Scaling up

The default installation method fits most use cases. If you use case requires more speed or capacity here are some suggestion that can help you improve the performance of your installation.

Change the database manager

Use PostgreSQL or MySQL as the database manager. Tweak the memory setting of the database manager to increase memory allocation. More PostgreSQL specific examples are available in their wiki page:

Increase the number of Gunicorn workers

The Gunicorn workers process HTTP requests and affect the speed at which the website responds.

If you are using the Docker image, change the value of the MAYAN_GUNICORN_WORKERS environment variable (check the Docker image chapter: Environment Variables). Normally this variable defaults to 2. Increase this number to match the number of CPU cores + 1.

If you are using the direct deployment methods, change the line that reads:

command = /opt/mayan-edms/bin/gunicorn -w 2 mayan.wsgi --max-requests 500 --max-requests-jitter 50 --worker-class gevent --bind --timeout 120

And increase the value of the -w 2 argument. This line is found in the [program:mayan-gunicorn] section of the supervisor configuration file.

Background task processing

The Celery workers are system processes that take care of the background tasks requested by the frontend interactions like document image rendering and periodic tasks like OCR. There are several dozen tasks defined in the code. These tasks are divided into queues based on the app of the relationship between the tasks. The queues by default are divided into three groups based on the speed at which they need to be processed. The document page image rendering for example is categorized as a high volume, short duration task. The OCR is a high volume, long duration task. Email checking is a low volume, medium duration tasks. It is not advisable to have the same worker processing OCR to process image rendering too. If the worker is processing several OCR tasks it will not be able to provide fast images when an user is browsing the user interface. This is why by default the queues are split into 3 workers: fast, medium, and slow.

The fast worker handles the queues:

  • converter: Handles document page rendering
  • sources_fast: Does staging file image rendering

The medium worker handles the queues:

  • checkouts_periodic: Scheduled tasks that check if a document’s checkout period has expired
  • documents_periodic:
  • indexing: Does reindexing of documents in the background when their properties change
  • metadata:
  • sources:
  • sources_periodic: Checking email accounts and watch folders for new documents.
  • uploads: Processes files to turn the into Mayan documents. Processing encompasses MIME type detection, page count detection.
  • documents:

The slow worker handles the queues:

  • mailing: Does the actual sending of documents via email as requested by users via the mailing profiles
  • tools: Executes in the background maintenance requests from the options in the tools menu
  • statistics: Recalculates statistics and charts
  • parsing: Parses documents to extract actual text content
  • ocr: Performs OCR to transcribe page images to text


  • Increase the number of workers and redistribute the queues among them (only possible with direct deployments).
  • Launch more workers to service a queue. For example for faster document image generation launch 2 workers to process the converter queue only possible with direct deployments).
  • By default each worker process uses 1 thread. You can increase the thread count of each worker process with the Docker environment options:
  • If using direct deployment, increase the value of the –concurrency=1 argument of each worker in the supervisor file. You can also remove this argument and let the Celery algorithm choose the number of threads to launch. Usually this defaults to the number of CPU cores + 1.

Change the message broker

Messages are the method of communication between front end interactive code and background tasks. In this regard messages can be thought as homologous to tasks requests. Improving how many messages can be sent, stored and sorted will impact the number of tasks the system can handle. To save on memory, the basic deployment method and the Docker image default to using Redis as a message broker. To increase capacity and reduce volatility of messages (pending tasks are not lost during shutdown) use RabbitMQ to shuffle messages.

For direct installs refer to the Advanced deployment documentation section for the required changes.

For the Docker image, launch a separate RabbitMQ container (

docker run -d --name mayan-edms-rabbitmq -e RABBITMQ_DEFAULT_USER=mayan -e RABBITMQ_DEFAULT_PASS=mayanrabbitmqpassword -e RABBITMQ_DEFAULT_VHOST=mayan rabbitmq:3

Pass the MAYAN_BROKER_URL environment variable ( to the Mayan EDMS container so that it uses the RabbitMQ container the message broker:

-e MAYAN_BROKER_URL="amqp://mayan:mayanrabbitmqpassword@localhost:5672/mayan",

When tasks finish, they leave behind a return status or the result of a calculation, these are stored for a while so that whoever requested the background task, is able retrieve the result. These results are stored in the result storage. By default a Redis server is launched inside the Mayan EDMS container. You can launch a separate Docker Redis container and tell the Mayan EDMS container to use this via the MAYAN_CELERY_RESULT_BACKEND environment variable. The format of this variable is explained here:

Deployment type

Docker provides a faster deployment and the overhead is not high on modern systems. It is however memory and CPU limited by default and you need to increase this limits. The settings to change the container resource limits are here:

For the best performance possible use the advanced deployment method on a host dedicated to serving only Mayan EDMS.


For best input and output speed use a block based local filesystem on an SSD drive for the /media sub folder. The location of the /media folder will be specified by the MEDIA_ROOT setting.

If capacity is your bottom line, switch to an object storage system.

Use additional hosts

When one host is not enough you can use multiple hosts and share the load. Make sure that all hosts share the /media folder as specified by the MEDIA_ROOT setting, also the database, the broker, and the result storage. One setting that needs to be changed in this configuration is the lock manager backend.

Resource locking is a technique to avoid two processes or tasks to modify the same resource at the same time causing a race condition. Mayan EDMS uses its own lock manager. By default the lock manager with use a simple file based lock backend ideal for single host installations. For multiple hosts installation the database backend must be used in other to coordinate the resource locks between the different hosts over a share data medium. This is accomplished by modifying the environment variable LOCK_MANAGER_BACKEND in both the direct deployment or the Docker image. Use the value lock_manager.backends.model_lock.ModelLock to switch to the database resource lock backend. If you can also write your own lock manager backend for other data sharing mediums with better performance than a relational database like Redis, Memcached, Zoo Keeper.