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Starlette applications can register a lifespan handler for dealing with code that needs to run before the application starts up, or when the application is shutting down.

import contextlib

from starlette.applications import Starlette

async def lifespan(app):
    async with some_async_resource():
        print("Run at startup!")
        print("Run on shutdown!")

routes = [

app = Starlette(routes=routes, lifespan=lifespan)

Starlette will not start serving any incoming requests until the lifespan has been run.

The lifespan teardown will run once all connections have been closed, and any in-process background tasks have completed.

Consider using anyio.create_task_group() for managing asynchronous tasks.

Lifespan State

The lifespan has the concept of state, which is a dictionary that can be used to share the objects between the lifespan, and the requests.

import contextlib
from typing import AsyncIterator, TypedDict

import httpx
from starlette.applications import Starlette
from starlette.requests import Request
from starlette.responses import PlainTextResponse
from starlette.routing import Route

class State(TypedDict):
    http_client: httpx.AsyncClient

async def lifespan(app: Starlette) -> AsyncIterator[State]:
    async with httpx.AsyncClient() as client:
        yield {"http_client": client}

async def homepage(request: Request) -> PlainTextResponse:
    client = request.state.http_client
    response = await client.get("")
    return PlainTextResponse(response.text)

app = Starlette(
    routes=[Route("/", homepage)]

The state received on the requests is a shallow copy of the state received on the lifespan handler.

Running lifespan in tests

You should use TestClient as a context manager, to ensure that the lifespan is called.

from example import app
from starlette.testclient import TestClient

def test_homepage():
    with TestClient(app) as client:
        # Application's lifespan is called on entering the block.
        response = client.get("/")
        assert response.status_code == 200

    # And the lifespan's teardown is run when exiting the block.