When connecting to Redis version 6 or above with an ACL configured, your ACL user needs to at least have permissions to run the ECHO command. We run this command to verify that we have a valid connection to the Redis service. Because there are lots of different ways to configure redis, StackExchange.Redis offers a rich configuration model, which is invoked when calling Connect (or ConnectAsync):

var conn = ConnectionMultiplexer.Connect(configuration);

The configuration here can be either:

The latter is basically a tokenized form of the former.

Basic Configuration Strings


The simplest configuration example is just the host name:

var conn = ConnectionMultiplexer.Connect("localhost");

This will connect to a single server on the local machine using the default redis port (6379). Additional options are simply appended (comma-delimited). Ports are represented with a colon (:) as is usual. Configuration options include an = after the name. For example:

var conn = ConnectionMultiplexer.Connect("redis0:6380,redis1:6380,allowAdmin=true");

If you specify a serviceName in the connection string, it will trigger sentinel mode. This example will connect to a sentinel server on the local machine using the default sentinel port (26379), discover the current primary server for the myprimary service and return a managed connection pointing to that primary server that will automatically be updated if the primary changes:

var conn = ConnectionMultiplexer.Connect("localhost,serviceName=myprimary");

An overview of mapping between the string and ConfigurationOptions representation is shown below, but you can switch between them trivially:

ConfigurationOptions options = ConfigurationOptions.Parse(configString);


string configString = options.ToString();

A common usage is to store the basic details in a string, and then apply specific details at runtime:

string configString = GetRedisConfiguration();
var options = ConfigurationOptions.Parse(configString);
options.ClientName = GetAppName(); // only known at runtime
options.AllowAdmin = true;
conn = ConnectionMultiplexer.Connect(options);

Microsoft Azure Redis example with password

var conn = ConnectionMultiplexer.Connect(",ssl=true,password=...");

Configuration Options

The ConfigurationOptions object has a wide range of properties, all of which are fully documented in intellisense. Some of the more common options to use include:

Configuration string ConfigurationOptions Default Meaning
abortConnect={bool} AbortOnConnectFail true (false on Azure) If true, Connect will not create a connection while no servers are available
allowAdmin={bool} AllowAdmin false Enables a range of commands that are considered risky
channelPrefix={string} ChannelPrefix null Optional channel prefix for all pub/sub operations
checkCertificateRevocation={bool} CheckCertificateRevocation true A Boolean value that specifies whether the certificate revocation list is checked during authentication.
connectRetry={int} ConnectRetry 3 The number of times to repeat connect attempts during initial Connect
connectTimeout={int} ConnectTimeout 5000 Timeout (ms) for connect operations
configChannel={string} ConfigurationChannel __Booksleeve_MasterChanged Broadcast channel name for communicating configuration changes
configCheckSeconds={int} ConfigCheckSeconds 60 Time (seconds) to check configuration. This serves as a keep-alive for interactive sockets, if it is supported.
defaultDatabase={int} DefaultDatabase null Default database index, from 0 to databases - 1
keepAlive={int} KeepAlive -1 Time (seconds) at which to send a message to help keep sockets alive (60 sec default)
name={string} ClientName null Identification for the connection within redis
password={string} Password null Password for the redis server
user={string} User null User for the redis server (for use with ACLs on redis 6 and above)
proxy={proxy type} Proxy Proxy.None Type of proxy in use (if any); for example “twemproxy/envoyproxy”
resolveDns={bool} ResolveDns false Specifies that DNS resolution should be explicit and eager, rather than implicit
serviceName={string} ServiceName null Used for connecting to a sentinel primary service
ssl={bool} Ssl false Specifies that SSL encryption should be used
sslHost={string} SslHost null Enforces a particular SSL host identity on the server’s certificate
sslProtocols={enum} SslProtocols null Ssl/Tls versions supported when using an encrypted connection. Use ‘|’ to provide multiple values.
syncTimeout={int} SyncTimeout 5000 Time (ms) to allow for synchronous operations
asyncTimeout={int} AsyncTimeout SyncTimeout Time (ms) to allow for asynchronous operations
tiebreaker={string} TieBreaker __Booksleeve_TieBreak Key to use for selecting a server in an ambiguous primary scenario
version={string} DefaultVersion (4.0 in Azure, else 2.0) Redis version level (useful when the server does not make this available)
tunnel={string} Tunnel null Tunnel for connections (use http:{proxy url} for “connect”-based proxy server)
setlib={bool} SetClientLibrary true Whether to attempt to use CLIENT SETINFO to set the library name/version on the connection
protocol={string} Protocol null Redis protocol to use; see section below

Additional code-only options:

Tokens in the configuration string are comma-separated; any without an = sign are assumed to be redis server endpoints. Endpoints without an explicit port will use 6379 if ssl is not enabled, and 6380 if ssl is enabled. Tokens starting with $ are taken to represent command maps, for example: $config=cfg.

Obsolete Configuration Options

These options are parsed in connection strings for backwards compatibility (meaning they do not error as invalid), but no longer have any effect.

