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Getting Started

These are your first steps after you have installed netdata. If you haven’t installed it already, please check the installation page.

Accessing the dashboard

To access the netdata dashboard, navigate with your browser to:

http://your.server.ip:19999/

Click here, if it does not work.

Verify Netdata is running.

Open an ssh session to the server and execute sudo ps -e | grep netdata. It should respond with the PID of the netdata daemon. If it prints nothing, Netdata is not running. Check the installation page to install it.

Verify Netdata responds to HTTP requests.

Using the same ssh session, execute curl -Ss http://localhost:19999. It should dump on your screen the index.html page of the dashboard. If it does not, check the installation page to install it.

Verify Netdata receives the HTTP requests.

On the same ssh session, execute tail -f /var/log/netdata/access.log (if you installed the static 64bit package, use: tail -f /opt/netdata/var/log/netdata/access.log). This command will print on your screen all HTTP requests Netdata receives.

Next, try to access the dashboard using your web browser, using the URL posted above. If nothing is printed on your terminal, the HTTP request is not routed to your Netdata.

If you are not sure about your server IP, run this for a hint: ip route get 8.8.8.8 | grep -oP " src [0-9\.]+ ". It should print the IP of your server.

If still Netdata does not receive the requests, something is blocking them. A firewall possibly. Please check your network.

 

When you install multiple Netdata servers, all your servers will appear at the my-netdata menu at the top left of the dashboard. For this to work, you have to manually access just once, the dashboard of each of your netdata servers.

The my-netdata menu is more than just browser bookmarks. When switching Netdata servers from that menu, any settings of the current view are propagated to the other netdata server:

  • the current charts panning (drag the charts left or right),
  • the current charts zooming (SHIFT + mouse wheel over a chart),
  • the highlighted time-frame (ALT + select an area on a chart),
  • the scrolling position of the dashboard,
  • the theme you use,
  • etc.

are all sent over to other netdata server, to allow you troubleshoot cross-server performance issues easily.

Starting and stopping Netdata

Netdata installer integrates Netdata to your init / systemd environment.

To start/stop Netdata, depending on your environment, you should use:

  • systemctl start netdata and systemctl stop netdata
  • service netdata start and service netdata stop
  • /etc/init.d/netdata start and /etc/init.d/netdata stop

Once netdata is installed, the installer configures it to start at boot and stop at shutdown.

For more information about using these commands, consult your system documentation.

Sizing Netdata

The default installation of netdata is configured for a small round-robin database: just 1 hour of data. Depending on the memory your system has and the amount you can dedicate to Netdata, you should adapt this. On production systems with limited RAM, we suggest to set this to 3-4 hours. For best results you should set this to 24 or 48 hours.

For every hour of data, Netdata needs about 25MB of RAM. If you can dedicate about 100MB of RAM to netdata, you should set its database size to 4 hours.

To do this, edit /etc/netdata/netdata.conf (or /opt/netdata/etc/netdata/netdata.conf) and set:

[global]
    history = SECONDS

Make sure the history line is not commented (comment lines start with #).

1 hour is 3600 seconds, so the number you need to set is the result of HOURS * 3600.

Danger

Be careful when you set this on production systems. If you set it too high, your system may run out of memory. By default, netdata is configured to be killed first when the system starves for memory, but better be careful to avoid issues.

For more information about Netdata memory requirements, check this page.

If your kernel supports KSM (most do), you can enable KSM to half netdata memory requirement.

Service discovery and auto-detection

Netdata supports auto-detection of data collection sources. It auto-detects almost everything: database servers, web servers, dns server, etc.

This auto-detection process happens only once, when netdata starts. To have Netdata re-discover data sources, you need to restart it. There are a few exceptions to this:

  • containers and VMs are auto-detected forever (when Netdata is running at the host).
  • many data sources are collected but are silenced by default, until there is useful information to collect (for example network interface dropped packet, will appear after a packet has been dropped).
  • services that are not optimal to collect on all systems, are disabled by default.
  • services we received feedback from users that caused issues when monitored, are also disabled by default (for example, chrony is disabled by default, because CentOS ships a version of it that uses 100% CPU when queried for statistics).

Once a data collection source is detected, netdata will never quit trying to collect data from it, until Netdata is restarted. So, if you stop your web server, netdata will pick it up automatically when it is started again.

Since Netdata is installed on all your systems (even inside containers), auto-detection is limited to localhost. This simplifies significantly the security model of a Netdata monitored infrastructure, since most applications allow localhost access by default.

A few well known data collection sources that commonly need to be configured are:

Configuration quick start

In netdata we have:

  • internal data collection plugins (running inside the netdata daemon)
  • external data collection plugins (independent processes, sending data to netdata over pipes)
  • modular plugin orchestrators (external plugins that have multiple data collection modules)

You can enable and disable plugins (internal and external) via netdata.conf at the section [plugins].

All plugins have dedicated sections in netdata.conf, like [plugin:XXX] for overwriting their default data collection frequency and providing additional command line options to them.

All external plugins have their own .conf file.

All modular plugin orchestrators have a directory in /etc/netdata with a .conf file for each of their modules.

It is complex. So, let’s see the whole configuration tree for the nginx module of python.d.plugin:

In netdata.conf at the [plugins] section, python.d.plugin can be enabled or disabled:

[plugins]
    python.d = yes

In netdata.conf at the [plugin:python.d] section, we can provide additional command line options for python.d.plugin and overwite its data collection frequency:

[plugin:python.d]
    update every = 1
    command options = 

python.d.plugin has its own configuration file for enabling and disabling its modules (here you can disable nginx for example):

sudo /etc/netdata/edit-config python.d.conf

Then, nginx has its own configuration file for configuring its data collection jobs (most modules can collect data from multiple sources, so the nginx module can collect metrics from multiple, local or remote, nginx servers):

sudo /etc/netdata/edit-config python.d/nginx.conf

Health monitoring and alarms

Netdata ships hundreds of health monitoring alarms for detecting anomalies. These are optimized for production servers.

Many users install netdata on workstations and are frustrated by the default alarms shipped with netdata. On these cases, we suggest to disable health monitoring.

To disable it, edit /etc/netdata/netdata.conf (or /opt/netdata/etc/netdata/netdata.conf if you installed the static 64bit package) and set:

[health]
    enabled = no

The above will disable health monitoring entirely.

If you want to keep health monitoring enabled for the dashboard, but you want to disable email notifications, run this:

sudo /etc/netdata/edit-config health_alarm_notify.conf

and set SEND_EMAIL="NO".

(For static 64bit installations use sudo /opt/netdata/etc/netdata/edit-config health_alarm_notify.conf).

What is next?

  • Check Data Collection for configuring data collection plugins.
  • Check Health Monitoring for configuring your own alarms, or setting up alarm notifications.
  • Check Streaming for centralizing netdata metrics.
  • Check Backends for long term archiving of netdata metrics to time-series databases.