Common configuration changes

The Netdata Agent requires no configuration upon installation to collect thousands of per-second metrics from most systems, containers, and applications, but there are hundreds of settings to tweak if you want to exercise more control over your monitoring platform.

This document assumes familiarity with using edit-config from the Netdata config directory.

Change dashboards and visualizations#

The Netdata Agent's local dashboard, accessible at http://NODE:19999 is highly configurable. If you use Netdata Cloud for infrastructure monitoring, you will see many of these changes reflected in those visualizations due to the way Netdata Cloud proxies metric data and metadata to your browser.

Increase the long-term metrics retention period#

Increase the values for the page cache size and dbengine multihost disk space settings in the [global] section of netdata.conf.

[global]
page cache size = 128 # 128 MiB of memory for metrics storage
dbengine multihost disk space = 4096 # 4GiB of disk space for metrics storage

Read our doc on increasing long-term metrics storage for details, including a calculator to help you determine the exact settings for your desired retention period.

Reduce the data collection frequency#

Change update every in the [global] section of netdata.conf so that it is greater than 1. An update every of 5 means the Netdata Agent enforces a minimum collection frequency of 5 seconds.

[global]
update every = 5

Every collector and plugin has its own update every setting, which you can also change in the go.d.conf, python.d.conf, node.d.conf, or charts.d.conf files, or in individual collector configuration files. If the update every for an individual collector is less than the global, the Netdata Agent uses the global setting. See the enable or configure a collector doc for details.

Disable a collector or plugin#

Turn off entire plugins in the [plugins] section of netdata.conf.

To disable specific collectors, open go.d.conf, python.d.conf, node.d.conf, or charts.d.conf and find the line for that specific module. Uncomment the line and change its value to no.

Modify alarms and notifications#

Netdata's health monitoring watchdog uses hundreds of preconfigured health entities, with intelligent thresholds, to generate warning and critical alarms for most production systems and their applications without configuration. However, each alarm and notification method is completely customizable.

Add a new alarm#

To create a new alarm configuration file, initiate an empty file, with a filename that ends in .conf, in the health.d/ directory. The Netdata Agent loads any valid alarm configuration file ending in .conf in that directory. Next, edit the new file with edit-config. For example, with a file called example-alarm.conf.

sudo touch health.d/example-alarm.conf
sudo ./edit-config health.d/example-alarm.conf

Or, append your new alarm to an existing file by editing a relevant existing file in the health.d/ directory.

Read more about configuring alarms to get started, and see the health monitoring reference for a full listing of options available in health entities.

Configure a specific alarm#

Tweak existing alarms by editing files in the health.d/ directory. For example, edit health.d/cpu.conf to change how the Agent responds to anomalies related to CPU utilization.

To see which configuration file you need to edit to configure a specific alarm, view your active alarms in Netdata Cloud or the local Agent dashboard and look for the source line. For example, it might read source [email protected]/usr/lib/netdata/conf.d/health.d/cpu.conf.

Because the source path contains health.d/cpu.conf, run sudo edit-config health.d/cpu.conf to configure that alarm.

Disable a specific alarm#

Open the configuration file for that alarm and set the to line to silent.

template: disk_fill_rate
on: disk.space
lookup: max -1s at -30m unaligned of avail
calc: ($this - $avail) / (30 * 60)
every: 15s
to: silent

Turn of all alarms and notifications#

Set enabled to no in the [health] section section of netdata.conf.

Enable alarm notifications#

Open health_alarm_notify.conf for editing. First, read the enabling notifications doc for an example of the process using Slack, then click on the link to your preferred notification method to find documentation for that specific endpoint.

Improve node security#

While the Netdata Agent is both open and secure by design, we recommend every user take some action to administer and secure their nodes.

Learn more about a few of the following changes in the node security doc.

Disable the local Agent dashboard (http://NODE:19999)#

If you use Netdata Cloud to visualize metrics, stream metrics to a parent node, or otherwise don't need the local Agent dashboard, disabling it reduces the Agent's resource utilization and improves security.

Change the mode setting to none in the [web] section of netdata.conf.

[web]
mode = none

Use access lists to restrict access to specific assets#

Allow access from only specific IP addresses, ranges of IP addresses, or hostnames using access lists and simple patterns.

See a quickstart to access lists in the node security doc.

Stop sending anonymous statistics to Google Analytics#

Create a file called .opt-out-from-anonymous-statistics inside of your Netdata config directory to immediately stop the statistics script.

sudo touch .opt-out-from-anonymous-statistics

Learn more about why we collect anonymous statistics.

Change the IP address/port Netdata listens to#

Change the default port setting in the [web] section to a port other than 19999.

[web]
default port = 39999

Use the bind to setting to the ports other assets, such as the running netdata.conf configuration, API, or streaming requests listen to.

Reduce resource usage#

Read our performance optimization guide for a long list of specific changes that can reduce the Netdata Agent's CPU/memory footprint and IO requirements.

Organize nodes with host labels#

Beginning with v1.20, Netdata accepts user-defined host labels. These labels are sent during streaming, exporting, and as metadata to Netdata Cloud, and help you organize the metrics coming from complex infrastructure. Host labels are defined in the section [host labels].

For a quick introduction, read the host label guide.

The following restrictions apply to host label names:

  • Names cannot start with _, but it can be present in other parts of the name.
  • Names only accept alphabet letters, numbers, dots, and dashes.

The policy for values is more flexible, but you can not use exclamation marks (!), whitespaces ( ), single quotes ('), double quotes ("), or asterisks (*), because they are used to compare label values in health alarms and templates.

What's next?#

If you haven't already, learn how to secure your nodes.

As mentioned at the top, there are plenty of other

You can also take what you've learned about node configuration to tweak the Agent's behavior or enable new features:

Related reference documentation#

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