Neo4j Cloud Virtual Machines

This guide describes how Neo4j deployed in cloud virtual machines operate, and how they differ from other installation platforms for Neo4j.

Basics and File Locations

Neo4j cloud VMs are based off of the Ubuntu distribution of Linux. When Neo4j is installed on the VM, the method used to do this matches the Debian install instructions provided in the Neo4j operations manual.

Because cloud images are based on the standard Neo4j Debian package, file locations match the file locations described in the Neo4j Operations Manual, where neo4j-home is set to /var/lib/neo4j.

The remainder of this page deals only with topics that are different from a standard Linux install. If you have any other question not covered by this page, please consult the Operations Manual for Linux installs.

VM configuration

An important thing to note about cloud version of neo4j is that you should not modify the /etc/neo4j/neo4j.conf file directly, but rather modify /etc/neo4j/neo4j.template. The system service that restarts neo4j calls a shell script called

In cloud environments, much of the external configuration environment may change. A machine may have a different IP address or different set of tags when it restarts. Because of this dynamic nature, the script dynamically overwrites the normal neo4j.conf file each time the system service starts. As a result, you should configure the template used to do those substitutions and not the configuration file itself directly, as it will be automatically overwritten.

Configuration via Tags

On cloud platforms, you may set general neo4j.conf configuration parameters as tags on the VM, which will be picked up and substituted into the configuration file. In this way, for example, you might set a tag on a VM of dbms_backup_enabled with the value false, in order to disable the backup port. Note that naming conventions for tags follow the same conventions as docker containers, and dots in a configuration parameter’s name should be replaced by underscore characters.

When changing VM tags, the configuration is not immediately applied to the Neo4j system service running inside of the VM. To affect these changes, please restart the system service.

Interacting with the Neo4j Service

You can get system status for neo4j within the VM by executing the following:

systemctl status neo4j

For more information or help, feel free to reach out to us on the the Neo4j Community Forum!


You can ask questions and connect with other people launching Neo4j in the cloud at the cloud topic on the Community Site.