Server CLI Reference

NOTE: This document is for information on starting a Brooklyn Server. For information on using the Brooklyn Client CLI to access an already running Brooklyn Server, refer to Client CLI Reference.

Launch command

To launch Brooklyn, from the directory where Brooklyn is unpacked, run:

% nohup bin/brooklyn launch > /dev/null 2>&1 &

With no configuration, this will launch the Brooklyn web console and REST API on http://localhost:8081/, listening on all network interfaces. No credentials are required by default. For a production system, or if Apache Brooklyn is publicly reachable, it is strongly recommended to configure security.

By default, Brooklyn will write log messages at the INFO level or above to and messgages at the DEBUG level or above to brooklyn.debug.log. Redirecting the output to /dev/null prevents the default console output being written to nohup.out.

You may wish to add Brooklyn to your path; assuming you've done this, to get information the supported CLI options at any time, just run brooklyn help:

% bin/brooklyn help

usage: brooklyn [(-q | --quiet)] [(-v | --verbose)] <command> [<args>]

The most commonly used brooklyn commands are:
    help     Display help information about brooklyn
    info     Display information about brooklyn
    launch   Starts a brooklyn application. Note that a BROOKLYN_CLASSPATH environment variable needs to be set up beforehand to point to the user application classpath.

See 'brooklyn help <command>' for more information on a specific command.

It is important that Brooklyn is launched with either nohup ... & or ... & disown, to ensure it keeps running after the shell terminates.

Other Server CLI Arguments

The Server CLI arguments for persistence and HA and the catalog are described separately.

Path Setup

In order to have easy access to the server CLI it is useful to configure the PATH environment variable to also point to the CLI's bin directory:

export PATH=$PATH:$BROOKLYN_HOME/usage/dist/target/brooklyn-dist/bin/

Memory Usage

The amount of memory required by the Brooklyn process depends on the usage -- for example the number of entities/VMs under management.

For a standard Brooklyn deployment, the defaults are to start with 256m, and to grow to 1g of memory. These numbers can be overridden by setting the environment variable JAVA_OPTS before launching the brooklyn script, as follows:

JAVA_OPTS="-Xms1g -Xmx4g"

(On Java 8 and later the last entry has no effect and can be dropped.)

Brooklyn stores a task history in-memory using soft references. This means that, once the task history is large, Brooklyn will continually use the maximum allocated memory. It will only expunge tasks from memory when this space is required for other objects within the Brooklyn process.

See Memory Usage for more information on memory usage and other suggested JAVA_OPTS.

Web Console Bind Address

The web console will by default bind to It's restricted to if the --noConsoleSecurity flag is used. To specify a local interface, or use the local loopback (, for the web console to bind to you should use:

--bindAddress <IP>


Configuration Files

Brooklyn reads configuration from a variety of places. It aggregates the configuration. The list below shows increasing precedence (i.e. the later ones will override values from earlier ones, if exactly the same property is specified multiple times).

  1. classpath://brooklyn/ is shipped as part of Brooklyn, containing generic metadata such as jurisdiction and geographic information about Cloud providers.
  2. The file ~/.brooklyn/ (unless --noGlobalBrooklynProperties is specified). This is intended to contain custom metadata about additional locations.
  3. The file brooklyn.cfg (unless --noGlobalBrooklynProperties is specified).
  4. Another properties file, if the --localBrooklynProperties <local file> is specified.
  5. Shell environment variables
  6. System properties, supplied with -D on the brooklyn (Java) command-line.

These properties are described in more detail here.

Extending the Classpath

The default Brooklyn directory structure includes:

  • ./conf/: for configuration resources.
  • ./lib/patch/: for Jar files containing patches.
  • ./lib/brooklyn/: for the brooklyn libraries.
  • ./lib/dropins/: for additional Jars.

Resources added to conf/ will be available on the classpath.

A patch can be applied by adding a Jar to the lib/patch/ directory, and restarting Brooklyn. All jars in this directory will be at the head of the classpath.

Additional Jars should be added to lib/dropins/, prior to starting Brooklyn. These jars will be at the end of the classpath.

The initial classpath, as set in the brooklyn script, is:


Additional entries can be added at the head of the classpath by setting the environment variable BROOKLYN_CLASSPATH before running the brooklyn script.

Replacing the web-console

Work in progress.

The Brooklyn web-console is loaded from the classpath as the resource classpath://brooklyn.war.

To replace this, an alternative WAR with that name can be added at the head of the classpath. However, this approach is likely to change in a future release - consider this feature as "beta".

Cloud Explorer

The brooklyn command line tool includes support for querying (and managing) cloud compute resources and blob-store resources.

For example, brooklyn cloud-compute list-instances --location aws-ec2:eu-west-1 will use the AWS credentials from and list the VM instances running in the given EC2 region.

Use brooklyn help and brooklyn help cloud-compute to find out more information.

This functionality is not intended as a generic cloud management CLI, but instead solves specific Brooklyn use-cases. The main use-case is discovering the valid configuration options on a given cloud, such as for imageId and hardwareId.

Cloud Compute

The command brooklyn cloud-compute has the following options:

  • list-images: lists VM images within the given cloud, which can be chosen when provisioning new VMs. This is useful for finding the possible values for the imageId configuration.

  • get-image <imageId1> <imageId2> ...: retrieves metadata about the specific images.

  • list-hardware-profiles: lists the ids and the details of the hardware profiles available when provisioning. This is useful for finding the possible values for the hardwareId configuration.

  • default-template: retrieves metadata about the image and hardware profile that will be used by Brooklyn for that location, if no additional configuration options are supplied.

  • list-instances: lists the VM instances within the given cloud.

  • terminate-instances <instanceId1> <instanceId2> ...: Terminates the instances with the given ids.

Blob Store

The command brooklyn cloud-blobstore is used to access a given object store, such as S3 or Swift. It has the following options:

  • list-containers: lists the containers (i.e. buckets in S3 terminology) within the given object store.

  • list-container <containerName>: lists all the blobs (i.e. objects) contained within the given container.

  • blob --container <containerName> --blob <blobName>: retrieves the given blob (i.e. object), including metadata and its contents.

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