System configuration

Perform the following configuration on each node in the cluster:

  • ntp or chrony
  • ulimits
  • transparent hugepages

Keep in mind that, although YugabyteDB is PostgreSQL compatible and runs a postgres process, it is not a PostgreSQL distribution. The PostgreSQL it runs doesn't need the same OS and system resources that open source PostgreSQL requires. For this reason, the kernel configuration requirements are different.

In particular, the main YugabyteDB process, the YB-TServer, is multi-threaded. As a result, you don't need to modify settings for shared memory and inter-process communication (IPC), because there is no inter-process communication or shared memory in a multi-threaded process model (all memory is shared by the same process).


If your instance does not have public Internet access, make sure the ntp package is installed:

$ sudo yum install -y ntp

As of CentOS 8, ntp is no longer available and has been replaced by chrony. To install, run:

$ sudo yum install -y chrony


In Linux, ulimit is used to limit and control the usage of system resources (threads, files, and network connections) on a per-process or per-user basis.

Check ulimits

Run the following command to check the ulimit settings.

$ ulimit -a

The following settings are recommended when running YugabyteDB.

core file size          (blocks, -c) unlimited
data seg size           (kbytes, -d) unlimited
scheduling priority             (-e) 0
file size               (blocks, -f) unlimited
pending signals                 (-i) 119934
max locked memory       (kbytes, -l) 64
max memory size         (kbytes, -m) unlimited
open files                      (-n) 1048576
pipe size            (512 bytes, -p) 8
POSIX message queues     (bytes, -q) 819200
real-time priority              (-r) 0
stack size              (kbytes, -s) 8192
cpu time               (seconds, -t) unlimited
max user processes              (-u) 12000
virtual memory          (kbytes, -v) unlimited
file locks                      (-x) unlimited

Set system-wide ulimits

You can change values by substituting the -n option for any possible value in the output of ulimit -a. Issue a command in the following form to change a ulimit setting.

$ ulimit -n <value>
-f (file size): unlimited
-t (cpu time): unlimited
-v (virtual memory): unlimited [1]
-l (locked-in-memory size): unlimited
-n (open files): 64000
-m (memory size): unlimited [1] [2]
-u (processes/threads): 64000

Restart servers

After changing a ulimit setting, the YB-Master and YB-TServer servers must be restarted in order for the new settings to take effect. Check the yb-tserver.INFO file to verify that the ulimits are applied. You can also check the /proc/<process pid> file to see the current settings.

Changes made using ulimit may revert following a system restart depending on the system configuration. These settings should be applied permanently by adding the following in /etc/security/limits.conf:

*                -       core            unlimited
*                -       data            unlimited
*                -       fsize           unlimited
*                -       sigpending      119934
*                -       memlock         64
*                -       rss             unlimited
*                -       nofile          1048576
*                -       msgqueue        819200
*                -       stack           8192
*                -       cpu             unlimited
*                -       nproc           12000
*                -       locks           unlimited

On CentOS, /etc/security/limits.d/20-nproc.conf must also be configured to match.

*          soft    nproc     12000

After changing a ulimit setting in /etc/security/limits.conf, you will need to log out and back in. To update system processes, you may need to restart.

Using other distributions

If you're using a desktop-distribution, such as ubuntu-desktop, the preceding settings may not suffice. The operating system needs additional steps to change ulimit for GUI login.

In the case of ubuntu-desktop, in /etc/systemd/user.conf and /etc/systemd/system.conf, add DefaultLimitNOFILE=64000 at the end of file.

Something similar may be needed for other distributions.

Kernel settings

If running on a virtual machine, execute the following to tune kernel settings :

  1. Configure the parameter vm.swappiness as follows:

    sudo bash -c 'sysctl vm.swappiness=0 >> /etc/sysctl.conf'
  2. Setup path for core files as follows:

    sudo sysctl kernel.core_pattern=/home/yugabyte/cores/core_%p_%t_%E
  3. Configure the parameter vm.max_map_count as follows:

    sudo sysctl -w vm.max_map_count=262144
    sudo bash -c 'sysctl vm.max_map_count=262144 >> /etc/sysctl.conf'
  4. Validate the change as follows:

    sysctl vm.max_map_count

Using systemd

If you're using systemd to start the processes, and the ulimits are not propagated, add the ulimits in the Service section of the systemd configuration file:


ulimits options here


For more details, see the systemd example configuration for yb-master.service, and yb-tserver.service.

The mappings of ulimit options with values are:

Data type ulimit equivalent Value
Directive ulimit equivalent Value
LimitCPU= ulimit -t infinity
LimitFSIZE= ulimit -f infinity
LimitDATA= ulimit -d infinity
LimitSTACK= ulimit -s 8388608
LimitCORE= ulimit -c infinity
LimitRSS= ulimit -m infinity
LimitNOFILE= ulimit -n 1048576
LimitAS= ulimit -v infinity
LimitNPROC= ulimit -u 12000
LimitMEMLOCK= ulimit -l 64
LimitLOCKS= ulimit -x infinity
LimitSIGPENDING= ulimit -i 119934
LimitMSGQUEUE= ulimit -q 819200
LimitNICE= ulimit -e 0
LimitRTPRIO= ulimit -r 0

If a ulimit is set to unlimited, set it to infinity in the systemd configuration file.

transparent hugepages

Transparent hugepages should be enabled for optimal performance. By default, they are enabled.

You can check with the following command:

$ cat /sys/kernel/mm/transparent_hugepage/enabled

It is generally not necessary to adjust the kernel command line if the output is as follows:

[always] madvise never

However, if the value is set to "madvise" or "never", you should modify your kernel command line to set transparent hugepages to "always".

You should consult your operating system documentation to determine the best way to modify a kernel command line argument for your operating system.

On RHEL or CentOS 7 or 8, using grub2, the following steps are one solution:

  1. Append "transparent_hugepage=always" to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX in /etc/default/grub.

    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=" ... transparent_hugepage=always"
  2. Rebuild /boot/grub2/grub.cfg using grub2-mkconfig.

    Be sure to take a backup of the existing /boot/grub2/grub.cfg before rebuilding.

    On BIOS-based machines:

    grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg

    On UEFI-based machines:

    grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/efi/EFI/redhat/grub.cfg
  3. Reboot the system.