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");

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
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
proxy={proxy type} Proxy Proxy.None Type of proxy in use (if any); for example “twemproxy”
resolveDns={bool} ResolveDns false Specifies that DNS resolution should be explicit and eager, rather than implicit
serviceName={string} ServiceName null Not currently implemented (intended for use with sentinel)
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 1000 Time (ms) to allow for synchronous operations
tiebreaker={string} TieBreaker __Booksleeve_TieBreak Key to use for selecting a server in an ambiguous master scenario
version={string} DefaultVersion (3.0 in Azure, else 2.0) Redis version level (useful when the server does not make this available)
writeBuffer={int} WriteBuffer 4096 Size of the output buffer

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.

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 master/slave 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):



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

Tiebreakers and Configuration Change Announcements

Normally StackExchange.Redis will resolve master/slave 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 master nodes (for example, while resetting a node for maintenance it may reappear on the network as a master). To help with this, StackExchange.Redis can use the notion of a tie-breaker - which is only used when multiple masters are detected (not including redis cluster, where multiple masters 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 master, so that work is routed correctly.

Likewise, when the configuration is changed (especially the master/slave 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 master/slave 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 linear (default), exponential 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