Production Configuration

Although nsqd can run as a single standalone node these notes assume you want to take advantage of the distributed nature of its design.

There are three separate binaries that need to be installed and running:


nsqd is the daemon that receives, buffers, and delivers messages to clients.

All configuration is managed via command line parameters. We strive for the default configuration to be adequate for most use cases however a few specific options are worth noting:

--mem-queue-size adjusts the number of messages queued in memory per topic/channel. Messages over that watermark are transparently written to disk, defined by --data-path.

Also, nsqd will need to be configured with nsqlookupd addresses (see below for details). Specify --lookupd-tcp-address options for each instance.

In terms of topology, we recommend running nsqd co-located with services producing messages.

nsqd can be configured to push data to statsd by specifying --statsd-address. nsqd sends stats under the nsq.* namespace. See nsqd statsd.


nsqlookupd is the daemon that provides a runtime discovery service for consumers to find nsqd producers for a specific topic.

It maintains no persistent state and does not need to coordinate with any other nsqlookupd instances to satisfy a query.

Run as many as you want based on your redundancy requirements. They use few resources and can be co-located with other services. Our recommendation is to run a cluster of at least 3 per datacenter.


nsqadmin is a web service for realtime instrumentation and administration of your NSQ cluster. It talks to nsqlookupd instances to locate producers and leverages graphite for charts (requires enabling statsd on the nsqd side).

You only need to run 1 of these and make it accessible publicly (securely).

To display charts from graphite, specify --graphite-url. If you’re using a version of statsd that adds those silly prefixes to all keys, also specify --use-statsd-prefixes. Finally, if graphite isn’t accessible publicly you can have nsqadmin proxy those requests by specifying --proxy-graphite.


Each of the daemons has a /ping HTTP endpoint that can be used to create a Nagios check.

For realtime debugging this also works surprisingly well:

$ watch -n 0.5 "curl -s"

Typically most debugging, analysis, and administration is done via nsqadmin.