Daemon configuration

The daemon configuration file is read from `/etc/netdata/netdata.conf`.Depending on your installation method, Netdata will have been installed either directly under `/`, or under `/opt/netdata`. The paths mentioned here and in the documentation in general assume that your installation is under `/`. If it is not, you will find the exact same paths under `/opt/netdata` as well. (i.e. `/etc/netdata` will be `/opt/netdata/etc/netdata`).

This config file is not needed by default. Netdata works fine out of the box without it. But it does allow you to adapt the general behavior of Netdata, in great detail. You can find all these settings, with their default values, by accessing the URL https://netdata.server.hostname:19999/netdata.conf. For example check the configuration file of netdata.firehol.org. HTTP access to this file is limited by default to private IPs, via the web server access lists.

netdata.conf has sections stated with [section]. You will see the following sections:

  1. [global] to configure the Netdata daemon.
  2. [web] to configure the web server.
  3. [plugins] to configure which collectors to use and PATH settings.
  4. [health] to configure general settings for health monitoring
  5. [registry] for the Netdata registry.
  6. [backend] to set up streaming and replication options.
  7. [statsd] for the general settings of the stats.d.plugin.
  8. [plugin:NAME] sections for each collector plugin, under the comment Per plugin configuration.
  9. [CHART_NAME] sections for each chart defined, under the comment Per chart configuration.

The configuration file is a name = value dictionary. Netdata will not complain if you set options unknown to it. When you check the running configuration by accessing the URL /netdata.conf on your Netdata server, Netdata will add a comment on settings it does not currently use.

Applying changes#

After netdata.conf has been modified, Netdata needs to be restarted for changes to apply:

sudo systemctl restart netdata

If the above does not work, try the following:

sudo killall netdata; sleep 10; sudo netdata

Please note that your data history will be lost if you have modified history parameter in section [global].


[global] section options#

process scheduling policykeepSee Netdata process scheduling policy
OOM score1000See OOM score
glibc malloc arena max for plugins1See Virtual memory.
glibc malloc arena max for Netdata1See Virtual memory.
hostnameauto-detectedThe hostname of the computer running Netdata.
history3996Used with memory mode = save/map/ram/alloc, not the default memory mode = dbengine. This number reflects the number of entries the netdata daemon will by default keep in memory for each chart dimension. This setting can also be configured per chart. Check Memory Requirements for more information.
update every1The frequency in seconds, for data collection. For more information see the performance guide.
config directory/etc/netdataThe directory configuration files are kept.
stock config directory/usr/lib/netdata/conf.d
log directory/var/log/netdataThe directory in which the log files are kept.
web files directory/usr/share/netdata/webThe directory the web static files are kept.
cache directory/var/cache/netdataThe directory the memory database will be stored if and when Netdata exits. Netdata will re-read the database when it will start again, to continue from the same point.
lib directory/var/lib/netdataContains the alarm log and the Netdata instance guid.
home directory/var/cache/netdataContains the db files for the collected metrics
plugins directory"/usr/libexec/netdata/plugins.d" "/etc/netdata/custom-plugins.d"The directory plugin programs are kept. This setting supports multiple directories, space separated. If any directory path contains spaces, enclose it in single or double quotes.
memory modedbenginedbengine: The default for long-term metrics storage with efficient RAM and disk usage. Can be extended with page cache size and dbengine disk space.
save: Netdata will save its round robin database on exit and load it on startup.
map: Cache files will be updated in real-time. Not ideal for systems with high load or slow disks (check man mmap).
ram: The round-robin database will be temporary and it will be lost when Netdata exits.
none: Disables the database at this host, and disables health monitoring entirely, as that requires a database of metrics.
page cache size32Determines the amount of RAM in MiB that is dedicated to caching Netdata metric values.
dbengine disk space256Determines the amount of disk space in MiB that is dedicated to storing Netdata metric values and all related metadata describing them.
dbengine multihost disk space256Same functionality as dbengine disk space, but includes support for storing metrics streamed to a parent node by its children. Can be used in single-node environments as well.
host access prefixThis is used in docker environments where /proc, /sys, etc have to be accessed via another path. You may also have to set SYS_PTRACE capability on the docker for this work. Check issue 43.
memory deduplication (ksm)yesWhen set to yes, Netdata will offer its in-memory round robin database to kernel same page merging (KSM) for deduplication. For more information check Memory Deduplication - Kernel Same Page Merging - KSM
TZ environment variable:/etc/localtimeWhere to find the timezone
timezoneauto-detectedThe timezone retrieved from the environment variable
debug flags0x0000000000000000Bitmap of debug options to enable. For more information check Tracing Options.
debug log/var/log/netdata/debug.logThe filename to save debug information. This file will not be created if debugging is not enabled. You can also set it to syslog to send the debug messages to syslog, or none to disable this log. For more information check Tracing Options.
error log/var/log/netdata/error.logThe filename to save error messages for Netdata daemon and all plugins (stderr is sent here for all Netdata programs, including the plugins). You can also set it to syslog to send the errors to syslog, or none to disable this log.
access log/var/log/netdata/access.logThe filename to save the log of web clients accessing Netdata charts. You can also set it to syslog to send the access log to syslog, or none to disable this log.
errors flood protection period1200Length of period (in sec) during which the number of errors should not exceed the errors to trigger flood protection.
errors to trigger flood protection200Number of errors written to the log in errors flood protection period sec before flood protection is activated.
run as usernetdataThe user Netdata will run as.
pthread stack sizeauto-detected
cleanup obsolete charts after seconds3600See monitoring ephemeral containers, also sets the timeout for cleaning up obsolete dimensions
gap when lost iterations above1
cleanup orphan hosts after seconds3600How long to wait until automatically removing from the DB a remote Netdata host (child) that is no longer sending data.
delete obsolete charts filesyesSee monitoring ephemeral containers, also affects the deletion of files for obsolete dimensions
delete orphan hosts filesyesSet to no to disable non-responsive host removal.
enable zero metricsnoSet to yes to show charts when all their metrics are zero.

