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Crawly is an application framework for crawling web sites and extracting structured data which can be used for a wide range of useful applications, like data mining, information processing or historical archival.


  1. Elixir "~> 1.10"
  2. Works on Linux, Windows, OS X and BSD


  1. Add Crawly as a dependencies:

    # mix.exs
    defp deps do
          {:crawly, "~> 0.13.0"},
          {:floki, "~> 0.26.0"}
  2. Fetch dependencies: $ mix deps.get

  3. Create a spider

    # lib/crawly_example/esl_spider.ex
    defmodule EslSpider do
      use Crawly.Spider
      alias Crawly.Utils
      @impl Crawly.Spider
      def base_url(), do: ""
      @impl Crawly.Spider
      def init(), do: [start_urls: [""]]
      @impl Crawly.Spider
      def parse_item(response) do
        {:ok, document} = Floki.parse_document(response.body)
        hrefs = document |> Floki.find("a.btn-link") |> Floki.attribute("href")
        requests =
          Utils.build_absolute_urls(hrefs, base_url())
          |> Utils.requests_from_urls()
        title = document |> Floki.find("") |> Floki.text()
          :requests => requests,
          :items => [%{title: title, url: response.request_url}]
  4. Configure Crawly

    • By default, Crawly does not require any configuration. But obviously you will need a configuration for fine tuning the crawls:
      # in config.exs
      config :crawly,
      closespider_timeout: 10,
      concurrent_requests_per_domain: 8,
      middlewares: [
        {Crawly.Middlewares.UserAgent, user_agents: ["Crawly Bot"]}
      pipelines: [
        {Crawly.Pipelines.Validate, fields: [:url, :title]},
        {Crawly.Pipelines.DuplicatesFilter, item_id: :title},
        {Crawly.Pipelines.WriteToFile, extension: "jl", folder: "/tmp"}
  5. Start the Crawl:

    • $ iex -S mix
    • iex(1)> Crawly.Engine.start_spider(EslSpider)
  6. Results can be seen with: $ cat /tmp/EslSpider.jl

Need more help?

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Browser rendering

Crawly can be configured in the way that all fetched pages will be browser rendered, which can be very useful if you need to extract data from pages which has lots of asynchronous elements (for example parts loaded by AJAX).

You can read more here:

Experimental UI

The CrawlyUI project is an add-on that aims to provide an interface for managing and rapidly developing spiders.

Checkout the code from GitHub or try it online CrawlyUIDemo

See more at Experimental UI



  1. [x] Pluggable HTTP client
  2. [x] Retries support
  3. [x] Cookies support
  4. [x] XPath support - can be actually done with meeseeks
  5. [ ] Project generators (spiders)
  6. [ ] UI for jobs management


  1. Blog post on Erlang Solutions website:
  2. Blog post about using Crawly inside a machine learning project with Tensorflow (Tensorflex):
  3. Web scraping with Crawly and Elixir. Browser rendering:
  4. Web scraping with Elixir and Crawly. Extracting data behind authentication:
  5. What is web scraping, and why you might want to use it?
  6. Using Elixir and Crawly for price monitoring

Example projects

  1. Blog crawler:
  2. E-commerce websites:
  3. Car shops:
  4. JavaScript based website (Splash example):


We would gladly accept your contributions!


Please find documentation on the HexDocs

Production usages

Using Crawly on production? Please let us know about your case!