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This document describes how RQ works internally when enqueuing or dequeueing.

Enqueueing internals

Whenever a function call gets enqueued, RQ does two things:

All jobs are stored in Redis under the rq:job: prefix, for example:


The keys of such a job hash are:

created_at  => '2012-02-13 14:35:16+0000'
enqueued_at => '2012-02-13 14:35:16+0000'
origin      => 'default'
data        => <pickled representation of the function call>
description => "count_words_at_url('')"

Depending on whether or not the job has run successfully or has failed, the following keys are available, too:

ended_at    => '2012-02-13 14:41:33+0000'
result      => <pickled return value>
exc_info    => <exception information>

Dequeueing internals

Whenever a dequeue is requested, an RQ worker does two things:

Cancelling jobs

Any job ID that is encountered by a worker for which no job hash is found in Redis is simply ignored. This makes it easy to cancel jobs by simply removing the job hash. In Python:

from rq import cancel_job

Note that it is irrelevant on which queue the job resides. When a worker eventually pops the job ID from the queue and notes that the Job hash does not exist (anymore), it simply discards the job ID and continues with the next.