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The official Opbeat agent

Opbeat provides instant performance insights, built for Node.js developers.

Troubleshooting: If you encounter any problems setting up the Opbeat agent, please see our troubleshooting guide.

Upgrading: If you've been using version 2.x or earlier, please read our upgrade guide.

Compatibility: Make sure you read our Compatibility Guide if you use New Relic, longjohn or other modules that also captures uncaught exceptions or modifies the stacktraces.

npm install opbeat --save

To get started just require and start the Opbeat module at the very top of your apps main file. The Opbeat agent will be returned. The agent will now instrument your Node.js application and track unhandled exceptions automatically.

// add this snippet to the VERY top of your main file 
var opbeat = require('opbeat').start({
  appId: '...',
  organizationId: '...',
  secretToken: '...'

If you want to manually send an error to Opbeat, use the captureError() function:

opbeat.captureError(new Error('Ups, something broke'))

The Opbeat agent can be configured either by pasing in an options object as the first arugment when calling the start function or via environment variables (or a combination of both).

  // configuration options 

Note that even if you rely purely on environment variables to configure the Opbeat agent, .start() should still be called:


The available options are listed below, but can alternatively be set via the listed environment variables.

  • Type: String

Your Opbeat app id. Required unless set via the OPBEAT_APP_ID environment variable.

  • Type: String

Your Opbeat orgainization id. Required unless set via the OPBEAT_ORGANIZATION_ID environment variable.

  • Type: String

Your secret Opbeat token. Required unless set via the OPBEAT_SECRET_TOKEN environment variable.

  • Type: Boolean
  • Default: true

A boolean specifying if the agent should be active or not. If active, the agent will instrument incoming HTTP requests and track errors. Normally you would not want to run the agent in your development or testing environments. If you are using the NODE_ENV envrionment variable, you can use this to determine the state:

var options = {
  active: process.env.NODE_ENV === 'production'
  • Type: Boolean
  • Default: true

A boolean specifying if the Opbeat agent should collect performance metrics for the app.

Note that both active and instrument needs to be true for instrumentation to be running.

  • Type: String
  • Default: OS hostname

The OS hostname is automatically logged along with all errors (you can see it under the "Environment" tab on each error). If you want to overwrite this, use this option.

  • Type: String
  • Default: 'info'

Set the verbosity level the Opbeat agent. Note that this does not have any influence on what types of errors that are sent to Opbeat. This only controls how chatty the Opbeat agent are in your logs.

Possible levels are: trace, debug, info, warn, error and fatal.

  • Type: object

Set a custom logger, e.g. bunyan:

  logger: require('bunyan')({ level: 'info' })

If no custom logger is provided, Opbeat will use its built-in logger which will log to STDOUT and STDERR depending on the log level.

The logger should expose the following functions: trace, debug, info, warn, error and fatal.

Note that if a custom logger is provided, the logLevel option will be ignored.

  • Type: Boolean
  • Default: true

Whether or not the Opbeat agent should monitor for uncaught exceptions and sent them to Opbeat automatically.

  • Type: Number
  • Default: Infinity

Setting it to 0 will disable stacktrace collection. Any finite integer value will be used as the maximum number of frames to collect. Setting it to Infinity means that all frames will be collected.

  • Type: Function
  • Default: undefined

If you supply a filter function it will be called just before an error is being sent to Opbeat. This will allow you to manipulate the data being sent, for instance to always supply certain information in the extra field. The function is synchronous and should return the manipulated data object.

The function will be called with two arguments:

  1. The original error object for reference
  2. The JSON data that is about to be sent to Opbeat (in object literal form)

The agent emits two events: logged and error.

opbeat.on('logged', function (urluuid) {
  console.log('Yay, it worked! View online at: ' + url)
opbeat.on('error', function (erruuid) {
  console.log('Something went wrong. The error was not logged!')

Note that the uuid argument might not always be available when the error event is emitted depending on the type of error emitted.

The agent captures uncaught exceptions automatically and reports them to Opbeat. To disable this, set the configuration option captureExceptions to false when initializing the Opbeat agent.

You can enable capturing of uncaught exceptions later by calling the handleUncaughtExceptions() function. This also gives you the option to add a callback which will be called once an uncaught exception have been sent to Opbeat.


If you don't specify a callback, the node process is terminated automatically when an uncaught exception have been captured and sent to Opbeat.

