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Configuration and Registry



The EdgeX registry and configuration service provides other EdgeX Foundry micro services with information about associated services within EdgeX Foundry (such as location and status) and configuration properties (i.e. - a repository of initialization and operating values). Today, EdgeX Foundry uses Consul by Hashicorp as its reference implementation configuration and registry service. However, abstractions are in place so that these functions could be provided by an alternate implementation. In fact, registration and configuration could be provided by different services under the covers. For more, see the Configuration Provider and Registry Provider sections in this page.


Please refer to the EdgeX Foundry architectural decision record for details (and design decisions) behind the configuration in EdgeX.

Local Configuration

Because EdgeX Foundry may be deployed and run in several different ways, it is important to understand how configuration is loaded and from where it is sourced. Referring to the cmd directory within the edgex-go repository , each service has its own folder. Inside each service folder there is a res directory (short for "resource"). There you will find the configuration files in TOML format that defines each service's configuration. A service may support several different configuration profiles, such as a "docker" profile. In this case, the configuration file located directly in the res directory should be considered the default configuration profile. Sub-directories will contain configurations appropriate to the respective profile.

As of the Geneva release, EdgeX recommends using environment variable overrides instead of creating profiles to override some subset of config values. You can see examples of this in the related docker-compose files.

If you choose to use profiles as described above, the config profile can be indicated using one of the following command line flags:

--profile / -p

Taking the core-data service as an example:

  • ./core-data starts the service using the default profile found locally
  • ./core-data --profile=docker starts the service using the docker profile found locally


Again, utilizing environment variables for configuration overrides is the recommended path. Config profiles have been deprecated and will be removed in a future release.

Seeding Configuration

When utilizing the registry to provide centralized configuration management for the EdgeX Foundry micro services, it is necessary to seed the required configuration before starting the services. Each service has the built-in capability to perform this seeding operation. A service will use its local configuration file to initialize the structure and relevant values, and then overlay any environment variable override values as specified. The end result will be seeded into the configuration provider if such is being used.

In order for a service to now load the configuration from the configuration provider, use one of the following flags:

--configProvider / -cp

Again, taking the core-data service as an example:

./core-data -cp=consul.http://localhost:8500 will start the service using configuration values found in the provider

Configuration Structure

Configuration information is organized into a hierarchical structure allowing for a logical grouping of services, as well as versioning, beneath an "edgex" namespace at root level of the configuration tree. The root namespace separates EdgeX Foundry-related configuration information from other applications that may be using the same registry. Below the root, sub-nodes facilitate grouping of device services, EdgeX core services, security services, etc. As an example, the top-level nodes shown when one views the configuration registry might be as follows:

  • edgex (root namespace)
    • core (edgex core services)
    • devices (device services)


Incorporating versioning into the configuration hierarchy looks like this.

  • edgex (root namespace)
    • core (edgex core services)
      • 1.0
        • edgex-core-command
        • edgex-core-data
        • edgex-core-metadata
      • 2.0
    • devices (device services)
      • 1.0
        • mqtt-c
        • mqtt-go
        • modbus-go
      • 2.0
    • appservices (application services)
      • 1.0
        • AppService-rules-engine
      • 2.0

The versions shown correspond to major versions of the given services. For all minor/patch versions associated with a major version, the respective service keys live under the major version in configuration (such as 1.0). Changes to the configuration structure that may be required during the associated minor version development cycles can only be additive. That is, key names will not be removed or changed once set in a major version. Futhermore, sections of the configuration tree cannot be moved from one place to another. In this way, backward compatibility for the lifetime of the major version is maintained.

An advantage of grouping all minor/patch versions under a major version involves end-user configuration changes that need to be persisted during an upgrade. A service on startup will not overwrite existing configuration when it runs unless explicitly told to do so via the --overwrite / -o command line flag. Therefore if a user leaves their configuration provider running during an EdgeX Foundry upgrade any customization will be left in place. Environment variable overrides such as those supplied in the docker-compose for a given release will always override existing content in the configuration provider.

