Using MySQL in Grafana

Only available in Grafana v4.3+.

Starting from Grafana v5.1 you can name the time column time in addition to earlier supported time_sec. Usage of time_sec will eventually be deprecated.

Grafana ships with a built-in MySQL data source plugin that allow you to query any visualize data from a MySQL compatible database.

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 MySQL from the Type dropdown.

Data source options

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.
HostThe IP address/hostname and optional port of your MySQL instance.
DatabaseName of your MySQL database.
UserDatabase user’s login/username
PasswordDatabase user’s password

Min time interval

A lower limit for the $__interval and $__interval_ms variables. Recommended to be set to write frequency, for example 1m if your data is written every minute. This option can also be overridden/configured in a dashboard panel under data source options. It’s important to note that this value needs to be formatted as a number followed by a valid time identifier, e.g. 1m (1 minute) or 30s (30 seconds). The following time identifiers are supported:

IdentifierDescription
yyear
Mmonth
wweek
dday
hhour
mminute
ssecond
msmillisecond

Database User Permissions (Important!)

The database user you specify when you add the data source should only be granted SELECT permissions on the specified database & tables you want to query. Grafana does not validate that the query is safe. The query could include any SQL statement. For example, statements like USE otherdb; and DROP TABLE user; would be executed. To protect against this we Highly recommmend you create a specific mysql user with restricted permissions.

Example:

 CREATE USER 'grafanaReader' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';
 GRANT SELECT ON mydatabase.mytable TO 'grafanaReader';

You can use wildcards (*) in place of database or table if you want to grant access to more databases and tables.

Macros

To simplify syntax and to allow for dynamic parts, like date range filters, the query can contain macros.

Macro exampleDescription
$__time(dateColumn)Will be replaced by an expression to convert to a UNIX timestamp and rename the column to time_sec. For example, UNIX_TIMESTAMP(dateColumn) as time_sec
$__timeEpoch(dateColumn)Will be replaced by an expression to convert to a UNIX timestamp and rename the column to time_sec. For example, UNIX_TIMESTAMP(dateColumn) as time_sec
$__timeFilter(dateColumn)Will be replaced by a time range filter using the specified column name. For example, dateColumn BETWEEN ‘2017-04-21T05:01:17Z’ AND ‘2017-04-21T05:06:17Z’
$__timeFrom()Will be replaced by the start of the currently active time selection. For example, ‘2017-04-21T05:01:17Z’
$__timeTo()Will be replaced by the end of the currently active time selection. For example, ‘2017-04-21T05:06:17Z’
$__timeGroup(dateColumn,‘5m’)Will be replaced by an expression usable in GROUP BY clause. For example, *cast(cast(UNIX_TIMESTAMP(dateColumn)/(300) as signed)300 as signed),
$__timeGroup(dateColumn,‘5m’, 0)Same as above but with a fill parameter so missing points in that series will be added by grafana and 0 will be used as value.
$__timeGroup(dateColumn,‘5m’, NULL)Same as above but NULL will be used as value for missing points.
$__timeGroup(dateColumn,‘5m’, previous)Same as above but the previous value in that series will be used as fill value if no value has been seen yet NULL will be used (only available in Grafana 5.3+).
$__timeGroupAlias(dateColumn,‘5m’)Will be replaced identical to $__timeGroup but with an added column alias (only available in Grafana 5.3+).
$__unixEpochFilter(dateColumn)Will be replaced by a time range filter using the specified column name with times represented as unix timestamp. For example, dateColumn > 1494410783 AND dateColumn < 1494497183
$__unixEpochFrom()Will be replaced by the start of the currently active time selection as unix timestamp. For example, 1494410783
$__unixEpochTo()Will be replaced by the end of the currently active time selection as unix timestamp. For example, 1494497183
$__unixEpochGroup(dateColumn,‘5m’, [fillmode])Same as $__timeGroup but for times stored as unix timestamp (only available in Grafana 5.3+).
$__unixEpochGroupAlias(dateColumn,‘5m’, [fillmode])Same as above but also adds a column alias (only available in Grafana 5.3+).