It is recommended that you don't leave the process running after receiving an uncaughtException, so if you are using the optional callback, remember to terminate the node process:

var opbeat = require('opbeat').start()
opbeat.handleUncaughtExceptions(function (errurl) {
  // Do your own stuff... and then exit: 

The callback is called after the event has been sent to the Opbeat server with the following arguments:

  • err - the captured exception
  • url - the URL of where you can find the sent error on Opbeat

By default, the Opbeat agent will track incoming HTTP requests and group them in transactions. During a transaction, the associated database queries, requests to external services etc. are measured along with the total transaction time.

If you are using Express 4.x or hapi 9+, the transactions will be grouped together based on the names of your routes. If you use another framework or a custom router you will see that the transactions are simply grouped together in a few big chunks named "unknown route". In that case, you will need to help us out a little by supplying a name for each transaction. You can do that by calling opbeat.setTransactionName() at any time during the transaction with the name of the transaction as the first argument.

You can specify an optional options argument as the 2nd argument to .captureError(). Besides the options described in the the metedata section, you can use the options to associate the error with an HTTP request:

opbeat.captureError(err, {
  request: req // an instance of http.IncomingMessage 

This will log the URL that was requested, the HTTP headers, cookies and other useful details to help you debug the error.

In most cases this isn't needed though, as the Opbeat agent is pretty smart at figuring out if your Node.js app is an HTTP server and if an error occurred during an incoming request. If so, it will automate the above processes for you.

The captureError() function can also be given an optional callback which will be called once the error have been sent to Opbeat:

opbeat.captureError(error, function (opbeatErrurl) {
  // ... 

The callback is called with two arguments:

  • opbeatErr - set if something went wrong while trying to log the error
  • url - the URL of where you can find the sent error on Opbeat

Instead of an Error object, you can log a plain text error-message:

opbeat.captureError('Something happened!')

This will also be logged as an error in Opbeat, but will not be associated with an exception.

If the message string contains state or time-specific data, Opbeat will not always recognize multiple errors as belonging to the same group, since the message text differs. To group these kind of messages, send the message as a parameterized message:

  message: 'Timeout exeeded by %d seconds',
  params: [seconds]

To ease debugging it's possible to send some extra data with each error you send to Opbeat. The Opbeat API supports a lot of different metadata fields, most of which are automatically managed by the opbeat node agent. But if you wish you can supply some extra details using client_supplied_id, extra, user or query. If you want to know more about all the fields, you should take a look at the full Opbeat API docs.

To supply any of these extra fields, use the optional options argument when calling opbeat.captureError().

Here are some examples:

// Sending some extra details about the user 
opbeat.captureError(error, {
  user: {
    is_authenticated: true,
    id: 'unique_id',
    username: 'foo',
    email: ''
// Sending some abitrary extra details using the `extra` field 
opbeat.captureError(error, {
  extra: {
    some_important_metric: 'foobar'

The Opbeat middleware can be used as-is with either Connect or Express in the same way. Take note that in your middlewares, Opbeat must appear after your main handler to pick up any errors that may result from handling a request.

var opbeat = require('opbeat').start()
var connect = require('connect')
var app = connect()
// your regular middleware: 
// app.use(...) 
// app.use(...) 
// your main HTTP handler 
app.use(function (reqresnext) {
  throw new Error('Broke!')
// add Opbeat in the bottom of the middleware stack 
var opbeat = require('opbeat').start()
var app = require('express').createServer()
app.get('/', function mainHandler(reqres) {
  throw new Error('Broke!')

Note: or opbeat.middleware.connect must be added to the middleware stack before any other error handling middlewares or there's a chance that the error will never get to Opbeat.

Though Opbeat provides other means of handling release tracking, you can also use this agent to do the same.

Use the trackRelease() function with the optional options and callback arguments:

opbeat.trackRelease(options, callback)


  • cwd - An optional path on the filesystem where the git repo can be found (defaults to the current working directory)
  • rev - An optional full git revision (will try to guess the rev based on the cwd)
  • status - completed (default) or machine-completed. If machine-completed is specified, the machine attribute must be present
  • branch - Optional git branch (will try to guess the branch based on the cwd)
  • machine - Optional hostname of the server that was updated. Required if status=machine-completed


Will be called when the release has been tracked. Note that the callback will not be called upon errors. Listen instead for the error events.

The module is tested against Node.js v0.10 and above. Previous versions of Node.js is not supported.

All credit for the original work go out to the original contributors and the main author Matt Robenolt.