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Resque (pronounced like "rescue") is a Redis-backed library for creating background jobs, placing those jobs on multiple queues, and processing them later.

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A note about branches

This branch is the master branch, which contains work towards Resque 2.0. If you're currently using Resque, you'll want to check out the 1-x-stable branch, and particularly its README, which is more accurate for the code you're running in production.

Also, this README is written first, so lots of things in here may not work the exact way that they say they might here. Yay 2.0!

Back to your regularly scheduled README.

You can't always do work right away. Sometimes, you need to do it later. Resque is a really simple way to manage a pile of work that your application needs to do: 1.5 million installs can't be wrong!

To define some work, make a job. Jobs need a work method:

class ImageConversionJob
  def work
    # convert some kind of image here

Next, we need to procrastinate! Let's put your job on the queue:

resque =
resque <<

Neat! This unit of work will be stored in Redis. We can spin up a worker to grab some work off of the queue and do the work:

bin/resque work

This process polls Redis, grabs any jobs that need to be done, and then does them. 🤘


To install Resque, add the gem to your Gemfile:

gem "resque", "~> 2.0.0.pre.1"

Then run bundle. If you're not using Bundler, just gem install resque.


Resque is used by a large number of people, across a diverse set of codebases. There is no official requirement other than Ruby newer than 1.8.7. We of course recommend Ruby 2.0.0, but test against many Rubies, as you can see from our .travis.yml.

We would love to support non-MRI Rubies, but they may have bugs. We would love some contributions to clear up failures on these Rubies, but they are set to allow failure in our CI.

We officially support Rails 2.3.x and newer, though we recommend that you're on Rails 3.2 or 4.

Backwards Compatibility

Resque uses SemVer, and takes it seriously. If you find an interface regression, please file an issue so that we can address it.

If you have previously used Resque 1.23, the transition to 2.0 shouldn't be too painful: we've tried to upgrade interfaces but leave semantics largely in place. Check out for detailed examples of what needs to be done.


What deserves to be a background job? Anything that's not always super fast. There are tons of stuff that a applications do does that fall under the 'not always fast' category:

  • Warming caches
  • Counting disk usage
  • Building tarballs
  • Firing off web hooks
  • Creating events in the db and pre-caching them
  • Building graphs
  • Deleting users

And it's not always web stuff, either. A command-line client application that does web scraping and crawling is a great use of jobs, too.

In Redis

Jobs are persisted in Redis via JSON serialization. Basically, the job looks like this:

    "class": "Email",
    "vars": {
      "to": "",
      "from": ""

When Resque fetches this job from Redis, it will do something like this:

json = fetch_json_from_redis

job = json["class"]
json["vars"].each {|k, v| job.instance_variable_set("@#{k}", v) }

Ta da! Simple.


When jobs fail, the failure is stored in Redis, too, so you can check them out and possibly re-queue them.


You can start up a worker with

$ bin/resque work

This will basically loop over and over, polling for jobs and doing the work. You can have workers work on a specific queue with the --queue option:

$ bin/resque work --queues=high,low
$ bin/resque work --queue=high

This starts two workers working on the high queue, one of which also polls the low queue.

You can control the length of the poll with interval:

$ bin/resque work --interval=1

Now workers will check for a new job every second. The default is 5.

Resque workers respond to a few different signals:

QUIT - Wait for child to finish processing then exit
TERM / INT - Immediately kill child then exit
USR1 - Immediately kill child but don't exit
USR2 - Don't start to process any new jobs
CONT - Start to process new jobs again after a USR2


You can configure Resque via a .resque file in the root of your project:


These act just like you passed them in to bin/resque work.

You can also configure

Hooks and Plugins

Coming soon.


Please see

Anything we missed?

If there's anything at all that you need or want to know, please email either the mailing list or Steve Klabnik and we'll get you sorted.


Resque is a Redis-backed Ruby library for creating background jobs, placing them on multiple queues, and processing them later.




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