Configuring Retries

In order for Linkerd to do automatic retries of failures, there are two questions that need to be answered:

  • Which requests should be retried?
  • How many times should the requests be retried?

Both of these questions can be answered by specifying a bit of extra information in the service profile for the service you’re sending requests to.

The reason why these pieces of configuration are required is because retries can potentially be dangerous. Automatically retrying a request that changes state (e.g. a request that submits a financial transaction) could potentially impact your user’s experience negatively. In addition, retries increase the load on your system. A set of services that have requests being constantly retried could potentially get taken down by the retries instead of being allowed time to recover.

Check out the retries section of the books demo for a tutorial of how to configure retries.


For routes that are idempotent and do have bodies, you can edit the service profile and add the isRetryable flag:

  - name: GET /api/annotations
      method: GET
      pathRegex: /api/annotations

Retry Budgets

A retry budget is a mechanism that limits the number of retries that can be performed against a service as a percentage of original requests. This prevents retries from overwhelming your system. By default, retries may add at most an additional 20% to the request load (plus an additional 10 “free” retries per second). These settings can be adjusted by setting a retryBudget on your service profile.

    retryRatio: 0.2
    minRetriesPerSecond: 10
    ttl: 10s