Configure Agent Modes

Agent modes provide the ability to control metric collection to fit your scale and specific requirement. You can choose one of the following modes to do so:

  • Monitor

  • Monitor Light

  • Troubleshooting

  • Secure

  • Custom Metrics Only

Using a stripped-down mode limits collection of unneeded metrics, which in turn prevents the consumption of excess resources and helps reduce expenses.


The Monitor mode offers an extensive collection of metrics. We recommend this mode to monitor enterprise environments.

monitor is the default mode if you are running the Enterprise tier. To switch back to the Monitor mode from a different mode, do one of the following:

  • Add the following to the dragent.yaml file and restart the agent:

      mode: monitor
  • Remove the parameter related to the existing mode from the dragent.yaml file and restart the agent. For example, to switch from troubleshooting mode to monitor, delete the following lines:

      mode: troubleshooting

Monitor Light

Monitor Light caters to the users that run agents in a resource-restrictive environment, or to those who are interested only in a limited set of metrics.

Monitor Light provides CPU, Memory, File, File system, and Network metrics. For more information, see Metrics Available in Monitor Light.

Enable Monitor Light Mode

To switch to the Monitor Light mode, edit the dragent.yaml file:

  1. Open the dragent.yaml file.

  2. Add the following configuration parameter:

      mode: monitor_light
  3. Restart the agent.


Troubleshooting mode offers sophisticated metrics with detailed diagnostic capabilities. Some of these metrics are heuristic in nature.

In addition to the extensive metrics available in the Monitor mode, Troubleshooting mode provides additional metrics such as net.sql and additional segmentation for file and network metrics. For more information, see Additional Metrics Values Available in Troubleshooting.

Enable Troubleshooting Mode

To switch to the Troubleshooting mode, edit the dragent.yaml file:

  1. Open the dragent.yaml file.

  2. Add the following configuration parameter:

      mode: troubleshooting
  3. Restart the agent.

Secure Mode

The secure mode supports only Sysdig Secure features.

Sysdig agent collects no metrics in the secure mode, which, in turn, minimizes network consumption and storage requirement in the Sysdig backend. Lower resource usage can help reduce costs and improve performance.

In the Secure mode, the Monitor UI shows no data because no metrics are sent to the collector.

This feature requires agent v10.5.0 or above.

Enabling Secure Mode

  1. Open the dragent.yaml file.

  2. Add the following:

      mode: secure
  3. Restart the agent.

Custom Metrics Only Mode

Custom Metrics Only mode collects the same metrics as the Monitor Light mode, but also adds the ability to collect the following:

  • Custom Metrics: StatsD, JMX, App Checks, and Prometheus
  • Kubernetes State Metrics

As such, Custom Metrics Only mode is suitable if would like to use most of the features of Monitor mode but are limited in resources.

This mode is not compatible with Secure. If your account is configured for Secure, you must explicitly disable Secure in the agent configuration if you wish to use this mode.

This mode requires agent v12.4.0 or above.

Enabling Custom Metrics Only Mode

  1. Open the dragent.yaml file.

  2. Add the following configuration parameter:

      mode: custom-metrics-only
  3. If your account is enabled for Secure, add the following:

      enabled: false
      enabled: false
      enabled: false

    This configuration explicitly disables the Secure features in the agent. If you do not disable Secure, the agent will not start due to incompatiblity issues.

  4. Restart the agent.

Last modified September 23, 2022