Configuration Properties

The following tables document configuration properties that are common to all services in the EdgeX Foundry platform. Service-specific properties can be found on the respective documentation page for each service.

Property Default Value Description
entries in the Writable section of the configuration can be changed on the fly while the service is running if the service is running with the -cp/--configProvider=consul.<url> flag
LogLevel INFO log entry severity level. Log entries not of the default level or higher are ignored.

=== "Service" |Property|Default Value|Description| |---|---|---| |||these keys represent the core service-level configuration settings| |MaxResultCount|50000|Read data limit per invocation| |BootTimeout |300000 |Heart beat time in milliseconds| |StartupMsg |Logging Service heart beat |Heart beat message| |Port |48061 |Micro service port number| |Host |localhost |Micro service host name| |Protocol |http |Micro service host protocol| |ClientMonitor |15000 |The interval in milliseconds at which any service clients will refresh their endpoint information from the service registry (Consul)| |CheckInterval |10s | The interval in seconds at which the service registry(Consul) will conduct a health check of this service.| |Timeout |5000 | Specifies a timeout (in milliseconds) for handling requests|

Property Default Value Description
configuration governing logging behavior. With the default values below, all logging will be written to StdOut.
EnableRemote false Facilitates delegation of logging via REST to the support-logging service
File [empty string] File path to save logging entries. Empty by default.
Property Default Value Description
configuration that govern database connectivity and the type of database to use. While not all services require DB connectivity, most do and so this has been included in the common configuration docs.
Username [empty string] DB user name
Password [empty string] DB password
Host localhost DB host name
Port 6379 DB port number
Name coredata Database or document store name
Timeout 5000 DB connection timeout
Type redisdb DB type. Alternate is mongodb which is being deprecated
Property Default Value Description
this configuration only takes effect when connecting to the registry for configuration info
Host localhost Registry host name
Port 8500 Registry port number
Type consul Registry implementation type
Property Default Value Description
Protocol http The protocol to use when building a URI to local the service endpoint
Host localhost The host name or IP address where the service is hosted
Port 48081 The port exposed by the target service
Property Default Value Description
Duration 30 The maximum amount of time (in seconds) the service is given to complete the bootstrap phase.
Interval 1 The amount of time (in seconds) to sleep between retries on a failed dependency such as DB connection
Property Default Value Description
these config values are used when security is enabled and Vault access is required for obtaining secrets, such as database credentials
Host localhost The host name or IP address associated with Vault
Port 8200 The configured port on which Vault is listening
Path /v1/secret/edgex/coredata/ The service-specific path where the secrets are kept. This path will differ according to the given service
Protocol https The protocol to be used when communicating with Vault
RootCaCertPath /vault/config/pki/EdgeXFoundryCA/ EdgeXFoundryCA.pem The default location of the certificate used to communicate with Vault over a secure channel
ServerName localhost The name of the server where Vault is located.
TokenFile /vault/config/assets/resp-init.json Fully-qualified path to the location of the Vault root token.
AdditionalRetryAttempts 10 Number of attemtps to retry retrieving secrets before failing to start the service
RetryWaitPeriod 1s Amount of time to wait before attempting another connection to Vault
Authentication AuthType X-Vault-Token A header used to indicate how the given service will authenticate with Vault

Readable vs Writable Settings

Within a given service's configuration, there are keys whose values can be edited and change the behavior of the service while it is running versus those that are effectively read-only. These writable settings are grouped under a given service key. For example, the top-level groupings for edgex-core-data are:

  • /edgex/core/1.0/edgex-core-data/Clients
  • /edgex/core/1.0/edgex-core-data/Databases
  • /edgex/core/1.0/edgex-core-data/Logging
  • /edgex/core/1.0/edgex-core-data/MessageQueue
  • /edgex/core/1.0/edgex-core-data/Registry
  • /edgex/core/1.0/edgex-core-data/SecretStore
  • /edgex/core/1.0/edgex-core-data/Service
  • /edgex/core/1.0/edgex-core-data/Writable

Any configuration settings found in the Writable section shown above may be changed and affect a service's behavior without a restart. Any modifications to the other settings (read-only configuration) would require a restart.


