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Running Movable Type with memcached

Memcached (pronounced mem-cash-dee) is a caching framework that allieviates database load and makes applications that utilize it faster and more reliable. From memcached’s website:

memcached is a high-performance, distributed memory object caching system, generic in nature, but intended for use in speeding up dynamic web applications by alleviating database load.

Danga Interactive developed memcached to enhance the speed of, a site which was already doing 20 million+ dynamic page views per day for 1 million users with a bunch of webservers and a bunch of database servers. memcached dropped the database load to almost nothing, yielding faster page load times for users, better resource utilization, and faster access to the databases on a memcache miss.

How to Install Memcached in Unix

Using RPMs and Yum

Users of Red Hat Enterprise, Fedora and CentOS, depending upon the version you are using, may have success installing memcached via RPM. Do do so, execute the following command as root:

yum install memcached

Users of Debian can execute this command:

apt-get install memcached

Any missing dependencies will be resolved for you automatically.

Compiling from Source

While some RPMs and Debian packages exist for memcache, the most reliable way to get memcached up and running is to compile from source. This is typically very straight forward and quite reliable.

  1. Download libevent (version 1.3b).
  2. Untar libevent by executing tar zxvf libevent-1.3b.tar.gz
  3. Execute cd libevent-1.3b
  4. Execute ./configure
  5. Execute make install as root
  6. Download memcached (version 1.2.2).
  7. Untar memcached by executing tar zxvf memcached-1.2.2.tar.gz
  8. Execute cd memcached-1.2.2
  9. Execute ./configure
  10. Execute make install as root

Now you can start the memcached daemon by executing the following command:

./memcached -d -m 2048 -l -p 11211 &

This will start memcached and bind it to port 11211 on the IP address of with 2GB of memory.

How to Install Memcached in Windows

A version of memcached exists for windows as well. Download the latest Win32 Binary of memcached and follow the instructions found on its website.

How to Install Memcached on Mac OS X

To install memcached on a Mac OS X system, download and run the following script.

Setting Up Movable Type

Once memcache has been successfully installed on your machine, or on a server that is accessible by Movable Type, edit your mt-config.cgi file and add the following configuration parameter:


Be sure to set the IP address ( in the example above) and the port number (11211 in the example above) to the proper IP and Port that memcached is listening on.

To setup Movable Type to connect to a pool of memcache servers add multiple MemcachedServers directives like so:


If you are running Movable Type under FastCGI you will need to restart your webserver.

That’s it. Movable Type will immediately begin caching data using memcached. If Movable Type experiences any problems accessing memcached then it will degrade gracefully and act as if it is not there.

Tips and Best Practices

  • Consider launching memcached automatically when the server starts up so that you can rest assured that it will always be running.
  • Monitor memcache using Nagios or other monitoring software to ensure that it is running
  • Consider deploying memcache on a dedicated machine
  • Do not deploy memcached and Movable Type on different networks - memcache operates most efficiently when network overhead and latency is completely minimized.

3 Comments on April 4, 2009, 6:59 a.m. Reply

What benefits will we get form installing memcached? Will memcached speeds up static html publishing?

Tomato Interactive on November 19, 2009, 9:25 a.m. Reply

What kind of data are cached by MT ?

  • Configuration files ?
  • Parts of templates used during site rebuilding ?
  • Parts of the admin interface ?


François Nonnenmacher

François Nonnenmacher on December 3, 2009, 2:10 p.m. Reply

These installation instructions miss an important point: you need to install the Perl module Cache::Memcached otherwise you’ll get the following error: Can’t locate object method “new” via package “Cache::Memcached” at lib/MT/