Using async and await

This feature is still in active development. See the related issue.

#[pyfunction] and #[pymethods] attributes also support async fn.

#[cfg(feature = "experimental-async")] {
use std::{thread, time::Duration};
use futures::channel::oneshot;
use pyo3::prelude::*;

async fn sleep(seconds: f64, result: Option<PyObject>) -> Option<PyObject> {
    let (tx, rx) = oneshot::channel();
    thread::spawn(move || {

Python awaitables instantiated with this method can only be awaited in asyncio context. Other Python async runtime may be supported in the future.

Send + 'static constraint

Resulting future of an async fn decorated by #[pyfunction] must be Send + 'static to be embedded in a Python object.

As a consequence, async fn parameters and return types must also be Send + 'static, so it is not possible to have a signature like async fn does_not_compile<'py>(arg: Bound<'py, PyAny>) -> Bound<'py, PyAny>.

However, there is an exception for method receivers, so async methods can accept &self/&mut self. Note that this means that the class instance is borrowed for as long as the returned future is not completed, even across yield points and while waiting for I/O operations to complete. Hence, other methods cannot obtain exclusive borrows while the future is still being polled. This is the same as how async methods in Rust generally work but it is more problematic for Rust code interfacing with Python code due to pervasive shared mutability. This strongly suggests to prefer shared borrows &self over exclusive ones &mut self to avoid racy borrow check failures at runtime.

Implicit GIL holding

Even if it is not possible to pass a py: Python<'py> parameter to async fn, the GIL is still held during the execution of the future – it's also the case for regular fn without Python<'py>/Bound<'py, PyAny> parameter, yet the GIL is held.

It is still possible to get a Python marker using Python::with_gil; because with_gil is reentrant and optimized, the cost will be negligible.

Release the GIL across .await

There is currently no simple way to release the GIL when awaiting a future, but solutions are currently in development.

Here is the advised workaround for now:

use std::{
    pin::{Pin, pin},
    task::{Context, Poll},
use pyo3::prelude::*;

struct AllowThreads<F>(F);

impl<F> Future for AllowThreads<F>
    F: Future + Unpin + Send,
    F::Output: Send,
    type Output = F::Output;

    fn poll(mut self: Pin<&mut Self>, cx: &mut Context<'_>) -> Poll<Self::Output> {
        let waker = cx.waker();
        Python::with_gil(|gil| {
            gil.allow_threads(|| pin!(&mut self.0).poll(&mut Context::from_waker(waker)))


Cancellation on the Python side can be caught using CancelHandle type, by annotating a function parameter with #[pyo3(cancel_handle)].

#[cfg(feature = "experimental-async")] {
use futures::FutureExt;
use pyo3::prelude::*;
use pyo3::coroutine::CancelHandle;

async fn cancellable(#[pyo3(cancel_handle)] mut cancel: CancelHandle) {
    futures::select! {
        /* _ = ... => println!("done"), */
        _ = cancel.cancelled().fuse() => println!("cancelled"),

The Coroutine type

To make a Rust future awaitable in Python, PyO3 defines a Coroutine type, which implements the Python coroutine protocol.

Each coroutine.send call is translated to a Future::poll call. If a CancelHandle parameter is declared, the exception passed to coroutine.throw call is stored in it and can be retrieved with CancelHandle::cancelled; otherwise, it cancels the Rust future, and the exception is reraised;

The type does not yet have a public constructor until the design is finalized.