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Actyx Reference

Supported OS and architectures

PlatformSupported OSSupported architecture
WindowsWindows 10 or Windows Server 2019x86_64
AndroidAndroid 6+x86, arm64-v8a or armeabi-v7a ABI
LinuxUbuntu 18.04+ or Alpine 3.9+x86_64, aarch64, armv7 or arm
DockerDocker 20+x86_64, aarch64, armv7 or arm
macOSBig Sur or laterx86_64 or aarch64

Networking Requirements

  • ports 4001, 4454, 4458 unused
  • Incoming/outgoing connections on ports 4001, 4454, 4458 allowed
  • All nodes connected to same LAN/WLAN
  • ports 4001, 4454, 4458 unblocked
  • UDP unicast connections allowed (mDNS protocol, port 5353, IPv4, IPv6 ff02::fb)
  • Client-isolation disabled

It is not supported to put firewalls between devices of the same swarm. Wherever possible, devices should be placed within one broadcast domain. Placing devices of the same swarm across different broadcast domains requires manually configuring initial peers and configuring communication between these broadcast domains accordingly.

Using non-standard ports

Apart from the mDNS parameters, the three used TCP ports can be freely configured when starting Actyx. The command line options for these are

  • --bind-swarm for the inter-node data transfer port (default: 4001)
  • --bind-api for the HTTP API used by applications (default: 4454)
  • --bind-admin for the admin port used by the Node Manager and Actyx CLI (default: 4458)

See also actyx --help for more details.


A lot of different factors play into performance of Actyx and your apps. Assuming a standard network setup, rugged tablets or other devices with relatively low computing power, and a standard factory use case, these are approximate limits:

Latencybelow 200 ms, not guaranteed as dependent on several factors
No. of nodesmax. 100 nodes
Event data rate~1 event per node per 10 seconds

Please refer to the performance and limits page for more detailed information, also regarding typical disk usage etc.

The following list shows the factors that influence performance. Please note that these are not requirements, but assumptions made for the above performance characteristics:

LAN setup and latencystandard / WiFi
App runtimesWebview (Node.js) and Docker
DevicesRugged tablets or other devices with relatively low computing power (e.g. Raspberry Pi 3)
Device CPU1-2 GHz, x86/arm architecture
Device RAM1-4 GB
Programming languageTypescript
Business logic complexityStandard factory use case, production data and machine data acquisition
Assumptions do not fit your use case?

The limits regarding performance and disk space described on this page are only true within the circumstances outlined above. If one of these factors changes, the limits for your solution might change. If you are looking for guidance on a specific use case, please refer to our conceptual guide or contact us.

Node Settings Schema

Which settings are available and which values they may have is defined in the so-called Actyx Node Setting Schema. The most recent version thereof is available for download at:

The admin section of the settings holds a list of authorized users, represented by their public keys (you can find yours in your O/S-specific user profile folder under actyx/keys/users/ If you need to access a node that doesn’t accept your key, but you have administrator access to the (virtual) device it is running on, then you may use ax users add-key to get yourself in — make sure to stop Actyx before doing this. The displayName property is shown in the Node Manager or ax nodes inspect etc., so it is useful to set it to some short string that helps you identify the node. You can change the /admin/logLevels/node setting to adjust the logging output verbosity at runtime; valid values are DEBUG, INFO, WARN, or ERROR.

The /api/events/readOnly setting controls whether the node will send events to the rest of the swarm. Its main use is to create a “silent observer” that you use to test new app versions without risking to taint the swarm with development or test events.

The licensing section is described in licensing apps.

In the swarm section you can fine-tune the networking behavior of Actyx:

  • announceAddresses: an array of addresses allows you to declare IP addresses under which the node is reachable, but that are not listen addresses. This is frequently necessary when running Actyx inside a Docker container, see configuring the announceAddresses setting.

  • bitswapTimeout: maximal wait time for a data request sent to another swarm node. You may need to increase this on very slow networks if you regularly see bitswap timeout warnings in the logs.

  • blockCacheCount: the number of IPFS data blocks kept in the local actyx-data folder for the current topic. All swarm event data blocks and pinned files will be kept regardless of this setting, only voluntarily cached blocks can be evicted.

