Generate Sequential UUIDv4 in Elixir

Generate Sequential UUIDv4 in Elixir

categories: Elixir
tags: UUIDv4

The idea is simple. Sequential UUIDv4 (128 bit) consists of unix timestamp (32 bit) + random bytes (96 bit)


Basic form of normal UUIDv4 (128 bit) in hex numbers (32 digits) 1 :

  • Each digit is 4 bit.
  • x is any random hexadecimal digit
  • y is either 8, 9, A, or B
  • 4 and y are version flags indicate version 4 UUID 2
    • y is 4 bit: 10zz where z is random bit. Hence, the possible value of y is 1000 (8), 1001 (9), 1010 (A), 1011 (B)

Sequential UUIDv4

A bit modification on normal form where first 32 bits are UNIX timestamp (or 8 digit in hex number) and remaining bits comply with UUIDv4 spec as explained above.

  • t is UNIX timestamp in hex digit

Or in binary representation, the 128-bit sequential UUIDv4 consists of five segments:

[unixtime:32][random:16]['4':4][random:12]['2'(first two bits of `y`):2][random:62]

Implementation in Elixir

Thanks to binary pattern matching. The implementation in Elixir is trivial.

defmodule SeqUUIDv4 do
  def generate() do
    unix_time = DateTime.utc_now() |> DateTime.to_unix()

    <<_r0::32, r1::16, _r2::4, r3::12, _r4::2, r5::62>> = :crypto.strong_rand_bytes(16)
    <<unix_time::32, r1::16, 4::4, r3::12, 2::2, r5::62>>

The output of generate/0 is binary. To encode as hex numbers use Base.encode16/1:

SeqUUIDv4.generate() |> Base.encode16()

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