Celery is an asynchronous task queue. It can be used for anything that needs to be run asynchronously. For example, background computation of expensive queries. RabbitMQ is a message broker widely used with Celery. In this tutorial, we are going to have an introduction to basic concepts of Celery with RabbitMQ and then set up Celery for a small demo project. At the end of this tutorial, you will be able to setup a Celery web console monitoring your tasks.
The Broker (RabbitMQ) is responsible for the creation of task queues, dispatching tasks to task queues according to some routing rules, and then delivering tasks from task queues to workers.
Consumer (Celery Workers)
The Consumer is the one or multiple Celery workers executing the tasks. You could start many workers depending on your use case.
The Result Backend is used for storing the results of your tasks. However, it is not a required element, so if you do not include it in your settings, you cannot access the results of your tasks.
First, we need to install Celery, which is pretty easy using PyPI:
$ pip install celery
Note that it would be better to do this using a virtual environment.
Choose a broker: RabbitMQ
This is where the confusion begins. Why do we need another thing called
broker? It’s because Celery does not actually construct a message queue itself, so it needs an extra message transport (a broker) to do that work. You can think of Celery as a wrapper around a message broker.
In this tutorial, we are using RabbitMQ as our broker because it is feature-complete, stable and recommended by Celery. In Mac OS, it is easy to install RabbitMQ using Homebrew:
$ brew install rabbitmq # if you are using Ubuntu or Debian, try: # sudo apt-get install rabbitmq-server
Homebrew will install RabbitMQ in
/usr/local/sbin although some systems may vary. You can add this path to the environment variable PATH for convenient usage later. For example, open your shell startup file (eg.
~/.bash_profile) and add the following line:
Now we can start the RabbitMQ server using the command
rabbitmq-server. You will see similar output if the RabbitMQ server starts successfully.
$ rabbitmq-server RabbitMQ 3.5.1. Copyright (C) 2007-2014 GoPivotal, Inc. ## ## Licensed under the MPL. See http://www.rabbitmq.com/ ## ## ########## Logs: /firstname.lastname@example.org ###### ## /email@example.com ########## Starting broker... completed with 10 plugins.
Configure RabbitMQ for Celery
Before we can use RabbitMQ for Celery, we need to do some configurations for RabbitMQ. Briefly speaking, we need to create a virtual host and user, then set user permissions so it can access the virtual host.
# add user 'jimmy' with password 'jimmy123' $ rabbitmqctl add_user jimmy jimmy123 # add virtual host 'jimmy_vhost' $ rabbitmqctl add_vhost jimmy_vhost # add user tag 'jimmy_tag' for user 'jimmy' $ rabbitmqctl set_user_tags jimmy jimmy_tag # set permission for user 'jimmy' on virtual host 'jimmy_vhost' $ rabbitmqctl set_permissions -p jimmy_vhost jimmy ".*" ".*" ".*"
Note that there are three kinds of operations in RabbitMQ:
".*" ".*" ".*" string at the end of the above command means that the user “jimmy” will have all configure, write and read permissions. To find more information about permission control in RabbitMQ, you can refer to http://www.rabbitmq.com/access-control.html
A Simple Demo Project
Now let’s create a simple project to demonstrate the use of Celery. You can find the demo on Github here.Python Celery & RabbitMQ Tutorial - Step by Step Guide with Demo and Source CodeClick To Tweet
Below is the structure of our demo project.
test_celery __init__.py celery.py tasks.py run_tasks.py
Add the following code in celery.py:
from __future__ import absolute_import from celery import Celery app = Celery('test_celery', broker='amqp://jimmy:jimmy123@localhost/jimmy_vhost', backend='rpc://', include=['test_celery.tasks'])
Here, we initialize an instance of Celery called app, which is used later for creating a task.
The first argument of Celery is just the name of the project package, which is “test_celery”.
broker argument specifies the broker URL, which should be the RabbitMQ we started earlier. Note that the format of broker URL should be:
For RabbitMQ, the
backend argument specifies a backend URL. A backend in Celery is used for storing the task results. So if you need to access the results of your task when it is finished, you should set a backend for Celery.
rpc means sending the results back as AMQP messages, which is an acceptable format for our demo. More choices for message formats can be found here.
include argument specifies a list of modules that you want to import when Celery worker starts. We add the tasks module here so that the worker can find our task.
