The little ASGI framework that shines.
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The little ASGI framework that shines.

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Starlette is a lightweight ASGI framework/toolkit, which is ideal for building high performance asyncio services.

It is production-ready, and gives you the following:

  • Seriously impressive performance.
  • WebSocket support.
  • GraphQL support.
  • In-process background tasks.
  • Startup and shutdown events.
  • Test client built on requests.
  • CORS, GZip, Static Files, Streaming responses.
  • 100% test coverage.
  • 100% type annotated codebase.
  • Zero hard dependencies.


Python 3.6+


$ pip3 install starlette

You'll also want to install an ASGI server, such as uvicorn, daphne, or hypercorn.

$ pip3 install uvicorn


from starlette.applications import Starlette
from starlette.responses import JSONResponse
import uvicorn

app = Starlette()

async def homepage(request):
    return JSONResponse({'hello': 'world'})

if __name__ == '__main__':, host='', port=8000)


Starlette does not have any hard dependencies, but the following are optional:

  • requests - Required if you want to use the TestClient.
  • aiofiles - Required if you want to use FileResponse or StaticFiles.
  • python-multipart - Required if you want to support form parsing, with request.form().
  • graphene - Required for GraphQL support.
  • ujson - Required if you want to use UJSONResponse.

You can install all of these with pip3 install starlette[full].

Framework or Toolkit

Starlette is designed to be used either as a complete framework, or as an ASGI toolkit. You can use any of its components independently.

from starlette.responses import PlainTextResponse

class App:
    def __init__(self, scope):
        self.scope = scope

    async def __call__(self, receive, send):
        response = PlainTextResponse('Hello, world!')
        await response(receive, send)

Run the App application in

$ uvicorn example:App
INFO: Started server process [11509]
INFO: Uvicorn running on (Press CTRL+C to quit)


The modularity that Starlette is designed on promotes building re-usable components that can be shared between any ASGI framework. This should enable an ecosystem of shared middleware and mountable applications.

The clean API separation also means it's easier to understand each component in isolation.


Independent TechEmpower benchmarks show Starlette applications running under Uvicorn as one of the fastest Python frameworks available. (*)

For high throughput loads you should:

  • Make sure to install ujson and use UJSONResponse.
  • Run using uvicorn, with access logging disabled.

Several of the ASGI servers also have pure Python implementations available, so you can also run under PyPy if your application code has parts that are CPU constrained.

Eg., http='h11', loop='asyncio')

(*) TechEmpower continuous benchmarking results, from 13th Sept 2018. Filtered to JavaScript, Python, and Ruby frameworks backed by Postgres, for comparision against similar candidates. To be updated to Round 17 once available.


Starlette is BSD licensed code. Designed & built in Brighton, England.