Waitress is meant to be a production-quality pure-Python WSGI server with very acceptable performance. It has no dependencies except ones which live in the Python standard library. It runs on CPython on Unix and Windows under Python 2.6+ and Python 3.2. It is also known to run on PyPy 1.6.0 on UNIX. It supports HTTP/1.0 and HTTP/1.1.
Here’s normal usage of the server:
from waitress import serve serve(wsgiapp, host='0.0.0.0', port=8080)
If you want to serve your application on all IP addresses, on port 8080, you can omit the host and port arguments and just call serve with the WSGI app as a single argument:
from waitress import serve serve(wsgiapp)
Press Ctrl-C (or Ctrl-Break on Windows) to exit the server.
Exceptions generated by your application will be shown on the console by default. See Logging to change this.
There’s an entry point for PasteDeploy (egg:waitress#main) that lets you use Waitress’s WSGI gateway from a configuration file, e.g.:
[server:main] use = egg:waitress#main host = 127.0.0.1 port = 8080
You can find more settings to tweak (arguments to waitress.serve or equivalent settings in PasteDeploy) in Arguments to waitress.serve.
waitress.serve calls logging.basicConfig() to set up logging to the console when the server starts up. Assuming no other logging configuration has already been done, this sets the logging default level to logging.WARNING. The Waitress logger will inherit the root logger’s level information (it logs at level WARNING or above).
Waitress sends its logging output (including application exception renderings) to the Python logger object named waitress. You can influence the logger level and output stream using the normal Python logging module API. For example:
import logging logger = logging.getLogger('waitress') logger.setLevel(logging.INFO)
Within a PasteDeploy configuration file, you can use the normal Python logging module .ini file format to change similar Waitress logging options. For example:
[logger_waitress] level = INFO
Often people will set up “pure Python” web servers behind reverse proxies, especially if they need SSL support (Waitress does not natively support SSL). Even if you don’t need SSL support, it’s not uncommon to see Waitress and other pure-Python web servers set up to “live” behind a reverse proxy; these proxies often have lots of useful deployment knobs.
If you’re using Waitress behind a reverse proxy, you’ll almost always want your reverse proxy to pass along the Host header sent by the client to Waitress, in either case, as it will be used by most applications to generate correct URLs.
For example, when using Nginx as a reverse proxy, you might add the following lines in a location section:
proxy_set_header Host $host;
The Apache directive named ProxyPreserveHost does something similar when used as a reverse proxy.
Unfortunately, even if you pass the Host header, the Host header does not contain enough information to regenerate the original URL sent by the client. For example, if your reverse proxy accepts HTTPS requests (and therefore URLs which start with https://), the URLs generated by your application when used behind a reverse proxy served by Waitress might inappropriately be http://foo rather than https://foo. To fix this, you’ll want to change the wsgi.url_scheme in the WSGI environment before it reaches your application. You can do this in one of two ways:
You can have the Waitress server use the https url scheme by default.:
from waitress import serve serve(wsgiapp, host='0.0.0.0', port=8080, url_scheme='https')
This works if all URLs generated by your application should use the https scheme.
If only some of the URLs generated by your application should use the https scheme (and some should use http), you’ll need to use Paste’s PrefixMiddleware as well as change some configuration settings on your proxy. To use PrefixMiddleware, wrap your application before serving it using Waitress:
from waitress import serve from paste.deploy.config import PrefixMiddleware app = PrefixMiddleware(app) serve(app)
Once you wrap your application in the the PrefixMiddleware, the middleware will notice certain headers sent from your proxy and will change the wsgi.url_scheme and possibly other WSGI environment variables appropriately.
Once your application is wrapped by the prefix middleware, you should instruct your proxy server to send along the original Host header from the client to your Waitress server, as well as sending along a X-Forwarded-Proto header with the appropriate value for wsgi.url_scheme.
