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redis-ratelimit: Limit the request processing rate between multiple NGINX instances backed by Redis


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CentOS/RHEL 7 or Amazon Linux 2

yum -y install
yum -y install lua-resty-redis-ratelimit

CentOS/RHEL 8+, Fedora Linux, Amazon Linux 2023

yum -y install
yum -y install lua5.1-resty-redis-ratelimit

To use this Lua library with NGINX, ensure that nginx-module-lua is installed.

This document describes lua-resty-redis-ratelimit v0.3 released on Oct 03 2019.

lua-resty-redis-ratelimit - Limit the request processing rate between multiple NGINX instances backed by Redis.


Ready for testing. Probably production ready in most cases, though not yet proven in the wild. Please check the issues list and let me know if you have any problems / questions.


This lua library is a request processing rate limit module for ngx_lua:

It is used to limit the request processing rate per a defined key between multiple NGINX instances. The limitation is done using the "leaky bucket" method.

This module use Redis (>= 2.6.0) as the backend storage, so you also need the lua-resty-redis library work with it.

NOTICE: If you do not use the duration feature and the incoming traffic is evenly distrbuted, it is recommended that use the module resty.limit.req to avoid unnecessary network delays.


server {

    listen 9090;

    location /t {
        access_by_lua_block {
            local ratelimit = require "resty.redis.ratelimit"

            local lim, err ="one", "2r/s", 0, 2)
            if not lim then
                        "failed to instantiate a resty.redis.ratelimit object: ", err)
                return ngx.exit(500)

            -- NOTICE: the following call must be per-request.

            -- local redis = require "resty.redis"
            -- local red = redis:new()

            -- red:set_timeout(1000)

            -- local ok, err = red:connect("", 6379)
            -- if not ok then
            --     ngx.log(ngx.ERR, "failed to connect redis: ", err)
            --     return ngx.exit(500)
            -- end

            local red = { host = "", port = 6379, timeout = 1 }

            local key = ngx.var.binary_remote_addr
            local delay, err = lim:incoming(key, red)
            if not delay then
                if err == "rejected" then
                    return ngx.exit(503)
                ngx.log(ngx.ERR, "failed to limit req: ", err)
                return ngx.exit(500)

            if delay >= 0.001 then
                -- the 2nd return value holds the number of excess requests
                -- per second for the specified key.
                local excess = err


        echo Logged in;




syntax: obj, err =, rate, burst, duration)

Instantiates an object of this class. The class value is returned by the call require resty.redis.ratelimit.

This method takes the following arguments:

  • zone: Sets the namespace, in particular, we use <zone>:<key> string as a unique state identifier inside Redis.
  • rate: The rate is specified in requests per second (r/s). If a rate of less than one request per second is desired, it is specified in request per minute (r/m). For example, half-request per second is 30r/m.
  • burst: Defines how many requests can make in excess of the rate specified by the zone, default 0.
  • duration: The time delay (in seconds) before back to normal state, during this period, the request is always rejected, default 0.

On failure, this method returns nil and a string describing the error.


syntax: delay, err = obj:incoming(key, redis)

Fires a new request incoming event and calculates the delay needed (if any) for the current request upon the specified key or whether the user should reject it immediately.

This method accepts the following arguments:

  • key: The key is any non-empty value of the specified variable.
  • redis: Sets the Redis configuration, host, port, timeout and so on (see below); Instead of the specific Redis configuration, you can also sets the connected Redis object directly.
- Default
- redis.port: Default 80.
- redis.timeout: Default 1s.
- redis.pass: Request for authentication in a password-protected Redis server.
- redis.dbid: Select the Redis logical database.

The return values depend on the following cases:

  1. If the request does not exceed the rate value specified in the new method, then this method returns 0 as the delay and the (zero) number of excessive requests per second at the current time.
  2. If the request exceeds the rate limit specified in the new method but not the rate + burst value, then this method returns a proper delay (in seconds) for the current request so that it still conform to the rate threshold as if it came a bit later rather than now. The 2nd return value indicating the number of excessive reqeusts per second at this point (including the current request).
  3. If the request exceeds the rate + burst limit, then this method returns nil and the error string "rejected".
  4. If an error occurred, then this method returns nil and a string describing the error. Such as "failed to create redis - connection refused".

This method never sleeps itself. It simply returns a delay if necessary and requires the caller to later invoke the ngx.sleep method to sleep.


syntax: obj:set_burst(burst)

Overwrites the burst threshold as specified in the new method.

See Also


You may find additional configuration tips and documentation for this module in the GitHub repository for nginx-module-redis-ratelimit.