Introducing lndmon: Dockerized Lightning Network Monitoring

by Valentine Wallace

Today we’re excited to announce the first alpha release of lndmon: a drop-in, dockerized monitoring solution for lnd. As the network has grown over the past year, we’ve noticed gaps in its observability and the need for an easy-to-use tool for routing node operators to manage their nodes. This year, lack of such a suitable tool caused certain problems in the peer-to-peer network to remain undiscovered until they became harmful. lndmon (which works with lnd 0.7 and beyond, thanks in part to the new feature of exporting gRPC performance data) helps prevent problems by enabling users to monitor trends and take preventative action. For example, a routing node operator may want to be notified if multiple channels are closed in rapid succession or if their peer connections show signs of instability.

Besides preventing network trouble, lndmon is a flexible monitoring tool for routing node operators and other users who want to track how their channels change over time. Users can also monitor network-wide trends, such as growth in the number of channels and where the best routing fee rates can be found.


lndmon architecture lndmon is built with Prometheus and Grafana. Prometheus scrapes metrics from lndmon, and Grafana presents the data in eye-catching graphs. lndmon comes with a set of basic graphs out-of-the-box, but users are encouraged to add their own customized graphs to match their specific needs.

Nginx is an optional component of lndmon which adds the ability for users to access their dashboards remotely over TLS.

A major advantage of Prometheus is its query language. Let’s go through an example. One might ask, “what is the average number of bytes received from my 5 most bandwidth-hogging peers?”

First, we want to get the number of bytes received from the top 5 peers:

topk(5, lnd_peer_recv_byte)

Next, we simply average them:

avg(topk(5, lnd_peer_recv_byte))

Prometheus makes it easy to get creative when extracting information from your node.

Design Goals

A primary design goal of lndmon is easy setup. Running lndmon locally is as simple as filling in the path to your lnd directory and running docker-compose up. All data is persisted automatically in docker volumes. If you want to access your dashboard remotely over TLS, you just have to fill in a few more fields and run another docker-compose command. TLS certs will automatically renew when they expire. Everything is intended to be as simple to use as possible.

Here’s an example dashboard: node state


Another nifty aspect of lndmon is that it’s open source with an MIT license. The current graphs are relatively basic and there’s ample opportunity for external contributors to improve upon them. Alternatively, users are free to fork the project for their own purposes provided they stay within MIT license guidelines. If anyone using this project creates a graph they find useful, they’re encouraged to submit a pull request to the lndmon project so others can benefit from it as well. The plan is to evolve the exported metrics and increase their usefulness over time.

The Future of lndmon

Finally, what does the future hold for lndmon? We want to greatly expand the set of Prometheus metric collectors. lnd’s rich RPC interface provides reams of data that is not currently aggregated. We also want to add alerts to lndmon; e.g., a user might want to be notified when someone forwards a large payment through one of their channels, or when someone opens a channel to them. Another notable priority, as mentioned before, will be cultivating community-sourced dashboards.

Here’s a list of the metrics currently available in lndmon.

Try lndmon Today!

lndmon is intended to be used by routing node operators and any users interested in exploring information about their node and tracking this information over time.

We believe lndmon will contribute to the stability and improvement rate of Lightning by providing real-time feedback on events as they unfold in the network. We encourage any Lightning developers, testers, routing node operators, and technically-minded enthusiasts to try lndmon today. Any feedback is always very much appreciated – please feel free to submit issues to the lndmon GitHub repo or get in contact with us via Slack.