Command line tool

New in version 0.10.

Scrapy is controlled through the scrapy command-line tool, to be referred here as the “Scrapy tool” to differentiate it from their sub-commands which we just call “commands”, or “Scrapy commands”.

The Scrapy tool provides several commands, for multiple purposes, and each one accepts a different set of arguments and options.

Using the scrapy tool

You can start by running the Scrapy tool with no arguments and it will print some usage help and the available commands:

Scrapy X.Y - no active project

  scrapy <command> [options] [args]

Available commands:
  crawl         Start crawling a spider or URL
  fetch         Fetch a URL using the Scrapy downloader

The first line will print the currently active project, if you’re inside a Scrapy project. In this, it was run from outside a project. If run from inside a project it would have printed something like this:

Scrapy X.Y - project: myproject

  scrapy <command> [options] [args]


Creating projects

The first thing you typically do with the scrapy tool is create your Scrapy project:

scrapy startproject myproject

That will create a Scrapy project under the myproject directory.

Next, you go inside the new project directory:

cd myproject

And you’re ready to use use the scrapy command to manage and control your project from there.

Controlling projects

You use the scrapy tool from inside your projects to control and manage them.

For example, to create a new spider:

scrapy genspider mydomain

Some Scrapy commands (like crawl) must be run from inside a Scrapy project. See the commands reference below for more information on which commands must be run from inside projects, and which not.

Also keep in mind that some commands may have slightly different behaviours when running them from inside projects. For example, the fetch command will use spider-overridden behaviours (such as custom user_agent attribute) if the url being fetched is associated with some specific spider. This is intentional, as the fetch command is meant to be used to check how spiders are downloading pages.

Available tool commands

This section contains a list of the available built-in commands with a description and some usage examples. Remember you can always get more info about each command by running:

scrapy <command> -h

And you can see all available commands with:

scrapy -h

There are two kinds of commands, those that only work from inside a Scrapy project (Project-specific commands) and those that also work without an active Scrapy project (Global commands), though they may behave slightly different when running from inside a project (as they would use the project overriden settings).

Global commands:

Project-only commands:


  • Syntax: scrapy startproject <project_name>
  • Requires project: no

Creates a new Scrapy project named project_name, under the project_name directory.

Usage example:

$ scrapy startproject myproject


  • Syntax: scrapy genspider [-t template] <name> <domain>
  • Requires project: yes

Create a new spider in the current project.

This is just a convenient shortcut command for creating spiders based on pre-defined templates, but certainly not the only way to create spiders. You can just create the spider source code files yourself, instead of using this command.

Usage example:

$ scrapy genspider -l
Available templates:

$ scrapy genspider -d basic
from scrapy.spider import BaseSpider

class $classname(BaseSpider):
    name = "$name"
    allowed_domains = ["$domain"]
    start_urls = (

    def parse(self, response):

$ scrapy genspider -t basic example
Created spider 'example' using template 'basic' in module:


  • Syntax: scrapy crawl <spider|url>
  • Requires project: yes

Start crawling a spider. If a URL is passed instead of a spider, it will start from that URL instead of the spider start urls.

Usage examples:

$ scrapy crawl
[ ... spider starts crawling ... ]

$ scrapy crawl myspider
[ ... myspider starts crawling ... ]

$ scrapy crawl
[ ... spider that handles starts crawling from that url ... ]


  • Syntax: scrapy runserver
  • Requires project: yes

Start Scrapy in server mode, which can be controlled by the queue command.

Usage example:

$ scrapy runserver
[ ... scrapy starts and stays idle waiting for spiders to get scheduled ... ]

You can now schedule spiders to run using the queue command. If there were spiders already enqueued, it will start crawling them.


  • Syntax: scrapy list
  • Requires project: yes

List all available spiders in the current project. The output is one spider per line.

Usage example:

$ scrapy list


  • Syntax: scrapy fetch <url>
  • Requires project: no

Downloads the given URL using the Scrapy downloader and writes the contents to standard output.

The interesting thing about this command is that it fetches the page how the the spider would download it. For example, if the spider has an user_agent attribute which overrides the User Agent, it will use that one.

So this command can be used to “see” how your spider would fetch certain page.

If used outside a project, no particular per-spider behaviour would be applied and it will just use the default Scrapy downloder settings.

Usage examples:

$ scrapy fetch --nolog
[ ... html content here ... ]

$ scrapy fetch --nolog --headers
{'Accept-Ranges': ['bytes'],
 'Age': ['1263   '],
 'Connection': ['close     '],
 'Content-Length': ['596'],
 'Content-Type': ['text/html; charset=UTF-8'],
 'Date': ['Wed, 18 Aug 2010 23:59:46 GMT'],
 'Etag': ['"573c1-254-48c9c87349680"'],
 'Last-Modified': ['Fri, 30 Jul 2010 15:30:18 GMT'],
 'Server': ['Apache/2.2.3 (CentOS)']}


  • Syntax: scrapy view <url>
  • Requires project: no

Opens the given URL in a browser, as your Scrapy spider would “see” it. Sometimes spiders see pages differently from regular users, so this can be used to check what the spider “sees” and confirm it’s what you expect.

Usage example:

$ scrapy view
[ ... browser starts ... ]


  • Syntax: scrapy shell [url]
  • Requires project: no

Starts the Scrapy shell for the given URL (if given) or empty if not URL is given. See Scrapy shell for more info.

Usage example:

$ scrapy shell
[ ... scrapy shell starts ... ]


  • Syntax: scrapy parse <url> [options]
  • Requires project: yes

Fetches the given URL and parses with the spider that handles it, using the method passed with the --callback option, or parse if not given.

Supported options:

  • --callback or -c: spider method to use as callback for parsing the response
  • --rules or -r: use CrawlSpider rules to discover the callback (ie. spider method) to use for parsing the response
  • --noitems: don’t show extracted links
  • --nolinks: don’t show scraped items

Usage example:

$ scrapy parse -c parse_item
[ ... scrapy log lines crawling spider ... ]
# Scraped Items - callback: parse ------------------------------------------------------------
MyItem({'name': u"Example item",
 'category': u'Furniture',
 'length': u'12 cm'}


  • Syntax: scrapy settings [options]
  • Requires project: no

Get the value of a Scrapy setting.

If used inside a project it’ll show the project setting value, otherwise it’ll show the default Scrapy value for that setting.

Example usage:

$ scrapy settings --get BOT_NAME
$ scrapy settings --get DOWNLOAD_DELAY


  • Syntax: scrapy runspider <>
  • Requires project: no

Run a spider self-contained in a Python file, without having to create a project.

Example usage:

$ scrapy runspider
[ ... spider starts crawling ... ]


  • Syntax: scrapy queue <list|clear|count|add spider1 ..>
  • Requires project: yes

Manage the execution queue of a Scrapy project.

This command is meant to be used to control a Scrapy server started with the runserver command.

Example usage:

$ scrapy queue add

If there is a Scrapy server running (see runserver command), it will start crawling the spider. Otherwise, it will only get enqueued,, and it will start crawling once the Scrapy server is started.

You can also view the spiders enqueued but not yet started:

$ scrapy queue list

And clear the queue:

$ scrapy queue clear


  • Syntax: scrapy version
  • Requires project: no

Prints the Scrapy version.

Custom project commands

You can also add your custom project commands by using the COMMANDS_MODULE setting. See the Scrapy commands in scrapy/commands for examples on how to implement your commands.


Default: '' (empty string)

A module to use for looking custom Scrapy commands. This is used to add custom commands for your Scrapy project.


COMMANDS_MODULE = 'mybot.commands'