Getting Started With Apache Kafka

This tutorial will get us started with Apache Kafka on a Debian 8.

What Is Kafka?

Kafka is a new publish-subscribe messaging system that uses a distributed, partitioned, and replicated. It can scale horizontally without downtime, and achieves durability with messages being persisted on disk and replicated within the cluster to prevent data loss. Apparently, each broker can handle terabytes of messages without performance impact, but I have not tested this.



Go to the downloads page and download the latest release which at the time of writing this tutorial is Then extract the source code and navigate to within the extracted folder:

tar --extract --gzip --file kafka*
cd kafka_*

Kafka requires Zookeeper (another Apache product), in order to run. Setting up Zookeeper cluster is beyond the scope of this tutorial, so for now we will just have this instance run a zookeeper cluster of one. Luckily, the Kafka download provides an easy way to do this:

./bin/ config/

Now we can start the kafka server.

./bin/ config/

We now have a Kafka server running. Next time we'll learn about interfacing with it using PHP and setting up an actual cluster.



Stuart is a software developer with a passion for Linux and open source projects.

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