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Scala global unique identifier (GUID) generator for large systems.


Ride uses Mongo Object ID algorithm to generate globally unique IDs with a custom base32 serialization to make it shorter when transported as a string. See docs.

Internally it consists of:

  • first 4 bytes representing the seconds since the Unix epoch
  • next 3 bytes are the current machine identifier (hostname)
  • next 2 bytes are process ID
  • the last 3 bytes are counter, starting with a random value.

The binary representation of the ID is compatible with Mongo 12 bytes Object IDs. The string representation is using base32 hex (w/o padding) for better space efficiency when stored in that form (20 bytes). The hex variant of base32 is used to retain the sortable property of the ID.


  • Size: 12 bytes (96 bits). See comparison
  • Guaranteed uniqueness for 16,777,216 (24 bits) IDs per second and per host/process
  • Base32 hex encoded by default (20 chars when transported as printable string, sortable)
  • K-ordered
  • No need to set up a unique machine and/or data center ID
  • Embedded time with 1 second precision
  • Lock-free



In your build.sbt add

resolvers += Resolver.jcenterRepo
libraryDependencies += "com.github.kolotaev" %% "ride" % "1.0.1"

Generating IDs

import com.github.kolotaev.ride.Id

val guid = Id()

// String => b8uhqvioith6uqnvvvq0

// => Array[Byte] = Array(90, 61, 29, 126, 88, -105, 98, 111, 106, -1, -1, -12)
// Byte representation of ID

val ids = Array.fill[Id](3) { Id() }
// Array(b8ui8kioith721fvvvj0, b8ui8kioith721fvvvjg, b8ui8kioith721fvvvk0)

Reproducing IDs

val guid2 = Id("b8uhqvioith6uqnvvvq0")

println(guid == guid2)
// true. guid and guid2 are considered equal objects, since they represent the same Id value

println(s"$guid" == s"$guid2")
// true. guid and guid2 are the same strings

// Creating ID from malformed string throws IllegalArgumentException exception
val guid3 = Id("bad-string")

Obtaining embedded info

// => java.time.LocalDateTime = 2017-12-22T23:58:06
// Local time embedded into ID
// => Array[Byte] = Array(88, -105, 98)
// Prints PID embedded into ID. It's a truncated version of the real PID

// Array[Byte] = Array(88, -105, 98)
// Stored machine identifier bytes

// Int = 56


Ride implements Serializable and Ordered[T].

Comparison with other unique identifiers

UUIDs are 16 bytes (128 bits) and 36 chars as string representation. Twitter Snowflake IDs are 8 bytes (64 bits) but require machine/data-center configuration and/or central generator servers. Ride stands in between with 12 bytes (96 bits) and a more compact URL-safe string representation (20 chars). No configuration or central generator server is required so it can be used directly in server's code.

Name Binary Size String Size Features
UUID 16 bytes 36 chars configuration free, not sortable
Snowflake 8 bytes up to 20 chars needs machine/data-center configuration, needs central server, sortable
MongoID 12 bytes 24 chars configuration free, sortable
Ride 12 bytes 20 chars configuration free, sortable


Approximate relative performance metrics.

Name x10 x100 x1000 x100,000 x1,000,000 x10,000,000
java.util UUID v4 6 msec 6 msec 10 msec 212 msec 1910 msec 20 sec
java.util UUID v3 1 msec 3 msec 15 msec 92 msec 439 msec 4 sec
Ride 9 msec 10 msec 15 msec 36 msec 107 msec 0.86 sec


The library is a JVM implementation of the awesome Golang library xid.


The source code is licensed under the MIT License.