Work with requests and responses - Amazon CloudFront

Work with requests and responses

To use Lambda@Edge requests and responses, see the following topics:

Use Lambda@Edge functions with origin failover

You can use Lambda@Edge functions with CloudFront distributions that you've set up with origin groups, for example, for origin failover that you configure to help ensure high availability. To use a Lambda function with an origin group, specify the function in an origin request or origin response trigger for an origin group when you create the cache behavior.

For more information, see the following:

Generate HTTP responses in request triggers

When CloudFront receives a request, you can use a Lambda function to generate an HTTP response that CloudFront returns directly to the viewer without forwarding the response to the origin. Generating HTTP responses reduces the load on the origin, and typically also reduces latency for the viewer.

Some common scenarios for generating HTTP responses include the following:

  • Returning a small webpage to the viewer

  • Returning an HTTP 301 or 302 status code to redirect the user to another webpage

  • Returning an HTTP 401 status code to the viewer when the user hasn't authenticated

A Lambda@Edge function can generate an HTTP response when the following CloudFront events occur:

Viewer request events

When a function is triggered by a viewer request event, CloudFront returns the response to the viewer and doesn't cache it.

Origin request events

When a function is triggered by an origin request event, CloudFront checks the edge cache for a response that was previously generated by the function.

  • If the response is in the cache, the function isn't executed and CloudFront returns the cached response to the viewer.

  • If the response isn't in the cache, the function is executed, CloudFront returns the response to the viewer, and also caches it.

To see some sample code for generating HTTP responses, see Lambda@Edge example functions. You can also replace the HTTP responses in response triggers. For more information, see Update HTTP responses in origin response triggers.

Programming model

This section describes the programming model for using Lambda@Edge to generate HTTP responses.

Response object

The response you return as the result parameter of the callback method should have the following structure (note that only the status field is required).

const response = { body: 'content', bodyEncoding: 'text' | 'base64', headers: { 'header name in lowercase': [{ key: 'header name in standard case', value: 'header value' }], ... }, status: 'HTTP status code (string)', statusDescription: 'status description' };

The response object can include the following values:


The body, if any, that you want CloudFront to return in the generated response.


The encoding for the value that you specified in the body. The only valid encodings are text and base64. If you include body in the response object but omit bodyEncoding, CloudFront treats the body as text.

If you specify bodyEncoding as base64 but the body is not valid base64, CloudFront returns an error.


Headers that you want CloudFront to return in the generated response. Note the following:

  • The keys in the headers object are lowercase versions of standard HTTP header names. Using lowercase keys gives you case-insensitive access to the header values.

  • Each header (for example, headers["accept"] or headers["host"]) is an array of key-value pairs. For a given header, the array contains one key-value pair for each value in the generated response.

  • key (optional) is the case-sensitive name of the header as it appears in an HTTP request; for example, accept or host.

  • Specify value as a header value.

  • If you do not include the header key portion of the key-value pair, Lambda@Edge automatically inserts a header key using the header name that you provide. Regardless of how you've formatted the header name, the header key that is inserted is automatically formatted with initial capitalization for each part, separated by hyphens (-).

    For example, you can add a header like the following, without a header key: 'content-type': [{ value: 'text/html;charset=UTF-8' }]

    In this example, Lambda@Edge creates the following header key: Content-Type.

For information about restrictions on header usage, see Restrictions on edge functions.


The HTTP status code. Provide the status code as a string. CloudFront uses the provided status code for the following:

If the status value isn't between 200 and 599, CloudFront returns an error to the viewer.


The description that you want CloudFront to return in the response, to accompany the HTTP status code. You don't need to use standard descriptions, such as OK for an HTTP status code of 200.


The following are possible errors for generated HTTP responses.

Response Contains a Body and Specifies 204 (No Content) for Status

When a function is triggered by a viewer request, CloudFront returns an HTTP 502 status code (Bad Gateway) to the viewer when both of the following are true:

  • The value of status is 204 (No Content)

  • The response includes a value for body

This is because Lambda@Edge imposes the optional restriction found in RFC 2616, which states that an HTTP 204 response does not need to contain a message body.

Restrictions on the Size of the Generated Response

The maximum size of a response that is generated by a Lambda function depends on the event that triggered the function:

  • Viewer request events – 40 KB

  • Origin request events – 1 MB

If the response is larger than the allowed size, CloudFront returns an HTTP 502 status code (Bad Gateway) to the viewer.

Required fields

The status field is required.

All other fields are optional.

Update HTTP responses in origin response triggers

When CloudFront receives an HTTP response from the origin server, if there is an origin-response trigger associated with the cache behavior, you can modify the HTTP response to override what was returned from the origin.

Some common scenarios for updating HTTP responses include the following:


The function must return a status value between 200 and 599 (inclusive), otherwise CloudFront returns an error to the viewer.

You can also replace the HTTP responses in viewer and origin request events. For more information, see Generate HTTP responses in request triggers.

When you're working with the HTTP response, Lambda@Edge does not expose the body that is returned by the origin server to the origin-response trigger. You can generate a static content body by setting it to the desired value, or remove the body inside the function by setting the value to be empty. If you don't update the body field in your function, the original body returned by the origin server is returned back to viewer.

Access the request body by choosing the include body option

You can opt to have Lambda@Edge expose the body in a request for writable HTTP methods (POST, PUT, DELETE, and so on), so that you can access it in your Lambda function. You can choose read-only access, or you can specify that you'll replace the body.

To enable this option, choose Include Body when you create a CloudFront trigger for your function that's for a viewer request or origin request event. For more information, see Add triggers for a Lambda@Edge function, or to learn about using Include Body with your function, see Lambda@Edge event structure.

Scenarios when you might want to use this feature include the following:

  • Processing web forms, like "contact us" forms, without sending customer input data back to origin servers.

  • Gathering web beacon data that's sent by viewer browsers and processing it at the edge.

For sample code, see Lambda@Edge example functions.


If the request body is large, Lambda@Edge truncates it. For detailed information about the maximum size and truncation, see Restrictions on the request body with the include body option.