Introduction to Redis

Python high-level scripting language

Python is popular scripting language that is used in a wide range of industries. We will be demonstrating how to use Redis in a Python application with the focus not becoming an expert in Python, but how to use Redis in a programming context with simple scripting support.

Exercise: Installing Python and

$ sudo apt-get install Python3.4
$ wget
$ tar xvf virtualenv-1.11.6.tar.gz
$ python3 virtualenv-1.11.6/ redis-test-env
$ source redis-test-env/bin/activate
(redis-test-env) $ pip install redis

Exercise: Using redis-py from the command-line

$ source redis-py-env/bin/activate
(redis-py-env) $ python
Python 3.4.0 (v3.4.0:04f714765c13, Mar 15 2014, 23:02:41) 
[GCC 4.2.1 (Apple Inc. build 5666) (dot 3)] on darwin
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import redis
>>> local_redis = redis.StrictRedis()
>>> local_redis.dbsize()

Exercise: Creating a Twitter Clone

We'll now use Python to create a small Twitter clone based upon the tutorial, Tutorial: Design and implementation of a simple Twitter clone using PHP and the Redis key-value store

The Redis Key structure for this Twitter Clone

Key Description Redis Data Type
next_user_id user id counter String
User:{ user_id } Each user key includes a user id based on the next_user_id and stores information related to the user, including username subkey. Hash
Users Contains a mapping between each User's username and user_id Hash
followers:{ user_id } Stores user ids for all of the users that following a particular user along with a timestamp score Sorted set
following:{ user_id } Stores user ids for all of the users that a particular user is following along with a timestamp score Sorted set
next_post_id post id counter String
post:{ post_id } Message, timestamp, and creating User for a single post Hash
posts:{ user_id } Posts from users that the User is following List

Create a User

>>> def add_user(username):
	user_id = local_redis.incr("next_user_id")
	user_key = "User:{}".format(user_id)
	local_redis.hset(user_key, "username", username)
	local_redis.hset("Users", username, user_id)
	return user_key
>>> first_user_key = add_user("dwallace")
>>> second_user_key = add_user("bbarker")
>>> print(first_user_key)

Add followers to a User

>>> def add_follower(user, follower):
	follower_key = "followers:{}".format(local_redis.hget('Users', user).decode())
	local_redis.zadd(follower_key, time.time(), local_redis.hget('Users', follower))
>>> add_follower('dwallace', 'bbarker')

Add following

def add_following(user, following_user):
	following_key = "following:{}".format(local_redis.hget('Users', user).decode())
                         local_redis.hget('Users', following_user))

Add a Post

def create_post(username, body):
	post_id = local_redis.incr("next_post_id")
	post_key = "post:{}".format(post_id)
	local_redis.hmset(post_key, {"user_id": local_redis.hget("Users", username),
				     "time": time.time(), 
                                     "body": body})
	followers = local_redis.zrange("followers:{}".format(
            local_redis.hget("Users", username).decode()),
	for follower_id in followers:
		posts_key = "posts:{}".format(follower_id.decode())
		local_redis.lpush(posts_key, post_id)
	return post_key

Retrieve all posts from users that a person is following

def get_my_posts(username):
	user_id = local_redis.hget("Users", username)
	posts_id = "posts:{}".format(user_id.decode())
	posts = local_redis.lrange(posts_id, 0, -1)
	for post_id in posts:
		post_key = "post:{}".format(post_id.decode())
		print("""{}:\n{}""".format(local_redis.hget(post_key, "user_id"),
					   local_redis.hget(post_key, "body")))


node.js server-side Javascript

The server-side Javascript framework, node.js (although there was recent major fork called io.js)

Exercise: Installing and setup of node.js

The first steps running node.js, is to download and install node.js and then install the recommended node.js client. We will also two other node modules, express and swig to build a simple website using Redis.

$ sudo apt-get install node.js
$ npm install hiredis redis
$ npm install express
$ npm install swig --save

Second, change directory to the node example directory and run the node.js application

$ cd introduction-to-redis/programming-redis
$ node server.js
Application Started on http://localhost:1337/

To see an existing Node.js project that uses Redis, checkout Amir Rajan's Todo Application at

$ git clone
$ cd nodejs-todo
$ npm install 

References and Resources

A Javascript server environment for creating web applications
Node Redis
The recommended redis client for Node.js
A popular dynamic programming language with a rich set of external modules
Mature and supported Python client for Redis.