Red Skull is a Sentinel management system
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What Is Red Skull?

Red Skull is a Sentinel management system. It is designed to run on each sentinel node you operate and provide a single, yet distributed, mechanism for managing Sentinel as well as interacting with it.


Written in Go, Red Skull runs on each Sentinel and bootstraps itself from that Sentinel's configuration file. It will then interrogate any known-sentinel directives as well as run `setinel sentinels for each pod found in the config file. It essentially crawls through your Sentinel constellation and discovers all sentinels, masters, and slaves.

It then provides a decent web interface for viewing and managing your sentinels, and by proxy the Redis instances under management. It introduces some new concepts/terminology and these will be explained in the documentation tree.

In addition to the front end Red Skull provides an HTTP/JSON REST-like interface for interacting with programmaticly. Adding the redis Sentinel API as another interface is planned as well.

Better Documentation

You can find better guides to redskull at Redskull.IO.

Current State

Can you use it for "production use". Yes. Will it destroy your setup? Not likely. Some of the truly destructive things are disabled, even. Yup, a bit paranoid sometimes. :)

Most of the things you can do in the web UI are also available in the JSON+HTTP API but there may be some new functionality I've not yet added to the API.

Refactor Update

Ultimately I was displeased with certain aspects of the system and newer services have come out which can offload some of the distributed systems type code. This I am currently refactoring Redskull into two main components: an "agent" which runs on the Sentinel nodes, and a "controller" which you can run anywhere. Tying these together will be Hashicorp's Consul and eventually Vault as an optional integration.

The way it will work is that the redskull-agent piece will run on Sentinels and serve to load known pods into consul, update Consul with information as they change, and be an RPC service for the controller to fetch auth informtion for pods.

The controller will be a process which runs wherever you want (and as many as needed for load balancing and availability). It will keep theexisting functionality of being a front-end and API server. It is where the "business logic" of running Sentinel+Redis pods will live.

This controller refactor will be taking place on a dedicated branch. This will allow the existing code to keep working as before until it is ready for the switch. However, the name has changed to redskull-controller to reflect both the future and recognition of what it is.

This refactor will also allow me to add in plugin functionality for deploying Redis nodes via tools such as Nomad and Docker, and have them available in the interface for inclusion in the suite.


As RS is written in Go you need Go installed. Once cloned, you will need to install a few dependencies:

  • go get ""
  • go get ""
  • go get ""
  • go get ""
  • go get ""

Then you can execute go build in the redskull-controller directory.


Assuming you have Git and Go (sounds like a techie oriented convenience store - "the Git and Go") installed, installing Red Skull is fairly simple. The dependencies are listed in the Godeps file.

go get

And there should be a binary at $GOPATH/bin/redskull-controller with the source in the usual location.

Now, assuming you have a sentinel config at /etc/redis/sentinel.conf, it will be up and running on localhost port 8000.

There is also a Makefile now. Targets are "redskull" "dist-tar", and "docker-image".

Running Red Skull

Red Skull expects to find the sentinel config file in /etc/redis/sentinel.conf. You can, however, alter this by the setting the environment variable REDSKULL_SENTINELCONFIGFILE.

RS currently expects the html directory to be in the same location as the binary. For example you can do create a directory named /usr/redskull, place the redskull binary in it, and copy the html directory to it, then launch ./redskull and it should work. You'll find it running on port 8000, Alternatively you can configure the location of the HTML directory via REDSKULL_TEMPLATEDIRECTORY,

Calling the API

Err, for now look in main.go to see the URLs and whether you need to do a GET, PUT, DEL, or POST for that call. Most of it is pretty simple. I've just not documented it yet as I prefer to do it once things stabilize. If you want to help get that jumpstarted pull requests are welcome. :)

Can you use it for "production use"? Yes. Will it destroy your setup? Not likely. It only executes read-only commands unless you click the button to make a change.