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Birdisle is a modified version of redis that runs as a library inside another process.
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Birdisle - an in-process redis

Birdisle (an anagram of "lib redis") is a modified version of redis that runs as a library inside another process. The primary aim is to simplify unit testing by providing a way to run tests against what appears to be a redis server, but without the hassle of starting a separate process and ensuring that it is torn down correctly.

Because this repository is a clone of the redis repository, many of the files, including documentation, are relevant to redis rather than birdisle.


Birdisle has a very simple API, but as it is in early development it is still subject to breaking changes. The API is in birdisle.h.

Call birdisleStartServer(config) to start a thread running redis. It takes the contents of a config file (optional) and returns an opaque handle of type birdisleServer *, or NULL if startup failed. Note that not all configuration is safe to set — see the Limitations below.

To create a connection to the server, call birdisleAddConnection(handle, fd) where handle is the handle returned by birdisleStartServer, and fd is the end of a socket that birdisle will use for communication. It could, for example, be one end of a socketpair(2).

To terminate and clean up a server, call birdisleStopServer(handle).



Redis was never designed to be embedded in another process. To make it behave nicely with other code in the same process, some parts of redis that make it robust in a production environment have been disabled. It should thus not be used in a production environment where data persistence is a concern.

Specific variances from stock redis include

  • Some actions that would normally run in the background now run in the foreground, blocking the entire server.
  • The number of open file handles is not adjusted. Attempting to make large numbers of connections may have dire consequences.
  • Lua debugging is not supported (although SCRIPT DEBUG sync might work).
  • Sentinel is not supported.
  • Cluster mode is not supported.
  • Modules that create background threads are not supported.
  • RDB files have limited support. The BGSAVE command is not supported at all, and the RDB file will only be updated on explicit request via SAVE or SHUTDOWN.
  • AOF files have limited support. It cannot be enabled after the server has started, and rewriting (e.g. with BGREWRITEAOF) is not supported.
  • It does not catch signals. If a graceful shutdown is required, the host process must catch and handle the signal.
  • Logging is disabled by default.
  • Server shutdown is slower, because it takes some care to release all the allocated resources, rather than leaving it to the OS to clean up.

For the moment, "not supported" means "may segfault or catch fire if you try to use it." In future these features will be properly disabled so that attempts to use them fail gracefully.


Birdisle is still in very early development, and is likely to still contain bugs and rough edges. Bug reports and pull requests are welcome.

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