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Deleting a Redis Key After a Specific Time in Ruby (Detailed Guide w/ Code Examples)

Use Case(s)

In Ruby applications using Redis, you might need to automatically delete keys after a certain period. This is often used in caching scenarios, where stale data must be removed after its lifetime, or for session management where sessions expire after inactivity.

Code Examples

Example 1: Using EXPIRE command to set a key to be deleted after a specific time (in seconds).

require 'redis' redis = redis.set('key', 'value') redis.expire('key', 10) # Key will be deleted after 10 seconds

In this example, we connect to Redis, set a key-value pair with the set method, and then use the expire method to specify that the key should be deleted after 10 seconds.

Example 2: Setting expiration time while creating the key using SETEX.

require 'redis' redis = redis.setex('key', 10, 'value') # Key will be deleted after 10 seconds

With the setex method, you can set a key-value pair and its expiry time simultaneously. The key 'key' will be automatically deleted after 10 seconds.

Best Practices

  • When using Redis for caching, consider setting an expiration time for each key to prevent your Redis instance from running out of memory.
  • Be careful when setting the expiration time. If it's too short, the key might expire before it's needed; if it's too long, stale data might be used.

Common Mistakes

  • Not setting an expiry time for keys in a Redis cache can potentially lead to out-of-memory errors if the cache becomes too large.


Q: Can I check the remaining time before a key is deleted?

A: Yes, you can use the TTL command. For instance, redis.ttl('key') would return the remaining time in seconds before 'key' is deleted.

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