Warning: Bocadillo is now UNMAINTAINED. Users are recommended to migrate to a supported alternative, such as Starlette or FastAPI. Please see #344 for more information.



Plugins allow to make small pieces of functionality configurable and reusable across applications and projects.

They solve two main use cases:

  • Improving project structure: they can help declutter the app.py script in case of complex configuration-based application initialisation.
  • Sharing reusable features: bundle a plugin into a library or a package which other people can reuse.

Writing your own plugins

Suppose we want to allow applications to perform a configurable action when the server starts up. As a contrived example, we will print a message to the console, but the action can be anything else.

Here's what a plugin for this feature would look like:

def use_startup_message(app):
    message = settings.get("STARTUP_MESSAGE")
    if message is None:

    async def on_startup():
  1. We define a plugin function which accepts the app as input. By convention, it should be named use_X, where X describes the feature that the plugin implements.
  2. Inside the plugin function, we access the STARTUP_MESSAGE setting and, if it is defined, we register a lifespan event handler on the app.

Where should plugins be located?

If you intend to use it for your own project, consider putting it in a plugins module, e.g. myproject/plugins.py.

If you're bundling the plugin into a package, you should also place it in a plugins module, e.g. my_third_party_lib/plugins.py.

Using plugins

Once registered, a plugin is executed during the configuration phase, i.e. when calling configure().

To register plugins, use the PLUGINS setting:

# myproject/settings.py
from starlette.config import Config
from third_party_logs.plugins import use_startup_message

config = Config(".env")


STARTUP_MESSAGE = config("STARTUP_MESSAGE", default="App is ready!")

Conditional plugin registration

Instead of plugin functions, items in the list of PLUGINS can be dictionaries that map plugins to boolean values indicating whether they should be registered or ignored.

This is a very powerful feature — for example, you can enable/disable features (or even entire sections of the app) based on environment variables:

# myproject/plugins.py
def use_auth_routes(app):
    async def login(req, res):
        ...  # TODO

    async def logout(req, res):
        ...  # TODO
# myproject/settings.py
from starlette.config import Config
from third_party_logs.plugins import use_startup_message
from myproject.plugins import use_auth_routes

config = Config(".env")

        use_startup_message: config("VERBOSE"),
        use_auth_routes: config("ENABLE_AUTH", cast=bool, default=False)

STARTUP_MESSAGE = "App is ready!"

Built-in plugins

Every Bocadillo application comes with a pre-defined set of plugins which enable various features (CORS, HSTS, static files, etc.). Built-in plugins are listed in the plugins.py API reference.

Most built-in plugins are disabled by default. For this reason, we don't currently provide a way to unregister them.