Configuration Options

Ceilometer specific

The following table lists the ceilometer specific options in the global configuration file. Please note that ceilometer uses openstack-common extensively, which requires that the other parameters are set appropriately. For information we are listing the configuration elements that we use after the ceilometer specific elements.

If you use sql alchemy, its specific parameters will need to be set.

Parameter Default Note
api_paste_config api_paste.ini Configuration file for WSGI definition of the API
nova_control_exchange nova Exchange name for Nova notifications
glance_control_exchange glance Exchange name for Glance notifications
cinder_control_exchange cinder Exchange name for Cinder notifications
neutron_control_exchange neutron Exchange name for Neutron notifications
metering_secret change this or be hacked Secret value for signing metering messages
metering_topic metering the topic ceilometer uses for metering messages
sample_source openstack The source name of emitted samples
control_exchange ceilometer AMQP exchange to connect to if using RabbitMQ or Qpid
database_connection mongodb://localhost:27017/ceilometer Database connection string
metering_api_port 8777 The port for the ceilometer API server
reseller_prefix AUTH_ Prefix used by swift for reseller token
nova_http_log_debug False Log request/response parameters between nova and ceilometer
glance_page_size 0 Number of items to request in each paginated Glance API request (parameter used by glancecelient). If this is less than or equal to 0, page size is not specified (default value in glanceclient is used). It is better to check and set appropriate value in line with each environment when calling glanceclient, than to define higher default value.

Service polling authentication

The following options must be placed under a [service_credentials] section and will be used by Ceilometer to retrieve information from OpenStack components.

Parameter Default Note
os_username ceilometer Username to use for openstack service access
os_password admin Password to use for openstack service access
os_tenant_id   Tenant ID to use for openstack service access
os_tenant_name admin Tenant name to use for openstack service access
os_auth_url http://localhost:5000/v2.0 Auth URL to use for openstack service access
os_endpoint_type publicURL Endpoint type in the catalog to use to access services

Keystone Middleware Authentication

The following table lists the Keystone middleware authentication options which are used to get admin token. Please note that these options need to be under [keystone_authtoken] section.

Parameter Default Note
auth_host   The host providing the Keystone service API endpoint for validating and requesting tokens
auth_port 35357 The port used to validate tokens
auth_protocol https The protocol used to validate tokens
auth_uri auth_protocol://auth_host:auth_port The full URI used to validate tokens
admin_token   Either this or the following three options are required. If set, this is a single shared secret with the Keystone configuration used to validate tokens.
admin_user   User name for retrieving admin token
admin_password   Password for retrieving admin token
admin_tenant_name   Tenant name for retrieving admin token
signing_dir   The cache directory for signing certificate
certfile   Required if Keystone server requires client cert
keyfile   Required if Keystone server requires client cert. This can be the same as certfile if the certfile includes the private key.

VMware Configuration Options

The following lists the various options that the VMware driver supports and must be placed under a section called ‘[vmware]’.

Parameter Default Note
host_ip “” (Str) IP address of the VMware Vsphere host.
host_password “” (Str) Password of VMware Vsphere.
host_username “” (Str) Username of VMware Vsphere.
api_retry_count 10 (Int) Number of times a VMware Vsphere API must be retried.
task_poll_interval 0.5 (Float) Sleep time in seconds for polling an ongoing async task.
wsdl_location None (Str) Optional vim Service WSDL location e.g http://<server>/vimService.wsdl. Optional over-ride to default location for bug work-arounds.

