Instance configuration | Tarantool
Administration Instance configuration

Instance configuration

For each Tarantool instance, you need two files:

  • [Optional] An application file with instance-specific logic. Put this file into the /usr/share/tarantool/ directory.

    For example, /usr/share/tarantool/my_app.lua (here we implement it as a Lua module that bootstraps the database and exports start() function for API calls):

    local function start()"somedata")"primary")
    return {
      start = start;
  • An instance file with instance-specific initialization logic and parameters. Put this file, or a symlink to it, into the instance directory (see instances_enabled parameter in tt configuration file).

    For example, /etc/tarantool/instances.enabled/my_app.lua (here we load my_app.lua module and make a call to start() function from that module):

    #!/usr/bin/env tarantool
    box.cfg {
        listen = 3301;
    -- load my_app module and call start() function
    -- with some app options controlled by sysadmins
    local m = require('my_app').start({...})

After this short introduction, you may wonder what an instance file is, what it is for, and how tt uses it. After all, Tarantool is an application server, so why not start the application stored in /usr/share/tarantool directly?

A typical Tarantool application is not a script, but a daemon running in background mode and processing requests, usually sent to it over a TCP/IP socket. This daemon needs to be started automatically when the operating system starts, and managed with the operating system standard tools for service management – such as systemd or init.d. To serve this very purpose, we created instance files.

You can have more than one instance file. For example, a single application in /usr/share/tarantool can run in multiple instances, each of them having its own instance file. Or you can have multiple applications in /usr/share/tarantool – again, each of them having its own instance file.

An instance file is typically created by a system administrator. An application file is often provided by a developer, in a Lua rock or an rpm/deb package.

An instance file is designed to not differ in any way from a Lua application. It must, however, configure the database, i.e. contain a call to box.cfg{} somewhere in it, because it’s the only way to turn a Tarantool script into a background process, and tt is a tool to manage background processes. Other than that, an instance file may contain arbitrary Lua code, and, in theory, even include the entire application business logic in it. We, however, do not recommend this, since it clutters the instance file and leads to unnecessary copy-paste when you need to run multiple instances of an application.

Tarantool supports loading and running chunks of Lua code before the loading instance file. To load or run Lua code immediately upon Tarantool startup, specify the TT_PRELOAD environment variable. Its value can be either a path to a Lua script or a Lua module name:

  • To run the Lua script script.lua from the preload/path/ directory inside the working directory in Tarantool before main.lua, set TT_PRELOAD as follows:

    $ TT_PRELOAD=/preload/path/script.lua tarantool main.lua

    Tarantool runs the script.lua code, waits for it to complete, and then starts running main.lua.

  • To load the preload.module into the Tarantool Lua interpreter executing main.lua, set TT_PRELOAD as follows:

    $ TT_PRELOAD=preload.module tarantool main.lua

    Tarantool loads the preload.module code into the interpreter and starts running main.lua as if its first statement was require('preload.module').


    TT_PRELOAD values that end with .lua are considered scripts, so avoid module names with this ending.

To load several scripts or modules, pass them in a single quoted string, separated by semicolons:

$ TT_PRELOAD="/preload/path/script.lua;preload.module" tarantool main.lua

In the preload script, the three dots (...) value contains the module name if you’re preloading a module or the path to the script if you’re running a script.

The arg value from the main script is visible in the preload script or module.

For example, when preloading this script:

-- preload.lua --
print("... arg is:", ...)
print("Passed args:", arg[1], arg[2])

You get the following output:

$ TT_PRELOAD=preload.lua tarantool main.lua arg1 arg2
... arg is: preload.lua
Passed args:        arg1    arg2
'strip_core' is set but unsupported
... main/103/main.lua I> Tarantool 2.11.0-0-g247a9a4 Darwin-x86_64-Release
... main/103/main.lua I> log level 5
... main/103/main.lua I> wal/engine cleanup is paused
< ... >

If an error happens during the execution of the preload script or module, Tarantool reports the problem and exits.

While instance files contain instance configuration, the tt configuration file contains the configuration that tt uses to set up the application environment. This includes the path to instance files, various working directories, and other parameters that connect the application to the system.

To create a default tt configuration, run tt init. This creates a tt.yaml configuration file. Its location depends on the tt launch mode (system or local).

Some tt configuration parameters are similar to those used by box.cfg{}, for example, memxt_dir or wal_dir. Other parameters define the tt environment, for example, paths to installation files used by tt or to connected external modules.

Find the detailed information about the tt configuration parameters and launch modes on the tt configuration page.

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