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Jack is a simple client library for Beanstalk server written in PHP. it allows to use the complete functionality of Beanstalk server. its task is to provide understandable API and stay as simple as can be.

Beanstalk is a simple, fast work queue server. for more information about Beanstalk see:

Jack is based on a minimalistic client by David Peterson:


PHP 5.3, no other libraries needed

if you want to use it in PHP 5.2, just delete the namespace


there are two types of clients working with a queue. those who insert jobs in queue - producers, and those who take jobs from it - workers. both of them use the same client class

for a quick start, just instantiate Jack\BeanstalkClient. if Beanstalk runs on localhost and standard port, there is no need to setup. client will connect automatically when needed. default settings are:

port: 11300
timeout: 1 [s]
persistent: TRUE

you can change this settings in constructor

producer can open connection and insert a job in "default" queue this way:

$client = new Jack\BeanstalkClient;
$client->queue("some job data");

worker will then assign a job and finish it:

$client = new Jack\BeanstalkClient;
$job = $client->assign();

// do something with $job['body']


on errors the client throws Jack\BeanstalkException or \InvalidArgumentException

Job lifecycle

typical job lifecycle:

 queue            assign                finish
-------> [READY] ---------> [ASSIGNED] --------> *poof*

lifecycle with more possibilities:

 queue (+delay)              release (+delay)
----------------> [DELAYED] <------------.
                      |                   |
                      | (time passes)     |
                      |                   |
 queue                v     assign        |       finish
-----------------> [READY] ---------> [ASSIGNED] --------> *poof*
                     ^  ^                |  |
                     |   \  release      |  |
                     |    `-------------'   |
                     |                      |
                     | restore              |
                     |                      |
                     |            suspend   |
                  [SUSPENDED] <-------------'
                     |  delete
                      `--------> *poof*

Jacks terminology differs from the official protocol in some cases. see protocol documentation for more info:



void __construct([$host], [$port], [$timeout], [$persistent])

self setDefaultPriority($priority) - default priority for inserted jobs (default is 1024)

self setDefaultDelay($delay) - default delay for inserted jobs in seconds (default is 0)

self setDefaultTimeToRun($timeToRun) - default time to run for inserted jobs in seconds (default is 60)

void quit() - close connection

producer basics:

self selectQueue(string $queue) - selects queue in which jobs will be inserted

self queue(string $data, [int $delay], [int $priority], [int $timeToRun]) - insert a job in the queue

worker basics:

self watchQueue(string $queue) - select queue for requesting jobs. more queues can be watched at a time, but at least one

self ignoreQueue(string $queue) - remove the queue from watched ones

array assign([int $timeout]) - assign a job from the queue. returns array(int $job, string $data)

self finish(int $jobId) - finish a job. job will be deleted from the queue

self delete(int $jobId) - alias for finish

self touch($jobId) - will prevent a job from runing out of time. touch will reset the timeToRun clock, so the worker has more time before job is returned back to queue

self release(int $jobId, [int $priority], [int $delay]) - return an assigned job to the queue (can be assigned by other wotker then)

self suspend(int $jobId, [int $priority]) - return the job, but prevent it from being assigned again. this can be used in situatins, when a job causes an error and must be investigated before continuing

int restore(int $number) - will restore $number suspended jobs. the can be now assigned to worker again

self pauseQueue(string $queue, int $delay) - if jobs in a queue cannot be finished (eg. some service is temporarily unavailable), the whole queue can be paused for some time


string getSelectedQueue() - get name of queue currently selected for inserting jobs

array getWatchedQueues() - get list of watched queues

array getQueues() - get a list of all queues on server

array showJob(int $jobId, [bool $stats]) - show a job by its id. returns array(int $job, string $data, [array $stats])

array showNextReadyJob([bool $stats]) - show next ready job. returns as above…

array showNextDelayedJob([bool $stats]) - show the job with the shortest delay left

array showNextSuspendedJob([bool $stats]) - show the next job in the list of suspended jobs

array getJobStats(int $jobId) - get statistical information about a job

array getQueueStats(string $queue) - get statistical information about a queue

array getServerStats() - get statistical information about the server

for information on statistics see the Beanstalk protocol documentation:


$data can be also other type than string. other types will be automatically serialized on inserting and deserialized on reading

$delay can be also a DateTime object representing the time, when job will be ready for assigning

$priority is an integer between 0 and 2^32. the lower the priority is the sooner the job will be assigned. priority under 1024 means "urgent"

$timeToRun represents maximal time a job can be assigned. after this time the worker is considered to be stuck and job is returned to queue. worker can prevent this by "touching" the job periodically

for more information read the Jack source codes


Vlasta Neubauer,!/paranoiq


Beanstalk queue client



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