eBPF Processes icon

eBPF Processes

eBPF Processes

Plugin: ebpf.plugin Module: processes


Monitor calls for function creating tasks (threads and processes) inside Linux kernel.

Attach tracing (kprobe or tracepoint, and trampoline) to internal kernel functions.

This collector is only supported on the following platforms:

  • Linux

This collector supports collecting metrics from multiple instances of this integration, including remote instances.

The plugin needs setuid because it loads data inside kernel. Netada sets necessary permission during installation time.

Default Behavior


The plugin checks kernel compilation flags (CONFIG_KPROBES, CONFIG_BPF, CONFIG_BPF_SYSCALL, CONFIG_BPF_JIT), files inside debugfs, and presence of BTF files to decide which eBPF program will be attached.


The default configuration for this integration does not impose any limits on data collection.

Performance Impact

This thread will add overhead every time that an internal kernel function monitored by this thread is called.



Compile kernel

Check if your kernel was compiled with necessary options (CONFIG_KPROBES, CONFIG_BPF, CONFIG_BPF_SYSCALL, CONFIG_BPF_JIT) in /proc/config.gz or inside /boot/config file. Some cited names can be different accoring preferences of Linux distributions. When you do not have options set, it is necessary to get the kernel source code from https://kernel.org or a kernel package from your distribution, this last is preferred. The kernel compilation has a well definedd pattern, but distributions can deliver their configuration files with different names.

Now follow steps:

  1. Copy the configuration file to /usr/src/linux/.config.
  2. Select the necessary options: make oldconfig
  3. Compile your kernel image: make bzImage
  4. Compile your modules: make modules
  5. Copy your new kernel image for boot loader directory
  6. Install the new modules: make modules_install
  7. Generate an initial ramdisk image (initrd) if it is necessary.
  8. Update your boot loader

Debug Filesystem

This thread needs to attach a tracepoint to monitor when a process schedule an exit event. To allow this specific feaure, it is necessary to mount debugfs (mount -t debugfs none /sys/kernel/debug/).



The configuration file name for this integration is ebpf.d/process.conf.

You can edit the configuration file using the edit-config script from the Netdata config directory.

cd /etc/netdata 2>/dev/null || cd /opt/netdata/etc/netdata
sudo ./edit-config ebpf.d/process.conf


All options are defined inside section [global].

Name Description Default Required
update every Data collection frequency. 5 False
ebpf load mode Define whether plugin will monitor the call (entry) for the functions or it will also monitor the return (return). entry False
apps Enable or disable integration with apps.plugin no False
cgroups Enable or disable integration with cgroup.plugin no False
pid table size Number of elements stored inside hash tables used to monitor calls per PID. 32768 False
ebpf type format Define the file type to load an eBPF program. Three options are available: legacy (Attach only kprobe), co-re (Plugin tries to use trampoline when available), and auto (plugin check OS configuration before to load). auto False
ebpf co-re tracing Select the attach method used by plugin when co-re is defined in previous option. Two options are available: trampoline (Option with lowest overhead), and probe (the same of legacy code). This plugin will always try to attach a tracepoint, so option here will impact only function used to monitor task (thread and process) creation. trampoline False
maps per core Define how plugin will load their hash maps. When enabled (yes) plugin will load one hash table per core, instead to have centralized information. yes False
lifetime Set default lifetime for thread when enabled by cloud. 300 False


There are no configuration examples.


Metrics grouped by scope.

The scope defines the instance that the metric belongs to. An instance is uniquely identified by a set of labels.

Per eBPF Processes instance

These metrics show total number of calls to functions inside kernel.

This scope has no labels.


Metric Dimensions Unit
system.process_thread process calls/s
system.process_status process, zombie difference
system.exit process calls/s
system.task_error task calls/s

Per apps

These Metrics show grouped information per apps group.

This scope has no labels.


Metric Dimensions Unit
apps.process_create a dimension per app group calls/s
apps.thread_create a dimension per app group calls/s
apps.task_exit a dimension per app group calls/s
apps.task_close a dimension per app group calls/s
apps.task_error a dimension per app group calls/s

Per cgroup

These Metrics show grouped information per cgroup/service.

This scope has no labels.


Metric Dimensions Unit
cgroup.process_create process calls/s
cgroup.thread_create thread calls/s
cgroup.task_exit exit calls/s
cgroup.task_close process calls/s
cgroup.task_error process calls/s
services.process_create a dimension per systemd service calls/s
services.thread_create a dimension per systemd service calls/s
services.task_close a dimension per systemd service calls/s
services.task_exit a dimension per systemd service calls/s
services.task_error a dimension per systemd service calls/s


There are no alerts configured by default for this integration.

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