I have never been able to get nodetool to operate correctly to give me information about my cluster. We have a simple 3-node cluster of Cassandra 3.11.1 nodes running under CentOS 7.3 -- using the gossip snitch and replication. We have a special place on the file system where we're putting the node configurations, but these are appropriately set with environment variables. A "generic" configuration is in the environment for client applications.

These are attempts at using nodetool (I have replaced the exact server name with /hostname/.)

  % nodetool -h /hostname/ status
  nodetool: Found unexpected parameters: [/hostname/, status]
  See 'nodetool help' or 'nodetool help '.

maybe the help is wrong and flags go at the end? Running this:

  % nodetool  status -h /hostname/

gives me usage information.

My favorite is this:

  % nodetool help status
  nodetool: For input string: "help"
  See 'nodetool help' or 'nodetool help '.

I can connect with cqlsh. I get the same response from nodetool whether I'm on a remote host or one of the cluster nodes. Python clients connect fine and we've been able to create keyspaces and bulk load data from remote hosts.

I am sure there is some configuration I have overlooked but I can't find any information about what it might be in the docs.

Any suggestions on how to get nodetool working?

  • How did you install Cassandra? Via package or tarball?
    – Alex Ott
    Commented Dec 27, 2017 at 18:42
  • tarball installation Commented Dec 27, 2017 at 20:57
  • If you execute ls -ls which nodetool`` (which nodetool should be back quotes) - does it point to location of this tarball installation?
    – Alex Ott
    Commented Dec 27, 2017 at 21:02
  • Yes. The nodetool is in the same bin directory as the "cassandra" launch script that is being used - this is the nodetool being found on the path. Commented Dec 28, 2017 at 15:45

1 Answer 1


After some tinkering I figured it out; posting here to close the topic and to help others.

All the scripts in the conf/ directory work in concert and there are a number of environment variables you need to redirect if you install in a non-standard place (i.e. a tarball installation).

For each node in our cluster, we're (now) using: (1) cassandra-env.sh (2) cassandra-rackdc.properties (3) cassandra.yaml (4) jvm.options

All the other configuration files are pointed back to the conf/ directory from the tarball using an environment variable.

(2) and (3) set the properties of the node, such as its name, turning on gossip, etc:

(1) and (4) are used by the cassandra bash script when it launches -- the script goes looking for additional configuration files. We've set it so that the cassandra.in.sh is found in the install area; but previously (1) and (4) were not being found, and these are required to activate JMX, port 7199, which nodetool uses to connect to the cluster.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.