Mitmproxy lets you specify an arbitrary number of patterns that define text replacements within flows. Each pattern has 3 components: a filter that defines which flows a replacement applies to, a regular expression that defines what gets replaced, and a target value that defines what is substituted in.

Replace hooks fire when either a client request or a server response is received. Only the matching flow component is affected: so, for example, if a replace hook is triggered on server response, the replacement is only run on the Response object leaving the Request intact. You control whether the hook triggers on the request, response or both using the filter pattern. If you need finer-grained control than this, it’s simple to create a script using the replacement API on Flow components.

Replacement hooks are extremely handy in interactive testing of applications. For instance you can use a replace hook to replace the text “XSS” with a complicated XSS exploit, and then “inject” the exploit simply by interacting with the application through the browser. When used with tools like Firebug and mitmproxy’s own interception abilities, replacement hooks can be an amazingly flexible and powerful feature.

On the command-line

The replacement hook command-line options use a compact syntax to make it easy to specify all three components at once. The general form is as follows:


Here, patt is a mitmproxy filter expression, regex is a valid Python regular expression, and replacement is a string literal. The first character in the expression (/ in this case) defines what the separation character is. Here’s an example of a valid expression that replaces “foo” with “bar” in all requests:


In practice, it’s pretty common for the replacement literal to be long and complex. For instance, it might be an XSS exploit that weighs in at hundreds or thousands of characters. To cope with this, there’s a variation of the replacement hook specifier that lets you load the replacement text from a file. To specify a file as replacement, prefix the file path with @. You might start mitmdump as follows:

>>> mitmdump --replacements :~q:foo:@~/xss-exploit

This will load the replacement text from the file ~/xss-exploit.

The --replacements flag can be passed multiple times.


The R shortcut key in the mitmproxy options menu (O) lets you add and edit replacement hooks using a built-in editor. The context-sensitive help (?) has complete usage information.

command-line --replacements
mitmproxy shortcut O then R