A framework agnostic rate limiter.

1.1 2021-01-14 22:22 UTC

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Last update: 2024-06-15 05:55:52 UTC



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A framework agnostic request rate limiter.


Throttler can rate limit on any data point you like: IP address, user ID, API key, or any other uniquely identifying information you have access to.


composer require nimbly/throttler


Storage adapter

You need a place to keep track of the hit counters - cache, database, or whatever. Create an instance of a storage adapter to be passed into the Throttler. See the Available storage adapters section further down for complete list of adapters.

$storageAdapter = new Throttler\Adapters\Redis(
    new Predis\Client('tcp://localhost:6379')


Instantiate Throttler by passing in a storage adapter instance.

$throttler = new Throttler($storageAdapter);

Constructor Options

You may pass in an array of key => value pair options as the second parameter of the constructor.

$throttler = new Throttler($storageAdapter, ['key' => 'value']);

Supported options:

  • prefix Prefix to apply to all keys and passed to the storage adapter. Defaults to Throttler\.


hit(string $id, int $limit, int $decay) : boolean

Log a hit on the throttler incrementing the rate limit counter. Returns true on success and false on failure.

  • id is the unique ID of the source of this request. This value can be any string you'd like: IP address, a user ID, etc.
  • limit is the total number of requests allowed over the timespan defined by decay.
  • decay is the timespan allowed in seconds.

This example allows 120 requests in a 60 second timespan per IP address.

if( $throttler->hit($request->ipAddress(), 120, 60) === false ){
    throw new TooManyRequestsHttpException(60, 'Slow it down man!');

check(string $id) : int

Check (but do not increment) the current rate limit counter for the given ID.

if( $throttler->check($request->user->id) >= $warningThreshold ){
    $response = $response->withHeader("X-Rate-Limit", "Warning");


Add the throttler to your Middleware (you're using Middleware, right?)

class ThrottleRequest implements SomeMiddlewareLibrary
    public function handle(Request $request, $next)
        $storageAdapter = new Throttler\Adapters\Redis(
            new Predis\Client('tcp://localhost:6379')

        $throttler = new Throttler($storageAdapter);

        if( $throttler->hit($request->ipAddress(), 120, 60) === false ){
            throw new TooManyRequestsHttpException(60, 'Slow it down man!');

        return $next($request);

Available storage adapters

The following list of storage adapters are provided "out of the box":


Requires the Predis library available via predis/predis on Packagist.

$redisAdapter = new Throttler\Adapters\Redis(
    new Predis\Client("tcp://localhost:6379")

$throttler = new Throttler($redisAdapter);


The database adapter can use any PDO compatible database to persist throttler data. Just add this table to your database:

CREATE TABLE throttler
$databaseAdapter = new Throttler\Adapters\Database(
    new PDO("mysql:dbname=myapp;host=localhost", "username", "password")

$throttler = new Throttler($databaseAdapter);

You can also customize the columns that the Throttler will use along with garbage collection chance:

  • table Table name to use. Defaults to throttler.
  • key Key column name. Column type must be a string or varchar. Defaults to key.
  • hits Hits column name. Column type must be an integer. Defaults to hits.
  • expires_at Expiration column name. Column type must be an integer (UNIX timestamp). Defaults to expires_at.
  • gc_chance Percent chance that garbage collection will run. A value less than 1 means it will never run. A value greater than 99 means it will run on every call. Defaults to 5.
$databaseAdapter = new Throttler\Adapters\Database(
    new PDO("mysql:dbname=myapp;host=localhost", "username", "password"),
        "table" => "limiter",
        "key" => "id",
        "hits" => "value",
        "expires_at" => "ttl",
        "gc_chance" => 20,

$throttler = new Throttler($databaseAdapter);


APCu is an in-memory PHP cache and requires the PECL APCu library available through most Linux package managers.

$apcuAdapter = new Throttler\Adapters\Apcu;

$throttler = new Throttler($apcuAdapter);


The memory adapter maintains its throttler purely in memory and does not persist its data between HTTP or CLI requets. This adapter is ideal for testing or other special use cases. Only use this adapter if you know what you are doing.

$memoryAdapter = new Throttler\Adapters\Memory;

$throttler = new Throttler($memoryAdapter);

Custom storage adapters

A Throttler\StorageAdapter interface is provided so that you may create your own adapters for any persistance engine you want. It must implement two methods:

get(string $key) : int

Returns the given key's current counter or 0 if key does not exist.

increment(string $key, int $decay) : int

Increments the counter for the given key. If key does not exist, it must create it and set its counter to 1 as well as set the counter to expire after $decay seconds. Returns the counter value.

use Nimbly\Throttler\StorageAdapter;

class MyStorageAdapter implements StorageAdapter
    public function get(string $key): int
        // Get $key from storage engine.

    public function increment(string $key, int $decay): int
        // Increment $key on storage engine and return new value.