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Client Sessions

A client session is a sequence of alternating requests and replies between a client and a cluster.

A client session may have at most one in-flight request — i.e. at most one unique request on the network for which a reply has not been received. This simplifies consistency and allows the cluster to statically guarantee capacity in its incoming message queue. Additional requests from the application are queued by the client, to be dequeued and sent when their preceding request receives a reply.

TigerBeetle has a hard limit on the number of concurrent client sessions, and encourages minimizing the number of concurrent clients to maximize throughput.


A client session begins when a client registers itself with the cluster.

  • Each client session has a unique identifier ("client id") — an ephemeral random 128-bit id.
  • The client sends a special "register" message which is committed by the cluster, at which point the client is "registered" — once it receives the reply, it may begin sending requests.
  • Client registration is handled automatically by the TigerBeetle client implementation when the client is initialized, before it sends its first request.
  • When a client restarts (for example, the application service running the TigerBeetle client is restarted) it does not resume its old session — it starts a new session, with a new (random) client id.

A client session ends when either:

  • the client session is evicted, or
  • the client terminates

— whichever occurs first.


When a client session is registering and the number of active sessions in the cluster is already at the cluster's concurrent client session limit (config.clients_max, 32 by default), an existing client session must be evicted to make space for the new session.

  • After a session is evicted by the cluster, no future requests from that session will ever execute.
  • The evicted session is chosen as the session that committed a request the longest time ago.

The cluster sends a message to notify the evicted session that it has ended. Typically the evicted client is no longer active (already terminated), but if it is active, the eviction message causes it to self-terminate, bubbling up to the application as an session evicted error.

(TODO: Right now evicted clients panic — fix that so this is accurate.)

If active clients are terminating with session evicted errors, it (most likely) indicates that the application is trying to run too many concurrent clients.