A port of the LMAX Disruptor to the Go language.
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benchmark-channels Improving channel benchmarks. Jun 4, 2014
benchmark-disruptor Fixed test. #2 Mar 19, 2015
example Testing multiple reservations. Jun 5, 2014
.gitignore Removed unnecessary decoration of constants with specific type; remov… May 17, 2014
LICENSE Added license; updated TODO; renamed readme. Jun 4, 2014
README.md Updated benchmarks. Mar 19, 2015
TODO Added license; updated TODO; renamed readme. Jun 4, 2014
barrier.go Stubbed out primitive working copy of Disruptor. May 29, 2014
composite_barrier.go Added additional tests; removed obsolete implementation of the Compos… Jun 3, 2014
composite_barrier_test.go Added composite barrier; added constants. Jun 3, 2014
consumer.go Updated TODO. Jun 12, 2014
cursor.go Added TODOs. Jun 3, 2014
cursor_386.go Adding processor-specific behavior. Jun 3, 2014
cursor_amd64.go Adding processor-specific behavior. Jun 3, 2014
cursor_arm.go Adding processor-specific behavior. Jun 3, 2014
cursor_test.go Added TODOs. Jun 3, 2014
disruptor.go Completed simple wireup (without wait strategies) for single-writer D… Jun 4, 2014
reader.go test/debug code. Dec 21, 2015
shared_disruptor.go Added wireup for SharedDisruptor; updated benchmarks; updated README … Jun 4, 2014
shared_writer.go test/debug code. Dec 21, 2015
shared_writer_barrier.go Added SharedWriter; added various benchmark tests. Jun 3, 2014
wireup.go Added wireup for SharedDisruptor; updated benchmarks; updated README … Jun 4, 2014
writer.go Yielding the goroutine. Mar 19, 2015
writer_386.go Adding processor-specific behavior. Jun 3, 2014
writer_amd64.go Adding processor-specific behavior. Jun 3, 2014
writer_arm.go Adding processor-specific behavior. Jun 3, 2014
writer_test.go Added composite barrier; added constants. Jun 3, 2014



Disruptor Overview

This is a port of the LMAX Disruptor into the Go programming language. It retains the essence and spirit of the Disruptor and utilizes a lot of the same abstractions and concepts, but does not maintain the same API.

On my MacBook Pro (Intel Core i7-4960HQ CPU @ 2.60GHz) using Go 1.4.2, I was able to push over 900 million messages per second (yes, you read that right) from one goroutine to another goroutine. The message being transferred between the two CPU cores was a simple, incrementing number, but literally could be anything. Note that your mileage may vary and that different operating systems can introduce significant “jitter” into the application by taking control of the CPU and invalidating the various CPU caches. Linux and Windows have the ability to assign a given process to specific CPU cores which reduces jitter significantly by keeping all the CPU caches hot. Parenthetically, when the Disruptor code is compiled and run on a Nexus 5, it can push about 15-20 million messages per second.

Once initialized and running, one of the preeminent design considerations of the Disruptor is to process messages at a constant rate. It does this using two primary techniques. First, it avoids using locks at all costs which cause contention between CPU cores prevents true scalability. Secondly, it produces no garbage by allowing the application to preallocate sequential space on a ring buffer. By avoiding garbage, the need for a garbage collection and the stop-the-world application pauses introduced can be almost entirely avoided.

The current channel implementation maintains a big, fat lock around enqueue/dequeue operations and maxes out on the aforementioned hardware at about 25M messages per second for uncontended access—more than an order of magnitude slower when compared to the Disruptor. The same channel, when contended between OS threads (GOMAXPROCS=2 or more) only pushes about 7 million messages per second.

Example Usage


runtime.GOMAXPROCS(2) // make sure we have enough cores available to execute

const RingBufferCapacity = 1024 // must be a power of 2
const RingBufferMask = RingBufferCapacity - 1

// this instance will be shared among producers and consumers of this application
var ringBuffer = [RingBufferCapacity]MyStruct{}

myDisruptor := disruptor.
    WithConsumerGroup(MyConsumer{}). // we can have a set of concurrent consumers run first
    // WithConsumerGroup(MyConsumer{}). // and then run this/these consumers after the first set of consumers
    BuildShared() // Build() = single producer vs BuildShared() = multiple producers

defer myDisruptor.Stop() // clean shutdown which stops all idling consumers after all published items have been consumed

// application code here, e.g. listen to HTTP, read from a network socket, etc.


writer := myDisruptor.Writer()

// for each item received from a network socket, e.g. UDP packets, HTTP request, etc. etc.
sequence := writer.Reserve(1) // reserve 1 slot on the ring buffer and give me the upper-most sequence of the reservation

// this could be written like this: ringBuffer[sequence%RingBufferCapacity] but the Mask and & operator is faster.
ringBuffer[sequence&RingBufferMask].MyImportStructData = ... // data from network stream

writer.Commit(sequence, sequence) // the item is ready to be consumed


type MyConsumer struct{}

func (m MyConsumer) Consume(lowerSequence, upperSequence int64) {
    for sequence := lowerSequence; sequence <= upperSequence; sequence++ {

        message := ringBuffer[sequence&RingBufferMask] // see performance note on producer sample above

        // handle the incoming message with your application code

Granted, this may look significantly more complex than a typical channel implementation—it definitely involves a few extra steps. When removing all the comments and extra fluff to explain what's happening, the code is very concise. In fact, a given "Publish" only takes three lines—Reserve a slot, update the ring buffer at that slot, and Commit the reserved sequence range. On the consumer side, there's a for-loop to handle all incoming items into your application. Again, not as short as a channel (nor as flexible as a channel), but much, much faster.


