Scrapy Service (scrapyd)

New in version 0.10.

Scrapy comes with a built-in service, called “Scrapyd”, which allows you to deploy (aka. upload) your projects and control their spiders using a JSON web service.

Projects and versions

Scrapyd can manage multiple projects and each project can have multiple versions uploaded, but only the latest one will be used for launching new spiders.

A common (and useful) convention to use for the version name is the revision number of the version control tool you’re using to track your Scrapy project code. For example: r23. The versions are not compared alphabetically but using a smarter algorithm (the same distutils uses) so r10 compares greater to r9, for example.

How Scrapyd works

Scrapyd is an application (typically run as a daemon) that continually polls for spiders that need to run.

When a spider needs to run, a process is started to crawl the spider:

scrapy crawl myspider

Scrapyd also runs multiple processes in parallel, allocating them in a fixed number of slots given by the max_proc and max_proc_per_cpu options, starting as many processes as possible to handle the load.

In addition to dispatching and managing processes, Scrapyd provides a JSON web service to upload new project versions (as eggs) and schedule spiders. This feature is optional and can be disabled if you want to implement your own custom Scrapyd. The components are pluggable and can be changed, if you’re familiar with the Twisted Application Framework which Scrapyd is implemented in.

Starting from 0.11, Scrapyd also provides a minimal web interface.

Starting Scrapyd

Scrapyd is implemented using the standard Twisted Application Framework. To start the service, use the extras/scrapyd.tac file provided in the Scrapy distribution, like this:

twistd -ny extras/scrapyd.tac

That should get your Scrapyd started.

Or, if you want to start Scrapyd from inside a Scrapy project you can use the server command, like this:

scrapy server

Installing Scrapyd

How to deploy Scrapyd on your servers depends on the platform your’re using. Scrapy comes with Ubuntu packages for Scrapyd ready for deploying it as a system service, to ease the installation and administration, but you can create packages for other distribution or operating systems (including Windows). If you do so, and want to contribute them, send a message to and say hi. The community will appreciate it.

Installing Scrapyd in Ubuntu

When deploying Scrapyd, it’s very useful to have a version already packaged for your system. For this reason, Scrapyd comes with Ubuntu packages ready to use in your Ubuntu servers.

So, if you plan to deploy Scrapyd on a Ubuntu server, just add the Ubuntu repositories as described in Ubuntu packages and then run:

aptitude install scrapyd-X.YY

Where X.YY is the Scrapy version, for example: 0.14.

This will install Scrapyd in your Ubuntu server creating a scrapy user which Scrapyd will run as. It will also create some directories and files that are listed below:


Scrapyd configuration files. See Scrapyd Configuration file.


Scrapyd main log file.


The standard output captured from Scrapyd process and any sub-process spawned from it.


The standard error captured from Scrapyd and any sub-process spawned from it. Remember to check this file if you’re having problems, as the errors may not get logged to the scrapyd.log file.


Besides the main service log file, Scrapyd stores one log file per crawling process in:


Where ID is a unique id for the run.


Directory used to store data files (uploaded eggs and spider queues).

Scrapyd Configuration file

Scrapyd searches for configuration files in the following locations, and parses them in order with the latest ones taking more priority:

  • /etc/scrapyd/scrapyd.conf (Unix)
  • c:\scrapyd\scrapyd.conf (Windows)
  • /etc/scrapyd/conf.d/* (in alphabetical order, Unix)
  • scrapyd.conf

The configuration file supports the following options (see default values in the example).


The TCP port where the HTTP JSON API will listen. Defaults to 6800.


The maximum number of concurrent Scrapy process that will be started. If unset or 0 it will use the number of cpus available in the system mulitplied by the value in max_proc_per_cpu option. Defaults to 0.


The maximum number of concurrent Scrapy process that will be started per cpu. Defaults to 4.


Whether debug mode is enabled. Defaults to off. When debug mode is enabled the full Python traceback will be returned (as plain text responses) when there is an error processing a JSON API call.


The directory where the project eggs will be stored.


The directory where the project databases will be stored (this includes the spider queues).


The directory where the Scrapy processes logs will be stored.


The number of logs to keep per spider. Defaults to 5.


The module that will be used for launching sub-processes. You can customize the Scrapy processes launched from Scrapyd by using your own module.


A function that returns the (Twisted) Application object to use. This can be used if you want to extend Scrapyd by adding and removing your own components and services.

For more info see Twisted Application Framework

Example configuration file

Here is an example configuration file with all the defaults:

eggs_dir    = eggs
logs_dir    = logs
logs_to_keep = 5
dbs_dir     = dbs
max_proc    = 0
max_proc_per_cpu = 4
http_port   = 6800
debug       = off
runner      = scrapyd.runner
application =

Deploying your project

Deploying your project into a Scrapyd server typically involves two steps:

  1. building a Python egg of your project. This is called “eggifying” your project. You’ll need to install setuptools for this. See Egg caveats below.
  2. uploading the egg to the Scrapyd server

The simplest way to deploy your project is by using the deploy command, which automates the process of building the egg uploading it using the Scrapyd HTTP JSON API.

The deploy command supports multiple targets (Scrapyd servers that can host your project) and each target supports multiple projects.

Each time you deploy a new version of a project, you can name it for later reference.

Show and define targets

To see all available targets type:

scrapy deploy -l

This will return a list of available targets and their URLs. For example:

scrapyd              http://localhost:6800/

You can define targets by adding them to your project’s scrapy.cfg file, or any other supported location like ~/.scrapy.cfg, /etc/scrapy.cfg, or c:\scrapy\scrapy.cfg (in Windows).

Here’s an example of defining a new target scrapyd2 with restricted access through HTTP basic authentication:

url =
username = john
password = secret


The deploy command also supports netrc for getting the credentials.

