Scalingo Scheduler - Run Scheduled Tasks

Scalingo provides a feature called Scalingo Scheduler to help you run tasks on a regular basis.

About the Scalingo Scheduler

The Scalingo Scheduler allows to define tasks so that they run periodically at fixed times, dates, or intervals. It can be leveraged to do a variety of tasks such as sending a newsletter every morning, exporting data every hour, checking for new orders every 15 minutes, …

The Scalingo Scheduler launches tasks in one-off containers running in detached mode. Therefore, the related one-off documentation fully applies.

The Scalingo Scheduler also works with Review Apps, meaning that review apps have the same scheduled tasks as their parent application.


The following limitations currently exist, be it for security, performance or stability reasons:

  • The Scalingo Scheduler has been designed to run short-lived tasks. Consequently, scheduled tasks won’t run more than 15 minutes. They are automatically killed as soon as they reach this limit.

  • Moreover, a one-off container started by the Scalingo Scheduler will not run longer than its scheduling interval. For example, a scheduled task set up to run every 10 minutes will be terminated after running for 10 minutes. A scheduled task set to run every 30 minutes will be killed after running for 15 minutes (see above).

  • The smallest scheduling interval is set to 10 minutes. For example, the Scalingo Scheduler won’t let you set up a task to run every 5 minutes (the deployment will fail).

  • A maximum of 5 tasks can be scheduled through the Scalingo Scheduler. Please get in touch with the support if you need more, they will study your request and advise you.

  • Task execution is expected but not guaranteed. The Scalingo Scheduler is known to occasionally (but rarely) miss the execution of a scheduled job.

  • Execution time can be delayed by a maximum of 10% of the interval between 2 tasks (up to 20 minutes).

    • */10 * * * * (every 10 minutes): task will be executed every 10 to 11 minutes;
    • 0 */1 * * * (every hour): task will be executed between minute 0 and minute 6 of each hour;
    • 0 0 * * *: (everyday at midnight): task will be executed between 00:00 and 00:20 UTC.
  • Two one-off containers running the same scheduled task may overlap for a brief time if the task is not finished when a new one is started.


Although the Scalingo Scheduler itself is free, the one-off containers in which the commands are run are billed like any other one-off container.

Consequently, billing depends on the type of container you defined in your task (M is the default container size) and on the job lifespan.

For example, if your job runs during 5 minutes, you will be billed 5 minutes of an M container.

Working with the Scalingo Scheduler

Enabling the Scalingo Scheduler

The Scalingo Scheduler is enabled automatically as soon as a valid cron.json file is present at the root of your application.

Disabling the Scalingo Scheduler

For now, it’s not possible to disable scheduled tasks without modifying or removing the cron.json file and triggering a new deployment thereafter.

To disable scheduled tasks on a specific environment (for example, if you want to disable your scheduled tasks on your staging app), please see Dealing with Multiple Environments.

Defining Tasks

Scheduled tasks are defined in the cron.json file stored at the root of your application’s source code. The platform automatically detects and reads the file during deployment, and sets up the tasks according to the given schedule.

The cron.json file must be a valid JSON file in the format specified below.

Each job is configured as a JSON object with two keys:

  • command: contains both the cron expression and the command to execute:
    • The cron expression follows the crontab standard. You may find the website useful to write your own cron expression. Note that we do not support the non standard @-ly syntax.
    • The command is any command you can execute in a one-off container (i.e. with the command scalingo --app my-app run <command>).
  • size: specify the size of the one-off container executing the command. This key is optional and defaults to M (512 MiB RAM).

All dates are expressed in UTC. For instance, if you are located in Paris or Berlin (CET timezone, UTC+1) and you want a scheduled task to be executed at 10:00 in your local time, your cron expression should mention 09:00. For Athens (EET, UTC+2), your cron expression should mention 08:00 to achieve the same result.


Schedule a task to run every morning at 8AM CET:

  "jobs": [
      "command": "0 7 * * * /bin/send-newsletter"

Schedule a task to run rails orders:check every 10 minutes in a 2XL container:

  "jobs": [
      "command": "*/10 * * * * rails orders:check",
      "size": "2XL"

Listing Scheduled Tasks

You can list your scheduled tasks by using the Scalingo CLI:

$ scalingo --app my-app cron-tasks
|            COMMAND              | SIZE |     LAST EXECUTION     |    NEXT EXECUTION   |
| */10 * * * * rails orders:check | 2XL  | No previous executions | 2023/01/31 14:10:00 |

Dealing with Multiple Environments

If you wish to control the execution of tasks differently between environments (for example, if you want to run your scheduled tasks differently on your staging apps or on your review apps) we suggest to modify the task’s code to detect the environment where they are executed.

Updating or Removing Scheduled Tasks

To modify or remove a scheduled task, you must modify or delete the associated entry in the cron.json file and push your updated file to Scalingo. This will trigger a new deployment, allowing the platform to handle your changes.

If there is no more task, or if you want to remove all tasks, you can also remove the file.

Reading Scheduled Tasks Logs

Logs for scheduled tasks are included in the application logs, next to other containers logs.

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Scalingo Scheduler - Run Scheduled Tasks

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