The step-by-step Netdata guide

Welcome to Netdata! We're glad you're interested in our health monitoring and performance troubleshooting system.

Because Netdata is entirely open-source software, you can use it free of charge, whether you want to monitor one or ten thousand systems! All our code is hosted on GitHub.

This guide is designed to help you understand what Netdata is, what it's capable of, and how it'll help you make faster and more informed decisions about the health and performance of your systems and applications. If you're completely new to Netdata, or have never tried health monitoring/performance troubleshooting systems before, this guide is perfect for you.

If you have monitoring experience, or would rather get straight into configuring Netdata to your needs, you can jump straight into code and configurations with our getting started guide.

This guide contains instructions for Netdata installed on a Linux system. Many of the instructions will work on other supported operating systems, like FreeBSD and macOS, but we can't make any guarantees.

Where to go if you need help#

No matter where you are in this Netdata guide, if you need help, head over to our GitHub repository. That's where we collect questions from users, help fix their bugs, and point people toward documentation that explains what they're having trouble with.

Click on the issues tab to see all the conversations we're having with Netdata users. Use the search bar to find previously-written advice for your specific problem, and if you don't see any results, hit the New issue button to send us a question.

Or, if that's too complicated, feel free to send this guide's author an email.

Before we get started#

Let's make sure you have Netdata installed on your system!

If you already installed Netdata, feel free to skip to Step 1: Netdata's building blocks.

The easiest way to install Netdata on a Linux system is our kickstart.sh one-line installer. Run this on your system and let it take care of the rest.

This script will install Netdata from source, keep it up to date with nightly releases, connects to the Netdata registry, and sends anonymous statistics about how you use Netdata. We use this information to better understand how we can improve the Netdata experience for all our users.

bash <(curl -Ss https://my-netdata.io/kickstart.sh)

Once finished, you'll have Netdata installed, and you'll be set up to get nightly updates to get the latest features, improvements, and bugfixes.

If this method doesn't work for you, or you want to use a different process, visit our installation documentation for details.

Netdata fundamentals#

Step 1. Netdata's building blocks

In this introductory step, we'll talk about the fundamental ideas, philosophies, and UX decisions behind Netdata.

Step 2. Get to know Netdata's dashboard

Visit Netdata's dashboard to explore, manipulate charts, and check out alarms. Get your first taste of visual anomaly detection.

Step 3. Monitor more than one system with Netdata

While the dashboard lets you quickly move from one agent to another, Netdata Cloud is our SaaS solution for monitoring the health of many systems. We'll cover its features and the benefits of using Netdata Cloud on top of the dashboard.

Step 4. The basics of configuring Netdata

While Netdata can monitor thousands of metrics in real-time without any configuration, you may want to tweak some settings based on your system's resources.

Intermediate steps#

Step 5. Health monitoring alarms and notifications

Learn how to tune, silence, and write custom alarms. Then enable notifications so you never miss a change in health status or performance anomaly.

Step 6. Collect metrics from more services and apps

Learn how to enable/disable collection plugins and configure a collection plugin job to add more charts to your Netdata dashboard and begin monitoring more apps and services, like MySQL, Nginx, MongoDB, and hundreds more.

Step 7. Netdata's dashboard in depth

Now that you configured your Netdata monitoring agent to your exact needs, you'll dive back into metrics snapshots, updates, and the dashboard's settings.

Advanced steps#

Step 8. Building your first custom dashboard

Using simple HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, we'll build a custom dashboard that displays essential information in any format you choose. You can even monitor many systems from a single HTML file.

Step 9. Long-term metrics storage

By default, Netdata can store lots of real-time metrics, but you can also tweak our custom database engine to your heart's content. Want to take your Netdata metrics elsewhere? We're happy to help you archive data to Prometheus, MongoDB, TimescaleDB, and others.

Step 10. Set up a proxy

Run Netdata behind an Nginx proxy to improve performance, and enable TLS/HTTPS for better security.