A library to parse proxy auto-config (PAC) files

View the Project on GitHub manugarg/pacparser


Pacparser is a library to parse proxy auto-config (PAC) files. Proxy auto-config files are a vastly used proxy configuration method these days. Web browsers can use a PAC file to determine which proxy server to use or whether to go direct for a given URL. PAC files are written in JavaScript and can be programmed to return different proxy methods (e.g. "PROXY proxy1:port; DIRECT") depending upon URL, source IP address, protocol, time of the day etc. PAC files introduce a lot of possibilities. Please look at the wikipedia entry for Proxy auto-config for more information.

Needless to say, PAC files are now a widely accepted method for proxy configuration management and companies all over are using them in corporate environment. Almost all popular web browsers support PAC files. The idea behind pacparser is to make it easy to add this PAC file parsing capability to any program (C and python supported right now). It comes as a shared C library and a python module which can be used to make any C or python program PAC scripts intelligent. Some very useful targets could be popular web software like wget, curl and python-urllib.


Pacparser makes use of the Mozilla's JavaScript interpreter SpiderMonkey to parse PAC files (which are nothing but javascripts). Apart from that, proxy auto-config standard assumes availability of some functions which are not part of the standard JavaScript. Pacparser uses Mozilla's PAC implementation to define all these functions except couple of dns functions which are defined by pacparser itself. As a result, pacparser is as close to standard as it gets :)


Please see 'INSTALL' in the root directory of the package.

How to use it?

Pacparser comes as a shared library ( on Unix-like systems and pacparser.dll on windows) as well as a python module. Using it is as easy compiling your C programs against it or importing pacparser module in your python programs.

API docs for pacparser: API

Usage Examples


>>> import pacparser
>>> pacparser.init()
>>> pacparser.parse_pac('examples/wpad.dat')
>>> pacparser.find_proxy('', '')
>>> pacparser.setmyip("")
>>> pacparser.find_proxy('', '')
>>> pacparser.find_proxy('', '')
>>> pacparser.cleanup()


#include <stdio.h>

int pacparser_init();
int pacparser_parse_pac(char* pacfile);
char *pacparser_find_proxy(char *url, char *host);
void pacparser_cleanup();

int main(int argc, char* argv[])
  char *proxy;
  proxy = pacparser_find_proxy(argv[2], argv[3]);
  printf("%s\n", proxy);
manugarg@hobbiton:~$ gcc -o pactest pactest.c -lpacparser
manugarg@hobbiton:~$ ./pactest wpad.dat


pacparser has been tested to work on Linux (all architectures supported by Debian), Mac OS X and Win32 systems.

Author: Manu Garg (
Copyright (C) 2007 Manu Garg.