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A small & fast following/followers database.

Project description

friendlydb is a small & fast following/followers database written in Python. It can be either used directly from your Python code or over HTTP with small web API.

FriendlyDB isn’t meant to be a full user system; it should be used to augment an existing system to track relationships.


Starting with v2.0.0, FriendlyDB is NOT backward-compatible with v0.4.0 & before. Prior to v2.0.0, data was stored on the filesystem, but in v2.0.0 & later, data is stored in Redis.

It was rewritten to use Redis for several reasons:

  • Better performance

  • Less wear/tear on hard disks

  • Simpler code

However, this does mean you will need to run your own version of the Redis server (2.6.4+ recommended).

See below if you need to migrate from an older install to v2.0.0.


Using FriendlyDB from Python looks like:

from friendlydb.db import FriendlyDB

# Start using the DB (assumes Redis default host/port/db).
fdb = FriendlyDB()
# Alternatively, ``fdb = FriendlyDB(host='', port=7100, db=3)``

# Grab a user by their username.
daniel = fdb['daniel']

# Follow a couple users.

# Check the following.
# Returns:
# [
#     'alice',
#     'bob',
#     'joe',
# ]

# Check joe's followers.
# Returns:
# [
#     'daniel',
# ]

# Unfollow.

# Check the following.
# Returns:
# [
#     'alice',
#     'joe',
# ]

# Dust off & nuke everything from orbit.

Using FriendlyDB from HTTP looks like (all trailing slashes are optional):

# In one shell, start the server.
python friendlydb/ -d /tmp/friendly

# From another, run some URLs.
curl -X GET
# {"version": "0.3.0"}

curl -X GET
# {"username": "daniel", "following": [], "followers": []}

curl -X POST
# {"username": "daniel", "other_username": "alice", "followed": true}
curl -X POST
# {"username": "daniel", "other_username": "bob", "followed": true}
curl -X POST
# {"username": "daniel", "other_username": "joe", "followed": true}

curl -X POST
# {"username": "daniel", "other_username": "joe", "unfollowed": true}

curl -X GET
# {"username": "daniel", "following": ["alice", "bob"], "followers": []}

curl -X GET
# {"username": "daniel", "other_username": "alice", "is_following": true}

curl -X GET
# {"username": "alice", "other_username": "daniel", "is_followed_by": true}

curl -X GET
# {"username": "alice", "other_username": "joe", "is_followed_by": false}


  • Python 2.6+ or Python 3.3+

  • >= 2.7.2

  • (Optional) gevent for the HTTP server

  • (Optional) unittest2 for running tests


Using pip, you can install it with pip install friendlydb.


You can scope out FriendlyDB’s performance for yourself by running the included script.

In tests on a 2011 MacBook Pro (i7), the benchmark script demonstrated:

  • created 1,000,000 relationships between 10,000 users: 179 seconds (~2.5X faster than 0.4.0)

  • avg time to fetch a user’s followers: 0.0016 seconds

  • never exceeding 41Mb of RAM RSS

Migrating from v0.4.0 to 2.0.0

First, install & run the Redis server.

Second, run pip install redis>=2.7.2.

To migrate your data, the easiest way is to leave your old install of FriendlyDB in place (using the HTTP server), create a new install w/ Redis, then run code like:

import requests
import json
# The new version.
from friendlydb import FriendlyDB

old_url = ''
fdb = FriendlyDB()

for username in users:
    user = fdb[username]

    # Following.
    resp = requests.get("{0}/{1}/following/".format(old_url, username))
    data = json.loads(resp.content)

    for f_username in data.get("following", []):

You should create your own script & verify your data post-migration. No promises are made about the effectiveness/accuracy of the above code.

Running Tests

friendlydb is maintained with passing tests at all times. Simply run:

python -m unittest2 tests


In order for a contribution to be considered for merging, it must meet the following requirements:

  • Patch cleanly solves the problem

  • Added test coverage (now passing) to expose the bug & check for regression

  • If the behavior affects end-users, there must be docs on the changes

  • The patch/tests must be compatibly licensed with New BSD

The best way to submit contributions is by forking the project on Github, applying your changes on a new branch, pushing those changes back to GH & submitting a pull request through the GitHub interface.


New BSD license.


Daniel Lindsley





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