Opened 6 years ago

Closed 5 months ago

Last modified 5 months ago

#15815 closed New feature (duplicate)

Support memcached binary protocol in PyLibMCCache

Reported by: Mike Tigas Owned by:
Component: Core (Cache system) Version: 1.3
Severity: Normal Keywords: sprint2013
Cc: brandon.konkle@…, rob@…, mlowicki@…, emorley@… Triage Stage: Accepted
Has patch: yes Needs documentation: yes
Needs tests: yes Patch needs improvement: yes
Easy pickings: no UI/UX: no


As per , enabling the binary protocol requires the binary=True argument to be passed into pylibmc.Client when it is initialized.

The binary protocol is available in Memcached 1.3+ and provides a performance boost in high-load circumstances:

pylibmc ignores any unknown options passed into Client.behaviors (see below), so putting this in OPTIONS seems like the way to go.

>>> import pylibmc
>>> a=pylibmc.Client(['',])
>>> print a.behaviors
{'cas': 0, 'no_block': 0, 'receive_timeout': 0, 'send_timeout': 0, 'ketama_hash': 0, '_poll_timeout': 5000, '_io_bytes_watermark': 66560, 'cache_lookups': 0, '_sort_hosts': 0, '_io_key_prefetch': 0, '_auto_eject_hosts': 0, 'ketama': 0, 'ketama_weighted': 0, '_io_msg_watermark': 500, '_hash_with_prefix_key': 0, 'tcp_nodelay': 0, 'failure_limit': 0, 'buffer_requests': 0, '_socket_send_size': 0, '_retry_timeout': 0, '_noreply': 0, '_socket_recv_size': 0, '_number_of_replicas': 0, 'distribution': 'modula', 'connect_timeout': 4000, 'hash': 'default', 'verify_keys': 0}

>>> a.behaviors = {"binary":True} # should be ignored by pylibmc
>>> print a.behaviors
{'cas': 0, 'no_block': 0, 'receive_timeout': 0, 'send_timeout': 0, 'ketama_hash': 0, '_poll_timeout': 5000, '_io_bytes_watermark': 66560, 'cache_lookups': 0, '_sort_hosts': 0, '_io_key_prefetch': 0, '_auto_eject_hosts': 0, 'ketama': 0, 'ketama_weighted': 0, '_io_msg_watermark': 500, '_hash_with_prefix_key': 0, 'tcp_nodelay': 0, 'failure_limit': 0, 'buffer_requests': 0, '_socket_send_size': 0, '_retry_timeout': 0, '_noreply': 0, '_socket_recv_size': 0, '_number_of_replicas': 0, 'distribution': 'modula', 'connect_timeout': 4000, 'hash': 'default', 'verify_keys': 0}

Attachments (1)

pylibmc-binary.diff (656 bytes) - added by Mike Tigas 6 years ago.

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (19)

Changed 6 years ago by Mike Tigas

Attachment: pylibmc-binary.diff added

comment:1 Changed 6 years ago by Mike Tigas

Not sure if patch is in the proper format; have also opened a github pull request, tracking this bug.

Looked into updating the docs, however the documentation appears to leave out implementation-specific details of the different memcached backends. Please let me know if I’m mistaken.

comment:2 Changed 6 years ago by Jacob

Easy pickings: unset
Needs documentation: set
Needs tests: set
Patch needs improvement: set
Triage Stage: UnreviewedAccepted

The patch isn't ideal - special-casing "binary" is a bit annoying - but this is totally worth having.

comment:3 Changed 6 years ago by Mike Tigas

I’ll agree with that, though I wasn’t sure how to make this semantically better.

For the older cache framework, django-newcache accepted binary as a cache param (with timeout, cull_frequency, et. al.), with CACHE_BEHAVIORS as a separate settings option. (Using django-newcache as a comparison point since some of the newer 1.3+ cache features like versioning and key prefixing appear to have been based on the newcache implementation.)

But I didn’t quite feel that special casing PyLibMCCache to accept a new base parameter was correct, either …

    'default' : {
        "BACKEND" : 'django.core.cache.backends.memcached.PyLibMCCache',
        "LOCATION" : '',
        "BINARY" : True,
        "OPTIONS" : dict(tcp_nodelay=True, ketama=True),

… since the description of OPTIONS reads, “Any options that should be passed to cache backend. The list options understood by each backend vary with each backend. […] Cache backends backed by a third-party library will pass their options directly to the underlying cache library.”