Each of the following benchmark tests sends an incrementing sequence message from one goroutine to another. The receiving goroutine asserts that the message is received is the expected incrementing sequence value. Any failures cause a panic. Unless otherwise noted, all tests were run using GOMAXPROCS=2.

MacBook Pro 15" Retina, Mid 2014
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-4960HQ @ 2.60 Ghz
  • Operation System: OS X 10.10.2
  • Go Runtime: Go 1.4.2
  • Go Architecture: amd64
Scenario Per Operation Time
Channels: Buffered, Blocking, GOMAXPROCS=1 58.6 ns
Channels: Buffered, Blocking, GOMAXPROCS=2 86.6 ns
Channels: Buffered, Blocking, GOMAXPROCS=3, Contended Write 194 ns
Channels: Buffered, Non-blocking, GOMAXPROCS=1 26.4 ns
Channels: Buffered, Non-blocking, GOMAXPROCS=2 29.2 ns
Channels: Buffered, Non-blocking, GOMAXPROCS=3, Contended Write 110 ns
Disruptor: Writer, Reserve One 4.3 ns
Disruptor: Writer, Reserve Many 1.0 ns
Disruptor: Writer, Reserve One, Multiple Readers 4.5 ns
Disruptor: Writer, Reserve Many, Multiple Readers 0.9 ns
Disruptor: Writer, Await One 3.0 ns
Disruptor: Writer, Await Many 0.7 ns
Disruptor: SharedWriter, Reserve One 13.6 ns
Disruptor: SharedWriter, Reserve Many 2.5 ns
Disruptor: SharedWriter, Reserve One, Contended Write 56.9 ns
Disruptor: SharedWriter, Reserve Many, Contended Write 3.1 ns
Nexus 5
  • CPU: Quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait 400
  • Operation System: Android 4.4.2
  • Go Runtime: Go 1.2.2
  • Go Architecture: arm v7
Scenario Per Operation Time
Disruptor: Writer, Reserve One 137 ns

When In Doubt, Use Channels

Despite Go channels being significantly slower than the Disruptor, channels should still be considered the easiest, best, and most desirable choice for the vast majority of all use cases. The Disruptor's target use case is ultra-low latency environments where application response times are measured in nanoseconds and where stable, consistent latency is paramount and latency spikes cannot be tolerated.


This code is currently experimental (pre-Alpha stage) and is not supported or recommended for production environments. That being said, it has been run non-stop for days without exposing any race conditions. It does not have any unit tests and is only meant serve as spike code to and a proof of concept that the Disruptor is possible on the Go runtime despite some of the limits imposed by the Go memory model. The goal is to have an alpha release sometime in June 2014 and a series of beta releases during the months thereafter until we are satisfied. Following this, a release will be created and supported moving forward.

We are very interested to receive feedback on this project and how performance can be improved using subtle techniques such as additional cache line padding, memory alignment, utilizing a pointer vs a struct in a given location, replacing less optimal techniques with more optimal ones, especially in the performance critical paths of Reserve/Commit in the various Writers and Receive/Commit in the Reader


One last caveat worth noting. In the Java-based Disruptor implementation, a ring buffer is created, preallocated, and prepopulated with instances of the class which serve as the message type to be transferred between threads. Because Go lacks generics, we have opted to not interact with ring buffers at all within the library code. This has the benefit of avoiding an unnecessary type conversions ("casts") during the receipt of a given message from type interface{} to a concrete type. It also means that it is the responsibility of the application developer to create and populate their particular ring buffer during application wireup. Pre-populating the ring buffer at startup should ensure contiguous memory allocation for all items in the various ring buffer slots, whereas on-the-fly creation may introduce gaps in the memory allocation and subsequent CPU cache misses which introduce latency spikes.

The reference to the ring buffer can easily be scoped as a package-level variable. The reason for this is that any given application should have very few Disruptor instances. The instances are designed to be created at startup and stopped during shutdown. They are not typically meant to be created adhoc and passed around like channel instances. In any case, it is the responsibility of the application developer to manage references to the ring buffer instances such that the producer can push messages in and the consumers can receive messages out.

Vendoring and Dependency Management

Because the Disruptor will ultimately be library code and may itself be used by other libraries over which you have little to no control over the source code (e.g. logging libraries, etc.), it is highly recommended to vendor the Disruptor directly into your application or library workspace. The Disruptor will be maintained as a single package. Vendoring this package directly (once we reach a stable release) will allow the calling code to work with a specific and known version of the Disruptor. Without vendoring, it's very possible for another library or application to utilize the Disruptor but perhaps depend upon a slightly different version as compared to your code. By vendoring, such a complex dependency chain is avoided because each library ultimately compiled into the application will have it's own, unique copy of the Disruptor source at the particular version it requires. Apart from copying the source code directly, it may be worthwhile to utilize a technique such as Git subtrees to enable vendoring in your specific environment.