1 Oct 2023

Creating a Real-time Chat Application with Python and Socket Programming

In this blog, we will explore the exciting world of real-time chat applications and learn how to build one using Python and Socket Programming. Socket Programming allows us to establish a connection between a server and multiple clients, enabling seamless communication in real-time. Our goal is to create a simple chat application where users can join a chat room, send messages, and receive messages instantly. Let's get started!


Before diving into the implementation, make sure you have the following prerequisites

  1. Basic knowledge of Python programming language.
  2. Familiarity with TCP/IP and socket concepts will be helpful.
  3. Python installed on your system (preferably Python 3.x).

Setting Up the Environment

First, we need to create a Python environment for our chat application. Open your terminal or command prompt and create a new directory for the project

mkdir chat_application
cd chat_application

Importing Necessary Libraries

In Python, we'll be using the socket and threading modules. The socket module provides the necessary functions for socket programming, and the threading module allows us to handle multiple client connections simultaneously. Let's import these modules at the beginning of our script

import socket
import threading

Creating the Server

Now, let's create the server for our chat application. We'll define a function to handle the client connections, and another function to start the server:

def handle_client(client_socket, address):
    # Code to handle incoming messages from the client

def start_server():
    # Code to start the server and listen for incoming connections

Handling Client Connections

Inside the handle_client function, we need to implement the code to handle incoming messages from the client and broadcast them to other connected clients. We'll use a loop to continuously listen for messages from the client and send them to all other clients.

def handle_client(client_socket, address):
    while True:
        message = client_socket.recv(1024).decode('utf-8')
        if not message:
            print(f"Client {address} disconnected.")
        print(f"Received from {address}: {message}")
        # Code to broadcast the message to all clients

Broadcasting Messages

To broadcast the received messages to all connected clients, we need to keep track of all active client sockets. We'll use a list to store these sockets, and whenever a new message is received, we'll send it to all the sockets in the list except the sender.

clients = []

def handle_client(client_socket, address):
    while True:
        message = client_socket.recv(1024).decode('utf-8')
        if not message:
            print(f"Client {address} disconnected.")
        print(f"Received from {address}: {message}")
        # Broadcasting the message to all clients
        for client in clients:
            if client != client_socket:

Starting the Server

Now, let's complete the start_server function to bind the server to a specific IP and port and listen for incoming connections.

def start_server():
    HOST = ''  # Replace with your machine's IP if you want to test across devices
    PORT = 12345       # Choose any available port

    server_socket = socket.socket(socket.AF_INET, socket.SOCK_STREAM)
    server_socket.bind((HOST, PORT))
    print(f"Server started and listening on {HOST}:{PORT}")

    while True:
        client_socket, address = server_socket.accept()
        print(f"Connection established with {address}")
        client_handler = threading.Thread(target=handle_client, args=(client_socket, address))

Client Implementation

The server-side implementation is complete. Now let's move on to the client-side implementation. We'll create a separate Python script for the client. Save this script as client.py in the same directory as the server script.

import socket
import threading

def receive_messages(client_socket):
    while True:
        message = client_socket.recv(1024).decode('utf-8')

def start_client():
    HOST = ''  # Replace with the server's IP if necessary
    PORT = 12345       # Use the same port as the server

    client_socket = socket.socket(socket.AF_INET, socket.SOCK_STREAM)
    client_socket.connect((HOST, PORT))
    print("Connected to the server.")

    # Start a separate thread to receive messages
    message_receiver = threading.Thread(target=receive_messages, args=(client_socket,))

    while True:
        message = input()
        if message.lower() == 'exit':


Testing the Application

Now, let's test our real-time chat application. Open two terminal windows - one for the server and the other for the client.

In the server terminal, run the server script:python server.py

In the client terminal, run the client script:python client.py

You can open multiple client terminals to simulate multiple users in the chat room. When you send a message from one client, it should be instantly displayed in all other client terminals.


Kudos on your achievement! You've adeptly crafted a real-time chat application utilizing Python and Socket Programming. This accomplishment lays a robust groundwork for the development of more sophisticated chat systems, incorporating functionalities such as user authentication, private messaging, and chatroom administration. Socket Programming indeed stands as a formidable tool for constructing real-time applications with diverse applications.

Persist in your explorations and experiments to further elevate your proficiency as a Python developer. The world of coding awaits your ingenuity! 🚀💻 Happy coding! 🐍🎉