In particular, that seems to imply that for consistency’s sake, all implementation-specific options regarding a backend should go into OPTIONS and that it’s up to the backend to do what it needs to provide the correct information to the underlying library.

Technically, a more semantically-correct option would be to do something like:

    'default' : {
        "BACKEND" : 'django.core.cache.backends.memcached.PyLibMCCache',
        "LOCATION" : '',
        "OPTIONS" : {
            "binary": True,
            "behaviors" : dict(tcp_nodelay=True, ketama=True),

Not really sure what the best patch would be at this point.

comment:4 Changed 6 years ago by Brandon Konkle

Cc: brandon.konkle@… added
UI/UX: unset

comment:5 Changed 5 years ago by Rob Hudson

Cc: rob@… added

I recently updated django-pylibmc, a 3rd party cache backend, with a few features we wanted at Mozilla. Namely, to make a timeout of zero mean an infinite timeout, add compression support (which pylibmc handles), and support the binary protocol. The package can be found here:

I'd be happy to help push this forward or bring some code over into Django. Mapping OPTIONS to pylibmc "behaviors" and adding the extra BINARY=True parameter made sense to me. But whichever way is decided, this should be an easy thing to add to this backend.

comment:6 Changed 4 years ago by Aymeric Augustin

#19810 is related.

comment:7 Changed 4 years ago by Bas Peschier

Keywords: sprint2013 added

Enabling binary mode breaks the tests at the moment, because keys with spaces are actually allowed in binary mode.

comment:8 Changed 4 years ago by Bas Peschier

Owner: changed from nobody to Bas Peschier
Status: newassigned

Working on it here:

Still needs some docs to demystify the options for pylibmc a bit. Currently all options are set as behaviors except binary (which still feels a bit ugly)

comment:9 Changed 4 years ago by otherjacob

I really don't think special casing is a big deal here -- it's not far off of what BaseCache does already, although I'd rather pop binary off of _options in the _cache method before setting behaviors to it.

Happy to finish this off if bpeschier can't get to it, but it's almost done at this point I think.

comment:10 Changed 3 years ago by Omer Katz

So this is already implemented in
Shouldn't we just merge that cache provider back?

comment:11 Changed 23 months ago by Bas Peschier

Owner: Bas Peschier deleted
Status: assignednew

comment:12 Changed 18 months ago by Omer Katz

How come this is not supported? What's blocking it exactly?
How can I help?

comment:13 Changed 18 months ago by Tim Graham

I don't see a reviewable patch.

comment:14 Changed 14 months ago by Michał Łowicki

any news about it?

comment:15 Changed 14 months ago by Michał Łowicki

Cc: mlowicki@… added

comment:16 Changed 12 months ago by Ed Morley

<Removed incorrect comment about test failures in binary mode; turns out due to>

Last edited 5 months ago by Ed Morley (previous) (diff)

comment:17 Changed 12 months ago by Ed Morley

<obsolete comment>

Last edited 5 months ago by Ed Morley (previous) (diff)

comment:18 Changed 5 months ago by Ed Morley

Cc: emorley@… added
Resolution: duplicate
Status: newclosed

This has been fixed in ticket #20892, by adding generic support for passing parameters through to the memcached client constructor (and for all backends, not just PyLibMCCache).

pylibmc's constructor is:

    def __init__(self, servers, behaviors=None, binary=False,
                 username=None, password=None):

So on Django master (will be 1.11), binary mode can be enabled using eg:

    'default': {
        'BACKEND': 'django.core.cache.backends.memcached.PyLibMCCache',
        'LOCATION': '',
        'OPTIONS': {
            'binary': True,
            'username': 'user',
            'password': 'pass',
            'behaviors': {
                'ketama': True,

For more examples, see:

I'm going to try and backport these changes (plus ticket #27152) to django-pylibmc, so the same Django settings file will work for both, to make transitioning from "older Django+django-pylibmc backend" to "Django 1.11+ with stock backend" easier.

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