Framework used to simplify Apache Kafka based Ruby applications development.

It allows programmers to use approach similar to "the Rails way" when working with asynchronous Kafka messages.

Karafka not only handles incoming messages but also provides tools for building complex data-flow applications that receive and send messages.

Monthly Downloads: 373,928
Programming language: Ruby
License: Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 2.5 Generic
Tags: Queue     Background Jobs     Message Queue     Wrapper     Kafka     Apache Kafka    
Latest version: v20.0.21

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Note: Upgrade notes for migration from Karafka 1.4 to Karafka 2.0 can be found here.

About Karafka

Karafka is a Ruby and Rails multi-threaded efficient Kafka processing framework that:

# Define what topics you want to consume with which consumers in karafka.rb
Karafka::App.routes.draw do
  topic 'system_events' do
    consumer EventsConsumer

# And create your consumers, within which your messages will be processed
class EventsConsumer < ApplicationConsumer
  # Example that utilizes ActiveRecord#insert_all and Karafka batch processing
  def consume
    # Store all of the incoming Kafka events locally in an efficient way
    Event.insert_all messages.payloads

Karafka uses threads to handle many messages simultaneously in the same process. It does not require Rails but will integrate tightly with any Ruby on Rails applications to make event processing dead simple.

Getting started

If you're entirely new to the subject, you can start with our "Kafka on Rails" articles series, which will get you up and running with the terminology and basic ideas behind using Kafka:

If you want to get started with Kafka and Karafka as fast as possible, then the best idea is to visit our Getting started guides and the example apps repository.

We also maintain many integration specs illustrating various use-cases and features of the framework.

TL;DR (1 minute from setup to publishing and consuming messages)

Prerequisites: Kafka running. You can start it by following instructions from here.

  1. Add and install Karafka:
bundle add karafka

bundle exec karafka install
  1. Dispatch a message to the example topic using the Rails or Ruby console:
Karafka.producer.produce_sync(topic: 'example', payload: { 'ping' => 'pong' }.to_json)
  1. Run Karafka server and see the consumption magic happen:
bundle exec karafka server

[7616dc24-505a-417f-b87b-6bf8fc2d98c5] Polled 1 message in 1000ms
[dcf3a8d8-0bd9-433a-8f63-b70a0cdb0732] Consume job for ExampleConsumer on example started
[dcf3a8d8-0bd9-433a-8f63-b70a0cdb0732] Consume job for ExampleConsumer on example finished in 0ms

Want to Upgrade? LGPL is not for you? Want to help?

I also sell Karafka Pro subscriptions. It includes a commercial-friendly license, priority support, architecture consultations, and high throughput data processing-related features (virtual partitions, long-running jobs, and more).

20% of the income will be distributed back to other OSS projects that Karafka uses under the hood.

Help me provide high-quality open-source software. Please see the Karafka homepage for more details.


Karafka has Wiki pages for almost everything and a pretty decent FAQ. It covers the installation, setup, and deployment, along with other useful details on how to run Karafka.

If you have questions about using Karafka, feel free to join our Slack channel.

Karafka has priority support for technical and architectural questions that is part of the Karafka Pro subscription.

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the Karafka README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.