Why does the server close the connection prematurely?#

Your connection handler exits prematurely. Wait for the work to be finished before returning.

For example, if your handler has a structure similar to:

async def handler(websocket):

change it to:

async def handler(websocket):
    await do_some_work()

Why does the server close the connection after one message?#

Your connection handler exits after processing one message. Write a loop to process multiple messages.

For example, if your handler looks like this:

async def handler(websocket):

change it like this:

async def handler(websocket):
    async for message in websocket:

Don’t feel bad if this happens to you — it’s the most common question in websockets’ issue tracker :-)

Why can only one client connect at a time?#

Your connection handler blocks the event loop. Look for blocking calls.

Any call that may take some time must be asynchronous.

For example, this connection handler prevents the event loop from running during one second:

async def handler(websocket):

Change it to:

async def handler(websocket):
    await asyncio.sleep(1)

In addition, calling a coroutine doesn’t guarantee that it will yield control to the event loop.

For example, this connection handler blocks the event loop by sending messages continuously:

async def handler(websocket):
    while True:
        await websocket.send("firehose!")

send() completes synchronously as long as there’s space in send buffers. The event loop never runs. (This pattern is uncommon in real-world applications. It occurs mostly in toy programs.)

You can avoid the issue by yielding control to the event loop explicitly:

async def handler(websocket):
    while True:
        await websocket.send("firehose!")
        await asyncio.sleep(0)

All this is part of learning asyncio. It isn’t specific to websockets.

See also Python’s documentation about running blocking code.

How do I send a message to all users?#

Record all connections in a global variable:


async def handler(websocket):
        await websocket.wait_closed()

Then, call broadcast():

import websockets

def message_all(message):
    websockets.broadcast(CONNECTIONS, message)

If you’re running multiple server processes, make sure you call message_all in each process.

How do I send a message to a single user?#

Record connections in a global variable, keyed by user identifier:


async def handler(websocket):
    user_id = ...  # identify user in your app's context
    CONNECTIONS[user_id] = websocket
        await websocket.wait_closed()
        del CONNECTIONS[user_id]

Then, call send():

async def message_user(user_id, message):
    websocket = CONNECTIONS[user_id]  # raises KeyError if user disconnected
    await websocket.send(message)  # may raise websockets.ConnectionClosed

Add error handling according to the behavior you want if the user disconnected before the message could be sent.

This example supports only one connection per user. To support concurrent connections by the same user, you can change CONNECTIONS to store a set of connections for each user.

If you’re running multiple server processes, call message_user in each process. The process managing the user’s connection sends the message; other processes do nothing.

When you reach a scale where server processes cannot keep up with the stream of all messages, you need a better architecture. For example, you could deploy an external publish / subscribe system such as Redis. Server processes would subscribe their clients. Then, they would receive messages only for the connections that they’re managing.

How do I send a message to a channel, a topic, or some users?#

websockets doesn’t provide built-in publish / subscribe functionality.

Record connections in a global variable, keyed by user identifier, as shown in How do I send a message to a single user?

Then, build the set of recipients and broadcast the message to them, as shown in How do I send a message to all users?

Integrate with Django contains a complete implementation of this pattern.

Again, as you scale, you may reach the performance limits of a basic in-process implementation. You may need an external publish / subscribe system like Redis.

How do I pass arguments to the connection handler?#

You can bind additional arguments to the connection handler with functools.partial():

import asyncio
import functools
import websockets

async def handler(websocket, extra_argument):

bound_handler = functools.partial(handler, extra_argument=42)
start_server = websockets.serve(bound_handler, ...)

Another way to achieve this result is to define the handler coroutine in a scope where the extra_argument variable exists instead of injecting it through an argument.

How do I access the request path?#

It is available in the path attribute.

You may route a connection to different handlers depending on the request path:

async def handler(websocket):
    if websocket.path == "/blue":
        await blue_handler(websocket)
    elif websocket.path == "/green":
        await green_handler(websocket)
        # No handler for this path; close the connection.

You may also route the connection based on the first message received from the client, as shown in the tutorial. When you want to authenticate the connection before routing it, this is usually more convenient.

Generally speaking, there is far less emphasis on the request path in WebSocket servers than in HTTP servers. When a WebSocket server provides a single endpoint, it may ignore the request path entirely.

How do I access HTTP headers?#

To access HTTP headers during the WebSocket handshake, you can override process_request:

async def process_request(self, path, request_headers):
    authorization = request_headers["Authorization"]

Once the connection is established, HTTP headers are available in request_headers and response_headers:

async def handler(websocket):
    authorization = websocket.request_headers["Authorization"]

How do I set HTTP headers?#

To set the Sec-WebSocket-Extensions or Sec-WebSocket-Protocol headers in the WebSocket handshake response, use the extensions or subprotocols arguments of serve().

To override the Server header, use the server_header argument. Set it to None to remove the header.

To set other HTTP headers, use the extra_headers argument.

How do I get the IP address of the client?#

It’s available in remote_address:

async def handler(websocket):
    remote_ip = websocket.remote_address[0]

How do I set the IP addresses that my server listens on?#

Use the host argument of create_server():

await websockets.serve(handler, host="", port=8080)

serve() accepts the same arguments as create_server().

What does OSError: [Errno 99] error while attempting to bind on address ('::1', 80, 0, 0): address not available mean?#

You are calling serve() without a host argument in a context where IPv6 isn’t available.

To listen only on IPv4, specify host="" or family=socket.AF_INET.

Refer to the documentation of create_server() for details.

How do I close a connection?#

websockets takes care of closing the connection when the handler exits.

How do I stop a server?#

Exit the serve() context manager.

Here’s an example that terminates cleanly when it receives SIGTERM on Unix:

#!/usr/bin/env python

import asyncio
import signal
import websockets

async def echo(websocket):
    async for message in websocket:
        await websocket.send(message)

async def server():
    # Set the stop condition when receiving SIGTERM.
    loop = asyncio.get_running_loop()
    stop = loop.create_future()
    loop.add_signal_handler(signal.SIGTERM, stop.set_result, None)

    async with websockets.serve(echo, "localhost", 8765):
        await stop

How do I stop a server while keeping existing connections open?#

Call the server’s close() method with close_connections=False.

Here’s how to adapt the example just above:

async def server():

    server = await websockets.serve(echo, "localhost", 8765)
    await stop
    await server.close(close_connections=False)

How do I implement a health check?#

Intercept WebSocket handshake requests with the process_request() hook.

When a request is sent to the health check endpoint, treat is as an HTTP request and return a (status, headers, body) tuple, as in this example:

#!/usr/bin/env python

import asyncio
import http
import websockets

async def health_check(path, request_headers):
    if path == "/healthz":
        return http.HTTPStatus.OK, [], b"OK\n"

async def echo(websocket):
    async for message in websocket:
        await websocket.send(message)

async def main():
    async with websockets.serve(
        echo, "localhost", 8765,
        await asyncio.Future()  # run forever

How do I run HTTP and WebSocket servers on the same port?#

You don’t.

HTTP and WebSocket have widely different operational characteristics. Running them with the same server becomes inconvenient when you scale.

Providing an HTTP server is out of scope for websockets. It only aims at providing a WebSocket server.

There’s limited support for returning HTTP responses with the process_request hook.

If you need more, pick an HTTP server and run it separately.

Alternatively, pick an HTTP framework that builds on top of websockets to support WebSocket connections, like Sanic.