Configuration string ConfigurationOptions Previous Default Previous Meaning
responseTimeout={int} ResponseTimeout SyncTimeout Time (ms) to decide whether the socket is unhealthy
writeBuffer={int} WriteBuffer 4096 Size of the output buffer

Automatic and Manual Configuration

In many common scenarios, StackExchange.Redis will automatically configure a lot of settings, including the server type and version, connection timeouts, and primary/replica relationships. Sometimes, though, the commands for this have been disabled on the redis server. In this case, it is useful to provide more information:

ConfigurationOptions config = new ConfigurationOptions
    EndPoints =
        { "redis0", 6379 },
        { "redis1", 6380 }
    CommandMap = CommandMap.Create(new HashSet<string>
    { // EXCLUDE a few commands
        "INFO", "CONFIG", "CLUSTER",
        "PING", "ECHO", "CLIENT"
    }, available: false),
    KeepAlive = 180,
    DefaultVersion = new Version(2, 8, 8),
    Password = "changeme"

Which is equivalent to the command string:


Renaming Commands

A slightly unusual feature of redis is that you can disable and/or rename individual commands. As per the previous example, this is done via the CommandMap, but instead of passing a HashSet<string> to Create() (to indicate the available or unavailable commands), you pass a Dictionary<string,string>. All commands not mentioned in the dictionary are assumed to be enabled and not renamed. A null or blank value records that the command is disabled. For example:

var commands = new Dictionary<string,string> {
        { "info", null }, // disabled
        { "select", "use" }, // renamed to SQL equivalent for some reason
var options = new ConfigurationOptions {
    // ...
    CommandMap = CommandMap.Create(commands),
    // ...

The above is equivalent to (in the connection string):


Redis Server Permissions

If the user you’re connecting to Redis with is limited, it still needs to have certain commands enabled for the StackExchange.Redis to succeed in connecting. The client uses:

For example, a common very minimal configuration ACL on the server (non-cluster) would be:

-@all +@pubsub +@read +echo +info

Note that if you choose to disable access to the above commands, it needs to be done via the CommandMap and not only the ACL on the server (otherwise we’ll attempt the command and fail the handshake). Also, if any of the these commands are disabled, some functionality may be diminished or broken.


twemproxy is a tool that allows multiple redis instances to be used as though it were a single server, with inbuilt sharding and fault tolerance (much like redis cluster, but implemented separately). The feature-set available to Twemproxy is reduced. To avoid having to configure this manually, the Proxy option can be used:

var options = new ConfigurationOptions
    EndPoints = { "my-server" },
    Proxy = Proxy.Twemproxy


Envoyproxy is a tool that allows to front a redis cluster with a set of proxies, with inbuilt discovery and fault tolerance. The feature-set available to Envoyproxy is reduced. To avoid having to configure this manually, the Proxy option can be used:

var options = new ConfigurationOptions+{
    EndPoints = { "my-proxy1", "my-proxy2", "my-proxy3" },
    Proxy = Proxy.Envoyproxy

Tiebreakers and Configuration Change Announcements

Normally StackExchange.Redis will resolve primary/replica nodes automatically. However, if you are not using a management tool such as redis-sentinel or redis cluster, there is a chance that occasionally you will get multiple primary nodes (for example, while resetting a node for maintenance it may reappear on the network as a primary). To help with this, StackExchange.Redis can use the notion of a tie-breaker - which is only used when multiple primaries are detected (not including redis cluster, where multiple primaries are expected). For compatibility with BookSleeve, this defaults to the key named "__Booksleeve_TieBreak" (always in database 0). This is used as a crude voting mechanism to help determine the preferred primary, so that work is routed correctly.

Likewise, when the configuration is changed (especially the primary/replica configuration), it will be important for connected instances to make themselves aware of the new situation (via INFO, CONFIG, etc - where available). StackExchange.Redis does this by automatically subscribing to a pub/sub channel upon which such notifications may be sent. For similar reasons, this defaults to "__Booksleeve_MasterChanged".

Both options can be customized or disabled (set to ""), via the .ConfigurationChannel and .TieBreaker configuration properties.

These settings are also used by the IServer.MakeMaster() method, which can set the tie-breaker in the database and broadcast the configuration change message. The configuration message can also be used separately to primary/replica changes simply to request all nodes to refresh their configurations, via the ConnectionMultiplexer.PublishReconfigure method.


StackExchange.Redis automatically tries to reconnect in the background when the connection is lost for any reason. It keeps retrying until the connection has been restored. It would use ReconnectRetryPolicy to decide how long it should wait between the retries. ReconnectRetryPolicy can be exponential (default), linear or a custom retry policy.


config.ReconnectRetryPolicy = new ExponentialRetry(5000); // defaults maxDeltaBackoff to 10000 ms
//retry#    retry to re-connect after time in milliseconds
//1	        a random value between 5000 and 5500	   
//2	        a random value between 5000 and 6050	   
//3	        a random value between 5000 and 6655	   
//4	        a random value between 5000 and 8053
//5	        a random value between 5000 and 10000, since maxDeltaBackoff was 10000 ms
//6	        a random value between 5000 and 10000

config.ReconnectRetryPolicy = new LinearRetry(5000);
//retry#    retry to re-connect after time in milliseconds
//1	        5000
//2	        5000 	   
//3	        5000 	   
//4	        5000
//5	        5000
//6	        5000

Redis protocol

Without specific configuration, StackExchange.Redis will use the RESP2 protocol; this means that pub/sub requires a separate connection to the server. RESP3 is a newer protocol (usually, but not always, available on v6 servers and above) which allows (among other changes) pub/sub messages to be communicated on the same connection - which can be very desirable in servers with a large number of clients. The protocol handshake needs to happen very early in the connection, so by default the library does not attempt a RESP3 connection unless it has reason to expect it to work.

The library determines whether to use RESP3 by: