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dead simple crontab powered job scheduling for django.
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dead simple crontab powered job scheduling for django (1.8-2.0).


install via pip:

pip install django-crontab

add it to installed apps in django


now create a new method that should be executed by cron every 5 minutes, f.e. in myapp/

def my_scheduled_job():

now add this to your

    ('*/5 * * * *', 'myapp.cron.my_scheduled_job')

you can also define positional and keyword arguments which let you call django management commands:

    ('*/5 * * * *', 'myapp.cron.other_scheduled_job', ['arg1', 'arg2'], {'verbose': 0}),
    ('0   4 * * *', '', ['clearsessions']),

finally, run this command to add all defined jobs from CRONJOBS to crontab (of the user which you are running this command with):

python crontab add

show current active jobs of this project:

python crontab show

removing all defined jobs is straightforward:

python crontab remove


there are a bunch of setting vars to customize behavior. each of them comes with default values that should properly fit. if not, feel free to overwrite.

  • list of jobs, each defined as a tuple:

    • format 1:
      1. required: cron timing in usual format (see Wikipedia and for more examples)
      2. required: the python module path to the method
      3. optional: a job-specific suffix (f.e. to redirect out/err to a file, default: '')
    • format 2:
      1. required: cron timing
      2. required: the python module path to the method
      3. optional: list of positional arguments for the method (default: [])
      4. optional: dict of keyword arguments for the method (default: {})
      5. optional: a job specific suffix (f.e. to redirect out/err to a file, default: '')
  • NOTE: Run "python crontab add" each time you change CRONJOBS in any way!

  • default: []

  • example:

    CRONJOBS = [
        ('*/5 * * * *', 'myapp.cron.my_scheduled_job'),
        # format 1
        ('0   0 1 * *', 'myapp.cron.my_scheduled_job', '>> /tmp/scheduled_job.log'),
        # format 2
        ('0   0 1 * *', 'myapp.cron.other_scheduled_job', ['myapp']),
        ('0   0 * * 0', '', ['dumpdata', 'auth'], {'indent': 4}, '> /home/john/backups/last_sunday_auth_backup.json'),
  • prevent starting a job if an old instance of the same job is still running
  • default: False
  • since 0.5.0
  • path to the crontab executable of your os
  • default: '/usr/bin/crontab'
  • the name of your django project, used to build path path to and to mark the jobs in crontab via comment for later removing
  • default is read from DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE environment variable
  • path to file (including the itself, i.e. '/home/john/web/')
  • default is build using DJANGO_PROJECT_NAME
  • dotted python path to the settings module to run the command with
  • default is the common one from the environment variable and will not be overwritten
  • since 0.6.0
  • path to the python interpreter executable used to run the scheduled job
  • default uses the interpreter executable used to add the jobs (via 'python crontab add')
  • something you want to do or declare, before each job gets executed. A good place for environment variables.
  • default: '' (empty string)
  • example: 'STAGE=production'
  • something you want to do after each job was executed.
  • default: '' (empty string)
  • example: '2>&1'
  • used for marking the added contab-lines for removing, default value includes project name to distinguish multiple projects on the same host and user
  • default: 'django-crontabs for ' + CRONTAB_DJANGO_PROJECT_NAME


arski cinghiale meric426 justdoit0823 chamaken


  • I'm using this old django version (<1.8) and can't install this package. What should i do? - Yeah, update django of course (!) or - as you seem to be familiar with old, unsupported versions, install the old version of this package too (it support django 1.3-1.7):

    pip install django-crontab==0.6.0
  • Will it work with windows? - No.

  • Will it work within a docker? - Not immediately, you need to start the cron service.

  • Problems with `pyenv`? - You maybe need to setup the PATH variable within crontab. Have a look at #60

  • I'm getting "bad command"/"errors in cronfile" while installing via "crontab add". What's wrong? - Maybe it's your cron time format, it can have 5 or 6 fields. Check that your system supports 6 or just define 5 in CRONJOBS. (see #23)

  • Why does the LOGGING not work when started via cronjob? - That's maybe something about the current working dir. Please set your FileHandler's file path absolute and try again. (see #31)


MIT-License, see LICENSE file.

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