Server settings

EventStoreDB server settings allow you to tweak the behaviour of the database server during the startup and at run-time. Usually, you'd want to change these settings to solve some performance issues if they occur.

Default directories

The default directories used by EventStoreDB vary by platform to fit with the common practices each platform.


When you install EventStoreDB from PackageCloud on Linux, the following locations apply:

  • Application: /usr/bin
  • Content: /usr/share/eventstore
  • Configuration: /etc/eventstore/
  • Data: /var/lib/eventstore
  • Server logs: /var/log/eventstore
  • Test client logs: ./testclientlog
  • Web content: ./clusternode-web then {Content}/clusternode-web
  • Projections: ./projections then {Content}/projections
  • Prelude: ./Prelude then {Content}/Prelude


  • Configuration: ./
  • Data: ./data
  • Server logs: ./logs
  • Test client log: ./testclientlogs
  • Web content: ./clusternode-web
  • Projections: ./projections
  • Prelude: ./Prelude

Local binaries

When running EventStoreDB using local binaries, either downloaded or built from source, the server will use its location and place the necessary files inside it:

  • Configuration: ./
  • Data: ./data
  • Server logs: ./logs
  • Test client log: ./testclientlogs
  • Web content: ./clusternode-web
  • Projections: ./projections
  • Prelude: ./Prelude

Depending on the platform and installation type, the location of EventStoreDB executables, configuration and other necessary files vary.

Database settings

Database location

EventStoreDB has a single database, which is spread across ever-growing number of physical files on the file system. Those files are called chunks and new data is always adds new data to the end of the latest chunk. When the chunk grows over 256 MiB, the server closes the chunk and opens a new one.

Normally, you'd want to keep the database files separated from the OS and other application files. The Db setting tells EventStoreDB where to put those chunk files. If the database server doesn't find anything at the specified location, it will create a new database.

Command line--db
Environment variableEVENTSTORE_DB

Default: the default database location is platform specific. On Windows, the database will be stored in the data directory inside the EventStoreDB installation location. On Linux, it will be /var/lib/eventstore.

In-memory database

When running EventStoreDB for educational purposes or in some automated test environment, you might want to prevent it from saving any data to the disk. EventStoreDB can keep the data in memory as soon as it has enough available RAM. When you shut down the instance that uses in-memory database, all the data will be lost.

Command line--mem-db
Environment variableEVENTSTORE_MEM_DB

Default: false

Skip database verification

When the database node restarts, it checks the database files to ensure they aren't corrupted. It is a lengthy process and can take hours on a large database. EventStoreDB normally flushes every write to disk, so database files unlikely get corrupted. In an environment where nodes restart often for some reason, you might want to disable the database verification to allow faster startup of the node.

Command line--skip-db-verify

Default: false

Chunk cache

You can increase the number of chunk files that are cached if you have free memory on the nodes.

The stats response contains two fields: es-readIndex-cachedRecord and es-readIndex-notCachedRecord. Statistic values for those fields tell you how many times a chunk file was retrieved from the cache and from the disk. We expect the two most recent chunks (the current chunk and the previous one) to be most frequently accessed and therefore cached.

If you observe that the es-readIndex-notCachedRecord stats value gets significantly higher than the es-readIndex-cachedRecord, you can try adjusting the chunk cache.

One setting is ChunkCacheSize and it tells the server how much memory it can use to cache chunks (in bytes). The chunk size is 256 MiB max, so the default cache size (two chunks) is 0.5 GiB. To increase the cache size to four chunks, you can set the value to 1 GiB (1073741824 bytes). You'd also need to tell the server how many chunk files you want to keep in cache. For example, to double the number of cached chunks, set the CachedChunks setting to 4.

Command line--cached-chunks

Default: -1 (all)

Remember that only the latest chunks get cached. Also consider that the OS has its own file cache and increasing the chunk cache might not bring the desired performance benefit.

