Erlang Redis client
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Redis client with a focus on performance. Eredis also supports AUTH and SELECT.


If you have Redis running on localhost, with default settings, you may copy and paste the following into a shell to try out Eredis:

git clone git://
cd eredis
./rebar compile
erl -pa ebin/
{ok, C} = eredis:start_link().
{ok, <<"OK">>} = eredis:q(C, ["SET", "foo", "bar"]).
{ok, <<"bar">>} = eredis:q(C, ["GET", "foo"]).


KeyValuePairs = ["key1", "value1", "key2", "value2", "key3", "value3"].
{ok, <<"OK">>} = eredis:q(C, ["MSET" | KeyValuePairs]).
{ok, Values} = eredis:q(C, ["MGET" | ["key1", "key2", "key3"]]).

EUnit tests:

./rebar eunit


Eredis has only one function to interact with redis, which is eredis:q(Client::pid(), Command::iolist()). The response will either be {ok, Value::binary()} or {error, Message::binary()}. The value is always the binary value returned by Redis, without any type conversion.

To start the client, use eredis:start_link/0 or eredis:start_link/4. start_link/4 takes the following arguments:

  • Host, dns name or ip adress as string
  • Port, integer
  • Password, string or empty string([]) for no password
  • Database, integer or 0 for default database

Reconnecting on Redis down / network failure / timeout / etc

When Eredis for some reason looses the connection to Redis, Eredis will keep trying to reconnect until a connection is successfully established, which includes the AUTH and SELECT calls. The sleep time between attempts to reconnect is 100 milliseconds.

As long as the connection is down, Eredis will respond to any request immediately with {error, no_connection} without actually trying to connect. This serves as a kind of circuit breaker and prevents a stampede of clients just waiting for a failed connection attempt or gen_server:call timeout.

Note: If Eredis is starting up and cannot connect, it will fail immediately with {connection_error, Reason}.


Eredis also implements the AUTH and SELECT calls for you. When the client is started with something else than default values for password and database, it will issue the AUTH and SELECT commands appropriately, even when reconnecting after a timeout.


Using basho_bench( you may benchmark Eredis on your own hardware using the provided config and driver. See priv/basho_bench_driver_eredis.config and src/basho_bench_driver_eredis.erl.


Eredis uses the same queueing mechanism as Erldis. eredis:q/2 uses gen_server:call/2 to do a blocking call to the client gen_server. The client will immediately send the request to Redis, add the caller to the queue and reply with noreply. This frees the gen_server up to accept new requests and parse responses as they come on the socket.

When data is received on the socket, we call eredis_parser:parse/2 until it returns a value, we then use gen_server:reply/2 to reply to the first process waiting in the queue.

This queueing mechanism works because Redis guarantees that the response will be in the same order as the requests.

Response parsing

The response parser is the biggest difference between Eredis and other libraries like Erldis, redis-erl and redis_pool. The common approach is to either directly block or use active once to get the first part of the response, then repeatedly use gen_tcp:recv/2 to get more data when needed. Profiling identified this as a bottleneck, in particular for MGET and HMGET.

To be as fast as possible, Eredis takes a different approach. The socket is always set to active once, which will let us receive data fast without blocking the gen_server. The tradeoff is that we must parse partial responses, which makes the parser more complex.

In order to make multibulk responses more efficient, the parser will parse all data available and continue where it left off when more data is available.

Future improvements

When the parser is accumulating data, a new binary is generated for every call to parse/2. This might create binaries that will be reference counted. This could be improved by replacing it with an iolist.

When parsing bulk replies, the parser knows the size of the bulk. If the bulk is big and would come in many chunks, this could improved by having the client explicitly use gen_tcp:recv/2 to fetch the entire bulk at once.


Although this project is almost a complete rewrite, many patterns are the same as you find in Erldis, most notably the queueing of requests.

create_multibulk/1 and to_binary/1 were taken verbatim from Erldis.