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Event driven framework for python
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Latest commit 0f00ded May 27, 2016 @lsbardel lsbardel Update README.rst


Event driven concurrent framework for python. With pulsar you can write asynchronous servers performing one or several activities in different threads and/or processes.

Badges:license pyversions status
Master CI:master-build coverage-master
Dev CI:dev-build coverage-dev
Mailing list:google user group
Design by:Quantmind and Luca Sbardella
Platforms:Linux, OSX, Windows. Python 3.4 and above
Keywords:client, server, asynchronous, concurrency, actor, thread, process, socket, wsgi, websocket, redis, json-rpc

An example of a web server written with pulsar which responds with "Hello World!" for every request:

from pulsar.apps import wsgi

def hello(environ, start_response):
    data = b'Hello World!\n'
    response_headers = [
        ('Content-Length', str(len(data)))
    start_response('200 OK', response_headers)
    return [data]

if __name__ == '__main__':

Pulsar's goal is to provide an easy way to build scalable network programs. In the Hello world! web server example above, many client connections can be handled concurrently. Pulsar tells the operating system (through epoll or select) that it should be notified when a new connection is made, and then it goes to sleep.

Pulsar uses the asyncio and multiprocessing modules from the standard python library and it can be configured to run in multi-processing mode.

Another example of pulsar framework is the asynchronous HttpClient:

from pulsar.apps import http

session = http.HttpClient()

and somewhere in a coroutine you can wait for responses:

response = await session.get('')


Pulsar has no hard dependencies, install via pip:

pip install pulsar

or downloading the tarball from pypi.

If cython is available, c extensions will be compiled and installed.


Pulsar design allows for a host of different asynchronous applications to be implemented in an elegant and efficient way. Out of the box it is shipped with the the following:

  • Socket servers
  • WSGI server
  • HTTP client
  • Web Sockets
  • Test suite
  • Data stores
  • django integration


Check out the examples directory for various working applications. It includes:

  • Hello world! wsgi example
  • An Httpbin WSGI application
  • An HTTP Proxy server
  • A JSON-RPC Calculator server
  • Websocket random graph.
  • Websocket chat room.
  • django web site with a websocket based chat room.
  • The dining philosophers problem.


Pulsar internals are based on actors primitive. Actors are the atoms of pulsar's concurrent computation, they do not share state between them, communication is achieved via asynchronous inter-process message passing, implemented using the standard python socket library.

Two special classes of actors are the Arbiter, used as a singleton, and the Monitor, a manager of several actors performing similar functions. The Arbiter runs the main eventloop and it controls the life of all actors. Monitors manage group of actors performing similar functions, You can think of them as a pool of actors.

More information about design and philosophy in the documentation.


Pulsar checks if some additional libraries are available at runtime, and uses them to add additional functionalities or improve performance:

  • setproctitle: if installed, pulsar can use it to change the processes names of the running application.
  • psutil: if installed, a system key is available in the dictionary returned by Actor info method.
  • python-certifi: The [HttpClient][] will attempt to use certificates from certifi if it is present on the system.
  • ujson: if installed it is used instead of the native json module.
  • django: required by the pulsar.apps.pulse application.
  • unidecode: to enhance the slugify function

Running Tests

Pulsar test suite uses the pulsar test application. To run tests:

python test

For options and help type:

python test --help

flake8 check (requires flake8 package):



Development of pulsar happens at Github. We very much welcome your contribution of course. To do so, simply follow these guidelines:

  • Fork pulsar on github
  • Create a topic branch git checkout -b my_branch
  • Push to your branch git push origin my_branch
  • Create an issue at with pull request for the dev branch.
  • Alternatively, if you need to report a bug or an unexpected behaviour, make sure to include a mcve in your issue.

A good pull request should:

  • Cover one bug fix or new feature only
  • Include tests to cover the new code (inside the tests directory)
  • Preferably have one commit only (you can use rebase to combine several commits into one)
  • Make sure flake8 tests pass


This software is licensed under the BSD 3-clause License. See the LICENSE file in the top distribution directory for the full license text.

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