In this file, we define our task
from __future__ import absolute_import from test_celery.celery import app import time @app.task def longtime_add(x, y): print 'long time task begins' # sleep 5 seconds time.sleep(5) print 'long time task finished' return x + y
You can see that we import the
app defined in the previous
celery module and use it as a decorator for our task method. Note that
app.task is just a decorator. In addition, we sleep 5 seconds in our
longtime_add task to simulate a time-expensive task:)
After setting up Celery, we need to run our task, which is included in the
from .tasks import longtime_add import time if __name__ == '__main__': result = longtime_add.delay(1,2) # at this time, our task is not finished, so it will return False print 'Task finished? ', result.ready() print 'Task result: ', result.result # sleep 10 seconds to ensure the task has been finished time.sleep(10) # now the task should be finished and ready method will return True print 'Task finished? ', result.ready() print 'Task result: ', result.result
Here, we call the task
longtime_add using the
delay method, which is needed if we want to process the task asynchronously. In addition, we keep the results of the task and print some information. The
ready method will return True if the task has been finished, otherwise False. The
result attribute is the result of the task (“3” in our case). If the task has not been finished, it returns None.
Start Celery Worker
Now, we can start Celery worker using the command below (run in the parent folder of our project folder test_celery):
$ celery -A test_celery worker --loglevel=info
You will see something like this if Celery successfully connects to RabbitMQ:
$ celery -A test_celery worker --loglevel=info -------------- celery@zhangmatoMacBook-Pro.local v3.1.23 (Cipater) ---- **** ----- --- * *** * -- Darwin-15.4.0-x86_64-i386-64bit -- * - **** --- - ** ---------- [config] - ** ---------- .> app: test_celery:0x10d9b0d10 - ** ---------- .> transport: amqp://jimmy:**@localhost:5672/jimmy_vhost - ** ---------- .> results: rpc:// - *** --- * --- .> concurrency: 4 (prefork) -- ******* ---- --- ***** ----- [queues] -------------- .> celery exchange=celery(direct) key=celery [tasks] . test_celery.tasks.longtime_add [2016-04-24 22:41:20,297: INFO/MainProcess] Connected to amqp://jimmy:**@127.0.0.1:5672/jimmy_vhost [2016-04-24 22:41:20,310: INFO/MainProcess] mingle: searching for neighbors [2016-04-24 22:41:21,321: INFO/MainProcess] mingle: all alone [2016-04-24 22:41:21,374: WARNING/MainProcess] celery@zhangmatoMacBook-Pro.local ready.
In another console, input the following (run in the parent folder of our project folder test_celery):
$ python -m test_celery.run_tasks
Now if you look at the Celery console, you will see that our worker received the task:
[2016-04-24 22:59:16,508: INFO/MainProcess] Received task: test_celery.tasks.longtime_add[25ba9c87-69a7-4383-b983-1cefdb32f8b3] [2016-04-24 22:59:16,508: WARNING/Worker-3] long time task begins [2016-04-24 22:59:31,510: WARNING/Worker-3] long time task finished [2016-04-24 22:59:31,512: INFO/MainProcess] Task test_celery.tasks.longtime_add[25ba9c87-69a7-4383-b983-1cefdb32f8b3] succeeded in 15.003732774s: 3
As you can see, when our Celery worker received a task, it printed out the task name with a task id (in the bracket):
Received task: test_celery.tasks.longtime_add[7d942984-8ea6-4e4d-8097-225616f797d5]
Below this line is two lines that were printed by our task
longtime_add, with a time delay of 5 seconds:
long time task begins
long time task finished
The last line shows that our task was finished in about 5 seconds and the task result is 3:
Task test_celery.tasks.longtime_add[7d942984-8ea6-4e4d-8097-225616f797d5] succeeded in 5.025242167s: 3
In the current console, you will see the following output:
$ python -m test_celery.run_tasks Task finished? False Task result: None Task finished? False Task result: None
This is the expected behavior. At first, our task was not ready, and the result was None. After 10 seconds, our task has been finished and the result is 3.
Monitor Celery in Real Time
Flower is a real-time web-based monitor for Celery. Using Flower, you could easily monitor your task progress and history.
We can use pip to install Flower:
$ pip install flower
To start the Flower web console, we need to run the following command (run in the parent folder of our project folder test_celery):
$ celery -A test_celery flower
Flower will run a server with default port 5555, and you can access the web console at http://localhost:5555.
Celery is easy to set up when used with the RabbitMQ broker, and it hides the complex details of RabbitMQ. You can find the full set code of demo project above on Github.Python Celery & RabbitMQ Tutorial - Step by Step Guide with Demo and Source CodeClick To Tweet
Jimmy Zhang is a software developer experienced in backend development with Python and Django. You could find more about him on his website http://www.catharinegeek.com/
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