As of the Geneva release, the support-logging service is deprecated. In the Readable section of each service's configuration there is currently a Logging section shown below. The recommendation is that you not change the default values in this section unless you have a specific reason for doing so.

# Remote and file logging disabled so only stdout logging is used
EnableRemote = false  
File = ''

Configuration Provider

You can supply and manage configuration in a centralized manner by utilizing the -cp/--configProvider=consul.<url> flag when starting a service. If the flag is provided and pointed to an application such as HashiCorp's Consul, the service will bootstrap its configuration into Consul if it doesn't exist. If configuration does already exist, it will load the content from the given location applying any environment variables overrides of which the service is aware. Integration with the configuration provider is handled through the go-mod-configuration module referenced by all services.

Registry Provider

The registry refers to any platform you may use for service discovery. For the EdgeX Foundry reference implementation, the default provider for this responsibility is Consul. Integration with the registry is handled through the go-mod-registry module referenced by all services.

Introduction to Registry

The objective of the registry is to enable micro services to find and to communicate with each other. When each micro service starts up, it registers itself with the registry, and the registry continues checking its availability periodically via a specified health check endpoint. When one micro service needs to connect to another one, it connects to the registry to retrieve the available host name and port number of the target micro service and then invokes the target micro service. The following figure shows the basic flow.


Consul is the default registry implementation and provides native features for service registration, service discovery, and health checking. Please refer to the Consul official web site for more information:

Physically, the "registry" and "configuration" management services are combined and running on the same Consul server node.

Web User Interface

A web user interface is also provided by Consul. Users can view the available service list and their health status through the web user interface. The web user interface is available at the /ui path on the same port as the HTTP API. By default this is http://localhost:8500/ui. For more detail, please see:

Running on Docker

For ease of use to install and update, the micro services of EdgeX Foundry are published as Docker images onto Docker Hub, including Registry:

After the Docker engine is ready, users can download the latest Consul image by the docker pull command:

docker pull edgexfoundry/docker-core-consul

Then, startup Consul using Docker container by the Docker run command:

docker run -p 8400:8400 -p 8500:8500 -p 8600:8600 \--name edgex-core-consul \--hostname edgex-core-consul -d edgexfoundry/docker-core-consul

These are the command steps to start up Consul and import the default configuration data:

  1. login to Docker Hub:

    docker login
  2. A Docker network is needed to enable one Docker container to communicate with another. This is preferred over use of --links that establishes a client-server relationship:

    docker network create edgex-network
  3. Create a Docker volume container for EdgeX Foundry:

    docker run -it --name edgex-files --net=edgex-network -v /data/db -v /edgex/logs -v /consul/config -v /consul/data -d edgexfoundry/docker-edgex-volume
  4. Create the Consul container:

    docker run -p 8400:8400 -p 8500:8500 -p 8600:8600 --name edgex-core-consul --hostname edgex-core-consul --net=edgex-network --volumes-from edgex-files -d edgexfoundry/docker-core-consul
  5. Verify the result: http://localhost:8500/ui

Running on Local Machine

To run Consul on the local machine, following these steps:

  1. Download the binary from Consul official website: Please choose the correct binary file according to the operation system.
  2. Set up the environment variable. Please refer to
  3. Execute the following command:

    consul agent -data-dir \${DATA_FOLDER} -ui -advertise -server -bootstrap-expect 1
    # ${DATA_FOLDER} could be any folder to put the data files of Consul and it needs the read/write permission.
  4. Verify the result: http://localhost:8500/ui