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XADD key [NOMKSTREAM] [<MAXLEN | MINID> [= | ~] threshold [LIMIT count]] <* | id> field value [field value ...]

Time complexity: O(1) when adding a new entry, O(N) when trimming where N being the number of entries evicted

ACL categories: @write, @stream, @fast

XADD command appends new entry to the specified key i.e. stream. The command returns the ID of the new entry. User can either explicitly specify the ID of the newly created entry or the command automatically generates an ID.

Each entry can store multiple field-value pairs. The field-value pairs are stored in the same order as the client specified. Commands that read the stream, such as XRANGE or XREAD, are guaranteed to return the fields and values exactly in the same order they were added by XADD.

Note that XADD is the only command that appends entries into a stream. No other command has the ability to add new entries.


Key is the stream name to which the entry needs to be appended. If the stream is not found, the command creates a new stream with the key and appends the entry to it.

Specifying ID

It is required to specify ID or a special character "*" before starting the field-value pair list. An ID has two parts. These are -

  • Unix time in milliseconds - It is a 64 bit number that stores unix time in milliseconds. When the entry is auto-generated (i.e. client didn't specify an ID explicitly), the command uses the time of generation to built the unique ID.
  • Sequence - 64 bit number. The sequence part of the ID helps distinguishing two entries that were created at the same time.

These two part are joined by the "-" character. So a complete ID has the following pattern - <time-in-ms>-<sequence>. Below is an example -


Clients can also specify incomplete IDs where the sequence part is replaced with the * character. In that case, the command generates the id with greater sequence number than the previous entry having the same unix time. For example, if the previously generated entry has the id 1623910120014-1 and if the client specified 1623910120014-*, the new entry will have the id 1623910120014-2.

dragonfly> XADD mystream 1623910120014-1 name bob
dragonfly> XADD mystream 1623910120014-* name alice

If client specify * instead of an ID, dragonfly will auto-generate an ID for the created entry.

dragonfly> XADD mystream * name john


By default dragonfly creates a new stream if the given key doesn't exist. If NOMKSTREAM is specified, dragonfly will not create any new stream.


Sometimes there is a need to control the maximum number of entries in a stream. MAXLEN and MINID options can be used in these cases. Basically XADD trims entries from the specified stream according to the client's need.

MAXLEN ensures that the number of entries in a stream doesn't exceed a certain limit. MINID, on the other hand, ensures that entries with IDs less than the specified MINID get deleted. These two options take a threshold denoting the length (in case of MAXLEN) or ID (in case of MINID).

Dragonfly gives two options to control the trimming nature. "=" argument tells the command to do exact trimming of entries. Whereas ~ argument tells the command to do approximate trimming. That is, it is upto the command to decide how many entries need to be deleted. So a stream may have few more entries than the given threshold.

dragonfly> XADD mystream MAXLEN = 2 * name Alice
dragonfly> XLEN mystream
(integer) 2

LIMIT is useful when you want to limit the number of delete operations used for MAXLEN or MINID.


Bulk String Reply. The command returns the ID of the added entry. The ID is the one auto-generated if * is passed as ID argument, otherwise the command just returns the same ID specified by the user during insertion.