Quick Start

The installation is quick and straightforward.

# airflow needs a home, ~/airflow is the default,
# but you can lay foundation somewhere else if you prefer
# (optional)
export AIRFLOW_HOME=~/airflow

# install from pypi using pip
pip install apache-airflow

# initialize the database
airflow initdb

# start the web server, default port is 8080
airflow webserver -p 8080

Upon running these commands, Airflow will create the $AIRFLOW_HOME folder and lay an “airflow.cfg” file with defaults that get you going fast. You can inspect the file either in $AIRFLOW_HOME/airflow.cfg, or through the UI in the Admin->Configuration menu. The PID file for the webserver will be stored in $AIRFLOW_HOME/airflow-webserver.pid or in /run/airflow/webserver.pid if started by systemd.

Out of the box, Airflow uses a sqlite database, which you should outgrow fairly quickly since no parallelization is possible using this database backend. It works in conjunction with the SequentialExecutor which will only run task instances sequentially. While this is very limiting, it allows you to get up and running quickly and take a tour of the UI and the command line utilities.

Here are a few commands that will trigger a few task instances. You should be able to see the status of the jobs change in the example1 DAG as you run the commands below.

# run your first task instance
airflow run example_bash_operator runme_0 2015-01-01
# run a backfill over 2 days
airflow backfill example_bash_operator -s 2015-01-01 -e 2015-01-02

What’s Next?

From this point, you can head to the Tutorial section for further examples or the Configuration section if you’re ready to get your hands dirty.