memcached Cookbook

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Provides a custom resource for installing instances of memcached. Also ships with a default recipe that uses attributes to configure a single memcached instance on a host.



  • Debian / Ubuntu and derivatives
  • RHEL and derivatives
  • Fedora

Chef Infra Client

  • Chef Infra Client 15.3+


The following are node attributes are used to configure the command line options of memcached if using the default.rb recipe. They are not used if using the memcached_instance custom resource.

  • memcached['memory'] - maximum memory for memcached instances.
  • memcached['user'] - user to run memcached as.
  • memcached['port'] - TCP port for memcached to listen on.
  • memcached['udp_port'] - UDP port for memcached to listen on.
  • memcached['listen'] - IP address for memcache to listen on, defaults to (world accessible).
  • memcached['maxconn'] - maximum number of connections to accept (defaults to 1024)
  • memcached['max_object_size'] - maximum size of an object to cache (defaults to 1MB)
  • memcached['logfilepath'] - path to directory where log file will be written.
  • memcached['logfilename'] - logfile to which memcached output will be redirected in $logfilepath/$logfilename.
  • memcached['threads'] - Number of threads to use to process incoming requests. The default is 4.
  • memcached['experimental_options'] - Comma separated list of extended or experimental options. (array)
  • memcached['extra_cli_options'] - Array of single item options suchas -L for large pages.
  • memcached['ulimit'] - maxfile limit to set (needs to be at least maxconn)


This cookbook can be used to to setup a single memcached instance running under the system's init provider by including memcached::default on your runlist. The above documented attributes can be used to control the configuration of that service.

The cookbook can also within other cookbooks in your infrastructure with the memcached_instance custom resource. See the documentation below for the usage and examples of that custom resource.

Custom Resources


Adds or removes an instance of memcached running under the system's native init system (sys-v, upstart, or systemd).


  • :start: Starts (and installs) an instance of memcached
  • :stop: Stops an instance of memcached
  • :enable: Enabled (and installs) an instance of memcached to run at boot
  • :restart: Restarts an instance of memcached


  • :memory - the amount of memory allocated for the cache. default: 64
  • :port - the TCP port to listen on. default: 11,211
  • :udp_port - the UDP port to listen on. default: 11,211
  • :listen - the IP to listen on. default: ''
  • :socket - the file patch to run memcached as a socket (this disables listening on a port by default)
  • :socket_mode - the file mode for the socket (memcached defaults to 0700)
  • :maxconn - the maximum number of connections to accept. default: 1024
  • :user - the user to run as
  • :binary_path - path of memcached binary, when set we assume memcached is already installed
  • :threads - the number of threads to use
  • :max_object_size - the largest object size to store
  • :experimental_options - an array of experimental config options, such as: ['maxconns_fast', 'hashpower']
  • :extra_cli_options - an array of additional config options, such as: ['-L']
  • :ulimit - the ulimit setting to use for the service
  • :disable_default_instance - disable the default 'memcached' service installed by the package. default: true
  • :no_restart - disable the service restart on configuration change. default: false
  • :log_level - The level at which we log, default to 'info'. Choose from: 'info', 'debug', 'trace' which map to '-v', '-vv' or '-vvv' arguments.


Create a new memcached instance named super_custom_memcached:

memcached_instance 'super_custom_memcached' do
  port 11_212
  memory 128

Stop and disable the super_custom_memcached instance:

memcached_instance 'super_custom_memcached'  do
  action :remove


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