Async and Websocket Support#

As of version 2023.10, Pegasus provides support asynchronous support, as well as support for websockets via the channels library.

The Async / Websocket Demo Application#

Pegasus includes an optional demo application to demonstrate the asynchronous and socket capabilities. The demo application is an extension of the demo application that you build while completing the channels tutorial. You can see a demo below.

The demo application uses the HTMX websockets extension to simplify the implementation. If you prefer not to use HTMX at all, you can change your websocket connection logic to use vanilla JavaScript instead, as shown in the channels tutorial here.

A React-based websocket demo is on the roadmap.

Websocket urls#

Websocket URLs are defined separately from your app’s main file. In Pegasus, the convention is to put your websocket urls in in your project folder (the same one containing

Because websocket urls are separate from your main app, and because they follow a different protocol, they must be referenced as absolute URLs in your front end (including prepending “ws://” or “wss://” depending on whether you’re using HTTPS).

Pegasus ships with two helper functions you can use to assist with working with URLs, so long as you follow Pegasus conventions. The websocket_reverse function will reverse a relative websocket URL, and the websocket_absolute_url function will turn a relative URL into an absolute websocket URL based on your Site address and the USE_HTTPS_IN_ABSOLUTE_URLS setting.

You can combine these functions like so to pass the URL of a websocket endpoint to a template:

room_ws_url = websocket_absolute_url(websocket_reverse("ws_group_chat", args=[room_id]))

You can then use the websocket URL in a template/JavaScript like this:

const chatSocket = new WebSocket({{ room_ws_url}});
chatSocket.onmessage = function(e) {
  // handle message 

Asynchronous web servers#

There are several ASGI servers supported by Django. By default, Pegasus uses the Daphne web server in development and the Uvicorn web server in production, for reasons described below. That said, you can customize your app to use whichever server you prefer.


In development, Pegasus uses the Daphne web server for its tight integration with Django’s runserver command, as outlined in the Django docs.

Daphne is installed via dev-requirements and will be added to your INSTALLED_APPS whenever settings.DEBUG is True.


In production, Pegasus uses the Uvicorn web server. Uvicorn has a seamless integration with gunicorn, making transitioning to it very easy.

Uvicorn is installed via prod-requirements, and if you build with async features enabled, your gunicorn command will be updated to use it.


The chat app loads but nothing happens when I send a message.

The most likely reason this would happen is if your site URLs are not set up properly, which would cause the websocket endpoints to not hit the right address.

See the documentation on absolute URLs to fix this, and in particular make sure your Django site object has the right domain. In development this should be set to localhost:8000.

I’m getting an error: No module named ‘daphne’

If you are getting this error in production it is likely because your DEBUG environment variable is not set.

Due to the order in which settings are imported, you must define DEBUG=False in your environment, .env file, or main file. This is in addition to (or instead of) setting DEBUG=False in your file.

If you are getting this error in development, be sure that Daphne is installed. You should have the a channels[daphne] entry in your file, and you should build and install your requirements as needed.

To do this in a non-Docker environment, run:

pip-compile requirements/
pip install -r requirements/dev-requirements.txt

I’m having another issue deploying to production.

Since this is a new feature there may be some speed-bumps getting it into production on all platforms. While every deployment platform is expected to work, it is not possible to test every app/configuration. So, if you have any issues please reach out over email ( or on Slack and I will do my best to help!