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Django-cron lets you run Django/Python code on a recurring basis proving basic plumbing to track and execute tasks. The 2 most common ways in which most people go about this is either writing custom python scripts or a management command per cron (leads to too many management commands!). Along with that some mechanism to track success, failure etc. is also usually necesary.

This app solves both issues to a reasonable extent. This is by no means a replacement for queues like Celery ( ) etc.


  • Install django_cron (ideally in your virtualenv!) using pip or simply getting a copy of the code and putting it in a directory in your codebase.

  • Add django_cron to your Django settings INSTALLED_APPS:

        INSTALLED_APPS = [
        # ...
  • If you're using South for schema migrations run python migrate django_cron or simply do a syncdb.

  • Write a cron class somewhere in your code, that extends the CronJobBase class. This class will look something like this:

    from django_cron import CronJobBase, Schedule
    class MyCronJob(CronJobBase):
        RUN_EVERY_MINS = 120 # every 2 hours
        schedule = Schedule(run_every_mins=RUN_EVERY_MINS)
        code = 'my_app.my_cron_job' # a unique code
        def do(self):
                    pass    # do your thing here
  • Add a variable called CRON_CLASSES (similar to MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES etc.) thats a list of strings, each being a cron class. Eg.:

        CRON_CLASSES = [
                # ...
  • Now everytime you run the management command python runcrons all the crons will run if required. Depending on the application the management command can be called from the Unix crontab as often as required. Every 5 minutes usually works for most of my applications.

This opensource app is brought to you by Tivix, Inc. ( )

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