Version: latest


Zeebe can be configured through:

  • configuration files,
  • environment variables,
  • or a mix of both.

If both configuration files and environment variables are present, then environment variables overwrite settings in configuration files.

If you want to make small changes to the configuration, we recommend to use environment variables. If you want to make big changes to the configuration, we recommend to use a configuration file.

The configuration will be applied during startup of Zeebe. It is not possible to change the configuration at runtime.

Default configuration#

The default configuration is located in config/application.yaml. This configuration contains the most common configuration settings for a standalone broker. It also lists the corresponding environment variable for each setting.


The default configuration is not suitable for a standalone gateway node. If you want to run a standalone gateway node, please have a look at /config/gateway.yaml.template

Configuration file templates#

We provide templates that contain all possible configuration settings, along with explanations for each setting:

Note that these templates also include the corresponding environment variables to use for every setting.

Editing the configuration#

You can either start from scratch or start from the configuration templates listed above.

If you use a configuration template and want to uncomment certain lines, make sure to also uncomment their parent elements:

Valid Configuration
# host:
port: 26500
Invalid configuration
# zeebe:
# gateway:
# network:
# host:
port: 26500

Uncommenting individual lines is a bit finicky, because YAML is sensitive to indentation. The best way to do it is to position the cursor before the # character and delete two characters (the dash and the space). Doing this consistently will give you a valid YAML file.

When it comes to editing individual settings two data types are worth mentioning:

  • Data size (e.g. logSegmentSize)
    • Human friendly format: 500MB (or KB, GB)
    • Machine friendly format: size in bytes as long
  • Timeouts/intervals (e.g. requestTimeout)
    • Human friendly format: 15s (or m, h)
    • Machine friendly format: either duration in milliseconds as long, or ISO-8601 duration format (e.g. PT15S)

Passing configuration files to Zeebe#

Rename the configuration file to application.yaml and place it in the following location:


Other ways to specify the configuration file#

Zeebe uses Spring Boot for its configuration parsing. So all other ways to configure a Spring Boot application should also work. In particular, you can use:

  • SPRING_CONFIG_ADDITIONAL_LOCATION to specify an additional configuration file.
  • SPRING_APPLICATION_JSON to specify settings in JSON format.

Details can be found in the Spring documentation.


We recommend not to use SPRING_CONFIG_LOCATION as this will replace all existing configuration defaults. When used inappropriately, some features will be disabled or will not be configured properly.

If you specify SPRING_CONFIG_LOCATION, then specify it like this:

export SPRING_CONFIG_LOCATION='classpath:/,file:./[path to config file]'

This will ensure that the defaults defined in the classpath resources will be used (unless explicitly overwritten by the configuration file you provide). If you omit the defaults defined in the classpath, some features may be disabled or will not be configured properly.

Verifying configuration#

To verify that the configuration was applied, start Zeebe and look at the log.

If the configuration could be read, Zeebe will log out the effective configuration during startup:

17:13:13.120 [] [main] INFO - Starting broker 0 with configuration {
"network": {
"host": "",
"portOffset": 0,
"maxMessageSize": {
"bytes": 4194304
"commandApi": {
"defaultPort": 26501,
"host": "",
"port": 26501,

In some cases of invalid configuration Zeebe will fail to start with a warning that explains which configuration setting could not be read.

17:17:38.796 [] [main] ERROR org.springframework.boot.diagnostics.LoggingFailureAnalysisReporter -
Failed to bind properties under '' to int:
Value: false
Origin: System Environment Property "ZEEBE_BROKER_NETWORK_PORTOFFSET"
Reason: failed to convert java.lang.String to int
Update your application's configuration


Zeebe uses Log4j2 framework for logging. In the distribution and the docker image you can find the default log configuration file in config/log4j2.xml.

Google Stackdriver (JSON) logging#

To enable Google Stackdriver compatible JSON logging you can set the environment variable ZEEBE_LOG_APPENDER=Stackdriver before starting Zeebe.

Default logging configuration#

  • config/log4j2.xml (applied by default)
{{#include ../../../dist/src/main/config/log4j2.xml}}

Change log level dynamically#

Zeebe brokers expose a Spring Boot Actuators web endpoint for configuring loggers dynamically. To change the log level of a logger make a POST request to the /actuator/loggers/{} endpoint as shown in the example below. Change io.zeebe to the required logger name and debug to required log level.

curl 'http://localhost:9600/actuator/loggers/io.zeebe' -i -X POST -H 'Content-Type: application/json' -d '{"configuredLevel":"debug"}'

Health probes#

Health probes are set to sensible defaults which cover common use cases.

For specific use cases, it might be necessary to customize health probes: