Quick start single process

The idea is that you develop and debug crawling strategy in single process mode locally and use distributed one when deploying crawling strategy for crawling in production at scale. Single process is also good as a first step to get something running quickly.

Note, that this tutorial doesn’t work for frontera.contrib.backends.memory.MemoryDistributedBackend.

1. Create your Scrapy spider

Create your Scrapy project as you usually do. Enter a directory where you’d like to store your code and then run:

scrapy startproject tutorial

This will create a tutorial directory with the following contents:


These are basically:

  • scrapy.cfg: the project configuration file
  • tutorial/: the project’s python module, you’ll later import your code from here.
  • tutorial/items.py: the project’s items file.
  • tutorial/pipelines.py: the project’s pipelines file.
  • tutorial/settings.py: the project’s settings file.
  • tutorial/spiders/: a directory where you’ll later put your spiders.

2. Install Frontera

See Installation Guide.

3. Integrate your spider with the Frontera

This article about integration with Scrapy explains this step in detail.

4. Choose your crawling strategy

Here are the options you would need to redefine when running in single process mode the crawler configured for distributed mode:

# these two parameters are pointing Frontera that it will run locally


5. Choose your backend

Configure frontier settings to use a built-in backend like:

BACKEND = 'frontera.contrib.backends.sqlalchemy.Distributed'

6. Inject the seed URLs

This step is required only if your crawling strategy requires seeds injection from external source.:

$ python -m frontera.utils.add_seeds --config [your_frontera_config] --seeds-file [path to your seeds file]

After script is finished succesfully your seeds should be stored in backend’s queue and scheduled for crawling.

7. Run the spider

Run your Scrapy spider as usual from the command line:

scrapy crawl myspider

And that’s it! You got your crawler running integrated with Frontera.

What else?

You’ve seen a simple example of how to use Frontera with Scrapy, but this is just the surface. Frontera provides many powerful features for making frontier management easy and efficient, such as: