A Ruby ORM for RethinkDB

DB Management

NoBrainer comes with helpers to manage the RethinkDB database.

Managing Databases

NoBrainer comes with a couple of helper methods to manage the database:

  • NoBrainer.drop! drops the current database.
  • NoBrainer.purge! truncates all the tables in the database.
  • NoBrainer.sync_schema configures the tables and synchronizes the indexes.

When Running Tests

When running tests, it is important to have an easy way to cleanup the database. NoBrainer.purge! will truncate all the existing tables leaving the index declarations. This is much faster compared to the NoBrainer.drop! command, which drops the database entirely.

When running tests, it is recommanded to do the following:

  • Run NoBrainer.sync_schema before running all tests.
  • Run NoBrainer.purge! before each tests.

Rake Tasks

When using Rails, NoBrainer implements a few rake tasks:

$ rake nobrainer:drop        # Drop the database
$ rake nobrainer:sync_schema # Synchronize schema
$ rake nobrainer:seed        # Load seed data from db/seeds.rb
$ rake nobrainer:reset       # Equivalent to :drop + :sync_schema + :seed
$ rake nobrainer:rebalance   # Rebalance all tables

Accessing System Tables

NoBrainer provides models to access RethinkDB system tables. The models are the following:

  • NoBrainer::System::DBConfig
  • NoBrainer::System::ClusterConfig
  • NoBrainer::System::ServerConfig
  • NoBrainer::System::ServerStatus
  • NoBrainer::System::TableConfig
  • NoBrainer::System::TableStatus
  • NoBrainer::System::Issue
  • NoBrainer::System::Job
  • NoBrainer::System::Log
  • NoBrainer::System::Stat

Further, Model.table_status returns the corresponding TableStatus instance of the model table. Model.table_config and Model.table_stats returns the table config and stats of the model table.

Rebalancing a Table

  • Model.rebalance initiates the rebalancing of the table.
  • Model.table_wait waits for the table to be ready.


NoBrainer manages a driver-level connection to RethinkDB. NoBrainer.connection.raw retrieves the managed RethinkDB connection. NoBrainer.disconnect disconnects the connection if connected.

NoBrainer automatically disconnects the connection on forks, so you do not have worry when using gems such as Unicorn or Resque. However, if some threads are running queries during the fork, there will be issues since the connection is disconnected pre-fork.

NoBrainer uses a single RethinkDB connection by default, which slows down performance in multi threaded applications, but is the safest solution until connection pools are implemented. You may set config.per_thread_connection to true to avoid a performance hit in multi threaded applications. Calling NoBrainer.disconnect before exiting a thread is a good idea to avoid resource exhaustion.

NoBrainer automatically reconnects to the database when the connection has been lost. Specifically, when the database connection is lost while running a query, NoBrainer tries to reconnect and re-issue the query every second until it succeed. NoBrainer gives up after 15 tries (configurable with the max_retries_on_connection_failure setting). This behavior may be a concern for non idempotent write queries. If such retries can be an issue, setting max_retries_on_connection_failure to 0 will disable query retries on connection failures. Losing the connection while iterating a cursor (e.g. with each) will not trigger a retry but raise a lost connection exception, except on the first iteration which acquires the database cursor.