SQL Alchemy

Parameter Default Note
sql_connection_debug 0 Verbosity of SQL debugging information. 0=None, 100=Everything
sql_connection_trace False Add python stack traces to SQL as comment strings
sql_idle_timeout 3600 timeout before idle sql connections are reaped
sql_max_retries 10 maximum db connection retries during startup. (setting -1 implies an infinite retry count)
sql_retry_interval 10 interval between retries of opening a sql connection
mysql_engine InnoDB MySQL engine to use
sqlite_synchronous True If passed, use synchronous mode for sqlite


This storage implementation uses Thrift HBase interface. The default Thrift’s connection settings should be changed to support using ConnectionPool in HBase. To ensure proper configuration, please add the following lines to the hbase-site.xml configuration file:


For pure development purposes, you can use HBase from Apache or some other vendors like Cloudera or Hortonworks. To verify your installation, you can use the list command in HBase shell, to list the tables in your HBase server, as follows:

$ ${HBASE_HOME}/bin/hbase shell

hbase> list


This driver has been tested against HBase 0.94.2/CDH 4.2.0, HBase 0.94.4/HDP 1.2, HBase 0.94.18/Apache, HBase 0.94.5/Apache, HBase 0.96.2/Apache and HBase 0.98.0/Apache. Versions earlier than 0.92.1 are not supported due to feature incompatibility.

To find out more about supported storage backends please take a look on the Installing Manually guide.


If you are changing the configuration on the fly to use HBase, as a storage backend, you will need to restart the Ceilometer services that use the database to allow the changes to take affect, i.e. the collector and API services.

Event Conversion

[notification] configuration section switches on events storing.

Parameter Default Note
store_events False Boolean variable that switch on/off events storing

The following options in the [event] configuration section affect the extraction of Event data from notifications.

Parameter Default Note
drop_unmatched_notifications False If set to True, then notifications with no matching event definition will be dropped. (Notifications will only be dropped if this is True)
definitions_cfg_file event_definitions.yaml Name of event definitions config file (yaml format)


The following options in the [alarm] configuration section affect the configuration of alarm services

Parameter Default Note
evaluation_service singleton
Driver to use for alarm evaluation service:
  • singleton: All alarms are evaluated by one alarm evaluation service instance
  • partitioned: All alarms are dispatched across all alarm evaluation service instances to be evaluate


The following options in the [collector] configuration section affect the collector service

Parameter Default Note
requeue_sample_on_dispatcher_error False Requeue the sample on the collector sample queue when the collector fails to dispatch it. This option is only valid if the sample comes from the notifier publisher

General options

The following is the list of openstack-common options that we use:

