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Top 5 MQTT CLI Tools for IoT Developers in 2023

MQTTX Team
Apr 27, 2023
Top 5 MQTT CLI Tools for IoT Developers in 2023

Introduction

As MQTT continues to gain popularity as a lightweight messaging protocol for the IoT, the need for efficient and user-friendly command line interface (CLI) tools is increasing. In this article, we will take a look at the top 5 MQTT CLI Tools available in 2023.

Free Public MQTT Broker

Before diving into the MQTT CLI tools, we need an MQTT broker to communicate and test. We choose the free public MQTT broker available on broker.emqx.io.

MQTT Broker Info

  • Server: broker.emqx.io
  • TCP Port: 1883
  • WebSocket Port: 8083
  • SSL/TLS Port: 8883
  • Secure WebSocket Port: 8084

For more information, please check out: Free Public MQTT Broker for IoT Testing.

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#1: MQTTX CLI

MQTTX CLI is a lightweight and easy-to-use MQTT 5.0 command line tool. With various commands for MQTT publishing, subscribing, benchmarking, and IoT data simulation, it is one of the most powerful tools for MQTT development.

MQTTX CLI is an open-source project written in Node.js and developed by EMQ. It’s cross-platform and can work on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Official Website: https://mqttx.app/cli

GitHub: https://github.com/emqx/MQTTX/tree/main/cli

MQTTX CLI

Features

  • Fully support for both MQTT v3.1.1 and MQTT v5.0
  • Cross-platform compatibility with Windows, MacOS, and Linux
  • Dependency-free setup allowing for quick installation without prerequisites
  • Supports CA, self-signed certificates, and one-way and two-way SSL authentication
  • Performance testing capabilities for quickly evaluating MQTT service performance.

Installation

Docker

docker pull emqx/mqttx-cli
docker run -it --rm emqx/mqttx-cli

Homebrew

brew install emqx/mqttx/mqttx-cli

Download

Usage Example

Connect

Test connecting to an MQTT broker:

mqttx conn -h 'broker.emqx.io' -p 1883 -u 'test' -P 'test'

Publish

Publish a QoS1 message to an MQTT topic:

mqttx pub -t 'topic' -q 1 -h 'broker.emqx.io' -p 1883 -m 'Hello from MQTTX CLI'

Subscribe

Subscribe to an MQTT topic:

mqttx sub -t 'topic/#' -h 'broker.emqx.io' -p 1883

Bench

Create 100 connections, bench a pub/sub scenario at 100 msgs/s:

mqttx bench pub -c 100 -t bench/%i -h 'broker.emqx.io' -p 1883
mqttx bench sub -c 100 -t bench/%i -h 'broker.emqx.io' -p 1883
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#2: Mosquitto CLI

Mosquitto is a widely used open-source MQTT broker with the popular mosquitto_pub and mosquitto_sub command line clients. These CLI tools offer a wide range of options to connect, subscribe to, and publish messages to an MQTT broker.

The Mosquitto project is written in C/C++ and maintained by the Eclipse Foundation. Mosquitto is highly portable and can be deployed on various platforms, including Linux, Mac, Windows, and Raspberry Pi.

Features

  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Support for MQTT v3.1.1 and v5.0 protocols
  • Extensive command-line parameters
  • Support for SSL/TLS encryption/authentication
  • MQTT v5.0 request/response functionality

Installation

Docker

docker pull eclipse-mosquitto

Homebrew

brew install mosquitto

Download

https://mosquitto.org/download/

Usage Example

Publish

Publish a QoS1 message to an MQTT topic:

mosquitto_pub -t 'topic' -q 1 -h 'broker.emqx.io' -p 1883 -m 'Hello from Mosquitto CLI'

Subscribe

Subscribe to an MQTT topic:

mosquitto_sub -t 'topic/#' -h 'broker.emqx.io' -p 1883

Request/Response

mosquitto_rr -t 'req-topic' -e 'rep-topic' -m 'request message' -h 'broker.emqx.io'
mosquitto_pub -t 'rep-topic' -m 'response message' -h 'broker.emqx.io'

#3: NanoMQ CLI

NanoMQ is the latest open-source MQTT broker written in pure C for the IoT edge, initially developed by EMQ in 2020. It is fast and lightweight with multi-threading and asynchronous I/O architecture.

NanoMQ also provides an MQTT client SDK and a command line tool for MQTT benchmarking and debugging, specifically for MQTT over QUIC, the next generation of the MQTT protocol standard.