[web] section options#

Refer to the web server documentation

[plugins] section options#

In this section you will see be a boolean (yes/no) option for each plugin (e.g. tc, cgroups, apps, proc etc.). Note that the configuration options in this section for the orchestrator plugins python.d, charts.d and node.d control all the modules written for that orchestrator. For instance, setting python.d = no means that all Python modules under collectors/python.d.plugin will be disabled.

Additionally, there will be the following options:

PATH environment variableauto-detected
PYTHONPATH environment variableUsed to set a custom python path
enable running new pluginsyesWhen set to yes, Netdata will enable detected plugins, even if they are not configured explicitly. Setting this to no will only enable plugins explicitly configured in this file with a yes
check for new plugins every60The time in seconds to check for new plugins in the plugins directory. This allows having other applications dynamically creating plugins for Netdata.
checksnoThis is a debugging plugin for the internal latency

[health] section options#

This section controls the general behavior of the health monitoring capabilities of Netdata.

Specific alarms are configured in per-collector config files under the health.d directory. For more info, see health monitoring.

Alarm notifications are configured in health_alarm_notify.conf.

enabledyesSet to no to disable all alarms and notifications
in memory max health log entries1000Size of the alarm history held in RAM
script to execute on alarm/usr/libexec/netdata/plugins.d/alarm-notify.shThe script that sends alarm notifications. Note that in versions before 1.16, the plugins.d directory may be installed in a different location in certain OSs (e.g. under /usr/lib/netdata).
stock health configuration directory/usr/lib/netdata/conf.d/health.dContains the stock alarm configuration files for each collector
health configuration directory/etc/netdata/health.dThe directory containing the user alarm configuration files, to override the stock configurations
run at least every seconds10Controls how often all alarm conditions should be evaluated.
postpone alarms during hibernation for seconds60Prevents false alarms. May need to be increased if you get alarms during hibernation.
rotate log every lines2000Controls the number of alarm log entries stored in <lib directory>/health-log.db, where <lib directory> is the one configured in the [global] section

[registry] section options#

To understand what this section is and how it should be configured, please refer to the registry documentation.


Refer to the streaming and replication documentation.

Per-plugin configuration#

The configuration options for plugins appear in sections following the pattern [plugin:NAME].

Internal plugins#

Most internal plugins will provide additional options. Check Internal Plugins for more information.

