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carbonapi: replacement graphite API server

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We are using to host our packages!

CarbonAPI supports a significant subset of graphite functions [see COMPATIBILITY]. In our testing it has shown to be 5x-10x faster than requesting data from graphite-web.

For requirements see Requirements section below.


At this moment we are building packages for CentOS 6, CentOS 7, Ubuntu 14.04 and Ubuntu 16.04. Installation guides are available on packagecloud (see the links below).

Stable versions: Stable repo

Autobuilds (master, might be unstable): Autobuild repo

General information

Carbonapi can be configured by environment variables or by config file. For an example see carbonapi.example.yaml

$ ./carbonapi -config /etc/carbonapi.yaml

Request metrics will be dumped to graphite if coresponding config options are set, or if the GRAPHITEHOST/GRAPHITEPORT environment variables are found.

Request data will be stored in memory (default) or in memcache.

Configuration by environment variables

Every parameter in config file are mapped to environment variable. I.E.

concurency: 20
   # Type of caching. Valid: "mem", "memcache", "null"
   type: "mem"
        - ""
        - ""

That config can be replaced by


You should be only aware of logging: because carbonapi support a list of logger, env variables will replace only first logger.

If you apply variable LOGGER_FILE=stdout to config:

    - logger: ""
      file: "stderr"
      level: "debug"
      encoding: "console"
      encodingTime: "iso8601"
      encodingDuration: "seconds"
    - logger: ""
      file: "carbonapi.log"
      level: "info"
      encoding: "json"

it will be equal to config:

    - logger: ""
      file: "stdout" # Changed only here
      level: "debug"
      encoding: "console"
      encodingTime: "iso8601"
      encodingDuration: "seconds"
    - logger: ""
      file: "carbonapi.log" # Not changed
      level: "info"
      encoding: "json"

Supported protocols

  • auto - carbonapi will do it’s best to determine backend’s protocol. Currently it can identify only carbonapi_v2_pb or carbonapi_v3_pb
  • carbonapi_v2_pb, pb, pb3, protobuf - carbonapi <0.11 style protocol. Supported by go-carbon, graphite-clickhouse
  • carbonapi_v3_pb - new carbonapi protocol, that supports passing metadata through. Supported by carbonzipper >=1.0.0.alpha.3. Implementing support for that is in-progress for go-carbon
  • carbonapi_v3_grpc - grpc version of new carbonapi protocol. Currently no known implementation exists.
  • msgpack - messagepack based protocol, used in graphite-web 1.1 and metrictank. It’s still experimental and might contain bugs.


You need to have Go >= 1.8 to build carbonapi from sources. Building with Go 1.7 is not supported for versions >0.8.0

CarbonAPI uses protobuf-based protocol to talk with underlying storages. For current version the compatibility list is:

  1. go-carbon >= 0.9.0 (Note: you need to enable carbonserver in go-carbon). Recommended to run latest version, that currently supports carbonapi_v3_pb
  2. graphite-clickhouse any. That’s alternative storage that doesn’t use Whisper.
  3. metrictank - supported via msgpack protocol. Support is not very well tested and might contain bugs. Use with cautions. Tags are not supported.
  4. carbonapi >= 0.5. Note: starting from carbonapi 3596e96476 (post 0.8) carbonapi can be used as a zipper’s replacement
  5. carbonserver@master (Note: you should probably switch to go-carbon in that case).
  6. carbonzipper >= 0.50. Please note, carbonzipper functionality was merged to carbonapi and it’s no longer needed to run separate zipper. Current version of carbonzipper can be build from cmd/carbonzipper

Some remarks on different backends

For backends that uses proper database (e.x. graphite-clickhouse) you should set maxGlobs: 0 in your config file for this backend group.

For other backends (e.x. go-carbon) you should set it to some reasonable value. It increases response speed, but the cost is increased memory consumption.

Tag support was only tested with graphite-clickhouse, however it should work with any other database.

OSX Build Notes

Some additional steps may be needed to build carbonapi with cairo rendering on MacOSX.

Install cairo:

$ brew install Caskroom/cask/xquartz

$ brew install cairo --with-x11


This program was originally developed for With approval from, the code was generalised and published as Open Source on github, for which the author would like to express his gratitude.’s Fork

In summer 2018, forked version 0.11 of carbonapi and continued development in their own repo:


This code is licensed under the BSD-2 license.