Parameter Default Note
default_notification_level INFO Default notification level for outgoing notifications
default_publisher_id $host Default publisher_id for outgoing notifications
bind_host IP address to listen on
bind_port 9292 Port numver to listen on
port 5672 Rabbit MQ port to liste on
fake_rabbit False If passed, use a fake RabbitMQ provider
publish_errors False publish error events
use_stderr True Log output to standard error
logfile_mode 0644 Default file mode used when creating log files
log_dir   Log output to a per-service log file in named directory
log_file   Log output to a named file
log_format date-time level name msg Log format
log_date_format YYYY-MM-DD hh:mm:ss Log date format
Logging configuration file used. The options specified in that
config file will override any other logging options specified in Ceilometer config file.
default_log_levels [‘amqplib=WARN’,sqlalchemy=WARN,...] Default log level per components
notification_topics [‘notifications’, ] AMQP topic used for openstack notifications
enabled_apis [‘ec2’, ‘osapi_compute’] List of APIs to enable by default
verbose False Print more verbose output
debug False Print debugging output
state_path currentdir Top-level directory for maintaining nova state
sqlite_db nova.sqlite file name for sqlite
sql_connection sqlite:///$state_path/$sqlite_db connection string for sql database
matchmaker_ringfile /etc/nova/matchmaker_ring.json Matchmaker ring file (JSON)
rpc_zmq_bind_address ‘*’ ZeroMQ bind address
rpc_zmq_matchmaker ceilometer.openstack.common.rpc. matchmaker.MatchMakerLocalhost MatchMaker drivers
rpc_zmq_port 9501 ZeroMQ receiver listening port
rpc_zmq_port_pub 9502 ZeroMQ fanout publisher port
rpc_zmq_contexts 1 Number of ZeroMQ contexts
rpc_zmq_ipc_dir /var/run/openstack Directory for holding IPC sockets
rabbit_port 5672 The RabbitMQ broker port where a single node is used
rabbit_host localhost The RabbitMQ broker address where a single node is used
rabbit_hosts [‘$rabbit_host:$rabbit_port’] The list of rabbit hosts to listen to
rabbit_userid guest the RabbitMQ userid
rabbit_password guest the RabbitMQ password
rabbit_virtual_host / the RabbitMQ virtual host
rabbit_retry_interval 1 how frequently to retry connecting with RabbitMQ
rabbit_retry_backoff 2 how long to backoff for between retries when connecting
rabbit_max_retries 0 maximum retries with trying to connect to RabbitMQ (the default of 0 implies an infinite retry count)
rabbit_durable_queues False use durable queues in RabbitMQ
rabbit_use_ssl False connect over SSL for RabbitMQ
rabbit_durable_queues False use durable queues in RabbitMQ
rabbit_ha_queues False use H/A queues in RabbitMQ (x-ha-policy: all).
kombu_ssl_version   SSL version to use (valid only if SSL enabled)
kombu_ssl_keyfile   SSL key file (valid only if SSL enabled)
kombu_ssl_certfile   SSL cert file (valid only if SSL enabled)
kombu_ssl_ca_certs   SSL certification authority file
qpid_hostname localhost Qpid broker hostname
qpid_port 5672 Qpid broker port
qpid_username   Username for qpid connection
qpid_password   Password for qpid connection
qpid_sasl_mechanisms   Space separated list of SASL mechanisms to use for auth
qpid_reconnect_timeout 0 Reconnection timeout in seconds
qpid_reconnect_limit 0 Max reconnections before giving up
qpid_reconnect_interval_min 0 Minimum seconds between reconnection attempts
qpid_reconnect_interval_max 0 Maximum seconds between reconnection attempts
qpid_reconnect_interval 0 Equivalent to setting max and min to the same value
qpid_heartbeat 60 Seconds between connection keepalive heartbeats
qpid_protocol tcp Transport to use, either ‘tcp’ or ‘ssl’
qpid_reconnect True Automatically reconnect
qpid_tcp_nodelay True Disable Nagle algorithm
rpc_backend kombu The messaging module to use, defaults to kombu.
rpc_thread_pool_size 64 Size of RPC thread pool
rpc_conn_pool_size 30 Size of RPC connection pool
rpc_response_timeout 60 Seconds to wait for a response from call or multicall
rpc_cast_timeout 30 Seconds to wait before a cast expires (TTL). Only supported by impl_zmq.
dispatchers database The list of dispatchers to process metering data.

Sample Configuration file

The sample configuration file for Ceilometer, named etc/ceilometer/ceilometer.conf.sample, was removed from version control after the Icehouse release. For more details, please read the file etc/ceilometer/README-ceilometer.conf.txt. You can generate this sample configuration file by running tox -e genconfig.


tox version 1.7.0 and 1.7.1 have a backward compatibility issue with OpenStack projects. If you meet the “tox.ConfigError: ConfigError: substitution key ‘posargs’ not found” problem, run sudo pip install -U "tox>=1.6.1,!=1.7.0,!=1.7.1" to get a proper version, then try tox -e genconfig again.


Pipelines describe a coupling between sources of samples and the corresponding sinks for transformation and publication of these data.

A source is a producer of samples, in effect a set of pollsters and/or notification handlers emitting samples for a set of matching meters. See Writing Agent Plugins and Plugins for details on how to write and plug in your plugins.

Each source configuration encapsulates meter name matching, polling interval determination, optional resource enumeration or discovery, and mapping to one or more sinks for publication.