Now, if you type scrapy deploy -l you’ll see:

scrapyd              http://localhost:6800/

See available projects

To see all available projets in a specific target use:

scrapy deploy -L scrapyd

It would return something like this:


Deploying a project

Finally, to deploy your project use:

scrapy deploy scrapyd -p project1

This will eggify your project and upload it to the target, printing the JSON response returned from the Scrapyd server. If you have a file in your project, that one will be used. Otherwise a file will be created automatically (based on a simple template) that you can edit later.

After running that command you will see something like this, meaning your project was uploaded successfully:

Deploying myproject-1287453519 to http://localhost:6800/addversion.json
Server response (200):
{"status": "ok", "spiders": ["spider1", "spider2"]}

By default scrapy deploy uses the current timestamp for generating the project version, as you can see in the output above. However, you can pass a custom version with the --version option:

scrapy deploy scrapyd -p project1 --version 54

Also, if you use Mercurial for tracking your project source code, you can use HG for the version which will be replaced by the current Mercurial revision, for example r382:

scrapy deploy scrapyd -p project1 --version HG

And, if you use Git for tracking your project source code, you can use GIT for the version which will be replaced by the SHA1 of current Git revision, for example b0582849179d1de7bd86eaa7201ea3cda4b5651f:

scrapy deploy scrapyd -p project1 --version GIT

Support for other version discovery sources may be added in the future.

Finally, if you don’t want to specify the target, project and version every time you run scrapy deploy you can define the defaults in the scrapy.cfg file. For example:

url =
username = john
password = secret
project = project1
version = HG

This way, you can deploy your project just by using:

scrapy deploy

Local settings

Sometimes, while your working on your projects, you may want to override your certain settings with certain local settings that shouldn’t be deployed to Scrapyd, but only used locally to develop and debug your spiders.

One way to deal with this is to have a at the root of your project (where the scrapy.cfg file resides) and add these lines to the end of your project settings:

    from local_settings import *
except ImportError:

scrapy deploy won’t deploy anything outside the project module so the file won’t be deployed.

Here’s the directory structure, to illustrate:


Egg caveats

There are some things to keep in mind when building eggs of your Scrapy project:

  • make sure no local development settings are included in the egg when you build it. The find_packages function may be picking up your custom settings. In most cases you want to upload the egg with the default project settings.
  • you shouldn’t use __file__ in your project code as it doesn’t play well with eggs. Consider using pkgutil.get_data() instead.
  • be careful when writing to disk in your project (in any spider, extension or middleware) as Scrapyd will probably run with a different user which may not have write access to certain directories. If you can, avoid writing to disk and always use tempfile for temporary files.

Scheduling a spider run

To schedule a spider run:

$ curl http://localhost:6800/schedule.json -d project=myproject -d spider=spider2
{"status": "ok", "jobid": "26d1b1a6d6f111e0be5c001e648c57f8"}

For more resources see: JSON API reference for more available resources.

Web Interface

New in version 0.11.

Scrapyd comes with a minimal web interface (for monitoring running processes and accessing logs) which can be accessed at http://localhost:6800/

JSON API reference

The following section describes the available resources in Scrapyd JSON API.


Add a version to a project, creating the project if it doesn’t exist.

  • Supported Request Methods: POST
  • Parameters:
    • project (string, required) - the project name
    • version (string, required) - the project version
    • egg (file, required) - a Python egg containing the project’s code

Example request:

$ curl http://localhost:6800/addversion.json -F project=myproject -F version=r23 -F [email protected]

Example reponse:

{"status": "ok", "spiders": 3}


Schedule a spider run.

  • Supported Request Methods: POST
  • Parameters:
    • project (string, required) - the project name
    • spider (string, required) - the spider name
    • setting (string, optional) - a scrapy setting to use when running the spider
    • any other parameter is passed as spider argument

Example request:

$ curl http://localhost:6800/schedule.json -d project=myproject -d spider=somespider

Example response:

{"status": "ok"}

Example request passing a spider argument (arg1) and a setting (DOWNLOAD_DELAY):

$ curl http://localhost:6800/schedule.json -d project=myproject -d spider=somespider -d setting=DOWNLOAD_DELAY=2 -d arg1=val1


Get the list of projects uploaded to this Scrapy server.

  • Supported Request Methods: GET
  • Parameters: none

Example request:

$ curl http://localhost:6800/listprojects.json

Example response:

{"status": "ok", "projects": ["myproject", "otherproject"]}


Get the list of versions available for some project. The versions are returned in order, the last one is the currently used version.

  • Supported Request Methods: GET
  • Parameters:
    • project (string, required) - the project name

Example request:

$ curl http://localhost:6800/listversions.json?project=myproject

Example response:

{"status": "ok", "versions": ["r99", "r156"]}


Get the list of spiders available in the last version of some project.

  • Supported Request Methods: GET
  • Parameters:
    • project (string, required) - the project name

Example request:

$ curl http://localhost:6800/listspiders.json?project=myproject

Example response:

{"status": "ok", "spiders": ["spider1", "spider2", "spider3"]}


Delete a project version. If there are no more versions available for a given project, that project will be deleted too.

  • Supported Request Methods: POST
  • Parameters:
    • project (string, required) - the project name
    • version (string, required) - the project version

Example request:

$ curl http://localhost:6800/delversion.json -d project=myproject -d version=r99

Example response:

{"status": "ok"}


Delete a project and all its uploaded versions.

  • Supported Request Methods: POST
  • Parameters:
    • project (string, required) - the project name

Example request:

$ curl http://localhost:6800/delproject.json -d project=myproject

Example response:

{"status": "ok"}