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Files, Processes, Ports, Environment

This is a reference of directories used in a Vespa installation, processes that run on the Vespa nodes and ports / environment variables used. Also see log files.


$VESPA_HOME/bin/ Command line utilities and scripts
$VESPA_HOME/libexec/vespa/ Command line utilities and scripts
$VESPA_HOME/sbin/ Server programs, daemons, etc
$VESPA_HOME/lib64/ Dynamically linked libraries, typically third-party libraries
$VESPA_HOME/lib/jars/ Java archives
$VESPA_HOME/logs/vespa/ Log files
$VESPA_HOME/var/db/vespa/config_server/serverdb/ Config server database and user applications
$VESPA_HOME/share/vespa/ A directory with config definitions and XML schemas for application package validation
$VESPA_HOME/conf/vespa Various config files used by Vespa or libraries Vespa depend on

Processes and ports

The following is an overview of which ports and port ranges are used by the different services in a Vespa system. Note that for services capable of running multiple instances on the same node, all instances will run within the listed port range.

Processes are run as user vespa.

Many services are allocated ports dynamically. So even though the allocation is deterministic, i.e. the same system will get the same ports on subsequent startups, a particular service instance may get different ports when the overall system setup is changed through services.xml. Use vespa-model-inspect to see port allocations.

  • The number of ports used in a range depends on number of instances that are running
  • Not all ports within a range are used, but they are assigned each service to support future extensions
  • The range from 19100 is used for internal communication ports, i.e. ports that are not necessary to use from an external API
  • See Configuring Http Servers and Filters for how to configure Container ports and services.xml for how to configure other ports
Config server Config server nodes 19070-19071 java (...) -jar $VESPA_HOME/lib/jars/standalone-container-jar-with-dependencies.jar Vespa Configuration server
2181-2183 Embedded Zookeeper cluster ports, see zookeeper-server.def
Config sentinel All nodes 19098 $VESPA_HOME/sbin/vespa-config-sentinel Sentinel that starts and stops vespa services and makes sure they are running unless they are manually stopped
Config proxy All nodes 19090 java (…) com.yahoo.vespa.config.proxy.ProxyServer Communication liaison between Vespa processes and config server. Caches config in memory
Slobrok Admin nodes 19099 for RPC port, HTTP port dynamically allocated in the 19100-19899 range $VESPA_HOME/sbin/vespa-slobrok Service location object broker
logd All nodes 19089 $VESPA_HOME/sbin/vespa-logd Reads local log files and sends them to log server
Log server Log server node 19080 java (...) -jar lib/jars/logserver-jar-with-dependencies.jar Vespa Log server
Metrics proxy All nodes 19092-19095 java (...) -jar $VESPA_HOME/lib/jars/container-disc-with-dependencies.jar Provides a single access point for metrics from all services on a Vespa node
Distributor Content cluster dynamically allocated in the 19100-19899 range $VESPA_HOME/sbin/vespa-distributord-bin Content layer distributor processes
Cluster controller Content cluster dynamically allocated in the 19100-19899 range java (...) -jar $VESPA_HOME/lib/jars/container-disc-jar-with-dependencies.jar Cluster controller processes, manages state for content nodes
proton Content cluster dynamically allocated in the 19100-19899 range $VESPA_HOME/sbin/vespa-proton-bin Searchnode process, receives queries from the container and returns results from the indexes. Also receives feed and indexes documents
container Container cluster 8080 java (...) -jar $VESPA_HOME/lib/jars/container-disc-with-dependencies.jar Container running servers, handlers and processing components

System limits

The startup scripts checks that system limits are set, failing startup if not. Refer to vespa-configserver.service and vespa.service for minimum values.

Core dumps

Example settings:

$ mkdir -p /tmp/cores && chmod a+rwx /tmp/cores
$ echo "/tmp/cores/core.%e.%p.%h.%t" > /proc/sys/kernel/core_pattern

This will write files like /tmp/cores/core.vespa-proton-bi.1721.localhost.1580387387.

Environment variables

Vespa configuration is set in application packages. Some configuration is used to bootstrap nodes - this is set in environment variables. Environment variables are only read at startup.

$VESPA_HOME/conf/vespa/default-env.txt is read in Vespa start scripts - use this to modify variables (example). Each line has the format action variablename value where the items are:

action One of fallback, override, or unset. fallback sets the variable if it is unset (or empty). override set the value regardless. unset unsets the variable.
variablename The name of the variable, e.g. VESPA_CONFIGSERVERS
value The rest of the line is the variable's value.

Refer to the template for format.

Environment variableDescription
VESPA_CONFIGSERVERS A comma-separated list of hosts to run configservers, use fully qualified hostnames. Should always be set to the same value on all hosts in a multi-host setup. If not set, localhost is assumed. Refer to configuration server operations.

Vespa uses hostname for node identity. But sometimes this doesn't work properly, either because that name can't be used to find an IP address which works for connecting to services running on the node, or it's just that the name doesn't agree with what the config server thinks the node's host name is. In this case, override by setting the VESPA_HOSTNAME, to be used instead of running the hostname command.

Note that VESPA_HOSTNAME will be used both when a node identifies itself to the config server and when a service on that node registers a network connection point that other services can connect to.

An error message with "hostname detection failed" is emitted if the VESPA_HOSTNAME isn't set and the hostname isn't usable. If VESPA_HOSTNAME is set to something that cannot work, an error with "hostname validation failed" is emitted instead.

VESPA_CONFIG_SOURCES Used by libraries like the Document API to set config server endpoints. Refer to configuration server operations for example use.
VESPA_WEB_SERVICE_PORT The port number where REST apis will run, default 8080. This isn't strictly needed, as the port number can be set for each HTTP server in services.xml, but with a big application it can be easier to set the default port number just once. Also note that this needs to be set when starting the configserver, since the REST api implementation gets its port number from there.
VESPA_TLS_CONFIG_FILE Absolute path to TLS configuration file.
VESPA_CONFIGSERVER_JVMARGS JVM arguments for the config server - see tuning.
VESPA_CONFIGPROXY_JVMARGS JVM arguments for the config proxy - see tuning.
VESPA_LOG_LEVEL Tuning of log output from tools, see controlling log levels.