MSETEX – command in Redis

Redis has multiple commands that work on a number of keys. For example, you can use „MSET“ to set a number of keys to individual values. And you can use „SET“ or „SETEX“ to set a single key to a value with expire time. However, there is no command that handles multiple keys with expire time.

Since you can run lua-scripts in Redis, it is possible to build a custom MSETEX-command with lua. Here is the lua-code:

for i=1, #KEYS, 1 do'SET', KEYS[i], ARGV[(i*2)-1] , 'EX', ARGV[(i*2)]) 
return 'OK'


  • in contrast to some programming languages, lua uses 1 as the first index of a collection
  • „return ‚OK'“ is needed for vert.x, as vert.x-redis requires a non-null result

I’m not a lua expert, so feel free to improve the script if you spot something.

OK, the script is there, how do I use it? I use vert.x, so the first thing to do is set up a redis connection. Use „scriptLoad“ to send the script to redis, and store the result-hash. Now you can use the „evalsha“ command to run the script with your values. Here is some java-code for vert.x:

        List<String> keys = new ArrayList<>(entries.size());
        List<String> values = new ArrayList<>(entries.size()*2);
        for (int i = 0; i < 2; i++) {
            keys.add(i, "key"+i);
            values.add((i*2)+1,"60"); //TTL in seconds


  • Collections are 0-based in java, thus the index magic is differs from lua
  • For each key you must specify 2 values: first the payload to set, then the ttl
  • error handling not implemented here
  • msetexHash must be initialized with the result of the „script load“ command
  • while the script is evaluated, redis blocks. Run some tests before using a large number of keys

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