  • blockCacheSize: the size in bytes up to which data blocks are kept in the local actyx-data folder for the current topic. The same restriction applies as for blocks in that events and pinned files are not eligible for eviction, so the cache may grow larger.

  • blockGcInterval: the interval at which eligible data are evicted from the local actyx-data folder for the current topic. There should be no need to change this.

  • branchCacheSize: cache size in bytes for those IPFS blocks that contain event stream metadata. You may need to increase this in situations where many devices have been producing events for a long time: if this cache becomes too small, application query performance will drastically decline.

  • initialPeers: an array of addresses of the form /ip4/<IP address>/tcp/<port>/p2p/<PeerId> to which this node shall immediately try to connect.

  • mdns: flag with which usage of the mDNS protocol for peer discovery can be disabled.

  • pingTimeout: Each connection to another Actyx node is continually monitored via messages sent over that TCP connection (they are called “ping”, but have nothing to do with the ping network tool). When three successive pings have not been answered within the allotted timeout, the connection is closed and will be re-established. You may need to increase this on very slow networks if you regularly see ping timeout warnings in the logs.

  • swarmKey: an additional layer of encryption between Actyx nodes that allows you to separate swarm so that they cannot connect to each other. See the guide on swarm keys.

  • topic: a logical separation of nodes within the same swarm — events can only be replicated within the same topic, and each node can only be part of one topic. This is mainly useful for effectively erasing all events within a swarm by switching all nodes to a new topic. The old events will still be in the actyx-data folder, you can access them by switching a node back to the old topic; there will be no interference between old and new topic.

Ephemeral Event Streams

The eventRouting section (added in version 2.16) is divided in two subsections – routes and streams.

The routes section is an array of patterns, it allows the administrator to create stream routes based on tag expressions (i.e. most expressions that can be used after FROM):

  • from: the tag expression used to filter events. For example, the expression 'logs:info' | 'logs:debug' will match all events containing either the logs:info or logs:debug tags.
  • into: the name of stream to place the matching events into.
Route order matters!

Event matching is done from top to bottom, thus, if you declare the following routes:

- from: "'logs:info' | 'logs:debug'"
into: 'info_or_debug'
- from: "'logs:info'"
into: 'info'

All events tagged will be placed in the info_or_debug stream, not making it into the info stream.

Migration from pre-2.15 versions

Migration is done automatically, if you have an existing node, the routes for the existing Actyx streams will be performed automatically. Similarly, if you do not have an eventRouting configuration in place, when launching a new node, the same streams as previously (1–discovery, 2–metrics, 3–files) will be created in addition to the default stream zero.

The streams section is an object which maps stream names to policies. It allows the administrator to configure retention policies for the streams declared in routes:

  • maxEvents: the number of most recent events to keep. E.g. if you set maxEvents to 1000 and currently have 1024 events store, the oldest 24 events may be deleted.
  • maxSize: the size beyond which streams will start being pruned. E.g. if you set maxSize to 1GB and your stream occupies 1500MB the oldest events may be removed until 1GB is reached again. This setting supports the following units - B (Bytes), kB (Kilobytes), KiB (Kibibytes), MB (Megabytes), MiB (Mebibytes), GB (Gigabytes) or GiB (Gibibytes).
  • maxAge: the age beyond which events will start being removed. E.g. if you set this setting to 1h, all events older than 1 hour at the time of pruning may be removed. This setting supports the following units: s (seconds), m (minutes), h (hours), d (days) or w (weeks).
Policies are kept in a best effort manner.

Under the hood, events are held in blocks — the smallest unit Actyx is able to delete. If a block is not completely filled with events or if not every event in the block has expired, the block will not be deleted.

  • The default stream does not support retention policies, it will always be permanent.
  • Streams are only created by routing events to them, this means that if you configure a stream but no routing rule points to it, it will not be created. In this case, a warning will be raised.

Here's an example of the complete configuration for the eventRouting:

- from: "'logs:warn'"
into: logs_warnings
- from: "'logs:trace' | 'logs:debug'"
into: logs_debug
- from: 'logs'
into: logs
maxAge: 1d
maxSize: 100MB