Installation & Administration Guide


The Sigfox IoT Agent can be installed in two ways: cloning the GitHub repository, or using Docker.

Using GitHub

In order to use the IoT Agent, you can just clone the GitHub repository and use the default configuration. You can use the following command:

git clone

Using Docker

If you are using Docker, you can download the latest Sigfox IoT Agent module from Docker Hub, in order to try it. Do not use this installation mode for production purposes.

The Docker module has the prerequisite of having a Orion Context Broker that must be linked on start for the module to work. There is currently just one simple configuration offered for the IoT Agent, with in-memory transient storage (in the future, more configurations will be available).

If there is a docker container running with the Context Broker and name orion, the following command will start a Sigfox IoT Agent:

docker run -t -i --link orion:orion -p 4041:4041 -p 17428:17428 fiware/sigfox-iotagent

High performance configuration usage

Node.js is single‑threaded and uses non-blocking I/O, allowing it to scale up to tens of thousands of concurrent operations. Nevertheless, Node.js has a few weak points and vulnerabilities that can make Node.js‑based systems to offer under-performance behaviour, specially when a Node.js web application experiences rapid traffic growth.

Additionally, It is important to know the place in which the node.js server is running, because it has limitations. There are two types of limits on the host: hardware and software. Hardware limits can be easy to spot. Your application might be consuming all of the memory and needing to consume disk to continue working. Adding more memory by upgrading your host, whether physical or virtual, seems to be the right choice.

Moreover, Node.js applications have also a software memory limit (imposed by V8), therefore we cannot forget about these limitations when we execute a service. In this case of 64-bit environment, your application would be running by default at a 1 GB V8 limit. If your application is running in high traffic scenarios, you will need a higher limit. The same is applied to other parameters.

It means that we need to make some changes in the execution of node.js and in the configuration of the system:

  • Node.js flags

    • --use-idle-notification

      Turns of the use idle notification to reduce memory footprint.

    • --expose-gc

      Use the expose-gc command to enable manual control of the garbage collector from the own node.js server code. In case of the IoTAgent, it is not implemented because it is needed to implement the calls to the garbage collector inside the ser server, nevertheless the recommended value is every 30 seconds.

    • --max-old-space-size=xxxx

      In that case, we want to increase the limit for heap memory of each V8 node process in order to use max capacity that it is possible instead of the 1,4Gb default on 64-bit machines (512Mb on a 32-bit machine). The recommendation is at least to use half of the total memory of the physical or virtual instance.

  • User software limits

    Linux kernel provides some configuration about system related limits and maximums. In a distributed environment with multiple users, usually you need to take into control the resources that are available for each of the users. Nevertheless, when the case is that you have only one available user but this one request a lot of resources due to a high performance application the default limits are not proper configured and need to be changed to resolve the high performance requirements. These are like maximum file handler count, maximum file locks, maximum process count etc.

    You can see the limits of your system executing the command:

    bash ulimit -a

    You can define the corresponding limits inside the file limits.conf. This description of the configuration file syntax applies to the /etc/security/limits.conf file and *.conf files in the /etc/security/limits.d directory. You can get more information about the limits.conf in the limits.con - linux man pages. The recommended values to be changes are the following:

    • core

      Limits of the core file size in KB, we recommend to change to unlimited both hard and soft types.

      * soft core unlimited
      * hard core unlimited
    • data

      Maximum data size in KB, we recommend to change to unlimited both hard and soft types.

      * soft data unlimited
      * hard data unlimited
    • fsize

      Maximum filesize in KB, we recommend to change to unlimited both hard and soft types.

      * soft fsize unlimited
      * hard fsize unlimited
    • memlock

      Maximum locked-in-memory address space in KB, we recommend to change to unlimited both hard and soft types.

      * memlock unlimited
      * memlock unlimited
    • nofile

      Maximum number of open file descriptors, we recommend to change to 65535 both hard and soft types.

      * soft nofile 65535
      * hard nofile 65535
    • rss

      Maximum resident set size in KB (ignored in Linux 2.4.30 and higher), we recommend to change to unlimited both hard and soft types.

      * soft rss unlimited
      * hard rss unlimited
    • stack

      Maximum stack size in KB, we recommend to change to unlimited both hard and soft types.

      * soft stack unlimited
      * hard stack unlimited
    • nproc

      Maximum number of processes, we recommend to change to unlimited both hard and soft types.

      * soft nproc unlimited
      * hard nproc unlimited

    You can take a look to the limits.conf file provided in this folder with all the values provided.

  • Configure kernel parameters

    sysctl is used to modify kernel parameters at runtime. We plan to modify the corresponding /etc/sysctl.conf file. You can get more information in the corresponding man pages of sysctl and sysctl.conf. You can search all the kernel parameters by using the command sysctl -a

    • fs.file-max

      The maximum file handles that can be allocated, the recommended value is 1000000.

      fs.file-max = 1000000
    • fs.nr_open

      Max amount of file handles that can be opened, the recommended value is 1000000.

      fs.nr_open = 1000000
    • net.netfilter.nf_conntrack_max

      Size of connection tracking table. Default value is nf_conntrack_buckets value * 4.

      net.nf_conntrack_max = 1048576

    For more details about any other kernel parameters, take a look to the example sysctl.conf file.