A sink on the other hand is a consumer of samples, providing logic for the transformation and publication of samples emitted from related sources. Each sink configuration is concerned only with the transformation rules and publication conduits for samples.

In effect, a sink describes a chain of handlers. The chain starts with zero or more transformers and ends with one or more publishers. The first transformer in the chain is passed samples from the corresponding source, takes some action such as deriving rate of change, performing unit conversion, or aggregating, before passing the modified sample to next step.

The chains end with one or more publishers. This component makes it possible to persist the data into storage through the message bus or to send it to one or more external consumers. One chain can contain multiple publishers, see the Multi-Publisher section.

Pipeline configuration

Pipeline configuration by default, is stored in a separate configuration file, called pipeline.yaml, next to the ceilometer.conf file. The pipeline configuration file can be set in the pipeline_cfg_file parameter in ceilometer.conf. Multiple chains can be defined in one configuration file.

The chain definition looks like the following:

  - name: 'source name'
    interval: 'how often should the samples be injected into the pipeline'
      - 'meter filter'
      - 'list of resource URLs'
      - 'sink name'
  - name: 'sink name'
    transformers: 'definition of transformers'
      - 'list of publishers'

The name parameter of a source is unrelated to anything else; nothing references a source by name, and a source’s name does not have to match anything.

The interval parameter in the sources section should be defined in seconds. It determines the cadence of sample injection into the pipeline, where samples are produced under the direct control of an agent, i.e. via a polling cycle as opposed to incoming notifications.

There are several ways to define the list of meters for a pipeline source. The list of valid meters can be found in the Measurements section. There is a possibility to define all the meters, or just included or excluded meters, with which a source should operate:

  • To include all meters, use the ‘*’ wildcard symbol.
  • To define the list of meters, use either of the following:
    • To define the list of included meters, use the ‘meter_name’ syntax
    • To define the list of excluded meters, use the ‘!meter_name’ syntax
    • For meters, which identify a complex Sample field, use the wildcard symbol to select all, e.g. for “instance:m1.tiny”, use “instance:*”

The above definition methods can be used in the following combinations:

  • Only the wildcard symbol
  • The list of included meters
  • The list of excluded meters
  • Wildcard symbol with the list of excluded meters


At least one of the above variations should be included in the meters section. Included and excluded meters cannot co-exist in the same pipeline. Wildcard and included meters cannot co-exist in the same pipeline definition section.

A given polling plugin is invoked according to each source section whose meters parameter matches the plugin’s meter name. That is, the matching source sections are combined by union, not intersection, of the prescribed time series.

The optional resources section of a pipeline source allows a static list of resource URLs to be to be configured. An amalgamated list of all statically configured resources for a set of pipeline sources with a common interval is passed to individual pollsters matching those pipelines.

The transformers section of a pipeline sink provides the possibility to add a list of transformer definitions. The names of the transformers should be the same as the names of the related extensions in setup.cfg. For a more detailed description, please see the Transformers section.

The publishers section contains the list of publishers, where the samples data should be sent after the possible transformations. The names of the publishers should be the same as the related names of the plugins in setup.cfg.

The default configuration can be found in pipeline.yaml.


The definition of publishers looks like:

    - udp://
    - rpc://?per_meter_topic=1
    - notifier://?policy=drop&max_queue_length=512

The udp publisher is configurable like this: udp://<host>:<port>/

The rpc publisher is configurable like this: rpc://?option1=value1&option2=value2

Same thing for the notifier publisher: notifier://?option1=value1&option2=value2

For rpc and notifier the options are:

  • per_meter_topic=1 to publish the samples on additional <metering_topic>.<sample_name> topic queue besides the <metering_topic> queue
  • policy=(default|drop|queue) to configure the behavior when the publisher fails to send the samples, where the predefined values mean the following:
    • default, wait and block until the samples have been sent
    • drop, drop the samples which are failed to be sent
    • queue, create an in-memory queue and retry to send the samples on the queue on the next samples publishing (the queue length can be configured with max_queue_length=1024, 1024 is the default)

The definition of transformers can contain the following fields:

    - name: 'name of the transformer'

The parameters section can contain transformer specific fields, like source and target fields with different subfields in case of the rate_of_change, which depends on the implementation of the transformer.

