Through the Spinnaker web UI, you can configure how often Chaos Monkey terminates instances for each application.

Click on the "Config" tab in Spinnaker. There should be a "Chaos Monkey" widget where you can enable/disable Chaos Monkey for the app, as well as configure its behavior.

Config screnshot

Termination frequency

By default, Chaos Monkey is configured for a mean time between terminations of two (2) days, which means that on average Chaos Monkey will terminate an instance every two days for each group in that app.

Chaos Monkey also has a minimum time between terminations, which defaults to one (1) day. This means that Chaos Monkey is guaranteed to never kill more often than once a day for each group. Even if multiple Chaos Monkeys are deployed, as long as they are all configured to use the same database, they will obey the minimum time between terminations.


Chaos Monkey operates on groups of instances. Every work day, for every (enabled) group of instances, Chaos Monkey will flip a biased coin to determine whether it should kill from an instance from a group. If so, it will randomly select an instance from the group.

Users can configure what Chaos Monkey considers a group. The three options are:

  • app
  • stack
  • cluster

If grouping is set to "app", Chaos Monkey will terminate up to one instance per app each day, regardless of how these instances are organized into clusters.

If the grouping is set to "stack", Chaos Monkey will terminate up to one instance per stack each day. For instance, if an application has three stacks defined, then Chaos Monkey may kill up to three instances in this app per day.

If the grouping is set to "cluster", Chaos Monkey will terminate up to one instance per cluster each day.

By default, Chaos Monkey treats each region separately. However, if the "regions are independent" option is unchecked, then Chaos Monkey will not terminate instances that are in the same group but in different regions. This is intended to support databases that replicate across regions where simultaneous termination across regions is undesirable.


You can opt-out combinations of account, region, stack, and detail. In the example config shown above, Chaos Monkey will not terminate instances in the prod account in the us-west-2 region with a stack of "staging" and a blank detail field.

The exception field also supports a wildcard, *, which matches everything. In the example above, Chaos Monkey will also not terminate any instances in the test account, regardless of region, stack or detail.