Forked and Threaded Servers

Forked and threaded servers share common "gotchas" and solutions when using Pyramid and some popular packages.

Forked and threaded servers tend to use a "copy on write" implementation detail to optimize how they work and share memory. This can create problems when certain actions happen before the fork or thread dispatch, such as when files or file-descriptors are opened or random number generators are initialized.

Many servers have built-in hooks or events which allow you to easily handle these situations.


The following servers are known to have built-in hooks or events to handle problems arising from "copy on write" issues. This listing is not complete; an omission from the below does not suggest a given server is immune from these issues or that a server does not offer the necessary hooks/events.


Gunicorn offers several hooks during an application lifecycle.

The postfork routine is provided as a function in a configuration python script.

For example a script might look like the following.

def post_fork(server, worker):
    log.debug("gunicorn - post_fork")

Invoking the script would look like the following.

gunicorn --paste production.ini -c

See documentation for the post_fork hook.


uWSGI offers a decorator to handle forking.

Your application should include code like the following.

from uwsgidecorators import postfork

def my_setup():
    log.debug("uwsgi - postfork")

See documentation for the postfork decorator.


Waitress is not a forking server, but its threads can create issues similar to those of forking servers.

Known Packages

The following packages are known to have potential issues when deploying on forked or threaded servers. This listing is not complete; an omission from the below does not suggest a given package is immune from these types of deployment concerns.


Many people use SQLAlchemy as part of their Pyramid application stack.

The database connections and the connection pools in SQLAlchemy are not safe to share across process boundaries (forks or threads). The connections and connection pools are lazily created on their first use, so most Pyramid users will not encounter an issue as database interaction usually happens on a per-request basis.

If your Pyramid application connects to a database during the application startup however, then you must use Engine.dispose to reset the connections. It would look like the following.

def reset_sqlalchemy():

Additional documentation on this topic is available from SQLAlchemy's documentation.


The PyCrypto library provides for a Crypto.Random.atfork function to reseed the pseudo-random number generator when a process forks.