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LICENSE Initial source commit Feb 8, 2012

pykeeper: Higher-level bindings for ZooKeeper

No longer maintained, supersceded by Kazoo:

The aim of this project is providing a higher level API over the official low level Python ZooKeeper bindings (zkpython).

For django support see djkeeper.


* Automatic reconnection
* Recursive delete
* Recursive create
* Cached versions of: [get (cached_get), get_children (cached_get_children), exists (cached_exists)]
* Easy handling and masking of temporary disconnects/reconnects.


Either install the latest relase from PYPI:

$ pip install pykeeper

... or get the latest development version from GitHub:

$ pip install

Additionally, pykeeper requires a working installation of the official low level Python ZooKeeper bindings. These can either be built from source (recommended, explanation below), or you could install the statically compiled version zc-zookeeper-static) from PYPI, which may or may not work on your architecture/OS, and may or may not be the latest available ZooKeeper version.

Installing ZooKeeper on OS X (homebrew)

If you don't have homebrew, follow the Linux installation below, skipping "ldconfig", otherwise, use homebrew to install zookeeper with the --python flag:

$ brew install --python zookeeper

Installing ZooKeeper on Linux

Download and unpack the latest release of ZooKeeper from

$ tar -zxvf zookeeper-3.4.2.tar.gz

Build the C bindings:

$ cd zookeeper-3.4.2/src/c
$ ./configure --prefix=/usr/local
$ make
$ sudo make install
$ ldconfig

Build and install the python bindings:

$ cd ../contrib/zkpython
$ ant install

Running the test-suite

The test suite assumes you have a ZooKeeper server running on localhost:22181:

$ cd example
$ export ZOOCFGDIR=$(pwd) zkServer start-foreground

zkServer / is found in the ZooKeeper installation directory.

The tests can then be run via the script:

$ python nosetests -with-doctest --verbosity=2

Example usage

$ python
>>> import pykeeper

# (optional) redirect zookeeper logging to the python "logging" package, using the "zookeeper" logger.
#   doing this prevents zookeeper from writing a lot of garbage to sys.stderr, and makes enables handling
#   the logging output via the default python logging facilities. this behaviour is optional and can be
#   switched off at any time later by calling pykeeper.uninstall_log_stream()
>>> pykeeper.install_log_stream()

# Create a ZooKeeper client and connect:
>>> client = pykeeper.ZooKeeper('localhost:22181')
>>> client.connect()

>>> client.get_children('/')

# creating a node:
>>> client.create_recursive('/bar/baz', '{"ok": true}')
>>> client.get_children('/')
['bar', 'zookeeper']
>>> bool(client.exists('/bar/baz'))
>>> client.get_children('/bar')
>>> client.get('/bar/baz')
('{"ok": true}', {'pzxid': 3620L, 'ctime': 1328717487776L, 'aversion': 0, 'mzxid': 3620L, 'numChildren': 0, 'ephemeralOwner': 0L, 'version': 0, 'dataLength': 12, 'mtime': 1328717487776L, 'cversion': 0, 'czxid': 3620L})

# delete the node:
>>> client.delete_recursive('/bar')
>>> bool(client.exists('/bar'))
>>> client.get_children('/')
['foo', 'zookeeper']

# since the node does not exist, trying to get its data raises an exception:
>>> client.get('/bar')
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
  File "pykeeper/", line 176, in get
    return zookeeper.get(self.handle, path, self._wrap_watcher(watcher))
zookeeper.NoNodeException: no node

Handling transient connection errors/losses

If we lose connection to the ZooKeeper server, calls on the client will raise an exception:

>>> client.get('/')
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
  File "pykeeper/", line 176, in get
    return zookeeper.get(self.handle, path, self._wrap_watcher(watcher))
zookeeper.ConnectionLossException: connection loss

We can wait until the connection is re-established by calling client.wait_until_connected() with an optional timeout. The default timeout is None, which means the call will block until the connection is re-established:

>>> client.state_name
>>> client.wait_until_connected()
>>> client.state_name

If the connection is not re-established before the timeout occurs, a TimeoutException is raised:

>>> client.state_name
>>> client.wait_until_connected(timeout=10)
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
  File "pykeeper/", line 130, in wait_until_connected
    raise TimeoutException()
>>> client.state_name


Q: Why do I get a TypeError when I call any functions on the client?

A: Most likely, you attempted to do something along the following lines:

>>> import pykeeper
>>> client = pykeeper.ZooKeeper('localhost:22181')
>>> client.get_children('/')
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
  File "pykeeper/", line 153, in get_children
    return zookeeper.get_children(self.handle, path, self._wrap_watcher(watcher))
TypeError: an integer is required

The problem is that you forgot to call client.connect() before using the client:

>>> import pykeeper
>>> client = pykeeper.ZooKeeper('localhost:22181')
>>> client.connect()
>>> client.get_children('/')

As usual, consider calling client.wait_until_connected(timeout=...) before using the client to ensure that the client has had time to connect to the ZooKeeper ensemble.

Q: I'm creating a multiple clients, and I seem to be leaking memory.

A: Always close clients you are not going to use any more by calling client.close(). Another solution is to re-use the clients instead of creating a new one every time you need one.


Currently, only the synchronous parts of the API is implemented.


MIT licensed, see LICENSE for details.

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