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Jacob Atzen
Jacob Atzen If config file invalid print a nice message and exit
If the config file doesn't contain a starling section or is not a hash
exit with an error message indicating the problem instead of simply
putting a backtrace in the users face.
Latest commit 68aa68a Oct 17, 2008



Starling - a light weight server for reliable distributed message passing.


Starling is a powerful but simple messaging server that enables reliable distributed queuing with an absolutely minimal overhead. It speaks the MemCache protocol for maximum cross-platform compatibility. Any language that speaks MemCache can take advantage of Starling's queue facilities.


This fork of the Starling source is hosted at GitHub and can be found at:


The original source was to be found at RubyForge but no longer exists there.

GitHub serves gems prefixed by a username to differentiate different forks.
This project can be installed with:

gem sources -a http://gems.github.com/

# As often as you like
sudo gem install starling-starling

See http://gems.github.com/ if you want more info about GitHub and gems.

Quick Start Usage

# View the Starling help and usage message
starling --help

# In a console window start the Starling server.  By default
# it runs verbosely in the foreground, listening on
# and stores its files under /tmp/starling:

# In a new console test the put and get of messages on a queue:

>> require 'starling'
=> true
>> starling = Starling.new('')
=> MemCache: 1 servers, 1 buckets, ns: nil, ro: false
>> starling.set('my_queue', 12345)
=> nil
>> starling.get('my_queue')
=> 12345

# You can do a simple loop over a queue with something like:
>> loop { puts starling.get('my_queue'); sleep 1 }

For more information run the following in a new console:

'gem server'

This will start a gem server on http://localhost:8808/ which you can view in your
browser to see the RDocs for the gem. Or generate rdocs by running the following
in a new console:


Using fiveruns memcache-client

memcache-client from fiveruns has a couple of fixed added like supporting failover and retry on failure. This fork of the memcache-client source is hosted at GitHub and can be found at:


It can be installed using:

# THIS COMMAND ONE TIME ONLY gem sources -a gems.github.com/

# As often as you like sudo gem install fiveruns-memcache-client

Known Issues

  • Starling is “slow” as far as messaging systems are concerned. In practice, it's fast enough.


  • Implement memcached instead of memcache as a client interface (to make it faster)


  • Blaine Cook <romeda@gmail.com>

  • Chris Wanstrath <chris@ozmm.org>

  • AnotherBritt <?>

  • Glenn Rempe <?>

  • Abdul-Rahman Advany <abdulrahman@advany.com>


Starling - a light-weight server for reliable distributed message passing. Copyright 2007-2008 Blaine Cook <blaine@twitter.com>, Twitter Inc.