This document describes the current stable version of Celery (3.1). For development docs, go here.

Using Amazon SQS

Experimental Status

The SQS transport is in need of improvements in many areas and there are several open bugs. Unfortunately we don’t have the resources or funds required to improve the situation, so we’re looking for contributors and partners willing to help.


For the Amazon SQS support you have to install the boto library:

$ pip install -U boto


You have to specify SQS in the broker URL:


where the URL format is:


you must remember to include the “@” at the end.

The login credentials can also be set using the environment variables AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID and AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY, in that case the broker url may only be sqs://.


If you specify AWS credentials in the broker URL, then please keep in mind that the secret access key may contain unsafe characters that needs to be URL encoded.



The default region is us-east-1 but you can select another region by configuring the BROKER_TRANSPORT_OPTIONS setting:

BROKER_TRANSPORT_OPTIONS = {'region': 'eu-west-1'}

See also

An overview of Amazon Web Services regions can be found here:

Visibility Timeout

The visibility timeout defines the number of seconds to wait for the worker to acknowledge the task before the message is redelivered to another worker. Also see caveats below.

This option is set via the BROKER_TRANSPORT_OPTIONS setting:

BROKER_TRANSPORT_OPTIONS = {'visibility_timeout': 3600}  # 1 hour.

The default visibility timeout is 30 seconds.

Polling Interval

The polling interval decides the number of seconds to sleep between unsuccessful polls. This value can be either an int or a float. By default the value is 1 second, which means that the worker will sleep for one second whenever there are no more messages to read.

You should note that more frequent polling is also more expensive, so increasing the polling interval can save you money.

The polling interval can be set via the BROKER_TRANSPORT_OPTIONS setting:

BROKER_TRANSPORT_OPTIONS = {'polling_interval': 0.3}

Very frequent polling intervals can cause busy loops, which results in the worker using a lot of CPU time. If you need sub-millisecond precision you should consider using another transport, like RabbitMQ <broker-amqp>, or Redis <broker-redis>.

Queue Prefix

By default Celery will not assign any prefix to the queue names, If you have other services using SQS you can configure it do so using the BROKER_TRANSPORT_OPTIONS setting:

BROKER_TRANSPORT_OPTIONS = {'queue_name_prefix': 'celery-'}


  • If a task is not acknowledged within the visibility_timeout, the task will be redelivered to another worker and executed.

    This causes problems with ETA/countdown/retry tasks where the time to execute exceeds the visibility timeout; in fact if that happens it will be executed again, and again in a loop.

    So you have to increase the visibility timeout to match the time of the longest ETA you are planning to use.

    Note that Celery will redeliver messages at worker shutdown, so having a long visibility timeout will only delay the redelivery of ‘lost’ tasks in the event of a power failure or forcefully terminated workers.

    Periodic tasks will not be affected by the visibility timeout, as it is a concept separate from ETA/countdown.

    The maximum visibility timeout supported by AWS as of this writing is 12 hours (43200 seconds):

    BROKER_TRANSPORT_OPTIONS = {'visibility_timeout': 43200}
  • SQS does not yet support worker remote control commands.

  • SQS does not yet support events, and so cannot be used with celery events, celerymon or the Django Admin monitor.


Multiple products in the Amazon Web Services family could be a good candidate to store or publish results with, but there is no such result backend included at this point.


Do not use the amqp result backend with SQS.

It will create one queue for every task, and the queues will not be collected. This could cost you money that would be better spent contributing an AWS result store backend back to Celery :)