Executors are the mechanism by which task instances get run. They have a common API and are “pluggable”, meaning you can swap executors based on your installation needs.

Airflow can only have one executor configured at a time; this is set by the executor option in the [core] section of the configuration file.

Built-in executors are referred to by name, for example:

executor = KubernetesExecutor

You can also write your own custom executors, and refer to them by their full path:

executor = my_company.executors.MyCustomExecutor


For more information on Airflow’s configuration, see Setting Configuration Options.

If you want to check which executor is currently set, you can use the airflow config get-value core executor command:

$ airflow config get-value core executor

Executor Types

There are two types of executor - those that run tasks locally (inside the scheduler process), and those that run their tasks remotely (usually via a pool of workers). Airflow comes configured with the SequentialExecutor by default, which is a local executor, and the safest option for execution, but we strongly recommend you change this to LocalExecutor for small, single-machine installations, or one of the remote executors for a multi-machine/cloud installation.

Local Executors

Remote Executors


New Airflow users may assume they need to run a separate executor process using one of the Local or Remote Executors. This is not correct. The executor logic runs inside the scheduler process, and will run the tasks locally or not depending the executor selected.

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