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A Crash Course on Celluloid

Tony Acieri @bascule

Threads on Rails!

Sidekiq is main project using Celluloid

Combine OO and Actor model is like peanut butter and chocolate

Provides Active Objects based on Actor model

Actor model is easier than you think

Celluloid isn't the first attempt to combine OO and Actors

Another project is ATOM in Python

Forgotten approach to concurrency is OO and Actors

Celluloid makes it simple to write a concurrent program

There is a railscast on Celluloid

Synchronous calls are the same as normal Ruby calls

Asynchronous calls

  • schedule work to be execute
  • method returns nil and thread is free to continue
  • work is executed when the Actor gets around to it


  • When you care about response from Asynchronous call
  • Analogy is calling to a restaurant to order food before picking it up


  • Neatest feature!
  • Have group of Actors and you can schedule work inside of the Pool
  • Calculate things in parallel

Beware of the GIL
(see slides)