Please note, that by default Netdata will enable monitoring metrics for disks, memory, and network only when they are not zero. If they are constantly zero they are ignored. Metrics that will start having values, after Netdata is started, will be detected and charts will be automatically added to the dashboard (a refresh of the dashboard is needed for them to appear though). Use yes instead of auto in plugin configuration sections to enable these charts permanently. You can also set the enable zero metrics option to yes in the [global] section which enables charts with zero metrics for all internal Netdata plugins.

External plugins#

External plugins will have only 2 options at netdata.conf:

update everythe value of [global].update every settingThe frequency in seconds the plugin should collect values. For more information check the performance guide.
command optionsemptyAdditional command line options to pass to the plugin.

External plugins that need additional configuration may support a dedicated file in /etc/netdata. Check their documentation.

Per-chart configuration#

In this area of netdata.conf you can find configuration options for individual charts. They appear in sections following the pattern [NAME].

Using the settings and values under these sections, you can control all aspects of a specific chart. You can change its title, make it appear higher in Netdata's menu, tweak its dimensions, and much more.

To find the name of a given chart, and thus the name of its section in netdata.conf, look at the top-left corner of a chart:

Finding the unique ID of a

Every per-chart configuration section has several common settings, which are listed in the table just below. Beneath that is information about lines that begin with dim, which affect a chart's dimensions.

historyOverride the history setting in the [global] options for this particular chart. Should be less than or equal to the global history setting.
enabledA boolean (yes or no) that explicitly enables or disables the chart in question.
cache directoryThe directory where cache files for this plugin, if needed, are stored.
chart typeDefines what type of chart to display. It can be line, area, or stacked. If empty or missing, line will be used.
typeUniquely identify which metrics menu on the Netdata dashboard this chart should appear under. Some examples include system (System), disk (Disks), net (Network Interfaces), and netdata (Netdata Monitoring).
familyChange the chart's family from its default. For example, you could force a disk space chart to collect metrics for family sdb instead of family sda.
unitsText for the label of the vertical axis of the chart. This means all dimensions should have the same unit of measurement.
contextChange the default context of the chart. Changing this setting will affect what metrics and metrics the chart displays, and which alarms are attached to it.
priorityDefine where the chart should appear on the Netdata dashboard. Lower values equal higher priority, so a priority of 1 will place the chart highest, while a priority of 9999999 would place the chart at the bottom of the Netdata dashboard.
nameThe name of the chart that appears in the top-left corner, after the chart's title. You can also use this name when writing health entities.
titleThe text that appears above the chart in the Netdata dashboard.

Dimension settings#

You may notice some settings that begin with dim beneath the ones defined in the table above. These settings determine which dimensions appear on the given chart and how Netdata calculates them.

Each dimension setting has the following structure: dim [DIMENSION ID] [OPTION] = [VALUE]. The available options are name, algorithm, multiplier, and divisor.

nameThe name of the dimension as it will appear in the legend of the chart. If left empty, or is missing, Netdata will use the [DIMENSION ID] instead.
algorithmCan be absolute, incremental, percentage-of-absolute-row, or percentage-of-incremental-row. If this setting is empty, invalid, or missing, Netdata will use absolute. See the list beneath this table for descriptions of what each algorithm does.
multiplierAn integer value by which to multiply the collected value. If empty or missing, Netdata will use 1. This setting is often used with the value 1024 to convert metabytes to kilobytes, kilobytes to bytes, and so on.
divisorAn integer value by which to divide the collected value. If empty or missing, Netdata will use 1. This setting is often used with the value 1024 to convert bytes to kilobytes, kilobytes to megabytes, and so on.

Here are the options for the algorithm setting:

  • absolute: The value is drawn as-is (interpolated to second boundary).
  • incremental: To be used when the value always increases over time, such as the I/O on a disk. Netdata takes the difference between the current metric and the past metric to calculate a per-second figure.
  • percentage-of-absolute-row: The % of this value compared to the total of all dimensions.
  • percentage-of-incremental-row: The % of this value compared to the incremental total of all dimensions.

For example, the system.io chart has the following default settings:

# dim in name = in
# dim in algorithm = incremental
# dim in multiplier = 1
# dim in divisor = 1
# dim out name = out
# dim out algorithm = incremental
# dim out multiplier = -1
# dim out divisor = 1

These dim settings produce two dimensions, in and out, both of which use the incremental algorithm. By multiplying the value of out by -1, Netdata creates the negative values seen in the following area chart:

The system.io chart on a macOS

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