Tornado – Error Handling

Web development often calls for gracefully handling of non-existent pages or broken links that users request for. A simple way to achieve error handling in Tornado is with:

  • tornado.web.HTTPError - Exception handler that can used to generate error code of specified type. 
    It is often used to raise an exception as we would see in the example below
  • send_error - Generates an error page of the status code provided along with error description if debug=True

In the example below, when user generates a GET request on, articles along with author names are shown up.

But when GET request is made on, since there is no Id implementation for articles page, error is handled with self.send_error(500) or raise tornado.web.HTTPError(404, ‘Page Not Found Error!!’)

Case1: raise tornado.web.HTTPError(404, ‘Page Not Found Error!!’) is enabled

  • Traceback (most recent call last):                                          —– Traceback is noticed on web page
    File “/home/ubuntu/tornado-2.2/tornado/”, line 988, in _execute
    getattr(self, self.request.method.lower())(*args, **kwargs)
    File “”, line 12, in get
    raise tornado.web.HTTPError(400, ‘Page Not Found Error!!’)
    HTTPError: HTTP 400: Bad Request (Page Not Found Error!!)
  • WARNING:root:400 GET /articles/1 ( Page Not Found Error!!     —– Error description where web server is running
    WARNING:root:400 GET /articles/1 ( 10.68ms

Case2: self.send_error(500) is enabled

  • ‘500: Internal Server Error’ web page shows up
  • ERROR:root:500 GET /articles/1 ( 0.41ms error line is generated where web server is running


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