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I've been working on a web app using Django, and I'm curious if there is a way to schedule a job to run periodically.

Basically I just want to run through the database and make some calculations/updates on an automatic, regular basis, but I can't seem to find any documentation on doing this.

Does anyone know how to set this up?

To clarify: I know I can set up a cron job to do this, but I'm curious if there is some feature in Django that provides this functionality. I'd like people to be able to deploy this app themselves without having to do much config (preferably zero).

I've considered triggering these actions "retroactively" by simply checking if a job should have been run since the last time a request was sent to the site, but I'm hoping for something a bit cleaner.

One solution that I have employed is to do this:

1) Create a custom management command, e.g.

python my_cool_command

2) Use cron (on Linux) or at (on Windows) to run my command at the required times.

This is a simple solution that doesn't require installing a heavy AMQP stack. However there are nice advantages to using something like Celery, mentioned in the other answers. In particular, with Celery it is nice to not have to spread your application logic out into crontab files. However the cron solution works quite nicely for a small to medium sized application and where you don't want a lot of external dependencies.


In later version of windows the at command is deprecated for Windows 8, Server 2012 and above. You can use schtasks.exe for same use.

**** UPDATE **** This the new link of django doc for writing the custom management command

Celery is a distributed task queue, built on AMQP (RabbitMQ). It also handles periodic tasks in a cron-like fashion (see periodic tasks). Depending on your app, it might be worth a gander.

Celery is pretty easy to set up with django (docs), and periodic tasks will actually skip missed tasks in case of a downtime. Celery also has built-in retry mechanisms, in case a task fails.

We've open-sourced what I think is a structured app. that Brian's solution above alludes too. We would love any / all feedback!

It comes with one management command:

./ runcrons

That does the job. Each cron is modeled as a class (so its all OO) and each cron runs at a different frequency and we make sure the same cron type doesn't run in parallel (in case crons themselves take longer time to run than their frequency!)

If you're using a standard POSIX OS, you use cron.

If you're using Windows, you use at.

Write a Django management command to

  1. Figure out what platform they're on.

  2. Either execute the appropriate "AT" command for your users, or update the crontab for your users.

Interesting new pluggable Django app: django-chronograph

You only have to add one cron entry which acts as a timer, and you have a very nice Django admin interface into the scripts to run.

Look at Django Poor Man's Cron which is a Django app that makes use of spambots, search engine indexing robots and alike to run scheduled tasks in approximately regular intervals


Brian Neal's suggestion of running management commands via cron works well, but if you're looking for something a little more robust (yet not as elaborate as Celery) I'd look into a library like Kronos:

# app/

import kronos

@kronos.register('0 * * * *')
def task():

RabbitMQ and Celery have more features and task handling capabilities than Cron. If task failure isn't an issue, and you think you will handle broken tasks in the next call, then Cron is sufficient.

Celery & AMQP will let you handle the broken task, and it will get executed again by another worker (Celery workers listen for the next task to work on), until the task's max_retries attribute is reached. You can even invoke tasks on failure, like logging the failure, or sending an email to the admin once the max_retries has been reached.

And you can distribute Celery and AMQP servers when you need to scale your application.

I personally use cron, but the Jobs Scheduling parts of django-extensions looks interesting.

I had exactly the same requirement a while ago, and ended up solving it using APScheduler (User Guide)

It makes scheduling jobs super simple, and keeps it independent for from request-based execution of some code. Following is a simple example.

from apscheduler.schedulers.background import BackgroundScheduler

scheduler = BackgroundScheduler()
job = None

def tick():
    print('One tick!')\

def start_job():
    global job
    job = scheduler.add_job(tick, 'interval', seconds=3600)

Hope this helps somebody!

Although not part of Django, Airflow is a more recent project (as of 2016) that is useful for task management.

Airflow is a workflow automation and scheduling system that can be used to author and manage data pipelines. A web-based UI provides the developer with a range of options for managing and viewing these pipelines.

Airflow is written in Python and is built using Flask.

Airflow was created by Maxime Beauchemin at Airbnb and open sourced in the spring of 2015. It joined the Apache Software Foundation’s incubation program in the winter of 2016. Here is the Git project page and some addition background information.

Put the following at the top of your file:

import os, sys
sys.path.append('/path/to/') # the parent directory of the project
sys.path.append('/path/to/project') # these lines only needed if not on path
os.environ['DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE'] = 'myproj.settings'

# imports and code below

I just thought about this rather simple solution:

  1. Define a view function do_work(req, param) like you would with any other view, with URL mapping, return a HttpResponse and so on.
  2. Set up a cron job with your timing preferences (or using AT or Scheduled Tasks in Windows) which runs curl http://localhost/your/mapped/url?param=value.

You can add parameters but just adding parameters to the URL.

Tell me what you guys think.

[Update] I'm now using runjob command from django-extensions instead of curl.

My cron looks something like this:

@hourly python /path/to/project/ runjobs hourly

... and so on for daily, monthly, etc'. You can also set it up to run a specific job.

