The uWSGI cron-like interface

uWSGI’s master has an internal cron-like facility that can generate events at predefined times. You can use it

  • via the uWSGI API, in which case cron events will generate uWSGI signals
  • directly via options, in which case events will run shell commands

uWSGI signal based

The uwsgi.add_cron() function is the interface to the uWSGI signal cron facility. The syntax is

uwsgi.add_cron(signal, minute, hour, day, month, weekday)

The last 5 arguments work similarly to a standard crontab, but instead of “*”, use -1, and instead of “/2”, “/3”, etc. use -2 and -3, etc.

import uwsgi

def five_o_clock_on_the_first_day_of_the_month(signum):
    print "It's 5 o'clock of the first day of the month."

uwsgi.register_signal(99, "", five_o_clock_on_the_first_day_of_the_month)
uwsgi.add_cron(99, 0, 5, 1, -1, -1)

Timers vs. cron

Recurring events not related to specific dates should use timers/rb_timers. When you are interested in a specific date/hour use cron.

For example:

uwsgi.add_cron(99, -1, -1, -1, -1, -1) # ugly, bad and inefficient way to run signal 99 every minute :(
uwsgi.add_timer(99, 60) # much better.


  • day and weekday are ORed as the original crontab specifications.
  • By default, you can define up to 64 signal-based cron jobs per master. This

value may be increased in uwsgi.h.

Option-based cron

You can define cron tasks directly in configuration with the cron option. You can specify an unlimited number of option-based cron records. The syntax is the same of the signal-based ones.

For example:

cron = 59 2 -1 -1 -1 /usr/bin/backup_my_home --recursive
cron = 9 11 -1 -1 2 /opt/dem/bin/send_reminders
    <cron>59 2 -1 -1 -1 /usr/bin/backup_my_home --recursive</cron>
    <cron>9 11 -1 -1 2 /opt/dem/bin/send_reminders</cron>
; every two hours
cron = 0 -2 -1 -1 -1 /usr/bin/backup_my_home --recursive

Legion crons

When your instance is part of a The uWSGI Legion subsystem, you can configure it to run crons only if it is the Lord of the specified Legion:

legion = mycluster 100 bf-cbc:hello
legion-node = mycluster
; every two hours
legion-cron = mycluster 0 -2 -1 -1 -1 /usr/bin/backup_my_home --recursive

Unique crons


This feature is available since 1.9.11.

Some commands can take a long time to finish or just hang doing their thing. Sometimes this is okay, but there are also cases when running multiple instances of the same command can be dangerous.

For such cases the unique-cron and unique-legion-cron options were added. The syntax is the same as with cron and legion-cron, but the difference is that uWSGI will keep track of execution state and not execute the cronjob again until it is complete.


cron = -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 sleep 70

This would execute sleep 70 every minute, but sleep command will be running longer than our execution interval, we will end up with a growing number of sleep processes. To fix this we can simply replace cron with unique-cron and uWSGI will make sure that only single sleep process is running. A new process will be started right after the previous one finishes.



Available since 1.9.11.

--cron-harakiri will enforce a time limit on executed commands. If any command is taking longer it will be killed.


cron = sleep 30
cron-harakiri = 10

This will kill the cron command after 10 seconds. Note that cron-harakiri is a global limit, it affects all cron commands. To set a per-command time limit, use the cron2 option (see below).

New syntax for cron options


Available since 1.9.11

To allow better control over crons, a new option was added to uWSGI:

cron2 = option1=value,option2=value command to execute



cron2 = minute=-2,unique=1 sleep 130

Will spawn an unique cron command sleep 130 every 2 minutes.

Option list is optional, available options for every cron:

  • minute - minute part of crontab entry, default is -1 (interpreted as *)
  • hour - hour part of crontab entry, default is -1 (interpreted as *)
  • day - day part of crontab entry, default is -1 (interpreted as *)
  • month - month part of crontab entry, default is -1 (interpreted as *)
  • week - week part of crontab entry, default is -1 (interpreted as *)
  • unique - marks cron command as unique (see above), default is 0 (not unique)
  • harakiri - set harakiri timeout (in seconds) for this cron command, default is 0 (no harakiri)
  • legion - set legion name for use with this cron command, cron legions are only executed on the legion lord node.

Note that you cannot use spaces in options list. (minute=1, hour=2 will not work, but minute=1,hour=2 will work just fine.) If any option is missing, a default value is used.

# execute ``my command`` every minute (-1 -1 -1 -1 -1 crontab).
cron2 = my command
# execute unique command ``/usr/local/bin/`` at 5:30 every day.
cron2 = minute=30,hour=5,unique=1 /usr/local/bin/
legion = mycluster 100 bf-cbc:hello
legion-node = mycluster
cron2 = minute=-10,legion=mycluster my command

This will disable harakiri for my command, but other cron commands will still be killed after 10 seconds:

cron-harakiri = 10
cron2 = harakiri=0 my command
cron2 = my second command