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Carbonapi: high-performance Graphite front-end

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Carbonapi is a Go-based Graphite frontend. It provides two binaries, carbonapi and carbonzipper, that unify responses from multiple Graphite backends and provide math and graphing functions.

This project is run in production at We are in the process of documenting its installation and setup, but can answer any questions that interested persons have.

CarbonAPI supports a significant subset of graphite functions; see COMPATIBILITY. In our testing it has shown to be 5x-10x faster than requesting data from graphite-web.


To build both the carbonapi and carbonzipper binaries, run:


To build the binaries with debug symbols, run:

make debug

Note: build process might require pkg-config to be installed:

Mac OS X

find pkg-config version on you want to install and run script below with replaced "VERSION_TO_INSTALL":

PKG_CONFIG_VERSION="VERSION_TO_INSTALL" bash -c 'curl$PKG_CONFIG_VERSION.tar.gz -o pkgconfig.tgz'
mkdir pkg-config && tar -zxf pkgconfig.tgz -C pkg-config --strip-components 1 && cd pkg-config

There is a circular dependency between pkg-config and glib. To break it, pkg-config includes a version of glib, which is enough to break the dependency cycle and compile it with --with-internal-glib key:

env LDFLAGS="-framework CoreFoundation -framework Carbon" ./configure --with-internal-glib && make install

We do not provide packages for install at this time. Contact us if you're interested in those.


Run the full stack carbonapi -> zipper -> go-carbon with:

docker-compose up

You can feed in sample data with:

echo "test.test 5 `date +%s`" | nc -c localhost 2003

and get it back with:

curl 'http://localhost:8081/render?target=test.test&format=json&from=-10m'


We officially support go 1.19.

OSX Build Notes

Some additional steps may be needed to build carbonapi with cairo rendering on MacOSX.

Install cairo:

brew install Caskroom/cask/xquartz

brew install cairo

Xquartz is a required dependency for cairo.

Backend support


The main supported backend is go-carbon Graphite store.

Acknowledgement and history

This program was originally developed for With approval from, the code was generalised and published as Open Source on GitHub, for which the author would like to express his gratitude.

This is's fork of go-graphite/carbonapi. That project's current performance characteristics are not sufficient for our production needs, and we decided it had moved too far ahead for us to be able to improve them effectively. We thus reverted back to versions 0.9.2 of carbonapi and 0.74 of carbonzipper, and are moving more slowly in the same direction as the original project.


This code is licensed under the BSD-2 license.