A high performance web crawler in Elixir.
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Travis Code Climate CodeBeat Coverage Hex.pm

A high performance web crawler in Elixir, with worker pooling and rate limiting via OPQ.


  • Crawl assets (javascript, css and images).
  • Save to disk.
  • Hook for scraping content.
  • Restrict crawlable domains, paths or content types.
  • Limit concurrent crawlers.
  • Limit rate of crawling.
  • Set the maximum crawl depth.
  • Set timeouts.
  • Set retries strategy.
  • Set crawler's user agent.
  • Manually pause/resume/stop the crawler.


Below is a very high level architecture diagram demonstrating how Crawler works.


Crawler.crawl("http://elixir-lang.org", max_depths: 2)

There are several ways to access the crawled page data:

  1. Use Crawler.Store
  2. Tap into the registry(?) Crawler.Store.DB
  3. Use your own scraper
  4. If the :save_to option is set, pages will be saved to disk in addition to the above mentioned places
  5. Provide your own custom parser and manage how data is stored and accessed yourself


Option Type Default Value Description
:assets list [] Whether to fetch any asset files, available options: "css", "js", "images".
:save_to string nil When provided, the path for saving crawled pages.
:workers integer 10 Maximum number of concurrent workers for crawling.
:interval integer 0 Rate limit control - number of milliseconds before crawling more pages, defaults to 0 which is effectively no rate limit.
:max_depths integer 3 Maximum nested depth of pages to crawl.
:timeout integer 5000 Timeout value for fetching a page, in ms. Can also be set to :infinity, useful when combined with Crawler.pause/1.
:user_agent string Crawler/x.x.x (...) User-Agent value sent by the fetch requests.
:url_filter module Crawler.Fetcher.UrlFilter Custom URL filter, useful for restricting crawlable domains, paths or content types.
:retrier module Crawler.Fetcher.Retrier Custom fetch retrier, useful for retrying failed crawls.
:modifier module Crawler.Fetcher.Modifier Custom modifier, useful for adding custom request headers or options.
:scraper module Crawler.Scraper Custom scraper, useful for scraping content as soon as the parser parses it.
:parser module Crawler.Parser Custom parser, useful for handling parsing differently or to add extra functionalities.
:encode_uri boolean false When set to true apply the URI.encode to the URL to be crawled.

Custom Modules

It is possible to swap in your custom logic as shown in the configurations section. Your custom modules need to conform to their respective behaviours:


See Crawler.Fetcher.Retrier.

Crawler uses ElixirRetry's exponential backoff strategy by default.

defmodule CustomRetrier do
  @behaviour Crawler.Fetcher.Retrier.Spec

URL Filter

See Crawler.Fetcher.UrlFilter.

defmodule CustomUrlFilter do
  @behaviour Crawler.Fetcher.UrlFilter.Spec


See Crawler.Scraper.

defmodule CustomScraper do
  @behaviour Crawler.Scraper.Spec


See Crawler.Parser.

defmodule CustomParser do
  @behaviour Crawler.Parser.Spec


See Crawler.Fetcher.Modifier.

defmodule CustomModifier do
  @behaviour Crawler.Fetcher.Modifier.Spec

Pause / Resume / Stop Crawler

Crawler provides pause/1, resume/1 and stop/1, see below.

{:ok, opts} = Crawler.crawl("http://elixir-lang.org")




Please note that when pausing Crawler, you would need to set a large enough :timeout (or even set it to :infinity) otherwise parser would timeout due to unprocessed links.

API Reference

Please see https://hexdocs.pm/crawler.


Please see CHANGELOG.md.


Licensed under MIT.