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Version: 2022.3

Server Configuration - System Definitions

The system-definition file genesis-system-definition.kts is the basis of all configurations, scripts, data model, etc. This section explains all the different items that are contained in the file.

Here is an example of a genesis-system-definition.kts file for an application:

package genesis.cfg

systemDefinition {
global {
item(name = "MqLayer", value = "ZeroMQ")
item(name = "DbLayer", value = "FDB")
item(name = "DictionarySource", value = "DB")
item(name = "AliasSource", value = "DB")
item(name = "MetricsEnabled", value = "false")

item(name = "ZeroMQProxyInboundPort", value = "5001")
item(name = "ZeroMQProxyOutboundPort", value = "5000")

item(name = "DbHost", value = "localhost")
item(name = "DbMode", value = "VANILLA")
item(name = "GenesisNetProtocol", value = "V2")
item(name = "ResourcePollerTimeout", value = "5")
item(name = "ReqRepTimeout", value = "60")
item(name = "MetadataChronicleMapAverageKeySizeBytes", value = "128")
item(name = "MetadataChronicleMapAverageValueSizeBytes", value = "1024")
item(name = "MetadataChronicleMapEntriesCount", value = "512")
item(name = "DaemonServerPort", value = "4568")
name = "JVM_OPTIONS",
value = "-XX:MaxHeapFreeRatio=70 -XX:MinHeapFreeRatio=30 -XX:+UseG1GC -XX:+UseStringDeduplication -XX:OnOutOfMemoryError=\" %p\""

systems {
system(name = "DEV") {
hosts {
host(name = "genesis-serv")

item(name = "DbNamespace", value = "genesis")
item(name = "ClusterPort", value = "6000")
item(name = "Location", value = "LO")
item(name = "LogFramework", value = "LOG4J2")
item(name = "LogFrameworkConfig", value = "log4j2-default.xml")

Global, System and Host levels

As you can see from the example, you can define items at global, system and host level.

  • Global: These properties will be available to all systems.
  • System: These properties contain information about a particular system and can have a free text field. Each system is associated with a host or hosts. The content should specify the type of environment the system is running in. Local values can be specified in this block. These values override the global values.
  • Host: In this section you can define properties of host or hosts (if running in a cluster environment). Host block can exist under the system section as shown in the above example. The host name defines what environment you are running in. By default, only one host will be used and change its value to current machine hostname.

Items defined

MqLayer: This setting defines the type of Message queue technology. You can choose between ZeroMQ and Aeron message queues.

DbLayer: Default value is set to FDB. If you want to use PostgreSQL, MSSQL or Aerospike, then you need to change this value and then change the value of the DbHost item. DbHost: Contains information about the hostname/JDBC connection string pointing to local database. For example:

item(name = “DbHost”, value = “jdbc:postgresql://localhost:5432/postgres?user=postgres&password=Password5432”)

See our pages on database technology for more information on how to configure a specific database.

Database username and password encryption You can add an encrypted username and password for the database system. Run the command encryptUserPassWithKey, which will ask you to supply the plain username, password and Genesis Key. Genesis Key is 32 characters long. This will generate encrypted username and password, which can then be added into a system definition file. You can directly add the encrypted values or you can embed these fields into the local system environment variables and refer to them as follows:

item(name = "DbUsername", value = System.getenv("DBUSERNAME"), encrypted = true)
item(name = "DbPassword", value = System.getenv("DBPASSWORD"), encrypted = true)
item(name = "GenesisKey", value = System.getenv("GENESIS_KEY"))

DictionarySource: This setting defines where you want to store the dictionary schema. You can choose between DB dictionary source and FILE dictionary source using this setting. Accepted values DB and FILE. DB dictionary source is preferred, because if you are running a cluster, all nodes will refer to the same dictionary. FILE dictionary source has the problem of being only available on each node.

AliasSource: This setting defines where you want to store dictionary alias schema. The alias schema maps aliases to fields and to tables, and it is updated every time we change the data schema. You can choose between DB alias source and FILE alias source using this setting. Accepted values DB and FILE. DB alias source is preferred, because if you are running a cluster all nodes will refer to the same alias dictionary. FILE alias source has the problem of being only available on each node.

MetricsEnabled: Default value is false. For more information, go to the page on Metrics.

ZeroMQProxyInboundPort and ZeroMQProxyOutboundPort are required for the processes that use GENESIS_CLUSTER as a proxy for the update queue (eg.: DbMon, PurgeTables, etc...).

