Getting Started


KairosDB runs with java 1.6 or later.

  1. Download the tar.gz file from the Downloads section
  2. Extract to where you wish to run from
  3. In conf/ change the kairosdb.service.datastore property to the datastore you wish to use. It defaults to an in memory H2 database (that is slow)
  4. Make sure that JAVA_HOME is set to your java install.
  5. Change to the bin directory and run >./ run

Changing File Handle Limit on Linux

If you have a lot of clients pushing metrics, you may run out of file handles. We recommend increasing the number of file handles. Here is an example of [ changing file handles on CentOS].

Changing Datastore

KairosDB can be configured to use one of several backends for storing data. By default KairosDB is configured to use an in memory H2 database to store datapoints. To change the datastore that is used change the kairosdb.service.datastore property in the file.

Using with H2


By default KairosDB is configured to run using the H2 datbase. This lets you do development work without setting up and running Cassandra or HBase.

Configuration Options

kairosdb.datastore.h2.database_path Location of H2 database

Deleting the database folder and restarting KairosDB will cause the database to be recreated with no data.

Using with Cassandra


The default configuration for Cassandra is to use wide rows. Each row is set to contain 3 weeks of data. The reason behind setting it to 3 weeks is if you wrote a metric every millisecond for 3 weeks it would be just over 1 billion columns. Cassandra has a 2 billion column limit.

The row size has been a point of some confusion. Basically it comes down to this: The more data you can fit into a single row the better the system will perform when querying the data. This does not mean that Cassandra only holds 3 weeks worth of data, it means data is written to the same row for 3 weeks before going to a new row. See the [CassandraSchema cassandra schema for more details].

Changing the read_repair_chance: This value tells cassandra how often to perform a read repair. The read repair chance will default to 1 (100% chance). The recommended value is 0.1 (10% chance). To change this log into the cassandra-cli client and run the following commands

> use kairosdb;
> update column family data_points with read_repair_chance = 0.1;
> update column family row_key_index with read_repair_chance = 0.1;
> update column family string_index with read_repair_chance = 0.1;

Configuration Options

For a complete list of options please see the Cassandra section in

kairosdb.datastore.cassandra.host_name Host name or IP address of Cassandra server
kairosdb.datastore.cassandra.port Port number of Cassandra server
kairosdb.datastore.cassandra.replication_factor Replication factor when writing data to Cassandra [ more info]
kairosdb.datastore.cassandra.write_delay The amount of time a background thread waits before writing data to Cassandra. This allows batching data to the datastore.
kairosdb.datastore.cassandra.single_row_read_size The number of columns read when reading a single row. This is a balance between performance and memory usage. This value is used when querying the row key index and when performing subsequent queries on a row after the initial multi get.
kairosdb.datastore.cassandra.multi_row_read_size The number of columns read on the initial multi get for a query. If your data has very few tags make this number big. If your metrics have lots of tag combinations then back this number down or you may run into out of memory issues.

Configuring HBase

HBase is not longer supported. Originally the HBase support was achieved by forking the OpenTSDB code base and making it into a Datastore plugin for KairosDB. The functionality of KairosDB has moved beyond what HBase code can support.

Using as a Remote Datastore


Configuring Kairos as a remote datastore sets up the local Kairos instance to store and forward incoming data points to a remote Kairos server. Data is stored in a directory in json format. On a configurable schedule a background thread will compress the data and upload the data points to a remote KairosDB instance.

Configuration Options

kairosdb.datastore.remote.data_dir Directory in which the data points are collected. Defaults to the current directory.
kairosdb.datastore.remote.remote_url URL of the KairosDB instance to which data will be forwarded. Ex.
kairosdb.datastore.remote.schedule Quartz cron schedule for how often to upload collected data.

Starting and Stopping

Starting and stoping KairosDB is done by running the script from within the bin directory.

To start KairosDB and run in the foreground type

> ./ run

To run KairosDB as a background process type

> ./ start

To stop KairosDB when running as a background process type

> ./ stop