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Asyncio integration with sync code using greenlets.

Project description


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This project allows synchronous and asynchronous functions to be used together. Unlike other methods based on executors and thread or process pools, greenletio allows synchronous functions to work like their asynchronous counterparts, without the need to create expensive threads or processes.

Quick start


This package is installed with pip:

$ pip install greenletio


The async_ function makes a synchronous function awaitable.

import asyncio
from greenletio import async_

def sync_function(arg):

async def async_function():
    await async_(sync_function)(42)

This function can also be used as a decorator:

import asyncio
from greenletio import async_

def sync_function(arg):

async def async_function():
    await sync_function(42)


The await_ function can be used to await an asynchronous function in a synchronous one without blocking the asyncio loop:

from greenletio import await_

async def async_function():

def sync_function():

Sometimes it is more convenient to use await_ as a decorator to make an asynchronous function callable from synchronous code (once again, without blocking the loop):

from greenletio import await_

async def async_function():

def sync_function():

Note that synchronous functions used in asynchronous applications must follow the rules that apply to asynchronous functions with regards to not calling any blocking code.


The spawn function launches a synchronous Python function asynchronously as a greenlet. The new greenlet (and any function called from it) can use the await_ function.


The modules under are drop-in replacements of the Python standard library modules of the same name, implemented using the async_, await_ and spawn primitives.

The goal is to provide replacements for all the blocking functions in the standard library, so that code written as blocking can be used asynchronously.

Currently implemented modules are socket, ssl, threading, and time.


The patch_blocking context manager can be used to import code written for the Python standard library with all the blocking functions redirected to their green.* replacements.


The patch_psycopg2 function configures psycopg2 to access Postgres database in non-blocking mode.


Porting an application to asyncio is in general very complicated, as it requires a large portion of the codebase to be converted due to the "virality" of asynchronous code, which requires that only an asynchronous function call another asynchronous function.

This package provides a solution to allow synchronous and asynchronous code to call each other without blocking the asynchronous loop.

How is this possible?

greenletio combines asynchronous functions with greenlets to achieve what is not possible using standalone Python.

Greenlets provide a way to context-switch or "jump" from the middle of a running function into another, and later resume the first at the place it was interrupted.

This opens the possibility for a synchronous function to "escape" a blocking wait by context-switching into an asynchronous function that releases the CPU back to the loop. The interrupted function would only be resumed once the blocking condition is resolved.

Previous work

The idea for greenletio originated in a proof-of-concept gist by Mike Bayer that used greenlets to prevent synchronous code from blocking. The intent was to use this technique to allow SQLAlchemy to work in asynchronous applications.

Since Mike's code became public we learned of another project combining coroutines and greenlets with the same goal called greenback, by Joshua Oreman.

The overall design of greenletio is based on eventlet.

Project details

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