You can monitor containers and virtual machines using cgroups.
cgroups (or control groups), are a Linux kernel feature that provides accounting and resource usage limiting for processes. When cgroups are bundled with namespaces (i.e. isolation), they form what we usually call containers.
cgroups are hierarchical, meaning that cgroups can contain child cgroups, which can contain more cgroups, etc. All accounting is reported (and resource usage limits are applied) also in a hierarchical way.
To visualize cgroup metrics netdata provides configuration for cherry picking the cgroups of interest. By default (without any configuration) netdata should pick systemd services, all kinds of containers (lxc, docker, etc) and virtual machines spawn by managers that register them with cgroups (qemu, libvirt, etc).
configuring netdata for cgroups¶
For each cgroup available in the system, netdata provides this configuration:
[plugin:cgroups] enable cgroup XXX = yes | no
But it also provides a few patterns to provide a sane default (
Below we see, how this works.
how netdata finds the available cgroups¶
Linux exposes resource usage reporting and provides dynamic configuration for cgroups, using virtual files (usually) under
/sys/fs/cgroup. netdata reads
/proc/self/mountinfo to detect the exact mount point of cgroups. netdata also allows manual configuration of this mount point, using these settings:
[plugin:cgroups] check for new cgroups every = 10 path to /sys/fs/cgroup/cpuacct = /sys/fs/cgroup/cpuacct path to /sys/fs/cgroup/blkio = /sys/fs/cgroup/blkio path to /sys/fs/cgroup/memory = /sys/fs/cgroup/memory path to /sys/fs/cgroup/devices = /sys/fs/cgroup/devices
netdata rescans these directories for added or removed cgroups every
check for new cgroups every seconds.
hierarchical search for cgroups¶
Since cgroups are hierarchical, for each of the directories shown above, netdata walks through the subdirectories recursively searching for cgroups (each subdirectory is another cgroup).
For each of the directories found, netdata provides a configuration variable:
[plugin:cgroups] search for cgroups under PATH = yes | no
To provide a sane default for this setting, netdata uses the following pattern list (patterns starting with
! give a negative match and their order is important: the first matching a path will be used):
[plugin:cgroups] search for cgroups in subpaths matching = !*/init.scope !*-qemu !/init.scope !/system !/systemd !/user !/user.slice *
So, we disable checking for child cgroups in systemd internal cgroups (systemd services are monitored by netdata), user cgroups (normally used for desktop and remote user sessions), qemu virtual machines (child cgroups of virtual machines) and
init.scope. All others are enabled.
To check if the cgroup is enabled, netdata uses this setting:
[plugin:cgroups] enable cgroup NAME = yes | no
To provide a sane default, netdata uses the following pattern list (it checks the pattern against the path of the cgroup):
[plugin:cgroups] enable by default cgroups matching = !*/init.scope *.scope !*/vcpu* !*/emulator !*.mount !*.partition !*.service !*.slice !*.swap !*.user !/ !/docker !/libvirt !/lxc !/lxc/*/ns !/lxc/*/ns/* !/machine !/qemu !/system !/systemd !/user *
The above provides the default
no setting for the cgroup. However, there is an additional step. In many cases the cgroups found in the
/sys/fs/cgroup hierarchy are just random numbers and in many cases these numbers are ephemeral: they change across reboots or sessions.
So, we need to somehow map the paths of the cgroups to names, to provide consistent netdata configuration (i.e. there is no point to say
enable cgroup 1234 = yes | no, if
1234 is a random number that changes over time - we need a name for the cgroup first, so that
enable cgroup NAME = yes | no will be consistent).
For this mapping netdata provides 2 configuration options:
[plugin:cgroups] run script to rename cgroups matching = *.scope *docker* *lxc* *qemu* !/ !*.mount !*.partition !*.service !*.slice !*.swap !*.user * script to get cgroup names = /usr/libexec/netdata/plugins.d/cgroup-name.sh
The whole point for the additional pattern list, is to limit the number of times the script will be called. Without this pattern list, the script might be called thousands of times, depending on the number of cgroups available in the system.
The above pattern list is matched against the path of the cgroup. For matched cgroups, netdata calls the script cgroup-name.sh to get its name. This script queries
docker, or applies heuristics to find give a name for the cgroup.
Monitoring systemd services¶
netdata monitors systemd services. Example:
Support per distribution:
|Gentoo||NO||can be enabled, see below|
|Ubuntu 16.04 LTS||YES|
|Debian 8||NO||can be enabled, see below|
|AMI||NO||here||not a systemd system|
|Centos 7.3.1611||NO||here||can be enabled, see below|
how to enable cgroup accounting on systemd systems that is by default disabled¶
You can verify there is no accounting enabled, by running
systemd-cgtop. The program will show only resources for cgroup
/, but all services will show nothing.
To enable cgroup accounting, execute this:
sed -e 's|^#Default\(.*\)Accounting=.*$|Default\1Accounting=yes|g' /etc/systemd/system.conf >/tmp/system.conf
To see the changes it made, run this:
# diff /etc/systemd/system.conf /tmp/system.conf 40,44c40,44 < #DefaultCPUAccounting=no < #DefaultIOAccounting=no < #DefaultBlockIOAccounting=no < #DefaultMemoryAccounting=no < #DefaultTasksAccounting=yes --- > DefaultCPUAccounting=yes > DefaultIOAccounting=yes > DefaultBlockIOAccounting=yes > DefaultMemoryAccounting=yes > DefaultTasksAccounting=yes
If you are happy with the changes, run:
# copy the file to the right location sudo cp /tmp/system.conf /etc/systemd/system.conf # restart systemd to take it into account sudo systemctl daemon-reexec
systemctl daemon-reload does not reload the configuration of the server - so you have to execute
Now, when you run
systemd-cgtop, services will start reporting usage (if it does not, restart a service - any service - to wake it up). Refresh your netdata dashboard, and you will have the charts too.
In case memory accounting is missing, you will need to enable it at your kernel, by appending the following kernel boot options and rebooting:
You can add the above, directly at the
linux line in your
/boot/grub/grub.cfg or appending them to the
/etc/default/grub (in which case you will have to run
update-grub before rebooting). On DigitalOcean debian images you may have to set it at
Which systemd services are monitored by netdata is determined by the following pattern list:
[plugin:cgroups] cgroups to match as systemd services = !/system.slice/*/*.service /system.slice/*.service
Monitoring ephemeral containers¶
netdata monitors containers automatically when it is installed at the host, or when it is installed in a container that has access to the
/sys filesystems of the host.
netdata prior to v1.6 had 2 issues when such containers were monitored:
network interface alarms where triggering when containers were stopped
charts were never cleaned up, so after some time dozens of containers were showing up on the dashboard, and they were occupying memory.
the current netdata¶
network interfaces and cgroups (containers) are now self-cleaned.
So, when a network interface or container stops, netdata might log a few errors in error.log complaining about files it cannot find, but immediately:
- it will detect this is a removed container or network interface
- it will freeze/pause all alarms for them
- it will mark their charts as obsolete
- obsolete charts are not be offered on new dashboard sessions (so hit F5 and the charts are gone)
- existing dashboard sessions will continue to see them, but of course they will not refresh
- obsolete charts will be removed from memory, 1 hour after the last user viewed them (configurable with
[global].cleanup obsolete charts after seconds = 3600(at netdata.conf).
- when obsolete charts are removed from memory they are also deleted from disk (configurable with
[global].delete obsolete charts files = yes)