Collectors quickstart

In this quickstart guide, you'll learn how to enable collectors so you can get metrics from your favorite applications and services.

This guide will not cover advanced collector features, such as enabling/disabling entire plugins,

What's in this quickstart guide

Find the collector for your application or service

Netdata has pre-installed collectors for hundreds of popular applications and services. You don't need to install anything to collect metrics from many popular services, like Nginx web servers, MySQL/MariaDB databases, and much more.

To find whether Netdata has a pre-installed collector for your favorite app/service, check out our collector support list. The only exception is the third-party collectors, which you do need to install yourself. However, this quickstart guide will focus on pre-installed collectors.

When you find a collector you're interested in, take note of its orchestrator. These are in the headings above each table, and there are four: Bash, Go, Node, and Python. They go by their respective names: charts.d, go.d, node.d, and python.d.

If there is a collector written in both Go and Python, it's better to choose the Go-based version, as we will eventually deprecate most Python-based collectors.

From here on out, this quickstart guide will use the Nginx collector as an example to showcase the process of configuring and enabling one of Netdata's pre-installed collectors.

Configure your application or service for monitoring

Every collector's documentation comes with instructions on how to configure your app/service to make it available to Netdata's collector. Our collector support list contains links to each collector's documentation page so you can learn more.

For example, the Nginx collector documentation states that your Nginx installation must have the stub_status module configured correctly, in addition to an active stub_status/ page, for Netdata to monitor it. You can confirm whether you have the module enabled with the following command:

nginx -V 2>&1 | grep -o with-http_stub_status_module

If this command returns nothing, you'll need to enable the stub_status module.

Next, edit your /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default file to include a location block with the following, which enables the stub_status page:

server {
...
location /nginx_status {
stub_status;
}
}

At this point, your Nginx installation is fully configured and ready for Netdata to monitor it. Next, you'll configure your collector.

Edit the collector's configuration file

This step may not be required based on how you configured your app/service, as each collector comes with a few pre-configured jobs that look for the app/service in common and expected locations. For example, the Nginx collector looks for a stub_status page at http://localhost/stub_status and http://127.0.0.1/stub_status, which allows it to auto-detect almost all local Nginx web servers.

Despite Netdata's auto-detection capabilities, it's important to know how to edit collector configuration files.

You should always edit configuration files with the edit-config script that comes with every installation of Netdata. To edit a collector configuration file, navigate to your Netdata configuration directory. Launch edit-config with the path to the collector's configuration file.

How do you find that path to the collector's configuration file? Look under the Configuration heading in the collector's documentation. Each file contains a short code block with the relevant command.

For example, the Nginx collector has its configuration file at go.d/nginx.conf.

cd /etc/netdata # Replace this path with your Netdata config directory
sudo ./edit-config go.d/nginx.conf

This file contains all of the possible job parameters to help you monitor Nginx in all sorts of complex deployments. At the bottom of the file is a [JOB] section, which contains the two default jobs. Configure these as needed, using those parameters as a reference, to configure the collector.

Enable the collector

Most collectors are enabled and will auto-detect their app/service without manual configuration. However, you need to restart Netdata to trigger the auto-detection process.

To restart Netdata on most systems, use service netdata restart. For other systems, see the other restart methods.

Open Netdata's dashboard in your browser, or refresh the page if you already have it open. You should now see a new entry in the menu and new interactive charts!

What's next?

Collector not working? Learn about collector troubleshooting in our collector reference.

View our collectors guides to get specific instructions on enabling new and popular collectors.

Finally, learn more advanced collector features, such as disabling plugins or developing a custom collector, in our internal plugin API or our external plugin docs.

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