If your proxy accepts both HTTP and HTTPS URLs, and you want your application to generate the appropriate url based on the incoming scheme, also set up your proxy to send a X-Forwarded-Proto with the original URL scheme along with each proxied request. For example, when using Nginx:
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
It’s permitted to set an X-Forwarded-For header too; the PrefixMiddleware uses this to adjust other environment variables (you’ll have to read its docs to find out which ones, I don’t know what they are). For the X-Forwarded-For header:
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
Note that you can wrap your application in the PrefixMiddleware declaratively in a PasteDeploy configuration file too, if your web framework uses PasteDeploy-style configuration:
[app:myapp] use = egg:mypackage#myapp [filter:paste_prefix] use = egg:PasteDeploy#prefix [pipeline:main] pipeline = paste_prefix myapp [server:main] use = egg:waitress#main host = 127.0.0.1 port = 8080
Support the WSGI wsgi.file_wrapper protocol as per http://www.python.org/dev/peps/pep-0333/#optional-platform-specific-file-handling. Here’s a usage example:
import os here = os.path.dirname(os.path.abspath(__file__)) def myapp(environ, start_response): f = open(os.path.join(here, 'myphoto.jpg'), 'rb') headers = [('Content-Type', 'image/jpeg')] start_response( '200 OK', headers ) return environ['wsgi.file_wrapper'](f, 32768)
The signature of the file wrapper constructor is (filelike_object, block_size). Both arguments must be passed as positional (not keyword) arguments. The result of creating a file wrapper should be returned as the app_iter from a WSGI application.
The object passed as filelike_object to the wrapper must be a file-like object which supports at least the read() method, and the read() method must support an optional size hint argument. It should support the seek() and tell() methods. If it does not, normal iteration over the filelike object using the provided block_size is used (and copying is done, negating any benefit of the file wrapper). It should support a close() method.
The specified block_size argument to the file wrapper constructor will be used only when the filelike_object doesn’t support seek and/or tell methods. Waitress needs to use normal iteration to serve the file in this degenerate case (as per the WSGI spec), and this block size will be used as the iteration chunk size. The block_size argument is optional; if it is not passed, a default value``32768`` is used.
Waitress will set a Content-Length header on the behalf of an application when a file wrapper with a sufficiently filelike object is used if the application hasn’t already set one.
The machinery which handles a file wrapper currently doesn’t do anything particularly special using fancy system calls (it doesn’t use sendfile for example); using it currently just prevents the system from needing to copy data to a temporary buffer in order to send it to the client. No copying of data is done when a WSGI app returns a file wrapper that wraps a sufficiently filelike object. It may do something fancier in the future.
The Pylons Project web site is the main online source of Waitress support and development information.
To report bugs, use the issue tracker.
Browse and check out tagged and trunk versions of Waitress via the Waitress GitHub repository. To check out the trunk via git, use this command:
git clone firstname.lastname@example.org:Pylons/waitress.git
To find out how to become a contributor to Waitress, please see the contributor’s section of the documentation.
At the time of the release of Waitress, there are already many pure-Python WSGI servers. Why would we need another?
Waitress is meant to be useful to web framework authors who require broad platform support. It’s neither the fastest nor the fanciest WSGI server available but using it helps eliminate the N-by-M documentation burden (e.g. production vs. deployment, Windows vs. Unix, Python 3 vs. Python 2, PyPy vs. CPython) and resulting user confusion imposed by spotty platform support of the current (2012-ish) crop of WSGI servers. For example, gunicorn is great, but doesn’t run on Windows. paste.httpserver is perfectly serviceable, but doesn’t run under Python 3 and has no dedicated tests suite that would allow someone who did a Python 3 port to know it worked after a port was completed. wsgiref works fine under most any Python, but it’s a little slow and it’s not recommended for production use as it’s single-threaded and has not been audited for security issues.
At the time of this writing, some existing WSGI servers already claim wide platform support and have serviceable test suites. The CherryPy WSGI server, for example, targets Python 2 and Python 3 and it can run on UNIX or Windows. However, it is not distributed separately from its eponymous web framework, and requiring a non-CherryPy web framework to depend on the CherryPy web framework distribution simply for its server component is awkward. The test suite of the CherryPy server also depends on the CherryPy web framework, so even if we forked its server component into a separate distribution, we would have still needed to backfill for all of its tests. The CherryPy team has started work on Cheroot, which should solve this problem, however.
Waitress is a fork of the WSGI-related components which existed in zope.server. zope.server had passable framework-independent test coverage out of the box, and a good bit more coverage was added during the fork. zope.server has existed in one form or another since about 2001, and has seen production usage since then, so Waitress is not exactly “another” server, it’s more a repackaging of an old one that was already known to work fairly well.