Install Redis

Install Redis on Linux, macOS, and Windows

This is a an installation guide. You'll learn how to install, run, and experiment with the Redis server process.

While you can install Redis on any of the platforms listed below, you might also consider using Redis Cloud by creating a free account.

Install Redis

How you install Redis depends on your operating system and whether you'd like to install it bundled with Redis Stack and Redis UI. See the guide below that best fits your needs:

Refer to Redis Administration for detailed setup tips.

Test if you can connect using the CLI

After you have Redis up and running, you can connect using redis-cli.

External programs talk to Redis using a TCP socket and a Redis specific protocol. This protocol is implemented in the Redis client libraries for the different programming languages. However, to make hacking with Redis simpler, Redis provides a command line utility that can be used to send commands to Redis. This program is called redis-cli.

The first thing to do to check if Redis is working properly is sending a PING command using redis-cli:

$ redis-cli ping

Running redis-cli followed by a command name and its arguments will send this command to the Redis instance running on localhost at port 6379. You can change the host and port used by redis-cli - just try the --help option to check the usage information.

Another interesting way to run redis-cli is without arguments: the program will start in interactive mode. You can type different commands and see their replies.

$ redis-cli
redis> ping

Securing Redis

By default Redis binds to all the interfaces and has no authentication at all. If you use Redis in a very controlled environment, separated from the external internet and in general from attackers, that's fine. However, if an unhardened Redis is exposed to the internet, it is a big security concern. If you are not 100% sure your environment is secured properly, please check the following steps in order to make Redis more secure:

  1. Make sure the port Redis uses to listen for connections (by default 6379 and additionally 16379 if you run Redis in cluster mode, plus 26379 for Sentinel) is firewalled, so that it is not possible to contact Redis from the outside world.
  2. Use a configuration file where the bind directive is set in order to guarantee that Redis listens on only the network interfaces you are using. For example, only the loopback interface ( if you are accessing Redis locally from the same computer.
  3. Use the requirepass option to add an additional layer of security so that clients will be required to authenticate using the AUTH command.
  4. Use spiped or another SSL tunneling software to encrypt traffic between Redis servers and Redis clients if your environment requires encryption.

Note that a Redis instance exposed to the internet without any security is very simple to exploit, so make sure you understand the above and apply at least a firewall layer. After the firewall is in place, try to connect with redis-cli from an external host to confirm that the instance is not reachable.

Use Redis from your application

Of course using Redis just from the command line interface is not enough as the goal is to use it from your application. To do so, you need to download and install a Redis client library for your programming language.

You'll find a full list of supported clients for different languages in this page.

Redis persistence

You can learn how Redis persistence works on this page. It is important to understand that, if you start Redis with the default configuration, Redis will spontaneously save the dataset only from time to time. For example, after at least five minutes if you have at least 100 changes in your data. If you want your database to persist and be reloaded after a restart make sure to call the SAVE command manually every time you want to force a data set snapshot. Alternatively, you can save the data on disk before quitting by using the SHUTDOWN command:

$ redis-cli shutdown

This way, Redis will save the data on disk before quitting. Reading the persistence page is strongly suggested to better understand how Redis persistence works.

Install Redis properly

Running Redis from the command line is fine just to hack a bit or for development. However, at some point you'll have some actual application to run on a real server. For this kind of usage you have two different choices:

  • Run Redis using screen.
  • Install Redis in your Linux box in a proper way using an init script, so that after a restart everything will start again properly.

A proper install using an init script is strongly recommended.

The available packages for supported Linux distributions already include the capability of starting the Redis server from /etc/init.
The remainder of this section assumes you've installed Redis from its source code. If instead you have installed Redis Stack, you will need to download a basic init script and then modify both it and the following instructions to conform to the way Redis Stack was installed on your platform. For example, on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Redis Stack is installed in /opt/redis-stack, not /usr/local, so you'll need to adjust accordingly.

The following instructions can be used to perform a proper installation using the init script shipped with the Redis source code, /path/to/redis-stable/utils/redis_init_script.

If you have not yet run make install after building the Redis source, you will need to do so before continuing. By default, make install will copy the redis-server and redis-cli binaries to /usr/local/bin.

  • Create a directory in which to store your Redis config files and your data:

    sudo mkdir /etc/redis
    sudo mkdir /var/redis
  • Copy the init script that you'll find in the Redis distribution under the utils directory into /etc/init.d. We suggest calling it with the name of the port where you are running this instance of Redis. Make sure the resulting file has 0755 permissions.

    sudo cp utils/redis_init_script /etc/init.d/redis_6379
  • Edit the init script.

    sudo vi /etc/init.d/redis_6379

Make sure to set the REDISPORT variable to the port you are using. Both the pid file path and the configuration file name depend on the port number.

  • Copy the template configuration file you'll find in the root directory of the Redis distribution into /etc/redis/ using the port number as the name, for instance:

    sudo cp redis.conf /etc/redis/6379.conf
  • Create a directory inside /var/redis that will work as both data and working directory for this Redis instance:

    sudo mkdir /var/redis/6379
  • Edit the configuration file, making sure to perform the following changes:

    • Set daemonize to yes (by default it is set to no).
    • Set the pidfile to /var/run/, modifying the port as necessary.
    • Change the port accordingly. In our example it is not needed as the default port is already 6379.
    • Set your preferred loglevel.
    • Set the logfile to /var/log/redis_6379.log.
    • Set the dir to /var/redis/6379 (very important step!).
  • Finally, add the new Redis init script to all the default runlevels using the following command:

    sudo update-rc.d redis_6379 defaults

You are done! Now you can try running your instance with:

sudo /etc/init.d/redis_6379 start

Make sure that everything is working as expected:

  1. Try pinging your instance within a redis-cli session using the PING command.
  2. Do a test save with redis-cli save and check that a dump file is correctly saved to /var/redis/6379/dump.rdb.
  3. Check that your Redis instance is logging to the /var/log/redis_6379.log file.
  4. If it's a new machine where you can try it without problems, make sure that after a reboot everything is still working.
The above instructions don't include all of the Redis configuration parameters that you could change. For example, to use AOF persistence instead of RDB persistence, or to set up replication, and so forth.

You should also read the example redis.conf file, which is heavily annotated to help guide you on making changes. Further details can also be found in the configuration article on this site.

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