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Getting the Length of a Redis List in Python (Detailed Guide w/ Code Examples)

Use Case(s)

In applications where Redis is used as a database, cache, or message broker, we may find ourselves needing to find the length of a list stored at a particular key. Some examples include:

  1. Retrieving the number of jobs in a queue implemented using Redis List.
  2. Counting the number of items stored in a list for pagination purposes.

Code Examples

Example 1: Using llen to get the length of a redis list

import redis r = redis.Redis() len = r.llen('mylist') print(len)

In the example above, llen command is used to get the length of the list stored at the key 'mylist'.

Best Practices

  1. Always handle exceptions when working with Redis as connection issues can occur.
  2. Try to avoid getting the length of large lists frequently, as this can degrade performance. It's better to keep track of the length while inserting or removing elements if possible.

Common Mistakes

  1. Trying to get the length of a non-existent key will return 0, not an error. Ensure your key exists before attempting to find its length.
  2. Not all Redis commands are atomic. For instance, if you're adding to the list and checking its length simultaneously from different clients, you might run into race conditions.


Q: Can I use llen to get the length of sets, hashes, strings etc? A: No. The llen command only works on Redis lists, not other data types.

Q: What happens if the key does not exist? A: Redis llen returns 0 if the key doesn't exist.

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