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= UUID Generator

Generates universally unique identifiers (UUIDs) for use in distributed
applications. Based on {RFC 4122}[http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc4122.txt].


== Generating UUIDs

Call #generate to generate a new UUID. The method returns a string in one of
three formats. The default format is 36 characters long, and contains the 32
hexadecimal octets and hyphens separating the various value parts. The
<tt>:compact</tt> format omits the hyphens, while the <tt>:urn</tt> format
adds the <tt>:urn:uuid</tt> prefix.

For example:

  uuid = UUID.new
  10.times do
    p uuid.generate
  end


== UUIDs in Brief

UUID (universally unique identifier) are guaranteed to be unique across time
and space.

A UUID is 128 bit long, and consists of a 60-bit time value, a 16-bit
sequence number and a 48-bit node identifier.

The time value is taken from the system clock, and is monotonically
incrementing.  However, since it is possible to set the system clock
backward, a sequence number is added.  The sequence number is incremented
each time the UUID generator is started.  The combination guarantees that
identifiers created on the same machine are unique with a high degree of
probability.

Note that due to the structure of the UUID and the use of sequence number,
there is no guarantee that UUID values themselves are monotonically
incrementing.  The UUID value cannot itself be used to sort based on order
of creation.

To guarantee that UUIDs are unique across all machines in the network,
the IEEE 802 MAC address of the machine's network interface card is used as
the node identifier.

For more information see {RFC 4122}[http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc4122.txt].


== UUID State File

The UUID generator uses a state file to hold the MAC address and sequence
number.

The MAC address is used to generate identifiers that are unique to your
machine, preventing conflicts in distributed applications. The MAC
address is six bytes (48 bit) long. It is automatically extracted from
one of the network cards on your machine.

The sequence number is incremented each time the UUID generator is
first used by the application, to prevent multiple processes from
generating the same set of identifiers, and deal with changes to the
system clock.

The UUID state file is created in <tt>#Dir.tmpdir/ruby-uuid</tt> or the Windows
common application data directory using mode 0644.  If that directory is not
writable, the file is created as <tt>.ruby-uuid</tt> in the home directory.
If you need to create the file with a different mode, use UUID#state_file
before running the UUID generator.

Note: If you are running on a shared host where the state file is not shared
between processes, or persisted across restarts (e.g. Heroku, Google App
Engine) you can simple turn it off:

  UUID.state_file = false

State files are not portable across machines.

If you do not use the state file, UUID generation will attempt to use your
server's MAC address using the macaddr gem, which runs system commands to
identify the MAC address and then cache it.  Since this can take a few seconds
on some operating systems, when using UUID.state_file = false, you should add
the following line after disabling the state file:

  UUID.generator.next_sequence

Note: when using a forking server (Unicorn, Resque, Pipemaster, etc) you don't
want your forked processes using the same sequence number.  Make sure to
increment the sequence number each time a worker forks.

For example, in config/unicorn.rb:

  after_fork do |server, worker|
    UUID.generator.next_sequence
  end


== Command Line

You can run uuid from the command line, generating new UUID to stdout:

  $ uuid

Multiple UUIDs in a sequence, separated with a newline:

  $ uuid --count 10

You can also run client and server from the command line

  $ uuid --server &
  $ uuid --socket /var/lib/uuid.sock


== Latest and Greatest

Source code and documentation hosted on Github: http://github.com/assaf/uuid

To get UUID from source:

  git clone git://github.com/assaf/uuid.git


== License

This package is licensed under the MIT license and/or the Creative
Commons Attribution-ShareAlike.

:include: MIT-LICENSE