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logo WakaQ

Distributed background task queue for Python backed by Redis, a super minimal Celery. Read about the motivation behind this project on this blog post and the accompanying Hacker News discussion.


  • Queue priority
  • Delayed tasks (run tasks after a timedelta eta)
  • Scheduled periodic tasks
  • Broadcast a task to all workers
  • Task soft and hard timeout limits
  • Optionally retry tasks on soft timeout
  • Combat memory leaks with max_mem_percent or max_tasks_per_worker
  • Super minimal

Want more features like rate limiting, task deduplication, etc? Too bad, feature PRs are not accepted. Maximal features belong in your app’s worker tasks.


pip install wakaq


import logging
from datetime import timedelta
from wakaq import WakaQ, Queue, CronTask

wakaq = WakaQ(

    # List your queues and their priorities.
    # Queues can be defined as Queue instances, tuples, or just a str.
        (0, 'a-high-priority-queue'),
        (1, 'a-medium-priority-queue'),
        (2, 'a-low-priority-queue'),
        Queue('another-queue', priority=3, max_retries=5, soft_timeout=300, hard_timeout=360),

    # Number of worker processes. Must be an int or str which evaluates to an
    # int. The variable "cores" is replaced with the number of processors on
    # the current machine.

    # Raise SoftTimeout in a task if it runs longer than 30 seconds. Can also be set per
    # task or queue. If no soft timeout set, tasks can run forever.
    soft_timeout=30,  # seconds

    # SIGKILL a task if it runs longer than 1 minute. Can be set per task or queue.

    # If the task soft timeouts, retry up to 3 times. Max retries comes first
    # from the task decorator if set, next from the Queue's max_retries,
    # lastly from the option below. If No max_retries is found, the task
    # is not retried on a soft timeout.

    # Combat memory leaks by reloading a worker (the one using the most RAM),
    # when the total machine RAM usage is at or greater than 98%.

    # Combat memory leaks by reloading a worker after it's processed 5000 tasks.

    # Schedule two tasks, the first runs every minute, the second once every ten minutes.
    # Scheduled tasks can be passed as CronTask instances or tuples.

        # Runs mytask on the queue with priority 1.
        CronTask('* * * * *', 'mytask', queue='a-medium-priority-queue', args=[2, 2], kwargs={}),

        # Runs mytask once every 5 minutes.
        ('*/5 * * * *', 'mytask', [1, 1], {}),

        # Runs anothertask on the default lowest priority queue.
        ('*/10 * * * *', 'anothertask'),

@wakaq.task(queue='a-medium-priority-queue', max_retries=7, soft_timeout=420, hard_timeout=480)
def mytask(x, y):
    print(x + y)

def anothertask():
    print("hello world")

def custom_task_decorator(fn):
    def inner(*args, **kwargs):
        # do something before each task runs
        fn(*args, **kwargs)
        # do something after each task runs
    return inner

if __name__ == '__main__':

    # add 1 plus 1 on a worker somewhere
    mytask.delay(1, 1)

    # add 1 plus 1 on a worker somewhere, overwriting the task's queue from medium to high
    mytask.delay(1, 1, queue='a-high-priority-queue')

    # print hello world on a worker somewhere, running on the default lowest priority queue

    # print hello world on a worker somewhere, after 10 seconds from now



See the WakaQ init params for a full list of options, like Redis host and Redis socket timeout values.

When using in production, make sure to increase the max open ports allowed for your Redis server process.

When using eta tasks a Redis sorted set is used, so eta tasks are automatically deduped based on task name, args, and kwargs. If you want multiple pending eta tasks with the same arguments, just add a throwaway random string to the task’s kwargs for ex: str(uuid.uuid1()).

Running as a Daemon

Here’s an example systemd config to run wakaq-worker as a daemon:

Description=WakaQ Worker Service

ExecStart=/opt/yourapp/venv/bin/python /opt/yourapp/venv/bin/wakaq-worker --app=yourapp.wakaq


Create a file at /etc/systemd/system/wakaqworker.service with the above contents, then run:

systemctl daemon-reload && systemctl enable wakaqworker