4. Retry With the RabbitMQ Binder

When retry is enabled within the binder, the listener container thread is suspended for any back off periods that are configured. This might be important when strict ordering is required with a single consumer. However, for other use cases, it prevents other messages from being processed on that thread. An alternative to using binder retry is to set up dead lettering with time to live on the dead-letter queue (DLQ) as well as dead-letter configuration on the DLQ itself. See Section 3.1, “RabbitMQ Binder Properties” for more information about the properties discussed here. You can use the following example configuration to enable this feature:

To force a message to be dead-lettered, either throw an AmqpRejectAndDontRequeueException or set requeueRejected to true (the default) and throw any exception.

The loop continue without end, which is fine for transient problems, but you may want to give up after some number of attempts. Fortunately, RabbitMQ provides the x-death header, which lets you determine how many cycles have occurred.

To acknowledge a message after giving up, throw an ImmediateAcknowledgeAmqpException.

4.1 Putting it All Together

The following configuration creates an exchange myDestination with queue myDestination.consumerGroup bound to a topic exchange with a wildcard routing key #:

#disable binder retries
#dlx/dlq setup

This configuration creates a DLQ bound to a direct exchange (DLX) with a routing key of myDestination.consumerGroup. When messages are rejected, they are routed to the DLQ. After 5 seconds, the message expires and is routed to the original queue by using the queue name as the routing key, as shown in the following example:

Spring Boot application. 

public class XDeathApplication {

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        SpringApplication.run(XDeathApplication.class, args);

    public void listen(String in, @Header(name = "x-death", required = false) Map<?,?> death) {
        if (death != null && death.get("count").equals(3L)) {
            // giving up - don't send to DLX
            throw new ImmediateAcknowledgeAmqpException("Failed after 4 attempts");
        throw new AmqpRejectAndDontRequeueException("failed");


Notice that the count property in the x-death header is a Long.