Deployment

Application server

The author of websockets isn’t aware of best practices for deploying network services based on asyncio, let alone application servers.

You can run a script similar to the server example, inside a supervisor if you deem that useful.

You can also add a wrapper to daemonize the process. Third-party libraries provide solutions for that.

If you can share knowledge on this topic, please file an issue. Thanks!

Graceful shutdown

You may want to close connections gracefully when shutting down the server, perhaps after executing some cleanup logic. There are two ways to achieve this with the object returned by serve():

  • using it as a asynchronous context manager, or
  • calling its close() method, then waiting for its wait_closed() method to complete.

Tasks that handle connections will be cancelled. For example, if the handler is awaiting recv(), that call will raise CancelledError.

On Unix systems, shutdown is usually triggered by sending a signal.

Here’s a full example (Unix-only):

#!/usr/bin/env python

import asyncio
import signal
import websockets

async def echo(websocket, path):
    while True:
        try:
            msg = await websocket.recv()
        except websockets.ConnectionClosed:
            pass
        else:
            await websocket.send(msg)

async def echo_server(stop):
    async with websockets.serve(echo, 'localhost', 8765):
        await stop

loop = asyncio.get_event_loop()

# The stop condition is set when receiving SIGTERM.
stop = asyncio.Future()
loop.add_signal_handler(signal.SIGTERM, stop.set_result, None)

# Run the server until the stop condition is met.
loop.run_until_complete(echo_server(stop))

async, await, and asynchronous context managers aren’t available in Python < 3.5. Here’s the equivalent for older Python versions:

#!/usr/bin/env python

import asyncio
import signal
import websockets

async def echo(websocket, path):
    while True:
        try:
            msg = await websocket.recv()
        except websockets.ConnectionClosed:
            pass
        else:
            await websocket.send(msg)

loop = asyncio.get_event_loop()

# Create the server.
start_server = websockets.serve(echo, 'localhost', 8765)
server = loop.run_until_complete(start_server)

# Run the server until SIGTERM.
stop = asyncio.Future()
loop.add_signal_handler(signal.SIGTERM, stop.set_result, None)
loop.run_until_complete(stop)

# Shut down the server.
server.close()
loop.run_until_complete(server.wait_closed())

It’s more difficult to achieve the same effect on Windows. Some third-party projects try to help with this problem.

If your server doesn’t run in the main thread, look at call_soon_threadsafe().

Memory use

In order to avoid excessive memory use caused by buffer bloat, it is strongly recommended to tune buffer sizes.

Most importantly max_size should be lowered according to the expected size of messages. It is also suggested to lower max_queue, read_limit and write_limit if memory use is a concern.

Port sharing

The WebSocket protocol is an extension of HTTP/1.1. It can be tempting to serve both HTTP and WebSocket on the same port.

The author of websockets doesn’t think that’s a good idea, due to the widely different operational characteristics of HTTP and WebSocket.

websockets provide minimal support for responding to HTTP requests with the process_request() hook. Typical use cases include health checks.