Rate of change transformer

In the case of the transformer that creates the cpu_util meter, the definition looks like the following:

    - name: "rate_of_change"
              name: "cpu_util"
              unit: "%"
              type: "gauge"
              scale: "100.0 / (10**9 * (resource_metadata.cpu_number or 1))"

The rate_of_change transformer generates the cpu_util meter from the sample values of the cpu counter, which represents cumulative CPU time in nanoseconds. The transformer definition above defines a scale factor (for nanoseconds, multiple CPUs, etc.), which is applied before the transformation derives a sequence of gauge samples with unit ‘%’, from the original values of the cpu meter.

The definition for the disk I/O rate, which is also generated by the rate_of_change transformer:

    - name: "rate_of_change"
                  name: "disk\\.(read|write)\\.(bytes|requests)"
                  unit: "(B|request)"
                  name: "disk.\\1.\\2.rate"
                  unit: "\\1/s"
              type: "gauge"

Unit conversion transformer

Transformer to apply a unit conversion. It takes the volume of the meter and multiplies it with the given ‘scale’ expression. Also supports map_from and map_to like the Rate of change transformer.

Sample configuration:

- name: "unit_conversion"
          name: "disk.kilobytes"
          unit: "KB"
          scale: "1.0 / 1024.0"

With the map_from and map_to:

    - name: "unit_conversion"
                  name: "disk\\.(read|write)\\.bytes"
                  name: "disk.\\1.kilobytes"
              scale: "1.0 / 1024.0"
              unit: "KB"

Aggregator transformer

A transformer that sums up the incoming samples until enough samples have come in or a timeout has been reached.

Timeout can be specified with the retention_time parameter. If we want to flush the aggregation after a set number of samples have been aggregated, we can specify the size parameter.

The volume of the created sample is the sum of the volumes of samples that came into the transformer. Samples can be aggregated by the attributes project_id, user_id and resource_metadata. To aggregate by the chosen attributes, specify them in the configuration and set which value of the attribute to take for the new sample (first to take the first sample’s attribute, last to take the last sample’s attribute, and drop to discard the attribute).

To aggregate 60s worth of samples by resource_metadata and keep the resource_metadata of the latest received sample:

- name: "aggregator"
      retention_time: 60
      resource_metadata: last

To aggregate each 15 samples by user_id and resource_metadata and keep the user_id of the first received sample and drop the resource_metadata:

- name: "aggregator"
      size: 15
      user_id: first
      resource_metadata: drop

Accumulator transformer

This transformer simply caches the samples until enough samples have arrived and then flushes them all down the pipeline at once.

- name: "accumulator"
      size: 15

Multi meter arithmetic transformer

This transformer enables us to perform arithmetic calculations over one or more meters and/or their metadata, for example:

memory_util = 100 * memory.usage / memory .

A new sample is created with the properties described in the ‘target’ section of the transformer’s configuration. The sample’s volume is the result of the provided expression. The calculation is performed on samples from the same resource.


The calculation is limited to meters with the same interval.

Example configuration:

- name: "arithmetic"
      name: "memory_util"
      unit: "%"
      type: "gauge"
      expr: "100 * $(memory.usage) / $(memory)"

To demonstrate the use of metadata, here is the implementation of a silly metric that shows average CPU time per core:

- name: "arithmetic"
      name: "avg_cpu_per_core"
      unit: "ns"
      type: "cumulative"
      expr: "$(cpu) / ($(cpu).resource_metadata.cpu_number or 1)"

Expression evaluation gracefully handles NaNs and exceptions. In such a case it does not create a new sample but only logs a warning.