GitHub: https://github.com/nanomq/nanomq

Features

  • Comprehensive MQTT Toolkit with Proto Proxy
  • Full support for MQTT v3.1.1 and MQTT v5.0 protocols
  • Cross-platform compatibility with Windows, Mac, Linux, POSIX RTOS, and more
  • Support for CA, self-signed certificates, and TLS/SSL encryption
  • Built-in nanomsg (NNG)/DDS/ZeroMQ/SOME-IP proxy
  • Performance benchmarking support

Installation

Docker

docker pull emqx/nanomq

Download

Usage Example

Publish

Publish a QoS1 message to a topic:

nanomq_cli pub -t 'topic' --url "mqtt-tcp://broker.emqx.io:1883" -q 2 -u nano -m test

Subscribe

Subscribe to a topic:

nanomq_cli sub -t topic --url "mqtt-tcp://broker.emqx.io:1883" -q 1

Connect

Test connecting to an MQTT broker:

nanomq_cli conn --url "mqtt-tcp://broker.emqx.io:1883" -q 1

Bench

Create 10 connections, publish to a topic at 100 msgs/s:

nanomq_cli bench pub -t topic -h broker.emqx.io -s 16 -q 0 -c 10 -I 10

#4: MQTT.js CLI

MQTT.js is a popular MQTT client library, written in JavaScript for node.js and the browser. MQTT.js also provides a CLI tool that can be used for MQTT testing and debugging in the command line.

MQTT.js CLI depends on Node.js, and Node v12+ is required to run.

GitHub: https://github.com/mqttjs/MQTT.js

Features

  • Easy to install and use, even for those who are not familiar with the MQTT protocol
  • Support for both MQTT v3.1.1 and MQTT v5.0
  • Cross-platform compatibility with Windows, MacOS, and Linux
  • Support for CA, self-signed certificates, and TLS/SSL encryption

Installation

npm install mqtt -g

Usage Example

Publish

mqtt pub -t 'topic' -h broker.emqx.io -m 'Hello from MQTT.js CLI'

Subscribe

mqtt sub -t 'topic' -h broker.emqx.io

#5: HiveMQ CLI

HiveMQ CLI is a fully MQTT 5.0 and MQTT 3.1.1 compatible command line interface developed by HiveMQ.

HiveMQ CLI is implemented with Java, and Java 8 is required to run.

GitHub: https://github.com/hivemq/mqtt-cli

Features

  • All MQTT 3.1.1 and MQTT 5.0 features are supported
  • Interactive, direct, and verbose Modes for all MQTT Commands
  • Shell behavior with Syntax Highlighting, Command history
  • Ability to connect simultaneously various MQTT Clients to different Broker
  • Built on JVM and various distributions available

Installation

Docker

docker pull hivemq/mqtt-cli

Homebrew

brew install hivemq/mqtt-cli/mqtt-cli

Download

https://github.com/hivemq/mqtt-cli/releases

Usage Example

Publish

Publish a message to an MQTT topic:

docker run hivemq/mqtt-cli pub -t 'topic' -h 'broker.emqx.io' -p 1883 -m 'Hello from HiveMQ CLI'

Subscribe

Subscribe to an MQTT topic:

docker run hivemq/mqtt-cli sub -t 'topic' -h 'broker.emqx.io' -p 1883

Test

Test features and limitations of an MQTT broker:

docker run hivemq/mqtt-cli  test -h 'broker.emqx.io' -p 1883
MQTT 3: OK
    - Maximum topic length: 65535 bytes
    - QoS 0: Received 10/10 publishes in 497.85ms
    - QoS 1: Received 10/10 publishes in 1992.64ms
    - QoS 2: Received 10/10 publishes in 4460.73ms
    - Retain: OK
    - Wildcard subscriptions: OK
    - Shared subscriptions: OK
    - Payload size: >= 100000 bytes
    - Maximum client id length: 15346 bytes
    - Unsupported Ascii Chars: ALL SUPPORTED
MQTT 5: OK
    - Connect restrictions: 
        > Retain: OK
        > Wildcard subscriptions: OK
        > Shared subscriptions: OK
        > Subscription identifiers: OK
        > Maximum QoS: 2
        > Receive maximum: 65535
        > Maximum packet size: 1048576 bytes
        > Topic alias maximum: 65535
        > Session expiry interval: Client-based
        > Server keep alive: Client-based

Wrap up

In short, the MQTT CLI tools mentioned above offer a wide range of options for testing and debugging MQTT. You can choose according to the specific needs of your project. We hope this article provides some helpful insights into the top MQTT CLI tools for 2023.

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