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Configuring Metrics Centralization Points

Metrics streaming configuration for both Netdata Children and Parents is done via stream.conf.

netdata.conf and stream.conf have the same ini format, but netdata.conf is considered a non-sensitive file, while stream.conf contains API keys, IPs and other sensitive information that enable communication between Netdata agents.

stream.conf has 2 main sections:

  • The [stream] section includes options for the sending Netdata (ie Netdata Children, or Netdata Parents that stream to Grand Parents, or to other sibling Netdata Parents in a cluster).
  • The rest includes multiple sections that define API keys for the receiving Netdata (ie. Netdata Parents).

Edit stream.conf

To edit stream.conf, run this on your terminal:

cd /etc/netdata 2>/dev/null || cd /opt/netdata/etc/netdata
sudo ./edit-config stream.conf

Your editor will open, with defaults and commented stream.conf options.

Configuring a Netdata Parent

To enable the reception of metrics from Netdata Children, generate a random API key with this command:


Then, copy the UUID generated, edit stream.conf, find the section that reads like the following and replace API_KEY with the UUID you generated:

# Accept metrics streaming from other Agents with the specified API key
enabled = yes

Save the file and restart Netdata.

Configuring Netdata Children

To enable streaming metrics to a Netdata Parent, edit stream.conf, and at the [stream] section at the top, set:

# Stream metrics to another Netdata
enabled = yes
# The IP and PORT of the parent
destination = PARENT_IP_ADDRESS:19999
# The shared API key, generated by uuidgen
api key = API_KEY

Save the file and restart Netdata.

Enable TLS/SSL Communication

While encrypting the connection between your parent and child nodes is recommended for security, it's not required to get started.

This example uses self-signed certificates.

This section assumes you have read the documentation on how to edit the Netdata configuration files.

  1. Parent node
    To generate an SSL key and certificate using openssl, take a look at the related section around Securing Netdata Agents in our Documentation.

  2. Child node
    Update stream.conf to enable SSL/TLS and allow self-signed certificates. Append ':SSL' to the destination and uncomment 'ssl skip certificate verification'.

    enabled = yes
    destination =
    ssl skip certificate verification = yes
    api key = 11111111-2222-3333-4444-555555555555
  3. Restart the Netdata Agent on both the parent and child nodes, to stream encrypted metrics using TLS/SSL.

Troubleshooting Streaming Connections

You can find any issues related to streaming at Netdata logs.

From the UI

Netdata logs to systemd-journald by default, and its logs are available at the Logs tab of the UI. At the MESSAGE_ID field look for Netdata connection from child and Netdata connection to parent.

From the terminal

On the Parents:

journalctl -r --namespace=netdata MESSAGE_ID=ed4cdb8f1beb4ad3b57cb3cae2d162fa

On the Children:

journalctl -r --namespace=netdata MESSAGE_ID=6e2e3839067648968b646045dbf28d66

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