The cassandra utility

You can start Cassandra 3.0 and 3.1 by adding them to the file (package or tarball installations) or entering them at the command line in tarball installations.

You can run Cassandra 3.0 with start-up parameters by adding them to the file (package or tarball installations). You can also enter parameters at the command line when starting up tarball installations.

The location of the cassandra.yaml file depends on the type of installation:
Cassandra package installations /etc/cassandra/cassandra.yaml
Cassandra tarball installations install_location/cassandra/conf/cassandra.yaml


Add a parameter to the file as follows:
The location of the file depends on the type of installation:
Cassandra package installations /etc/cassandra/
Cassandra tarball installations install_location/conf/
The location of the jvm.options file depends on the type of installation:
Cassandra package installations /etc/cassandra/jvm.options
Cassandra tarball installations install_location/conf/jvm.options
When starting up a tarball installations, you can add parameters at the command line:
cassandra [PARAMETERS]
  • Command line: $ bin/cassandra -Dcassandra.load_ring_state=false
  • JVM_OPTS="$JVM_OPTS -Dcassandra.load_ring_state=false"

The Example section contains more examples.

Command line only options

Option Description
-f Start the cassandra process in foreground. The default is to start as background process.
-h Help.
-p filename Log the process ID in the named file. Useful for stopping Cassandra by killing its PID.
-v Print the version and exit.

Start-up parameters

The -D option specifies start-up parameters at the command line and in the file.
Sets auto_bootstrap to false on initial set-up of the cluster. The next time you start the cluster, you do not need to change the cassandra.yaml file on each node to revert to true.
In a multi-instance deployment, each Cassandra instance independently assumes that all CPU processors are available to it. Use this setting to specify a smaller set of processors.
Configures Cassandra to boot without JNA. If you do not set this parameter to true, and JNA does not initalize, Cassandra does not boot.
Sets the directory location of the cassandra.yaml file. The default location depends on the type of installation.
Set the policy for TTL (time to live) timestamps that exceed the maximum value supported by the storage engine, 2038-01-19T03:14:06+00:00. The database storage engine can only encode TTL timestamps through January 19 2038 03:14:07 UTC due to the Year 2038 problem.
  • REJECT: Reject requests that contain an expiration timestamp later than 2038-01-19T03:14:06+00:00.
  • CAP: Allow requests and insert expiration timestamps later than 2038-01-19T03:14:06+00:00 as 2038-01-19T03:14:06+00:00.

Default: REJECT.

cassandra.ignore_dynamic_snitch_severity=true|false (Default: false)
Setting this property to true causes the dynamic snitch to ignore the severity indicator from gossip when scoring nodes. Severity is a numeric representation of a node based on compaction events occurring on it, which it broadcasts via gossip. This factors into the dynamic snitch's formula, unless overridden.
Future versions will default to true and this setting will be removed. See Failure detection and recoveryand Dynamic snitching in Cassandra: past, present, and future.
Use when Cassandra is not using virtual nodes (vnodes). Sets the initial partitioner token for a node the first time the node is started. (Default: disabled)
Note: Vnodes automatically select tokens.
When set to false, prevents the Cassandra node from joining a ring on startup. (Default: true) You can add the node to the ring afterwards using nodetool join and a JMX call.
When set to false, clears all gossip state for the node on restart. (Default: true)
Enables pluggable metrics reporter. See Pluggable metrics reporting in Cassandra 2.0.2.
Delays the startup of native transport for the number of seconds. (Default: 0)
Sets the port on which the CQL native transport listens for clients. (Default: 9042)
Sets the partitioner. (Default: org.apache.cassandra.dht.Murmur3Partitioner)
cassandra.replace_address=listen_address or broadcast_address of dead node
To replace a node that has died, restart a new node in its place specifying the listen_address or broadcast_address that the new node is assuming. The new node must be in the same state as before bootstrapping, without any data in its data directory.
Note: The broadcast_address defaults to the listen_address except when the ring is using the Ec2MultiRegionSnitch.
Allows restoring specific tables from an archived commit log.
Defines the amount of time a node waits to hear from other nodes before formally joining the ring. (Default: 30000ms)
Sets the port for the Thrift RPC service, which is used for client connections. (Default: 9160).
Sets the SSL port for encrypted communication. (Default: 7001)
cassandra.start_native_transport=true | false
Enables or disables the native transport server. See start_native_transport in cassandra.yaml. (Default: true)
cassandra.start_rpc=true | false
Enables or disables the Thrift RPC server. (Default: true)
Sets the port for inter-node communication. (Default: 7000)
Sets the default location for the triggers JARs.
The location of the triggers directory depends on the type of installation:
Cassandra package installations /etc/cassandra/triggers
Cassandra tarball installations install_location/conf/triggers
Enables a tool for testing new compaction and compression strategies to experiment with different strategies and benchmark write performance differences without affecting the production workload. See Testing compaction and compression.
Set to true, makes bootstrapping behavior effective.
Tip: You can also add options such as maximum and minimum heap size to the file to pass them to the Java virtual machine at startup, rather than setting them in the environment.


Clearing gossip state when starting a node:
  • Command line: $ bin/cassandra -Dcassandra.load_ring_state=false
  • JVM_OPTS="$JVM_OPTS -Dcassandra.load_ring_state=false"


Starting a Cassandra node without joining the ring:
  • Command line: bin/dse cassandra -Dcassandra.join_ring=false #Starts Cassandra
  • JVM_OPTS="$JVM_OPTS -Dcassandra.join_ring=false"


Replacing a dead node:
  • Command line:
    bin/dse cassandra -Dcassandra.replace_address= #Starts Cassandra
  • JVM_OPTS="$JVM_OPTS -Dcassandra.replace_address="