Programmer avec asyncio

Asynchronous programming is different from classic « sequential » programming.

This page lists common mistakes and traps and explains how to avoid them.

Debug Mode

By default asyncio runs in production mode. In order to ease the development asyncio has a debug mode.

There are several ways to enable asyncio debug mode:

In addition to enabling the debug mode, consider also:

  • setting the log level of the asyncio logger to logging.DEBUG, for example the following snippet of code can be run at startup of the application:

    logging.basicConfig(level=logging.DEBUG)
    
  • configuring the warnings module to display ResourceWarning warnings. One way of doing that is by using the -W default command line option.

When the debug mode is enabled:

  • asyncio checks for coroutines that were not awaited and logs them; this mitigates the « forgotten await » pitfall.
  • Many non-treadsafe asyncio APIs (such as loop.call_soon() and loop.call_at() methods) raise an exception if they are called from a wrong thread.
  • The execution time of the I/O selector is logged if it takes too long to perform an I/O operation.
  • Callbacks taking longer than 100ms are logged. The loop.slow_callback_duration attribute can be used to set the minimum execution duration in seconds that is considered « slow ».

Concourance et multithreading

An event loop runs in a thread (typically the main thread) and executes all callbacks and Tasks in its thread. While a Task is running in the event loop, no other Tasks can run in the same thread. When a Task executes an await expression, the running Task gets suspended, and the event loop executes the next Task.

To schedule a callback from a different OS thread, the loop.call_soon_threadsafe() method should be used. Example:

loop.call_soon_threadsafe(callback, *args)

Almost all asyncio objects are not thread safe, which is typically not a problem unless there is code that works with them from outside of a Task or a callback. If there’s a need for such code to call a low-level asyncio API, the loop.call_soon_threadsafe() method should be used, e.g.:

loop.call_soon_threadsafe(fut.cancel)

To schedule a coroutine object from a different OS thread, the run_coroutine_threadsafe() function should be used. It returns a concurrent.futures.Future to access the result:

async def coro_func():
     return await asyncio.sleep(1, 42)

# Later in another OS thread:

future = asyncio.run_coroutine_threadsafe(coro_func(), loop)
# Wait for the result:
result = future.result()

To handle signals and to execute subprocesses, the event loop must be run in the main thread.

The loop.run_in_executor() method can be used with a concurrent.futures.ThreadPoolExecutor to execute blocking code in a different OS thread without blocking the OS thread that the event loop runs in.

Running Blocking Code

Blocking (CPU-bound) code should not be called directly. For example, if a function performs a CPU-intensive calculation for 1 second, all concurrent asyncio Tasks and IO operations would be delayed by 1 second.

An executor can be used to run a task in a different thread or even in a different process to avoid blocking block the OS thread with the event loop. See the loop.run_in_executor() method for more details.

Journalisation

asyncio uses the logging module and all logging is performed via the "asyncio" logger.

The default log level is logging.INFO, which can be easily adjusted:

logging.getLogger("asyncio").setLevel(logging.WARNING)

Detect never-awaited coroutines

When a coroutine function is called, but not awaited (e.g. coro() instead of await coro()) or the coroutine is not scheduled with asyncio.create_task(), asyncio will emit a RuntimeWarning:

import asyncio

async def test():
    print("never scheduled")

async def main():
    test()

asyncio.run(main())

Sortie :

test.py:7: RuntimeWarning: coroutine 'test' was never awaited
  test()

Affichage en mode débogage :

test.py:7: RuntimeWarning: coroutine 'test' was never awaited
Coroutine created at (most recent call last)
  File "../t.py", line 9, in <module>
    asyncio.run(main(), debug=True)

  < .. >

  File "../t.py", line 7, in main
    test()
  test()

The usual fix is to either await the coroutine or call the asyncio.create_task() function:

async def main():
    await test()

Detect never-retrieved exceptions

If a Future.set_exception() is called but the Future object is never awaited on, the exception would never be propagated to the user code. In this case, asyncio would emit a log message when the Future object is garbage collected.

Example of an unhandled exception:

import asyncio

async def bug():
    raise Exception("not consumed")

async def main():
    asyncio.create_task(bug())

asyncio.run(main())

Sortie :

Task exception was never retrieved
future: <Task finished coro=<bug() done, defined at test.py:3>
  exception=Exception('not consumed')>

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "test.py", line 4, in bug
    raise Exception("not consumed")
Exception: not consumed

Enable the debug mode to get the traceback where the task was created:

asyncio.run(main(), debug=True)

Affichage en mode débogage :

Task exception was never retrieved
future: <Task finished coro=<bug() done, defined at test.py:3>
    exception=Exception('not consumed') created at asyncio/tasks.py:321>

source_traceback: Object created at (most recent call last):
  File "../t.py", line 9, in <module>
    asyncio.run(main(), debug=True)

< .. >

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "../t.py", line 4, in bug
    raise Exception("not consumed")
Exception: not consumed