Akka HTTP comes with a variety of built-in timeout mechanisms to protect your servers from malicious attacks or programming mistakes. Some of these are simply configuration options (which may be overridden in code) while others are left to the streaming APIs and are easily implementable as patterns in user-code directly.

Common timeouts

Idle timeouts

The idle-timeout is a global setting which sets the maximum inactivity time of a given connection. In other words, if a connection is open but no request/response is being written to it for over idle-timeout time, the connection will be automatically closed.

The setting works the same way for all connections, be it server-side or client-side, and it’s configurable independently for each of those using the following keys:


For the client side connection pool, the idle period is counted only when the pool has no pending requests waiting.

Server timeouts

Request timeout

Request timeouts are a mechanism that limits the maximum time it may take to produce an HttpResponseHttpResponse from a route. If that deadline is not met the server will automatically inject a Service Unavailable HTTP response and close the connection to prevent it from leaking and staying around indefinitely (for example if by programming error a Future would never complete, never sending the real response otherwise).

The default HttpResponseHttpResponse that is written when a request timeout is exceeded looks like this:

HttpResponse(StatusCodes.ServiceUnavailable, entity = "The server was not able " +
  "to produce a timely response to your request.\r\nPlease try again in a short while!")

A default request timeout is applied globally to all routes and can be configured using the akka.http.server.request-timeout setting (which defaults to 20 seconds).


Please note that if multiple requests (R1,R2,R3,...) were sent by a client (see “HTTP pipelining”) using the same connection and the n-th request triggers a request timeout the server will reply with an Http Response and close the connection, leaving the (n+1)-th (and subsequent requests on the same connection) unhandled.

The request timeout can be configured at run-time for a given route using the any of the TimeoutDirectives.

Bind timeout

The bind timeout is the time period within which the TCP binding process must be completed (using any of the Http().bind* methods). It can be configured using the akka.http.server.bind-timeout setting.

Linger timeout

The linger timeout is the time period the HTTP server implementation will keep a connection open after all data has been delivered to the network layer. This setting is similar to the SO_LINGER socket option but does not only include the OS-level socket but also covers the Akka IO / Akka Streams network stack. The setting is an extra precaution that prevents clients from keeping open a connection that is already considered completed from the server side.

If the network level buffers (including the Akka Stream / Akka IO networking stack buffers) contains more data than can be transferred to the client in the given time when the server-side considers to be finished with this connection, the client may encounter a connection reset.

Set to infinite to disable automatic connection closure (which will risk to leak connections).

Client timeouts

Connecting timeout

The connecting timeout is the time period within which the TCP connecting process must be completed. Tweaking it should rarely be required, but it allows erroring out the connection in case a connection is unable to be established for a given amount of time.

it can be configured using the akka.http.client.connecting-timeout setting.

The source code for this page can be found here.