MQTT-SN is a variant of the well-known MQTT protocol - see MQTT.

In contrast to MQTT, MQTT-SN does not require a TCP transport, but is designed to be used over any message-based transport. Originally, it was mainly created with ZigBee in mind, but others like Bluetooth, UDP or even a UART can be used just as well.

Zephyr provides an MQTT-SN client library built on top of BSD sockets API. The library is configurable at a per-client basis, with support for MQTT-SN version 1.2. The Zephyr MQTT-SN implementation can be used with any message-based transport, but support for UDP is already built-in.

MQTT-SN clients require an MQTT-SN gateway to connect to. These gateways translate between MQTT-SN and MQTT. The Eclipse Paho project offers an implementation of a MQTT-SN gateway, but others are available too.

The MQTT-SN spec v1.2 can be found here:

Sample usage

To create an MQTT-SN client, a client context structure and buffers need to be defined:

/* Buffers for MQTT client. */
static uint8_t rx_buffer[256];
static uint8_t tx_buffer[256];

/* MQTT-SN client context */
static struct mqtt_sn_client client;

Multiple MQTT-SN client instances can be created in the application and managed independently. Additionally, a structure for the transport is needed as well. The library already comes with an example implementation for UDP.

/* MQTT Broker address information. */
static struct mqtt_sn_transport tp;

The MQTT-SN library will inform clients about certain events using a callback.

static void evt_cb(struct mqtt_sn_client *client,
                   const struct mqtt_sn_evt *evt)
   switch(evt->type) {
      /* Handle events here. */

For a list of possible events, see API Reference.

The client context structure needs to be initialized and set up before it can be used. An example configuration for UDP transport is shown below:

struct mqtt_sn_data client_id = MQTT_SN_DATA_STRING_LITERAL("ZEPHYR");
struct sockaddr_in gateway = {0};

uint8_t tx_buf[256];
uint8_t rx_buf[256];

mqtt_sn_transport_udp_init(&tp, (struct sockaddr*)&gateway, sizeof((gateway)));

mqtt_sn_client_init(&client, &client_id, &, evt_cb, tx_buf, sizeof(tx_buf), rx_buf, sizeof(rx_buf));

After the configuration is set up, the MQTT-SN client can connect to the gateway. While the MQTT-SN protocol offers functionality to discover gateways through an advertisement mechanism, this is not implemented yet in the library.

Call the mqtt_sn_connect function, which will send a CONNECT message. The application should periodically call the mqtt_sn_input function to process the response received. The appliation does not have to call mqtt_sn_input if it knows that no data has been received (e.g. when using Bluetooth). Note that mqtt_sn_input is a non-blocking function, if the transport struct contains a poll compatible function pointer. If the connection was successful, MQTT_SN_EVT_CONNECTED will be notified to the application through the callback function.

err = mqtt_sn_connect(&client, false, true);
__ASSERT(err == 0, "mqtt_sn_connect() failed %d", err);

while (1) {
        if (connected) {
                mqtt_sn_publish(&client, MQTT_SN_QOS_0, &topic_p, false, &pubdata);

In the above code snippet, the event handler function should set the connected flag upon a successful connection. If the connection fails at the MQTT level or a timeout occurs, the connection will be aborted.

After the connection is established, an application needs to call mqtt_input function periodically to process incoming data. Connection upkeep, on the other hand, is done automatically using a k_work item. If a MQTT message is received, an MQTT callback function will be called and an appropriate event notified.

The connection can be closed by calling the mqtt_sn_disconnect function. This has no effect on the transport, however. If you want to close the transport (e.g. the socket), call mqtt_sn_client_deinit, which will deinit the transport as well.

Zephyr provides sample code utilizing the MQTT-SN client API. See MQTT-SN Publisher for more information.

Deviations from the standard

Certain parts of the protocol are not yet supported in the library. * Pre-defined topic IDs * QoS -1 - it’s most useful with predefined topics * Gateway discovery using ADVERTISE, SEARCHGW and GWINFO messages. * Setting the will topic and message after the initial connect * Forwarder Encapsulation

API Reference

group mqtt_sn_socket

MQTT-SN Client Implementation.

MQTT-SN Client’s Application interface is defined in this header. Targets protocol version 1.2.



Initialize memory buffer from C literal string.

Use it as follows:

struct mqtt_sn_data topic = MQTT_SN_DATA_STRING_LITERAL(“/zephyr”);

  • literal[in] Literal string from which to generate mqtt_sn_data object.


Initialize memory buffer from single bytes.

Use it as follows:

struct mqtt_sn_data data = MQTT_SN_DATA_BYTES(0x13, 0x37);


typedef void (*mqtt_sn_evt_cb_t)(struct mqtt_sn_client *client, const struct mqtt_sn_evt *evt)

Asynchronous event notification callback registered by the application.

Param client:

[in] Identifies the client for which the event is notified.

