Extra Sidekiq Processes

GitLab Enterprise Edition allows one to start an extra set of Sidekiq processes besides the default one. These processes can be used to consume a dedicated set of queues. This can be used to ensure certain queues always have dedicated workers, no matter the amount of jobs that need to be processed.

Starting Extra Processes

Starting extra Sidekiq processes can be done using the command bin/sidekiq-cluster. This command takes arguments using the following syntax:

sidekiq-cluster [QUEUE,QUEUE,...] [QUEUE, ...]

Each separate argument denotes a group of queues that have to be processed by a Sidekiq process. Multiple queues can be processed by the same process by separating them with a comma instead of a space.

Instead of a queue, a queue namespace can also be provided, to have the process automatically listen on all queues in that namespace without needing to explicitly list all the queue names. For more information about queue namespaces, see the relevant section in the Sidekiq style guide.

For example, say you want to start 2 extra processes: one to process the "process_commit" queue, and one to process the "post_receive" queue. This can be done as follows:

sidekiq-cluster process_commit post_receive

If you instead want to start one process processing both queues you'd use the following syntax:

sidekiq-cluster process_commit,post_receive

If you want to have one Sidekiq process process the "process_commit" and "post_receive" queues, and one process to process the "gitlab_shell" queue, you'd use the following:

sidekiq-cluster process_commit,post_receive gitlab_shell


Each process started using sidekiq-cluster starts with a number of threads that equals the number of queues, plus one spare thread. For example, a process that processes "process_commit" and "post_receive" will use 3 threads in total.


The sidekiq-cluster command will not terminate once it has started the desired amount of Sidekiq processes. Instead the process will continue running and forward any signals to the child processes. This makes it easy to stop all Sidekiq processes as you simply send a signal to the sidekiq-cluster process, instead of having to send it to the individual processes.

If the sidekiq-cluster process crashes or is SIGKILL'd the child processes will terminate themselves after a few seconds. This ensures you don't end up with zombie Sidekiq processes.

All of this makes monitoring the processes fairly easy. Simply hook up sidekiq-cluster to your supervisor of choice (e.g. runit) and you're good to go.

If a child process died the sidekiq-cluster command will signal all remaining process to terminate, then terminate itself. This removes the need for sidekiq-cluster to re-implement complex process monitoring/restarting code. Instead you should make sure your supervisor restarts the sidekiq-cluster process whenever necessary.

PID Files

The sidekiq-cluster command can store its PID in a file. By default no PID file is written, but this can be changed by passing the --pidfile option to sidekiq-cluster. For example:

sidekiq-cluster --pidfile /var/run/gitlab/sidekiq_cluster.pid process_commit

Keep in mind that the PID file will contain the PID of the sidekiq-cluster command, and not the PID(s) of the started Sidekiq processes.


The Rails environment can be set by passing the --environment flag to the sidekiq-cluster command, or by setting RAILS_ENV to a non-empty value. The default value is "development".

All Queues With Exceptions

You're able to run all queues in sidekiq_queues.yml file on a single or multiple processes with exceptions using the --negate flag.

For example, say you want to run a single process for all queues, except "process_commit" and "post_receive". You can do so by executing:

sidekiq-cluster process_commit,post_receive --negate

For multiple processes of all queues (except "process_commit" and "post_receive"):

sidekiq-cluster process_commit,post_receive process_commit,post_receive --negate