A simple Redis RDB file parser for Java
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A simple Redis RDB file parser for Java

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A simple Java library for parsing Redis RDB files.

This library does the minimal amount of work to read entries (e.g. a new DB selector, or a key/value pair with an expiry) from an RDB file, mostly limiting itself to returning byte arrays or lists of byte arrays for keys and values. The caller is responsible for application-level decisions such as how to interpret the contents of the returned byte arrays or what types of objects to instantiate from them.

For example, sorted sets and hashes are parsed as a flat list of value/score pairs and key/value pairs, respectively. Simple Redis values are parsed as a singleton. As expected, Redis lists and sets are parsed as lists of values.

Furthermore, this library performs lazy decoding of the packed encodings (ZipMap, ZipList, Hashmap as ZipList, Sorted Set as ZipList, and Intset) such that those are only decoded when needed. This allows the caller to efficiently skip over these entries or defer their decoding to a worker thread.

RDB files created by all versions of Redis through 4.0.x are supported (i.e., RDB versions 1 through 8). Redis modules, introduced in RDB version 8, are not currently supported. If you need them, please open an issue or a pull request.

To use this library, including the following dependency in your pom.xml.


Javadocs are available at javadoc.io/doc/net.whitbeck/rdb-parser/.

Example usage

Let's begin by creating a new Redis RDB dump file.

Start a server in the background, connect a client to it, a flush all existing data.

$ redis-server &
$ redis-cli> flushall

Now let's create some data structures. Let's start with a simple key/value pair with an expiry.> set foo bar> expire foo 3600

Then let's create a small hash and a sorted set.> hset myhash field1 val1> hset myhash field2 val2> zadd myset 1 one 2 two 2.5 two-point-five

Finally, let's save the dump to disk. This will create a dump.rdb file in the current directory.> save> exit
$ killall redis-server

Now let's see how to parse the dump.rdb file from Java.

import java.io.File;
import net.whitbeck.rdbparser.*;

public class RdbFilePrinter {

  public static void printRdbFile(File file) throws Exception {
    try (RdbParser parser = new RdbParser(file)) {
      Entry e;
      while ((e = parser.readNext()) != null) {
        switch (e.getType()) {

        case DB_SELECT:
          System.out.println("Processing DB: " + ((DbSelect)e).getId());

        case EOF:
          System.out.print("End of file. Checksum: ");
          for (byte b : ((Eof)e).getChecksum()) {
            System.out.print(String.format("%02x", b & 0xff));

        case KEY_VALUE_PAIR:
          System.out.println("Key value pair");
          KeyValuePair kvp = (KeyValuePair)e;
          System.out.println("Key: " + new String(kvp.getKey(), "ASCII"));
          if (kvp.hasExpiry()) {
            System.out.println("Expiry (ms): " + kvp.getExpiryMillis());
          System.out.println("Value type: " + kvp.getValueType());
          System.out.print("Values: ");
          for (byte[] val : kvp.getValues()) {
            System.out.print(new String(val, "ASCII") + " ");

Call this function on the dump.rdb file. The output will look like:

Processing DB: 0
Key value pair
Key: myset
Values: one 1 two 2 two-point-five 2.5
Key value pair
Key: myhash
Values: field1 val1 field2 val2
Key value pair
Key: foo
Expiry (ms): 1451518660934
Value type: VALUE
Values: bar
End of file. Checksum: 157e40ad49ef13f6


The most recent RDB format version is 8. The source of truth is the rdb.h file in the Redis repo. The following resources provide a good overview of the RDB format up to version 7 (as of December 2017).