1. Manuel Barkhau
  2. omnibust



Omnibust - A universal cachebusting script

A language and framework agnostic cachbusting script.

Omnibust will scan the files of your web project for static resources (js, css, png) and also for urls in your sourcecode (html, js, css, py, rb, etc.) which reference these resources. It will add or update a cachebust parameter on any such urls based on the static resources they reference.

Requires python >= 2.6 or python >= 3.2. Build Status


$ pip install omnibust


$ wget https://bitbucket.org/mbarkhau/omnibust/raw/master/omnibust.py
$ chmod +x omnibust.py
$ cp omnibust.py /usr/local/bin/omnibust

Check that it worked

$ omnibust --help


Project setup:

$ cd your/project/directory
$ omninust init

This will write the .omnibust file, which you can take a look at and update if some of your urls are not being found.

If this doesn't find all references to static files, or doesn't find the static files themselves, you will have to adjust static_dirs and code_dirs in your omnibust.cfg (see below). Please also consider opening a ticket on [https://bitbucket.org/mbarkhau/omnibust], as omnibust should work out of the box for as many projects as reasonably possible.

The rewrite option will add a _cb_ to every static url it can find and associate with a static file in the project directory.

CAUTION: Since rewrite will modify your source files, you should commit or backup your files and run omnibust with --no-act first to make certain it won't modify anything in the wrong way.

$ omnibust status --querystring
$ omnibust rewrite --querystring

From now on you simply run omnibust rewrite on your project directory and it will only update urls with an existing _cb_ parameter.

$ omnibust rewrite

Options and Configuration

Explicitly specify files TODO: parameter configuration

Dynamic URLs and Multibust

Some URLs may not be found with omnibust init, esp. if they are not preceded by something like src= or url(, and of course URLs which are dynamically created during runtime cannot automatically be found at all.

You can help omnibust find these by manually marking them with _cb_. After this, you can run omnibust update will expand the marker to a full cachbust parameter.

The multibust configuration option allows for a limited form of dynamic URLs. Omnibust will expand any URL using the configured multibust mapping. If a multibust key (typically a template variable) is found in an URL, it is expanded using the corresponding associated multibust values. The search for static resources is then based on the expanded URLs.

Given the configuration

"multibust": {"{{ language }}": ["en", "de", "fr", "jp", "es"]}

And the following URL

<img src="i18n_image_{{ language }}_cb_0123abcd.png" />

The following static resources may be matched for this URL


If any of these files is modified, the cachebust parameter will be updated. This method is safe (in that any change to the static resource results in cache invalidation) and convenient (in that one url can be used to reference semantically similar files), but it does mean that some cached files will be invalidated that were still valid. If this is a problem for you, all static files will have to be referenced explicitly. You could for example create a mapping of the form

i18n_images = {
    'en': "/static/i18n_image_en_cb_0123abcd.png",
    'de': "/static/i18n_image_de_cb_0123abcd.png",

And reference it for example from a jinja2 template like this

<img src="{{ i18n_image[language] }}" />

Webserver Setup

In order for browsers to cache and reuse your static resources, your webserver must set appropriate cache headers. Here are some example configuration directives for common webservers.

Filename Based Cachbusting

Omnibust defaults to query parameter app.js?_cb_=0123abcd based cachbusting, but it can also rewrite the filenames in urls to the form app_cb_0123abcd.js. This is useful since URLs with query parameters are not cached by all browsers in all situations, even if all caching headers are provided correctly [needs reference]. TODO: check if there are browsers where a cached resource will be used even if the query string changes.

Putting a cachebust parameter in the filename of a URL will guarantee that your static resource is loaded when it has changed and it will be cached in more situations. The downside is, that your urls now have filenames which reference files that don't actually exist! (Assuming you don't create them, which would be quite laborious and error prone.) The sollution is to have your webserver rewrite the urls of requests it recieves, by stripping out the cachebust parameter, and serving the correct static resource. Here are some configuration directives for common webservers.

# Nginx

location ~* ^/static/(.+?)_cb_\w+(\.\w+)$ {
    alias /srv/www/static/$1$2;
    add_header Vary Accept-Encoding;
    expires max;

# Apache

RewriteRule ^/static/(.+?)_cb_\w+(\.\w+)$ /static/$1$2