Command line--chunks-cache-size

Default: 536871424

Prepare and Commit timeout

Having a prepare and commit timeout of 2000 ms (default) means that any write done on the cluster may take up to 2000 ms before the server replies to the client that this write has timed out.

Depending on your client operation timeout settings (default is 7 seconds), increasing the timeout may block a client for up to the minimum of those two timeouts and thus this may reduce the throughput if set to a large value. The server also needs to keep track of all these writes and retries in memory until the time out is over and if a large number of them accumulate over time it may slow things down.

Command line--prepare-timeout-ms

Default: 2000 (in milliseconds)

Command line--commit-timeout-ms

Default: 2000 (in milliseconds)

Disable flush to disk


Using this option might cause data loss.

This will prevent EventStoreDB from forcing the flush to disk after writes. Please note that this is unsafe in case of a power outage.

With this option enabled, EventStoreDB will still write data to the disk at the application level but not necessarily at the OS level. Usually, the OS should flush its buffers at regular intervals or when a process exits but it is something that's opaque to EventStoreDB.

Command line--unsafe-disable-flush-to-disk

Default: false

Minimum flush delay

The minimum flush delay in milliseconds.

Command line--min-flush-delay-ms

Default: 2 (ms)


Worker threads

A variety of undifferentiated work is carried out on general purpose worker threads, including sending over a network, authentication, and completion of HTTP requests.

Increasing the number of threads beyond that necessary to satisfy the workload generated by other components in the system may result in additional unnecessary context switching overhead.

Command line--worker-threads

Default: 5

Reader threads count

Reader threads are used for all read operations on data files - whether the requests originate from the client or from internally to the database. There are a number of things that cause operations to be dispatched to reader threads, including:

  • All index reads, including those to service stream and event number-based reads and for idempotent handling of write operations when an expected version is specified.
  • Data to service requests originating from either the HTTP or TCP client APIs.
  • Projections needing to read data for processing.
  • Authorization needing to read access control lists from stream metadata.
Command line--reader-threads-count

Default: 4

Readers starvation

Reads are queued until a reader thread becomes available to service them. If an operation doesn't complete within an internal deadline window, a disk operation is not dispatched by the worker thread which processes the operation.

Effect on reads

The size of read operations is dependent on the size of the events appended, not on the database chunk size, which has a fixed logical size. Larger reads (subject to the operating system page size) result in more time being spent in system calls, and less availability of reader threads.

Increasing the readers count

A higher reader count can be useful, if disks are able to support more concurrent operations. Context switching incurs additional costs in terms of performance. If disks are already saturated, adding more reader threads can exacerbate that issue and lead to more failed requests.

###3 Performance implications

Increasing the count of reader threads can improve performance up to a point, but it is likely to rapidly tail off once that limit is reached.

HTTP caching


This section is about caching static resources for HTTP API. It does not affect the server performance directly and cannot be used with TCP clients.

Most of the URIs that EventStoreDB emits are immutable (including the UI and Atom Feeds).

An Atom feed has a URI that represents an event, e.g., /streams/foo/0, representing 'event 0'. The data for event 0 never changes. If this stream is open to public reads then the URI is set to be 'cachable' for long periods of time.

You can see a similar example in reading a feed. If a stream has 50 events in it, the feed page 20/forward/10 never changes, it will always be events 20-30. Internally EventStoreDB controls serving the right URIs by using rel links with feeds (for example prev/next).

This caching behaviour is great for performance in a production environment and we recommended you use it, but in a developer environment it can become confusing.

For example, what happens if you started a database, wrote /streams/foo/0 and performed a GET request? The GET request is cachable and now in your cache. Since this is a development environment, you shut down EventStoreDB and delete the database. You then restart EventStoreDB and append a different event to /streams/foo/0. You open your browser and inspect the /streams/foo/0 stream, and you see the event appended before you deleted the database.

To avoid this during development it's best to run EventStoreDB with the --disable-http-caching command line option. This disables all caching and solve the issue.

The option can be set as follows:

Command line--disable-http-caching

Default: false, so the HTTP caching is enabled by default.