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RabbitMQ 3.13.0 Is Here!

· 5 min read

RabbitMQ 3.13 is now available with support for MQTTv5, stream filtering and significant improvements to classic queue performance, especially for larger messages.

Read dedicated blog posts for more details about these changes:

RabbitMQ 3.13 is the final minor release in the 3.x series. The next release will be 4.0!

Experimental Support For Khepri (Mnesia Replacement)

Apart from the new features mentioned in the first paragraph, RabbitMQ 3.13 includes experimental support for Khepri. Khepri is a new storage backend for RabbitMQ metadata that is designed to replace Mnesia. It is not yet ready for production use but we encourage users to try it out in test environments and provide feedback.

Our plan is to completely remove Mnesia in the future. This should significantly improve RabbitMQ tolerance to network partitions. Once we switch to Khepri, there will be no partition handling strategy configuration (pause_minority, autoheal, etc) — Khepri is based on the Raft protocol, just like quorum queues and therefore the semantics of what to do when a partition occurs are well defined and not configurable.


The command below enables an experimental feature that cannot be disabled. Do not use it in production unless you have tested it thoroughly!

To enable Khepri (experimental in 3.13 and non-reversible!) run:

rabbitmqctl enable_feature_flag khepri_db

You shouldn't really notice any difference after enabling Khepri. The main difference is what happens internally when you declare exchanges, queues, bindings and so on. We encourage experimentation such as declaring your actual topology first and then enabling Khepri (to validate everything works as expected), inducing failures to validate the cluster remains available (as long as the majority of the nodes is up and connected) and so on. Please report any issues you run into.

Feature Flags

RabbitMQ 3.13.0 includes a few new feature flags. It doesn't however, set any older flags as required (apart from those that were already required in 3.12 of course). Therefore, if you have some feature flags disabled, upgrading from 3.12 to 3.13 will still work. In the 3.11 -> 3.12 upgrade, some users ran into issues if not all feature flags were enabled. Such issues won't happen when moving from 3.12 to 3.13.


You should always enable all non-experimental feature flags after a successful upgrade.

Classic Queues: Version 1 Remains The Default

We had intended to change the default version of classic queues to v2 in 3.13 but ultimately decided against it. Therefore, v1 is still the default and v2 remains an opt-in feature. However, classic queues v2 are highly recommended! You can upgrade your queues by setting x-queue-version=2 in a policy. To make sure new queues are created as v2 by default, you can set

classic_queue.default_version = 2

in rabbitmq.conf.

The reason v1 remains the default has nothing to do with any v2 shortcomings but rather with the fact that changing the node default led to some back and forth migrations between v1 and v2 in certain scenarios. In particular, a mirrored queue would be upgraded and downgraded back and forth between v1 and v2 during a rolling upgrade, since the default would be different on different nodes. To avoid any risk of such scenarios, we decided against this change.

Classic queues v2 will become the only option in the future. By then, queue mirroring will be removed and therefore there will be no risk of mirroring-related issues.

Message Containers

Message Containers are a mostly invisible change in how messages are handled internally. RabbitMQ was originally built as an AMQP 0-9-1 broker. However, over the years, support for AMQP 1.0, MQTT, STOMP and Streams was added. This led to some internal message format conversions since different protocols have mostly similar concepts, but differ in the details such as available data types.

Message containers are based on a message format from AMQP 1.0 and modernize internal message representation with today's multi-protocol assumptions and makes all the conversions between protocols explicit.

These conversions are now documented.

That's A Wrap For 3.x!

RabbitMQ 3.0.0 was released in November 2012. For various historical reasons, the major version has not been incremented since then. However, it's time to say goodbye to the 3.x series and move on to 4.0 later this year. Version 4.0 will include a number of breaking changes but most importantly, it will no longer support mirroring of classic queues. Policy keys related to mirroring will be ignored and queues will become single-node queues. This is a final call for users requiring highly available queues: migrate to quorum queues, or streams if applicable, as soon as possible. You will enjoy much higher data safety, reliability and better performance than mirrored queues ever offered.