consumer = client.newConsumer()
        .ackTimeout(10, TimeUnit.SECONDS)

Async receive

The receive method will receive messages synchronously (the consumer process will be blocked until a message is available). You can also use async receive, which will return immediately with a CompletableFuture object that completes once a new message is available.

Here’s an example:

CompletableFuture<Message> asyncMessage = consumer.receiveAsync();

Async receive operations return a Message wrapped inside of a CompletableFuture.

Multi-topic subscriptions

In addition to subscribing a consumer to a single Pulsar topic, you can also subscribe to multiple topics simultaneously using multi-topic subscriptions. To use multi-topic subscriptions you can supply either a regular expression (regex) or a List of topics. If you select topics via regex, all topics must be within the same Pulsar namespace.

Here are some examples:

import org.apache.pulsar.client.api.Consumer;
import org.apache.pulsar.client.api.PulsarClient;

import java.util.Arrays;
import java.util.List;
import java.util.regex.Pattern;

ConsumerBuilder consumerBuilder = pulsarClient.newConsumer()

// Subscribe to all topics in a namespace
Pattern allTopicsInNamespace = Pattern.compile("persistent://public/default/.*");
Consumer allTopicsConsumer = consumerBuilder

// Subscribe to a subsets of topics in a namespace, based on regex
Pattern someTopicsInNamespace = Pattern.compile("persistent://public/default/foo.*");
Consumer allTopicsConsumer = consumerBuilder

You can also subscribe to an explicit list of topics (across namespaces if you wish):

List<String> topics = Arrays.asList(

Consumer multiTopicConsumer = consumerBuilder

// Alternatively:
Consumer multiTopicConsumer = consumerBuilder

You can also subscribe to multiple topics asynchronously using the subscribeAsync method rather than the synchronous subscribe method. Here’s an example:

Pattern allTopicsInNamespace = Pattern.compile("persistent://public/default.*");
        .thenAccept(consumer -> {
            do {
                try {
                    Message msg = consumer.receive();
                    // Do something with the received message
                } catch (PulsarClientException e) {
            } while (true);

Reader interface

With the reader interface, Pulsar clients can “manually position” themselves within a topic, reading all messages from a specified message onward. The Pulsar API for Java enables you to create Reader objects by specifying a topic, a MessageId, and ReaderConfiguration.

Here’s an example:

ReaderConfiguration conf = new ReaderConfiguration();
byte[] msgIdBytes = // Some message ID byte array
MessageId id = MessageId.fromByteArray(msgIdBytes);
Reader reader = pulsarClient.newReader()

while (true) {
    Message message = reader.readNext();
    // Process message

In the example above, a Reader object is instantiated for a specific topic and message (by ID); the reader then iterates over each message in the topic after the message identified by msgIdBytes (how that value is obtained depends on the application).

The code sample above shows pointing the Reader object to a specific message (by ID), but you can also use MessageId.earliest to point to the earliest available message on the topic of MessageId.latest to point to the most recent available message.


In Pulsar, all message data consists of byte arrays “under the hood.” Message schemas enable you to use other types of data when constructing and handling messages (from simple types like strings to more complex, application-specific types). If you construct, say, a producer without specifying a schema, then the producer can only produce messages of type byte[]. Here’s an example:

Producer<byte[]> producer = client.newProducer()

The producer above is equivalent to a Producer<byte[]> (in fact, you should always explicitly specify the type). If you’d like to use a producer for a different type of data, you’ll need to specify a schema that informs Pulsar which data type will be transmitted over the topic.

Schema example

Let’s say that you have a SensorReading class that you’d like to transmit over a Pulsar topic:

public class SensorReading {
    public float temperature;

    public SensorReading(float temperature) {
        this.temperature = temperature;

    // A no-arg constructor is required
    public SensorReading() {

    public float getTemperature() {
        return temperature;

    public void setTemperature(float temperature) {
        this.temperature = temperature;

You could then create a Producer<SensorReading> (or Consumer<SensorReading>) like so:

Producer<SensorReading> producer = client.newProducer(JSONSchema.of(SensorReading.class))

The following schema formats are currently available for Java:

  • No schema or the byte array schema (which can be applied using Schema.BYTES):

    Producer<byte[]> bytesProducer = client.newProducer(Schema.BYTES)

    Or, equivalently:

    Producer<byte[]> bytesProducer = client.newProducer()
  • String for normal UTF-8-encoded string data. This schema can be applied using Schema.STRING:

    Producer<String> stringProducer = client.newProducer(Schema.STRING)
  • JSON schemas can be created for POJOs using the JSONSchema class. Here’s an example:

    Schema<MyPojo> pojoSchema = JSONSchema.of(MyPojo.class);
    Producer<MyPojo> pojoProducer = client.newProducer(pojoSchema)


Pulsar currently supports two authentication schemes: TLS and Athenz. The Pulsar Java client can be used with both.

TLS Authentication

To use TLS, point your Pulsar client to a TLS cert path, and provide paths to cert and key files.

Here’s an example configuration:

Map<String, String> authParams = new HashMap<>();
authParams.put("tlsCertFile", "/path/to/client-cert.pem");
authParams.put("tlsKeyFile", "/path/to/client-key.pem");

Authentication tlsAuth = AuthenticationFactory
        .create(AuthenticationTls.class.getName(), authParams);

PulsarClient client = PulsarClient.builder()


To use Athenz as an authentication provider, you need to use TLS transport and provide values for four parameters in a hash:

  • tenantDomain
  • tenantService
  • providerDomain
  • privateKey

You can also set an optional keyId. Here’s an example configuration:

Map<String, String> authParams = new HashMap<>();
authParams.put("tenantDomain", "shopping"); // Tenant domain name
authParams.put("tenantService", "some_app"); // Tenant service name
authParams.put("providerDomain", "pulsar"); // Provider domain name
authParams.put("privateKey", "file:///path/to/private.pem"); // Tenant private key path
authParams.put("keyId", "v1"); // Key id for the tenant private key (optional, default: "0")

Authentication athenzAuth = AuthenticationFactory
        .create(AuthenticationAthenz.class.getName(), authParams);

PulsarClient client = PulsarClient.builder()

Supported pattern formats

The privateKey parameter supports the following three pattern formats:

  • file:///path/to/file
  • file:/path/to/file
  • data:application/x-pem-file;base64,<base64-encoded value>