Memcache Commands

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Commands Cheat-Sheet


The supported commands (the official ones and some unofficial) are documented in the doc/protocol.txt document.

Sadly the syntax description isn’t really clear and a simple help command listing the existing commands would be much better. Here is an overview of the commands you can find in the source (as of 19.08.2016):



Reads a value

get mykey


Set a key unconditionally

set mykey <flags> <ttl> <size> <p>Ensure to use \r\n als line breaks when using Unix CLI tools. For example</p> printf "set mykey 0 60 4\r\ndata\r\n"


Add a new key

add newkey 0 60 5


Overwrite existing key

replace key 0 60 5


Append data to existing key

append key 0 60 15


Prepend data to existing key

prepend key 0 60 15


Increments numerical key value by given number

incr mykey 2


Decrements numerical key value by given number

decr mykey 5


Deletes an existing key

delete mykey


Invalidate all items immediately



Invalidate all items in n seconds

flush_all 900


Prints general statistics


Prints memory statistics

stats slabs

Print higher level allocation statistics

stats malloc

Print info on items

stats items

stats detail

stats sizes

Resets statistics counters

stats reset

lru_crawler metadump

Dump (most of) the metadata for (all of) the items in the cache

lru_crawler metadump all


Prints server version.



Increases log level



Terminate session


Traffic Statistics

You can query the current traffic statistics using the command


You will get a listing which serves the number of connections, bytes in/out and much more.

Example Output:

STAT pid 14868
STAT uptime 175931
STAT time 1220540125
STAT version 1.2.2
STAT pointer_size 32
STAT rusage_user 620.299700
STAT rusage_system 1545.703017
STAT curr_items 228
STAT total_items 779
STAT bytes 15525
STAT curr_connections 92
STAT total_connections 1740
STAT connection_structures 165
STAT cmd_get 7411
STAT cmd_set 28445156
STAT get_hits 5183
STAT get_misses 2228
STAT evictions 0
STAT bytes_read 2112768087
STAT bytes_written 1000038245
STAT limit_maxbytes 52428800
STAT threads 1

Memory Statistics

You can query the current memory statistics using

stats slabs

Example Output:

STAT 1:chunk_size 80
STAT 1:chunks_per_page 13107
STAT 1:total_pages 1
STAT 1:total_chunks 13107
STAT 1:used_chunks 13106
STAT 1:free_chunks 1
STAT 1:free_chunks_end 12886
STAT 2:chunk_size 100
STAT 2:chunks_per_page 10485
STAT 2:total_pages 1
STAT 2:total_chunks 10485
STAT 2:used_chunks 10484
STAT 2:free_chunks 1
STAT 2:free_chunks_end 10477
STAT active_slabs 3
STAT total_malloced 3145436

If you are unsure if you have enough memory for your memcached instance always look out for the “evictions” counters given by the “stats” command. If you have enough memory for the instance the “evictions” counter should be 0 or at least not increasing.

Which Keys Are Used?

There is no builtin function to directly determine the current set of keys. However you can use the

stats items

command to determine how many keys do exist.

stats items
STAT items:1:number 220
STAT items:1:age 83095
STAT items:2:number 7
STAT items:2:age 1405

This at least helps to see if any keys are used. To dump the key names from a PHP script that already does the memcache access you can use the PHP code from

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