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Email agent alert notifications

You need a working sendmail command for email alerts to work. Almost all MTAs provide a sendmail interface.

Netdata sends all emails as user netdata, so make sure your sendmail works for local users.

If you are using our Docker images, or are running Netdata on a system that does not have a working sendmail command, see the section below about using msmtp in place of sendmail.

email notifications look like this:



To edit health_alarm_notify.conf on your system run /etc/netdata/edit-config health_alarm_notify.conf.

You can configure recipients in /etc/netdata/health_alarm_notify.conf.

You can also configure per role recipients in the same file, a few lines below.

Changes to this file do not require a Netdata restart.

You can test your configuration by issuing the commands:

# become user netdata
sudo su -s /bin/bash netdata

# send a test alarm
/usr/libexec/netdata/plugins.d/ test [ROLE]

Where [ROLE] is the role you want to test. The default (if you don't give a [ROLE]) is sysadmin.

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). You can always find the location of the script in netdata.conf.


Every notification email (both the plain text and the rich html versions) from the Netdata agent, contain a set of custom email headers that can be used for filtering using an email client. Example:

X-Netdata-Severity: warning
X-Netdata-Alert-Name: inbound_packets_dropped_ratio
X-Netdata-Chart: net_packets.enp2s0
X-Netdata-Family: enp2s0
X-Netdata-Classification: System
X-Netdata-Host: winterland
X-Netdata-Role: sysadmin

Using msmtp instead of sendmail

msmtp provides a simple alternative to a full-blown local mail server and sendmail that will still allow you to send email notifications. It comes pre-installed in our Docker images, and is available on most distributions in the system package repositories.

To use msmtp with Netdata for sending email alerts:

  1. If it’s not already installed, install msmtp. Most distributions have it in their package repositories with the package name msmtp.
  2. Modify the sendmail path in health_alarm_notify.conf to point to the location of msmtp:
# The full path to the sendmail command.
# If empty, the system $PATH will be searched for it.
# If not found, email notifications will be disabled (silently).
  1. Login as netdata:
(sudo) su -s /bin/bash netdata
  1. Configure ~/.msmtprc as shown in the documentation.
  2. Finally set the appropriate permissions on the .msmtprc file :
chmod 600 ~/.msmtprc

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