The Cache static class provides a consistent interface to configure and utilize the different cache adapters included with li3, as well as your own adapters.

Included Adapters

The framework ships with several adapters for caching. These adapters can be found in lithium/storage/cache/adapter. Each adapter has its own special characteristics, pick one (or two) dependent on your specific use case.

  • Memcache - A libmemcached based adapter, highly recommended.
  • Apc - Can be used if you're on an older PHP version and cannot use memcached, but have APC or APCu available.
  • Redis - Recommended if you're already using redis for other tasks.
  • File - A minimal file-based cache, good if your app lives in constrained environment or you'd like to cache BLOBs.
  • Memory - A minimal in-memory cache, good for testing purposes.
  • Xcache - An alternative to Apc, not recommended as support might be phased out.

Also see the Cache Adapters API Documentation for more information.

Enabling/Disabling Caching

To control whether or not caching is enabled, you can either comment or uncomment the following line in your application's config/bootstrap.php file:

 * This file contains configurations for connecting to external caching resources, as well as
 * default caching rules for various systems within your application
require __DIR__ . '/bootstrap/cache.php';
By default, caching is enabled in the framework.


In most cases, you will configure various named cache configurations in your bootstrap process, which will then be available to you in all other parts of your application. A simple example configuration:

    'local' => [
        'adapter' => 'Apc'
    'distributed' => [
        'adapter' => 'Memcached',
        'host' => ''
    'default' => [
        'adapter' => 'File',
        'strategies => ['Serializer']


Each cache configuration can be configured with strategies. These influence how values are read and written into the cache. Some adapters already handle serialization for you, others like File do not do this. This is why we configure the File adapter using the general Serializer strategy. Other stratgies can be found in the Cache Strategies API Documentation.


Adapter configurations can be scoped, adapters will then handle the namespacing of the keys transparently for you. This prevents caches from "stepping on each others toes".

    'primary'   => ['adapter' => 'Apc', 'scope' => 'primary'],
    'secondary' => ['adapter' => 'Apc', 'scope' => 'secondary']

General Operation

Adapters provide a consistent interface for basic cache operations (write, read, increment, decrement, delete and clear), which can be used interchangeably between all adapters. Some adapters may provide additional methods that are not consistently available across other adapters.

Writing to the Cache

All cache operations take the name of the configuration as their first argument. This allows you to use the best cache configuration for your use cache.

// Will store the value `'bar'` under the `foo` key, using the default expiry.
Cache::write('default', 'foo', 'bar');
The read/write and delete methods can handle multi keys/values or so called batch operations. Simply pass an array of keys (and value pairs) to the respective method.

To specify an expiry, use the 4th parameter of the method. Expiry time is a strtotime() compatible string. Alternatively an integer denoting the seconds until the item expires (TTL). If no expiry time is set, then the default cache expiration time set with the cache adapter configuration will be used. To persist an item use Cache::PERSIST.

Cache::write('default', 'foo', 'bar', '+1 hour');
Cache::write('default', 'foo', 'bar', Cache::PERSIST);

(Atomically) Increment/Decrement Values

Two specialized methods for writing to the cache are Cache::increment() and Cache::decrement(). These can be used i.e. if you want to increase a counter. Some adapters handle these operations atomically others can't. Please check your adapter configuration for details.

Cache::increment('default', 'pageviews'); // increment count by one
Cache::increment('default', 'pageviews', 2); // increment count by two

Reading from the Cache

Reading from cache is pretty is and after reading the above you should already be able to guess, how this works.

// Will read the value under the `foo` key, if isn't found returns `null`.
Cache::read('default', 'foo');

Caching BLOBs

This feature is available with version 1.1.

BLOBs are binary large objects or simply put: files. The file cache adapter is capable of storing BLOBs using the following configuration.

	'blob' => [
		'adapter' => 'File',
		'streams' => true

Imagine - upon user request - a PDF is compiled. This requires quite a bit of CPU time and memory. Upon following requests for the same PDF you want to save some cycles and return the file from cache. This example shows you how.

// We will need a stream handle we can write to and read from.
$stream = fopen('php://temp', 'wb');

// Pseudocode; generate a PDF then store it in the stream.

// We must rewind the stream, as Cache will not do this for us.

// Store the contents of $stream into a cache item.
Cache::write('blob', 'productCatalogPdf', $stream);
// ... later somewhere else in the galaxy ...
$stream = Cache::read('blob', 'productCatalogPdf');

// Output $stream to the client.
// echo stream_get_contents($stream);