Using InfluxDB in Grafana

Grafana ships with very feature rich data source plugin for InfluxDB. Supporting a feature rich query editor, annotation and templating queries.

Adding the data source

  1. Open the side menu by clicking the Grafana icon in the top header.
  2. In the side menu under the Dashboards link you should find a link named Data Sources.
  3. Click the + Add data source button in the top header.
  4. Select InfluxDB from the Type dropdown.

NOTE: If you’re not seeing the Data Sources link in your side menu it means that your current user does not have the Admin role for the current organization.

NameDescription
NameThe data source name. This is how you refer to the data source in panels & queries.
DefaultDefault data source means that it will be pre-selected for new panels.
UrlThe http protocol, ip and port of you influxdb api (influxdb api port is by default 8086)
AccessProxy = access via Grafana backend, Direct = access directly from browser.
DatabaseName of your influxdb database
UserName of your database user
PasswordDatabase user’s password

Proxy vs Direct access

Proxy access means that the Grafana backend will proxy all requests from the browser. So requests to InfluxDB will be channeled through grafana-server. This means that the URL you specify needs to be accessible from the server you are running Grafana on. Proxy access mode is also more secure as the username & password will never reach the browser.

Query Editor

You find the InfluxDB editor in the metrics tab in Graph or Singlestat panel’s edit mode. You enter edit mode by clicking the panel title, then edit. The editor allows you to select metrics and tags.

Filter data (WHERE)

To add a tag filter click the plus icon to the right of the WHERE condition. You can remove tag filters by clicking on the tag key and select --remove tag filter--.

Regex matching

You can type in regex patterns for metric names or tag filter values, be sure to wrap the regex pattern in forward slashes (/). Grafana will automatically adjust the filter tag condition to use the InfluxDB regex match condition operator (=~).

Field & Aggregation functions

In the SELECT row you can specify what fields and functions you want to use. If you have a group by time you need an aggregation function. Some functions like derivative require an aggregation function. The editor tries simplify and unify this part of the query. For example:

The above will generate the following InfluxDB SELECT clause:

SELECT derivative(mean("value"), 10s) /10 AS "REQ/s" FROM ....

Select multiple fields

Use the plus button and select Field > field to add another SELECT clause. You can also specify an asterix * to select all fields.

Group By

To group by a tag click the plus icon at the end of the GROUP BY row. Pick a tag from the dropdown that appears. You can remove the group by by clicking on the tag and then click on the x icon.

Text Editor Mode (RAW)

You can switch to raw query mode by clicking hamburger icon and then Switch editor mode.

If you use Raw Query be sure your query at minimum have WHERE $timeFilter Also please always have a group by time and an aggregation function, otherwise InfluxDB can easily return hundreds of thousands of data points that will hang the browser.

Alias patterns

  • $m = replaced with measurement name
  • $measurement = replaced with measurement name
  • $col = replaced with column name
  • $tag_exampletag = replaced with the value of the exampletag tag. The syntax is $tag_yourTagName (must start with $tag_). To use your tag as an alias in the ALIAS BY field then the tag must be used to group by in the query.
  • You can also use [[tag_hostname]] pattern replacement syntax. For example, in the ALIAS BY field using this text Host: [[tag_hostname]] would substitute in the hostname tag value for each legend value and an example legend value would be: Host: server1.

Table query / raw data

You can remove the group by time by clicking on the time part and then the x icon. You can change the option Format As to Table if you want to show raw data in the Table panel.

Templating

Instead of hard-coding things like server, application and sensor name in you metric queries you can use variables in their place. Variables are shown as dropdown select boxes at the top of the dashboard. These dropdowns makes it easy to change the data being displayed in your dashboard.

Checkout the Templating documentation for an introduction to the templating feature and the different types of template variables.

Query variable

If you add a template variable of the type Query you can write a InfluxDB exploration (meta data) query. These queries can return things like measurement names, key names or key values.

For example you can have a variable that contains all values for tag hostname if you specify a query like this in the templating variable Query setting.

SHOW TAG VALUES WITH KEY = "hostname"

You can also create nested variables. For example if you had another variable, for example region. Then you could have the hosts variable only show hosts from the current selected region with a query like this:

SHOW TAG VALUES WITH KEY = "hostname"  WHERE region =~ /$region/

You can fetch key names for a given measurement.

SHOW TAG KEYS [FROM <measurement_name>]

If you have a variable with key names you can use this variable in a group by clause. This will allow you to change group by using the variable dropdown at the top of the dashboard.

Using variables in queries

There are two syntaxes:

$<varname> Example:

SELECT mean("value") FROM "logins" WHERE "hostname" =~ /^$host$/ AND $timeFilter GROUP BY time($__interval), "hostname"

[[varname]] Example:

SELECT mean("value") FROM "logins" WHERE "hostname" =~ /^[[host]]$/ AND $timeFilter GROUP BY time($__interval), "hostname"

Why two ways? The first syntax is easier to read and write but does not allow you to use a variable in the middle of a word. When the Multi-value or Include all value options are enabled, Grafana converts the labels from plain text to a regex compatible string. Which means you have to use =~ instead of =.

Example Dashboard: InfluxDB Templated Dashboard

Ad hoc filters variable

InfluxDB supports the special Ad hoc filters variable type. This variable allows you to specify any number of key/value filters on the fly. These filters will automatically be applied to all your InfluxDB queries.

Annotations

Annotations allows you to overlay rich event information on top of graphs. You add annotation queries via the Dashboard menu / Annotations view.

An example query:

SELECT title, description from events WHERE $timeFilter order asc

For InfluxDB you need to enter a query like in the above example. You need to have the where $timeFilter part. If you only select one column you will not need to enter anything in the column mapping fields. The Tags field can be a comma separated string.