Launching an ArangoDB cluster for testing

An ArangoDB cluster consists of several running tasks which form the cluster. ArangoDB itself won't start or monitor any of these tasks. So it will need some kind of supervisor which is monitoring and starting these tasks. For production usage we recommend using Apache Mesos as the cluster supervisor.

However starting a cluster manually is possible and is a very easy method to get a first impression of what an ArangoDB cluster looks like.

The easiest way to start a local cluster for testing purposes is to run scripts/ from a clone of the source repository after compiling ArangoDB from source (see instructions in the file in the repository. This will start 1 Agency, 2 DBServers and 1 Coordinator. To stop the cluster issue scripts/

This section will discuss the required parameters for every role in an ArangoDB cluster. Be sure to read the Architecture documentation to get a basic understanding of the underlying architecture and the involved roles in an ArangoDB cluster.

In the following sections we will go through the relevant options per role.

single node cluster


To start up an agency you first have to activate it. This is done by providing --agency.activate true.

To start up the agency in its fault tolerant mode set the --agency.size to 3. You will then have to provide at least 3 agents before the agency will start operation.

During initialization the agents have to find each other. To do so provide at least one common --agency.endpoint. The agents will then coordinate startup themselves. They will announce themselves with their external address which may be specified using This is required in bridged docker setups or NATed environments.

So in summary this is what your startup might look like:

arangod --server.endpoint tcp:// --server.authentication false --agency.activate true --agency.size 3 --agency.endpoint tcp:// --agency.supervision true agency1 &
arangod --server.endpoint tcp:// --server.authentication false --agency.activate true --agency.size 3 --agency.endpoint tcp:// --agency.supervision true agency2 &
arangod --server.endpoint tcp:// --server.authentication false --agency.activate true --agency.size 3 --agency.endpoint tcp:// --agency.supervision true agency3 &

If you are happy with a single agent, then simply use a single command like this:

arangod --server.endpoint tcp:// --server.authentication false --agency.activate true --agency.size 1 --agency.endpoint tcp:// --agency.supervision true --database-directory agency1 &

Furthermore, in the following sections when is used multiple times to specify all three agent addresses, just use a single option tcp:// instead.

Coordinators and DBServers

These two roles share a common set of relevant options. First you should specify the role using This can either be PRIMARY (a database server) or COORDINATOR. Both need some unique information with which they will register in the agency, too. This could for example be some combination of host name and port or whatever you have at hand. However it must be unique for each instance and be provided as value for Furthermore provide the external endpoint (IP and port) of the task via

The following is a full-example of what it might look like:

arangod --server.authentication=false --server.endpoint tcp:// tcp:// db1 PRIMARY tcp:// tcp:// tcp:// primary1 &
arangod --server.authentication=false --server.endpoint tcp:// tcp:// db2 PRIMARY tcp:// tcp:// tcp:// primary2 &
arangod --server.authentication=false --server.endpoint tcp:// tcp:// coord1 COORDINATOR tcp:// tcp:// tcp:// coordinator &

Note in particular that the endpoint descriptions given under and must not use the IP address because they must contain an actual address that can be routed to the corresponding server. The in --server.endpoint simply means that the server binds itself to all available network devices with all available IP addresses.

Upon registering with the agency during startup the cluster will assign an ID to every task. The generated ID will be printed out to the log or can be accessed via the http API by calling http://server-address/_admin/server/id. Should you ever have to restart a task, simply reuse the same value for and the same ID will be picked.

You have now launched a complete ArangoDB cluster and can contact its coordinator at the endpoint tcp://, which means that you can reach the web UI under


Secondaries need a bit more work. Secondaries need to have some primary assigned. To do that there is a special route. To register a secondary you must first find out the Server-ID of the primary server. Then generate your own ID for the secondary you are about to start and call one of the coordinators like this (replace the value of "newSecondary" in the command):

curl -f -X PUT --data '{"primary": "DBServer001", "oldSecondary": "none", "newSecondary": "Secondary001"}' -H "Content-Type: application/json"

If that call was successful you can start the secondary. Instead of providing you should now provide the Id in the curl call above via You can omit the in this case. The secondary will find out from the agency about its role.

To sum it up:

curl -f -X PUT --data '{"primary": "DBServer001", "oldSecondary": "none", "newSecondary": "Secondary001"}' -H "Content-Type: application/json" && arangod --server.authentication=false --server.endpoint tcp:// Secondary001 tcp:// tcp:// tcp:// tcp:// secondary1 &
curl -f -X PUT --data '{"primary": "DBServer002", "oldSecondary": "none", "newSecondary": "Secondary002"}' -H "Content-Type: application/json" && arangod --server.authentication=false --server.endpoint tcp:// Secondary002 tcp:// tcp:// tcp:// tcp:// secondary2 &