DbMode: This setting is utilised by Aerospike and PostgreSQL database only, for other databases this property will be ignored

  • For Aerospike database: This can be one of two values: VANILLA for an Aerospike Community installation and DURABLE_DELETE if you are using Aerospike Enterprise

  • For PostgresSQL: This can be one of two values: POSTGRESQL if you want PostgreSQL to work with namespaces/schemas and LEGACY which is default mode it always stores the dictionary in table called dictionary and schema called metadata.

ResourcePollerTimeout: This setting controls how often (in seconds) the genesis daemon process keeps the processes and their metadata up to date.

ReqRepTimeout: This setting contains the default timeout (in seconds) for the request server resources in the system.

MetadataChronicleMapAverageKeySizeBytes, MetadataChronicleMapAverageValueSizeBytes, MetadataChronicleMapEntriesCount: These are the settings for chronicle map and are related to the way processes store their own metadata resources inside /runtime/proc_metadata

DaemonServerPort: This defines the port for daemon process, daemon process is the background process, which collects information about micro-services.

JVM_OPTIONS: This defines common JVM options to be applied to all processes defined in the environment.

DbNamespace: This item defines different things, depending on the databases in use as specified below

  • For FoundationDB: It will be used when creating internal DirectoryLayers
  • For Aerospike, Postgres, MSSQL and ORACLE: It refers to namespace/schema of database. This feature allows you to segregate data from different genesis apps while using single database

ClusterPort: This setting specifies the port used by GENESIS_CLUSTER to establish cluster membership between cluster nodes.

Location: This item contains a 2-character value used to generate standard ID for a given entity. For example, if a Location item defined as "LO" and entity TRADE has a field called TRADE_ID defined with the sequence "TR", then the generated ID will be 000000000001TRLO1 where "LO" represents Location string.

LogFramework: Contains name of the logging framework. Supported framework: LOG4J2

LogFrameworkConfig: Contains name of the log framework configuration file.

DisableHeapDumps: By default, Genesis microservices are configured to dump the contents of the JVM heap to disk when they run out of memory to assist in troubleshooting. This key allows the disabling of this feature. A value of 'TRUE' (case-insensitive) will disable this functionality.

HeapDumpPath: Allows finer-grained control of the location on the file system that heap dumps will be written. The path should represent a directory on the file system. The file format will be <processName>_<timestamp>.hprof. If not specified, the default write location is $GENESIS_HOME/runtime/heapdump/.

If you want to enable SSL for your process communication, this is done in the service definition.

Setting System Definitions values from environment variables

It's possible to load system definition values from the environments, this may be preferred if you wish to dynamically set values for a given environment.

To do this, the value attribute of an item can be set to read an environment variable and fall back to a sensible default.

item(name = "DbHost", value = System.getenv("DBHOST") ?: "localhost")

In this example we are fetching the value of DbHost from the environment variable DBHOST, if the environment variable is not set then the default value of "localhost" will be used.

HashiCorp Vault support


This feature is supported from version 6.0

Services can also load their configuration from HashiCorp vault. This can be done by adding a vault tag in the global, system or host tags.

The vault tag has three sub tags, config, sslConfig and readSecrets. Of these three, config and readSecrets are required:

vault {
config {

sslConfig {

readSecrets {


This part of the configuration tells the service where to read secrets from:

config {
address("http://localhost:8200") // Defaults to "VAULT_ADDR" environment variable
token("s.NSxyuF4ClXxd4YoSFvKwil0i") // Defaults to "VAULT_TOKEN" environment variable
openTimeout(5) // Defaults to "VAULT_OPEN_TIMEOUT" environment variable
readTimeout(30) // Defaults to "VAULT_READ_TIMEOUT" environment variable


This part of the configuration tells the service how to handle the ssl hand shake with the vault server. For details regarding the ssl config, please see here. Note that the SslConfig object will be passed as the receiver within the sslConfig tag.


This part of the configuration tells the service which secrets to load:

readSecrets {

Currently, a single call to read is supported. This takes a single parameter, which is the path to the secrets.

Secrets are always provided as String

Linked properties support


This feature is supported from version 6.0

When reading secrets from external systems, the keys to these secrets might not map directly to the required properties in Genesis. To help with this, the platform supports the linking of properties.

The links can be applied as tags at global, system or host level.

To create a link, use link, as per below, where we link DbHost to

systemDefinition {
global {
link(name = "DbHost", source = "")

Multiple levels of linking are supported. However, genesisInstall will fail if a circular link is detected, or if the source of a link is not found.