Param evt:

[in] Event description along with result and associated parameters (if any).


enum mqtt_sn_qos

Quality of Service. QoS 0-2 work the same as basic MQTT, QoS -1 is an MQTT-SN addition. QOS -1 is not supported yet.


enumerator MQTT_SN_QOS_0


enumerator MQTT_SN_QOS_1


enumerator MQTT_SN_QOS_2


enumerator MQTT_SN_QOS_M1

QOS -1

enum mqtt_sn_topic_type

MQTT-SN topic types.


enum mqtt_sn_return_code


enumerator MQTT_SN_CODE_ACCEPTED = 0x00



Rejected: congestion


Rejected: Invalid Topic ID


Rejected: Not Supported

enum mqtt_sn_evt_type

Event types that can be emitted by the library.



Connected to a gateway




Entered ASLEEP state

enumerator MQTT_SN_EVT_AWAKE

Entered AWAKE state


Received a PUBLISH message


Received a PINGRESP


int mqtt_sn_client_init(struct mqtt_sn_client *client, const struct mqtt_sn_data *client_id, struct mqtt_sn_transport *transport, mqtt_sn_evt_cb_t evt_cb, void *tx, size_t txsz, void *rx, size_t rxsz)

Initialize a client.

void mqtt_sn_client_deinit(struct mqtt_sn_client *client)

Deinitialize the client.

This removes all topics and publishes, and also deinits the transport.

int mqtt_sn_connect(struct mqtt_sn_client *client, bool will, bool clean_session)

Connect the client.


0 or a negative error code (errno.h) indicating reason of failure.

int mqtt_sn_disconnect(struct mqtt_sn_client *client)

Disconnect the client.


0 or a negative error code (errno.h) indicating reason of failure.

int mqtt_sn_sleep(struct mqtt_sn_client *client, uint16_t duration)

Set the client into sleep state for the given duration (seconds).


0 or a negative error code (errno.h) indicating reason of failure.

int mqtt_sn_subscribe(struct mqtt_sn_client *client, enum mqtt_sn_qos qos, struct mqtt_sn_data *topic_name)

Subscribe to a given topic.


0 or a negative error code (errno.h) indicating reason of failure.

int mqtt_sn_unsubscribe(struct mqtt_sn_client *client, enum mqtt_sn_qos qos, struct mqtt_sn_data *topic_name)

Unsubscribe from a topic.

int mqtt_sn_publish(struct mqtt_sn_client *client, enum mqtt_sn_qos qos, struct mqtt_sn_data *topic_name, bool retain, struct mqtt_sn_data *data)

Publish a value.

If the topic is not yet registered with the gateway, the library takes care of it.


0 or a negative error code (errno.h) indicating reason of failure.

int mqtt_sn_input(struct mqtt_sn_client *client)

Check the transport for new incoming data.

Call this function periodically, or if you have good reason to believe there is any data. If the client’s transport struct contains a poll-function, this function is non-blocking.


0 or a negative error code (errno.h) indicating reason of failure.

struct mqtt_sn_data
#include <mqtt_sn.h>

Abstracts memory buffers.

Public Members

const uint8_t *data

Pointer to data.

uint16_t size

Size of data, in bytes.

union mqtt_sn_evt_param
#include <mqtt_sn.h>

Event metadata.

Public Members

struct mqtt_sn_data data
enum mqtt_sn_topic_type topic_type
uint16_t topic_id
struct mqtt_sn_evt_param.[anonymous] publish
struct mqtt_sn_evt
#include <mqtt_sn.h>

MQTT-SN event structure to be handled by the event callback.

struct mqtt_sn_transport
#include <mqtt_sn.h>

Structure to describe an MQTT-SN transport.

MQTT-SN does not require transports to be reliable or to hold a connection. Transports just need to be frame-based, so you can use UDP, ZigBee, or even a simple UART, given some kind of framing protocol is used.

Public Members

int (*init)(struct mqtt_sn_transport *transport)

Will be called once on client init to initialize the transport.

Use this to open sockets or similar. May be NULL.

void (*deinit)(struct mqtt_sn_transport *transport)

Will be called on client deinit.

Use this to close sockets or similar. May be NULL.

int (*msg_send)(struct mqtt_sn_client *client, void *buf, size_t sz)

Will be called by the library when it wants to send a message.

ssize_t (*recv)(struct mqtt_sn_client *client, void *buffer, size_t length)

Will be called by the library when it wants to receive a message.

Implementations should follow recv conventions.

int (*poll)(struct mqtt_sn_client *client)

Check if incoming data is available.

If poll() returns a positive number, recv must not block.

May be NULL, but recv should not block then either.


Positive number if data is available, or zero if there is none. Negative values signal errors.

struct mqtt_sn_client
#include <mqtt_sn.h>

Structure describing an MQTT-SN client.

Public Members

struct mqtt_sn_data client_id

1-23 character unique client ID

struct mqtt_sn_data will_topic

Must be initialized before connecting with will=true

struct mqtt_sn_data will_msg

Must be initialized before connecting with will=true