Hibari is a production-ready, distributed, ordered key-value, big data store. Hibari uses chain replication for strong consistency, high-availability, and durability. Hibari has excellent performance especially for read and large value operations.
Clone or download


Welcome to Hibari

A Distributed, Consistent, Ordered Key-Value Store

Hibari is a distributed, ordered key-value store with strong consistency guarantee. Hibari is written in Erlang and designed for being:

  • Fast, Read Optimized: Hibari serves read and write requests in short and predictable latency. Hibari has excellent performance especially for read and large value operations

  • High Bandwidth: Batch and lock-less operations help to achieve high throughput while ensuring data consistency and durability

  • Big Data: Can store Peta Bytes of data by automatically distributing data across servers. The largest production Hibari cluster spans across 100 of servers

  • Reliable: High fault tolerance by replicating data between servers. Data is repaired automatically after a server failure

Hibari is able to deliver scalable high performance that is competitive with leading open source NOSQL (Not Only SQL) storage systems, while also providing the data durability and strong consistency that many systems lack. Hibari's performance relative to other NOSQL systems is particularly strong for reads and for large value (> 200KB) operations.

As one example of real-world performance, in a multi-million user webmail deployment equipped with traditional HDDs (non SSDs), Hibari is processing about 2,200 transactions per second, with read latencies averaging between 1 and 20 milliseconds and write latencies averaging between 20 and 80 milliseconds.

Distinct Features

Unlike many other distributed databases, Hibari uses "chain replication methodology" and delivers distinct features.

  • Ordered Key-Values: Data is distributed across "chains" by key prefixes, then keys within a chain are sorted by lexicographic order

  • Always Guarantees Strong Consistency: This simplifies creation of robust client applications

    • Compare and Swap (CAS): key timestamping mechanism that facilitates "test-and-set" type operations
    • Micro-Transaction: multi-key atomic transactions, within range limits
  • Custom Metadata: per-key custom metadata

  • TTL (Time To Live): per-key expiration times

Travis CI Status


Branch Erlang/OTP Versions Status Remarks
master 17.5, R16B03-1 master
dev 18.1, 17.5, R16B03-1 dev
hibari-gh54-thrift-api 18.1, 17.5, R16B03-1 hibari-gh54-thrift-api
gbrick-gh17-redesign-disk-storage 18.1, 17.5 gbrick-gh17-redesign-disk-storage no tests, compile only


  • Apr 5, 2015 - Hibari v0.1.11 Released. Release Notes

    • Update for Erlang/OTP 17 and R16. (Note: Erlang/OTP releases prior to R16 are no longer supported)
    • Update external libraries such as UBF to the latest versions
    • Enhanced client API: server side rename and server side timestamp
    • New logging format. Introduce Basho Lager for more traditional logging that plays nicely with Unix logging tools like logrotate and syslog
  • Feb 4, 2013 - Hibari v0.1.10 Released. Release Notes

    • A bug fix in Python EBF Client
    • Update for Erlang/OTP R15
    • Support for building on Ubuntu, including ARMv7 architecture
    • Remove S3 and JSON-RPC components from Hibari distribution. They will become separate projects
  • Older News

Quick Start

Please read Getting Started section of Hibari Application Developer Guide.

Hibari Documentation

They are a bit outdated -- sorry, but documentation rework is planned for Hibari v0.6.

Mailing Lists

Hibari Clients

As of Hibari v0.1 (since year 2010), only the native Erlang client is used in production. All other client APIs (Thrift, JSON-RPC, UBF, and S3) are still in proof of concept stage and only implement basic operations.

If you need a client library for other programming language, please feel free to post a request at the Hibari mailing list.

Supported Platforms

Hibari is written in pure Erlang/OTP and runs on many Unix/Linux platforms.

Please see the Supported Platforms page in Hibari Wiki for details.


Please see the Roadmap page in Hibari Wiki for the planned features for Hibari v0.3, v0.5, and v0.6.

Hibari's Origins

Hibari was originally written by Cloudian, Inc., formerly Gemini Mobile Technologies, to support mobile messaging and email services. Hibari was open-sourced under the Apache Public License version 2.0 in July 2010.

Hibari has been deployed by multiple telecom carriers in Asia and Europe. Hibari may lack some features such as monitoring, event and alarm management, and other "production environment" support services. Since telecom operator has its own data center support infrastructure, Hibari's development has not included many services that would be redundant in a carrier environment.

We hope that Hibari's release to the open source community will close those functional gaps as Hibari spreads outside of carrier data centers.

What does Hibari mean?

The word "Hibari" means skylark in Japanese; the Kanji characters stand for "cloud bird".


Copyright (c) 2005-2017 Hibari developers.  All rights reserved.

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at


Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.

Note for License

Hibari has decided to display "Hibari developers" as the copyright holder name in the source code files and manuals. Actual copyright holder names (contributors) will be listed in the AUTHORS file.