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Backing up a Netdata Agent


Users are responsible for backing up, recovering, and ensuring their data's availability because Netdata stores data locally on each system due to its decentralized architecture.


When preparing to backup a Netdata Agent it is worth considering that there are different kinds of data that you may wish to backup independently or all together:

Data typeDescriptionLocation
Agent configurationFiles controlling configuration of the Netdata Agentconfig directory
MetricsDatabase files/var/cache/netdata
IdentityClaim token, API key and some other files/var/lib/netdata


Backing up to restore data in case of a node failure

In this standard scenario, you are backing up your Netdata Agent in case of a node failure or data corruption so that the metrics and the configuration can be recovered. The purpose is not to backup/restore the application itself.

  1. Verify that the directory paths in the table above contain the information you expect.

    The specific paths may vary depending on installation method, Operating System, and whether it is a Docker/Kubernetes deployment.

  2. It is recommended that you stop the Netdata Agent when backing up the Metrics/database files.
    Backing up the Agent configuration and Identity folders is straightforward as they should not be changing very frequently.

  3. Using a backup tool such as tar you will need to run the backup as root or as the netdata user to access all the files in the directories.

    sudo tar -cvpzf netdata_backup.tar.gz /etc/netdata/ /var/cache/netdata /var/lib/netdata

    Stopping the Netdata agent is typically necessary to back up the database files of the Netdata Agent.

If you want to minimize the gap in metrics caused by stopping the Netdata Agent, consider implementing a backup job or script that follows this sequence:

  • Backup the Agent configuration Identity directories
  • Stop the Netdata service
  • Backup up the database files
  • Restart the netdata agent.

Restoring Netdata

  1. Ensure that the Netdata agent is installed and is stopped

    If you plan to deploy the Agent and restore a backup on top of it, then you might find it helpful to use the --dont-start-it option upon installation.

    wget -O /tmp/ && sh /tmp/ --dont-start-it

    Note If you are going to restore the database files then you should first ensure that the Metrics directory is empty.

    sudo rm -Rf /var/cache/netdata
  2. Restore the backup from the archive

    sudo tar -xvpzf /path/to/netdata_backup.tar.gz -C /
  3. Start the Netdata agent

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