Redis Exists Command

Redis is a key-value database that is lightweight and easy to use. To fetch a value in Redis, you have to reference the associated key. Although this is incredibly easy, it does provide one challenge, what happens if the key does not exist?

To create a simple error handling mechanism in our applications, we can use the Redis EXISTS command to verify the key before executing a query.

Redis SET Key

Let us assume you have a key-value pair as shown below:> SET mykey myvalue


We create a new Redis key and value using the SET command in the previous command.

To get the value associated with a specific key, we can use the GET command as shown below:> GET mykey


This should return the value stored by the key “mykey”.

Redis EXISTS Command

The EXISTS command in Redis allows us to determine if a specified key exists in the database.

For example, to check if the key “mykey” exists in the selected database, we execute the following command:> EXISTS mykey

(integer) 1

The command returns (integer) 1 if the key is found and (integer) 0 if not. The following example is provided:> EXISTS nokey

(integer) 0

Note that you can pass multiple keys as the parameters. An example is provided below:> EXISTS key1 mykey nokey key2

(integer) 1

The command will take the provided keys and check how many exist within the selected database.

For example, the previous command returns (integer) 1 since only one key exists in the database.

What happens if you specify the same key more than once?

Take the following example commands below:> set key1 one> set key2 two> set key3 three

We can check the same key multiple times using the following command shown:> EXISTS key1 key1 key 2

(integer) 2

Redis ignores the repeated keys and counts the unique values in this case.

NOTE: The existence of the key is only checked in the currently selected database. For the following example, let us switch to database 2:> select 2


Note: the prompt changes to reflect the currently selected database.

In this database, let us create a new key and value pair as shown below:[2]> SET user1 "mr_fantastic"


Switch back to the database at index 0.[2]> SELECT 0


If you check the existence of the key “user1”, Redis will return 0.> EXISTS user1

(integer) 0

The EXISTS command only checks the key in the currently selected database.


This article details how to check if a key exists within the currently selected database within a Redis instance. We hope you found this article helpful. Check the other Linux Hint articles for more tips and information.

About the author

John Otieno

My name is John and am a fellow geek like you. I am passionate about all things computers from Hardware, Operating systems to Programming. My dream is to share my knowledge with the world and help out fellow geeks. Follow my content by subscribing to LinuxHint mailing list