Jetty’s venerable MultiPartInputStreamParser for parsing MultiPart form-data has been deprecated and replaced by the much more efficient MultiPartFormInputStream, based on a new MultiPartParser. This is much faster, but less forgiving of non-compliant format. So we have implemented a legacy mode to access the old parser, but with enhancements to make logging of compliance violations possible.


We have achieved an order of magnitude speed-up in the parsing of large uploaded content and even small content is significantly faster.
We performed a JMH benchmark of the (new) HTTP MultiPartFormInputStream vs the (old) UTIL MultiPartInputStreamParser. Our tests were:

  • testLargeGenerated:  parses a 10MB file of random binary data
  • testParser:  parses a series of small multipart forms captured by a browser

Our results clearly show that the new multipart processing is superior in terms of speed to the old processing:

# Run complete. Total time: 00:02:09
Benchmark                              (parserType)  Mode  Cnt  Score   Error  Units
MultiPartBenchmark.testLargeGenerated          UTIL  avgt   10  0.252 ± 0.025   s/op
MultiPartBenchmark.testLargeGenerated          HTTP  avgt   10  0.035 ± 0.004   s/op
MultiPartBenchmark.testParser                  UTIL  avgt   10  0.028 ± 0.005   s/op
MultiPartBenchmark.testParser                  HTTP  avgt   10  0.015 ± 0.006   s/op

How To Use

By default in Jetty 9.4, the old MultiPartInputStreamParser will be used. The default will be switched to the new MultiPartInputStreamParser in jetty-10.  To use the new parser (available since release 9.4.10)  you can change the compliance mode in the server.ini file so that it defaults to using RFC7578 instead of the LEGACY mode.

## multipart/form-data compliance mode of: LEGACY(slow), RFC7578(fast)
# jetty.httpConfig.multiPartFormDataCompliance=LEGACY

This feature can also be used programmatically by setting the compliance mode through the HttpConfiguration instance which can be obtained through the HttpConnectionFactory in the connector.


Compliance Modes

There are now two compliance modes for MultiPart form parsing:

  • LEGACY mode which uses the old MultiPartInputStreamParser in jetty-util, this will be slower but more forgiving in accepting formats that are non-compliant with RFC7578.
  • RFC7578 mode which uses the new MultiPartFormInputStream in jetty-http, this will perform faster than the LEGACY mode, however, there may be issues in receiving badly formatted MultiPart forms that were previously accepted.

The default compliance mode is currently LEGACY, however, this will be changed to RFC7578 a future release.

Legacy Mode Compliance Warnings

When the old MultiPartInputStreamParser accepts a format non-compliant with the RFC, a violation is recorded as an attribute in the request. These violations include:

The list of violations as Strings can be obtained from the request by accessing the attribute  HttpCompliance.VIOLATIONS_ATTR.


Each violation string gives the name of the violation followed by a link to the RFC describing that particular violation.
Here’s an example:

The Future

The parser is async capable, so expect further innovations with non-blocking uploads and possibly reactive parts.


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