CLI Tools

OpenTSDB consists of a single JAR file that uses a shell script to determine what actiosn the user wants to take. While the most common action is to start the TSD with the tsd command so that it can run all the time and process RPCs, other commands are available to work with OpenTSDB data. These commands include:

Accessing a CLI tool is performed from the location of the tsdb file, built after compiling OpenTSDB. By default the tsdb file will be located in the build directory so you may access it via ./build/tsdb. Provide the name of the CLI utility as in ./build/tsdb tsd.

Common Parameters

All command line utilities share some common command line parameters:


Data Type






The full or relative path to an OpenTSDB Configuration file. If this parameter is not provided, the command will attempt to load the default config file.

See Configuration




Name of the HBase table where datapoints are stored





Name of the HBase table where UID information is stored





For some CLI tools, this command will allow for INFO and above logging per the logback.xml config. Otherwise without this flag, some tools may only log WARNing messages.



Path under which is the znode for the -ROOT- region





Sets the mode for OpenTSDB





Specification of the ZooKeeper quorum to use, i.e. a list of servers and/or ports in the ZooKeeper cluster



Site-specific Configuration

The common parameters above are required by all the CLI commands. It can be tedious to manually type them over and over again. You can instead store typically used values in a file ./tsdb.local. This file is expected to be a shell script and will be sourced by ./tsdb if it exists.

Setting default values for common parameters

If, for example, your ZooKeeper quorum is behind the DNS name “” (a name with 5 A records), instead of always passing to the CLI tool each time you use it, you can create ./tsdb.local with the following contents:

set x $MY_ARGS "$@"

Overriding the timezone of the TSD

Servers are frequently using UTC as their timezone. By default, the TSD renders graphs using the local timezone of the server. You can override this to have graphs in your local time by specifying a timezone in ./tsdb.local. For example, if you’re in California, this will force the TSD to use your timezone:

echo export TZ=PST8PDT >>tsdb.local

On most Linux and BSD systems, you can look under /usr/share/zoneinfo for names of timezones supported on your system.

Changing JVM parameters

You might want to adjust JVM parameters, for instance to turn on GC activity logging or to set the size of various memory regions. In order to do so, simply set the variable JVMARGS in ./tsdb.local.

Here is an example that is recommended for production use:

GCARGS="-XX:+PrintGCDetails -XX:+PrintGCTimeStamps -XX:+PrintGCDateStamps\
 -XX:+PrintTenuringDistribution -Xloggc:/tmp/tsd-gc-`date +%s`.log"
if test -t 0; then # if stdin is a tty, don't turn on GC logging.
# The Sun JDK caches all name resolution results forever, which is stupid.
# This forces you to restart your application if any of the backends change
# IP. Instead tell it to cache names for only 10 minutes at most.