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While most settings are described in sections that are dedicated to other topics, this page describes other settings that can be used in BlackSheep.

Environmental variables

Name Category Description
APP_SHOW_ERROR_DETAILS Settings If "1" or "true", configures the application to display web pages with error details in case of HTTP 500 Internal Server Error.
APP_SECRET_i Secrets Allows to configure the secrets used by the application to protect data.
BLACKSHEEP_SECRET_PREFIX Secrets Allows to specify the prefix of environment variables used to configure application secrets, defaults to "APP_SECRET" if not specified.

Configuring JSON settings

Since version 1.0.9, BlackSheep supports configuring the functions that are used for JSON serialization and deserialization in the web framework.

By default, the built-in json module is used for serializing and deserializing objects, but this can be changed in the way illustrated below.

from blacksheep.plugins import json

def custom_loads(value):
    This function is responsible of parsing JSON into instances of objects.

def custom_dumps(value):
    This function is responsible of creating JSON representations of objects.


Note: BlackSheep uses by default a friendlier handling of json.dumps that supports serialization of common objects such as UUID, date, datetime, bytes, @dataclass, pydantic models, etc.

Example: using orjson

To use orjson for JSON serialization and deserialization with the built-in responses and JSONContent class, it can be configured this way:

import orjson

from blacksheep.plugins import json

def serialize(value) -> str:
    return orjson.dumps(value).decode("utf8")


Note: the decode("utf8") call is required when configuring orjson for the built-in responses functions and the JSONContent class. This is because orjson.dumps function returns bytes instead of str, and this is something specific to orjson implementation, different than the behavior of the built-in json package and other libraries like rapidjson, UltraJSON, and fast-json. The API implemented in blacksheep expects a JSON serialize function that returns a str like in the built-in package.

For users using orjson who want to achieve the best performance and avoid the fee of the superfluous decode -> encode passage, it is recommended to:

  • not use the built-in responses functions and the built-in JSONContent class
  • use a custom defined function for JSON responses like the following example:
def my_json(data: Any, status: int = 200) -> Response:
    Returns a response with application/json content,
    and given status (default HTTP 200 OK).
    return Response(

Example: applying transformations during JSON operations

The example below illustrates how to apply transformations to objects while they are serialized and deserialized. Beware that the example only illustrates this possibility, it doesn't handle objects inside lists, @dataclass, or pydantic models!

import json
from typing import Any

from blacksheep.plugins import json as json_plugin
from essentials.json import dumps

def default_json_dumps(obj):
    return dumps(obj, separators=(",", ":"))

def custom_loads(value: str) -> Any:
    # example: applies a transformation when deserializing an object from JSON
    # this can be used for example to change property names upon deserialization

    obj = json.loads(value)

    if isinstance(obj, dict) and "@" in obj:
        obj["modified_key"] = obj["@"]
        del obj["@"]

    return obj

def custom_dumps(value: Any) -> str:
    # example: applies a transformation when serializing an object into JSON
    # this can be used for example to change property names upon serialization

    if isinstance(value, dict) and "@" in value:
        value["modified_key"] = value["@"]
        del value["@"]

    return default_json_dumps(value)


🚀 New in version 1.0.9