This post was written for Nodejitsu blog and is crossposted here. Nodejitsu loved what I was doing at and is now supporting the project.

redislock (GitHub: danielstjules/redislock, License: MIT) by Daniel St. Jules is a module for distributed locking powered by Redis. This utility is very helpful when you are building a distributed application, or even a basic CPU cluster to take advantage of multiple cores. One of the cool features is ability to set maximum number of retries and amount of time between them.

npm install redislock


Locking is performed using the following redis command:

SET key uuid PX timeout NX

If the SET returns OK, the lock has been acquired on the given key, and an expiration has been set. Then, releasing a lock uses the following redis script:

if'GET', KEYS[1]) == ARGV[1] then
  return'DEL', KEYS[1])
return 0

This ensures that the key is deleted only if it is currently holding the lock, by passing its UUID as an argument.

Example below creates a lock and then tries to acquire it second time. The second attempt will fail.

var redis = require('redis');
var redislock = require('redislock');

var client = redis.createClient();
var lock = redislock.createLock(client, {
  timeout: 20000,
  retries: 3,
  delay: 100

function doStuff(done) {
  lock.acquire('my:lock-name', function (err) {
    if (err) {
      console.log('Failed to get a lock...', err.message);

    // tring to get the same lock second time will trigger an error. 

    lock.release(function (err) {
      console.log('Do work here...');

doStuff(function() {
  console.log('Done working...');

What Else?

Checkout the runnable example and github example repository.