Beanstalkd utilities for CLI and python

pip install azuki==1.2


Using beanstalkd made easy

azuki makes it easy to create tools using beanstalkd tubes for asynchronous execution. From queueing parallelizing quick shell hacks to integrating asynchronous execution with your django application, azuki lets you do it all.

CLI beanstalk inspection

The main utility, azuki, makes it easy to inspect and modify beanstalk queues from the command line.

$ azuki tubes [-v]
$ azuki stats
$ azuki stats default
$ azuki stats 123

The stats command will give you basic statistics, such as the total amount of connections, jobs and commands. If you specify a tube, such as default, you will see the statistics of that tube, and if you specify a job ID, you will see its details and content.

The tubes command shows a list of tubes. Add the -v parameter to also get a summary of all processes and jobs for all queues.

Peeking at tubes

$ azuki peek-delayed default
$ azuki peek-ready default
$ azuki peek-buried default
$ azuki peek 123

With the first three commands above you can look at the first delayed, ready or buried job in a tube. If you use the --ask option as well, you will be asked whether you want to delete, bury or kick the job. The author is fond of azuki peek-buried --ask to do cleanup of failed jobs.

The last command will peek at a specific job, given its id number.

Manipulating jobs and tubes

azuki kick 100 default

This would kick 100 jobs in the default queue, moving them from buried back to ready.

azuki bury 123
azuki kick 123

If you want to bury or kick a specific job, use the commands above.

Queueing shell commands

Azuki was originally written to easily parallelize shell jobs. Of course gnu parallel can be used if you just want parallelization, but I also needed to be able to adjust parallelism, pause everything and add jobs while the application was running. In short, I needed to use a queue, and beanstalk is my queue of choice.

The original task was to update the iLO firmware of thousands of HP servers in an automated, yet controlled way. To do this, first one puts jobs in the tube:

for ilo in $(<ilos.txt); do
    echo $ilo | azuki put --ttr 600 ilo-firmware

This reads a list of items and schedules them one by one in the ilo-firmware tube with a ttr of 600. You can also specify a delay with the --delay argument.

To consume the items in the tube, you use azuki foreach.

azuki foreach ilo-firmware -- xargs do_firmware_update

The foreach command will execute a command you want to execute and feed the job body on stdin. do_firmware_update wants this on the command line instead, hence the use of xargs. To now parallelize this, we can simply run as many instances of azuki foreach as we want in parallel, possibly using screen.

The foreach command looks at the exitcode of the commands it runs. If the exitcode is 0, the job is considered succesfull and gets deleted. If the exitcode is nonzero, the job gets buried.

At the end of my working day I wanted to pause the upgrading, but using ctrl-C in the middle of a firmware upgrade is not a very good idea. Azuki to the rescue!

azuki pause 8640000 ilo-firmware

This pauses the tube for 100 days. Already running firmware updates would complete, but no new ones would be scheduled. 10 minutes later all is paused. To unpause the tube, simply pause it again, but for 0 seconds.

Python API

beanstalkd tubes already are fairly easy to use in python, using the beanstalkc library. But fairly easy isn't easy enough, so azuki can make it easier for you. You can simply decorate your functions to make them asynchronous.

from azuki import beanstalk

def hello(who):
    print "Hello, %s" % who

import example


If you now run python, you will notice that it does not output anything. Instead it has serialized the arguments to hello and scheduled them as a job in the example-tube tube.

To process the queued jobs, you run azuki daemon example-tube. This will take items from the tube, import the example module and call the hello function for real.


With beanstalk you can bury a job to tell beanstalk not to attempt the job again until manually told to do so, but if you just want to delay execution of a job, you can raise an azuki.Reschedule exception.

from azuki import beanstalk, Reschedule

def process(task):
    if not am_ready_for(task):
        raise Reschedule(120)

Django API

The downside of scheduling things in beanstalk queues, is that argument to function calls must be serialized. Azuki uses json serialization, so anything that is not json-serializable, cannot be used as an argument.

Except django model instances, as azuki recognizes them and handles them specially. That means that for example queueing mails instead of sending them directly works:

from django.contrib.auth import User
from django.core.mail import send_mail
from azuki import beanstalk

class Message(models.Model):
    recipient = models.ForeignKey(User)
    subject = models.CharField("Subject", max_length=128)
    text = models.TextField("Message text")

    def send(self):
        send_mail(self.subject, self.text, 'webmaster@localhost', [self.recipient])

If you now create a message and call send(), the message is not sent, but only added to the send-mail tube. You can again use azuki daemon to process this tube and actually send the mails, possibly even on a different machine altogether.


(c) 2014, Dennis Kaarsemaker

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see