Extensions

The ASGI specification provides for server-specific extensions to be used outside of the core ASGI specification. This document specifies some common extensions.

Websocket Denial Response

Websocket connections start with the client sending a HTTP request containing the appropriate upgrade headers. On receipt of this request a server can choose to either upgrade the connection or respond with an HTTP response (denying the upgrade). The core ASGI specification does not allow for any control over the denial response, instead specifying that the HTTP status code 403 should be returned, whereas this extension allows an ASGI framework to control the denial response. Rather than being a core part of ASGI, this is an extension for what is considered a niche feature as most clients do not utilise the denial response.

ASGI Servers that implement this extension will provide websocket.http.response in the extensions part of the scope:

"scope": {
    ...
    "extensions": {
        "websocket.http.response": {},
    },
}

This will allow the ASGI Framework to send HTTP response messages after the websocket.connect message. These messages cannot be followed by any other websocket messages as the server should send a HTTP response and then close the connection.

The messages themselves should be websocket.http.response.start and websocket.http.response.body with a structure that matches the http.response.start and http.response.body messages defined in the HTTP part of the core ASGI specification.

HTTP/2 Server Push

HTTP/2 allows for a server to push a resource to a client by sending a push promise. ASGI servers that implement this extension will provide http.response.push in the extensions part of the scope:

"scope": {
    ...
    "extensions": {
        "http.response.push": {},
    },
}

An ASGI framework can initiate a server push by sending a message with the following keys. This message can be sent at any time after the Response Start message but before the final Response Body message.

Keys:

  • type (Unicode string): "http.response.push"

  • path (Unicode string): HTTP path from URL, with percent-encoded sequences and UTF-8 byte sequences decoded into characters.

  • headers (Iterable[[byte string, byte string]]): An iterable of [name, value] two-item iterables, where name is the header name, and value is the header value. Header names must be lowercased. Pseudo headers (present in HTTP/2 and HTTP/3) must not be present.

The ASGI server should then attempt to send a server push (or push promise) to the client. If the client supports server push, the server should create a new connection to a new instance of the application and treat it as if the client had made a request.

The ASGI server should set the pseudo :authority header value to be the same value as the request that triggered the push promise.

Zero Copy Send

Zero Copy Send allows you to send the contents of a file descriptor to the HTTP client with zero copy (where the underlying OS directly handles the data transfer from a source file or socket without loading it into Python and writing it out again).

ASGI servers that implement this extension will provide http.response.zerocopysend in the extensions part of the scope:

"scope": {
    ...
    "extensions": {
        "http.response.zerocopysend": {},
    },
}

The ASGI framework can initiate a zero-copy send by sending a message with the following keys. This message can be sent at any time after the Response Start message but before the final Response Body message, and can be mixed with http.response.body. It can also be called multiple times in one response. Except for the characteristics of zero-copy, it should behave the same as ordinary http.response.body.

Keys:

  • type (Unicode string): "http.response.zerocopysend"

  • file (file descriptor object): An opened file descriptor object with an underlying OS file descriptor that can be used to call os.sendfile. (e.g. not BytesIO)

  • offset (int): Optional. If this value exists, it will specify the offset at which sendfile starts to read data from file. Otherwise, it will be read from the current position of file.

  • count (int): Optional. count is the number of bytes to copy between the file descriptors. If omitted, the file will be read until its end.

  • more_body (bool): Signifies if there is additional content to come (as part of a Response Body message). If False, response will be taken as complete and closed, and any further messages on the channel will be ignored. Optional; if missing defaults to False.

After calling this extension to respond, the ASGI application itself should actively close the used file descriptor - ASGI servers are not responsible for closing descriptors.

Path Send

Path Send allows you to send the contents of a file path to the HTTP client without handling file descriptors, offloading the operation directly to the server.

ASGI servers that implement this extension will provide http.response.pathsend in the extensions part of the scope:

"scope": {
    ...
    "extensions": {
        "http.response.pathsend": {},
    },
}

The ASGI framework can initiate a path-send by sending a message with the following keys. This message can be sent at any time after the Response Start message, and cannot be mixed with http.response.body. It can be called just one time in one response. Except for the characteristics of path-send, it should behave the same as ordinary http.response.body.

Keys:

  • type (Unicode string): "http.response.pathsend"

  • path (Unicode string): The string representation of the absolute

file path to be sent by the server, platform specific.

The ASGI application itself is responsible to send the relevant headers in the Response Start message, like the Content-Type and Content-Length headers for the file to be sent.

TLS

See ASGI TLS Extension.

Early Hints

An informational response with the status code 103 is an Early Hint, indicating to the client that resources are associated with the subsequent response, see RFC 8297. ASGI servers that implement this extension will allow early hints to be sent. These servers will provide http.response.early_hint in the extensions part of the scope:

"scope": {
    ...
    "extensions": {
        "http.response.early_hint": {},
    },
}

An ASGI framework can send an early hint by sending a message with the following keys. This message can be sent at any time (and multiple times) after the Response Start message but before the final Response Body message.

Keys:

  • type (Unicode string): "http.response.early_hint"

  • links (Iterable[byte string]): An iterable of link header field values, see RFC 8288.

The ASGI server should then attempt to send an informational response to the client with the provided links as Link headers. The server may decide to ignore this message, for example if the HTTP/1.1 protocol is used and the server has security concerns.

HTTP Trailers

The Trailer response header allows the sender to include additional fields at the end of chunked messages in order to supply metadata that might be dynamically generated while the message body is sent, such as a message integrity check, digital signature, or post-processing status.

ASGI servers that implement this extension will provide http.response.trailers in the extensions part of the scope:

"scope": {
    ...
    "extensions": {
        "http.response.trailers": {},
    },
}

An ASGI framework interested in sending trailing headers to the client, must set the field trailers in Response Start as True. That will allow the ASGI server to know that after the last http.response.body message (more_body being False), the ASGI framework will send a http.response.trailers message.

The ASGI framework is in charge of sending the Trailers headers to let the client know which trailing headers the server will send. The ASGI server is not responsible for validating the Trailers headers provided.

Keys:

  • type (Unicode string): "http.response.trailers"

  • headers (Iterable[[byte string, byte string]]): An iterable of [name, value] two-item iterables, where name is the header name, and value is the header value. Header names must be lowercased. Pseudo headers (present in HTTP/2 and HTTP/3) must not be present.

  • more_trailers (bool): Signifies if there is additional content to come (as part of a HTTP Trailers message). If False, response will be taken as complete and closed, and any further messages on the channel will be ignored. Optional; if missing defaults to False.

The ASGI server will only send the trailing headers in case the client has sent the TE: trailers header in the request.

Debug

The debug extension allows a way to send debug information from an ASGI framework in its responses. This extension is not meant to be used in production, only for testing purposes, and ASGI servers should not implement it.

The ASGI context sent to the framework will provide http.response.debug in the extensions part of the scope:

"scope": {
    ...
    "extensions": {
        "http.response.debug": {},
    },
}

The ASGI framework can send debug information by sending a message with the following keys. This message must be sent once, before the Response Start message.

Keys:

  • type (Unicode string): "http.response.debug"

  • info (Dict[Unicode string, Any]): A dictionary containing the debug information. The keys and values of this dictionary are not defined by the ASGI specification, and are left to the ASGI framework to define.