I find it more managable and a cleaner. Doesn't require mapping a URL to a view. Just define your job class and crontab and you're set.

after the part of code,I can write anything just like my :)

import os,sys
from impor setup_environ
from store import settings


You should definitely check out django-q! It requires no additional configuration and has quite possibly everything needed to handle any production issues on commercial projects.

It's actively developed and integrates very well with django, django ORM, mongo, redis. Here is my configuration:

# django-q
# -------------------------------------------------------------------------
# See:
    # Match recommended settings from docs.
    'name': 'DjangoORM',
    'workers': 4,
    'queue_limit': 50,
    'bulk': 10,
    'orm': 'default',

# Custom Settings
# ---------------
# Limit the amount of successful tasks saved to Django.
'save_limit': 10000,

# See
'catch_up': False,

# Number of seconds a worker can spend on a task before it's terminated.
'timeout': 60 * 5,

# Number of seconds a broker will wait for a cluster to finish a task before presenting it again. This needs to be
# longer than `timeout`, otherwise the same task will be processed multiple times.
'retry': 60 * 6,

# Whether to force all async() calls to be run with sync=True (making them synchronous).
'sync': False,

# Redirect worker exceptions directly to Sentry error reporter.
'error_reporter': {
    'sentry': RAVEN_CONFIG,

Django APScheduler for Scheduler Jobs. Advanced Python Scheduler (APScheduler) is a Python library that lets you schedule your Python code to be executed later, either just once or periodically. You can add new jobs or remove old ones on the fly as you please.

note: I'm the author of this library

Install APScheduler

pip install apscheduler

View file function to call

file name:

def FirstCronTest():
    print("I am executed..!")

Configuring the scheduler

make file and add the below codes

from apscheduler.schedulers.background import BackgroundScheduler
scheduler = BackgroundScheduler()

Your written functions Here, the scheduler functions are written in scheduler_jobs

import scheduler_jobs 

scheduler.add_job(scheduler_jobs.FirstCronTest, 'interval', seconds=10)

Link the File for Execution

Now, add the below line in the bottom of Url file

import execute

I had something similar with your problem today.

I didn't wanted to have it handled by the server trhough cron (and most of the libs were just cron helpers in the end).

So i've created a scheduling module and attached it to the init .

It's not the best approach, but it helps me to have all the code in a single place and with its execution related to the main app.

Yes, the method above is so great. And I tried some of them. At last, I found a method like this:

    from threading import Timer

    def sync():

        do something...

        sync_timer = Timer(self.interval, sync, ())

Just like Recursive.

Ok, I hope this method can meet your requirement. :)

A more modern solution (compared to Celery) is Django Q:

It has great documentation and is easy to grok. Windows support is lacking, because Windows does not support process forking. But it works fine if you create your dev environment using the Windows for Linux Subsystem.

I use celery to create my periodical tasks. First you need to install it as follows:

pip install django-celery

Don't forget to register django-celery in your settings and then you could do something like this:

from celery import task
from celery.decorators import periodic_task
from celery.task.schedules import crontab
from celery.utils.log import get_task_logger
@periodic_task(run_every=crontab(minute="0", hour="23"))
def do_every_midnight():
 #your code

I am not sure will this be useful for anyone, since I had to provide other users of the system to schedule the jobs, without giving them access to the actual server(windows) Task Scheduler, I created this reusable app.

Please note users have access to one shared folder on server where they can create required command/task/.bat file. This task then can be scheduled using this app.

App name is Django_Windows_Scheduler

ScreenShot: enter image description here

If you want something more reliable than Celery, try TaskHawk which is built on top of AWS SQS/SNS.


For simple dockerized projects, I could not really see any existing answer fit.

So I wrote a very barebones solution without the need of external libraries or triggers, which runs on its own. No external os-cron needed, should work in every environment.

It works by adding a middleware:

import threading

def should_run(name, seconds_interval):
    from application.models import CronJob
    from django.utils.timezone import now

        c = CronJob.objects.get(name=name)
    except CronJob.DoesNotExist:
        CronJob(name=name, last_ran=now()).save()
        return True

    if (now() - c.last_ran).total_seconds() >= seconds_interval:
        c.last_ran = now()
        return True

    return False

class CronTask:
    def __init__(self, name, seconds_interval, function): = name
        self.seconds_interval = seconds_interval
        self.function = function

def cron_worker(*_):
    if not should_run("main", 60):

    # customize this part:
    from application.models import Event
    tasks = [
        CronTask("events", 60 * 30, Event.clean_stale_objects),
        # ...

    for task in tasks:
        if should_run(, task.seconds_interval):

def cron_middleware(get_response):

    def middleware(request):
        response = get_response(request)
        return response

    return middleware


from django.db import models

class CronJob(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=10, primary_key=True)
    last_ran = models.DateTimeField()


Simple way is to write a custom shell command see Django Documentation and execute it using a cronjob on linux. However i would highly recommend using a message broker like RabbitMQ coupled with celery. Maybe you can have a look at this Tutorial

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