We plan to add many more macros. If you have suggestions for what macros you would like to see, please open an issue in our GitHub repo.

The query editor has a link named Generated SQL that show up after a query as been executed, while in panel edit mode. Click on it and it will expand and show the raw interpolated SQL string that was executed.

Table queries

If the Format as query option is set to Table then you can basically do any type of SQL query. The table panel will automatically show the results of whatever columns & rows your query returns.

Query editor with example query:

The query:

SELECT
  title as 'Title',
  user.login as 'Created By' ,
  dashboard.created as 'Created On'
 FROM dashboard
INNER JOIN user on user.id = dashboard.created_by
WHERE $__timeFilter(dashboard.created)

You can control the name of the Table panel columns by using regular as SQL column selection syntax.

The resulting table panel:

Time series queries

If you set Format as to Time series, for use in Graph panel for example, then the query must return a column named time that returns either a sql datetime or any numeric datatype representing unix epoch. Any column except time and metric is treated as a value column. You may return a column named metric that is used as metric name for the value column. If you return multiple value columns and a column named metric then this column is used as prefix for the series name (only available in Grafana 5.3+).

Resultsets of time series queries need to be sorted by time.

Example with metric column:

SELECT
  $__timeGroup(time_date_time,'5m'),
  min(value_double),
  'min' as metric
FROM test_data
WHERE $__timeFilter(time_date_time)
GROUP BY time
ORDER BY time

Example using the fill parameter in the $__timeGroup macro to convert null values to be zero instead:

SELECT
  $__timeGroup(createdAt,'5m',0),
  sum(value_double) as value,
  measurement
FROM test_data
WHERE
  $__timeFilter(createdAt)
GROUP BY time, measurement
ORDER BY time

Example with multiple columns:

SELECT
  $__timeGroup(time_date_time,'5m'),
  min(value_double) as min_value,
  max(value_double) as max_value
FROM test_data
WHERE $__timeFilter(time_date_time)
GROUP BY time
ORDER BY time

Currently, there is no support for a dynamic group by time based on time range & panel width. This is something we plan to add.

Templating

This feature is currently available in the nightly builds and will be included in the 5.0.0 release.

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 MySQL query that can return things like measurement names, key names or key values that are shown as a dropdown select box.

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

SELECT hostname FROM my_host

A query can returns multiple columns and Grafana will automatically create a list from them. For example, the query below will return a list with values from hostname and hostname2.

SELECT my_host.hostname, my_other_host.hostname2 FROM my_host JOIN my_other_host ON my_host.city = my_other_host.city

To use time range dependent macros like $__timeFilter(column) in your query the refresh mode of the template variable needs to be set to On Time Range Change.

SELECT event_name FROM event_log WHERE $__timeFilter(time_column)

Another option is a query that can create a key/value variable. The query should return two columns that are named __text and __value. The __text column value should be unique (if it is not unique then the first value is used). The options in the dropdown will have a text and value that allows you to have a friendly name as text and an id as the value. An example query with hostname as the text and id as the value:

SELECT hostname AS __text, id AS __value FROM my_host

You can also create nested variables. For example if you had another variable named region. Then you could have the hosts variable only show hosts from the current selected region with a query like this (if region is a multi-value variable then use the IN comparison operator rather than = to match against multiple values):

SELECT hostname FROM my_host  WHERE region IN($region)

Using Variables in Queries

From Grafana 4.3.0 to 4.6.0, template variables are always quoted automatically so if it is a string value do not wrap them in quotes in where clauses.

From Grafana 4.7.0, template variable values are only quoted when the template variable is a multi-value.

If the variable is a multi-value variable then use the IN comparison operator rather than = to match against multiple values.

There are two syntaxes:

$<varname> Example with a template variable named hostname:

SELECT
  UNIX_TIMESTAMP(atimestamp) as time,
  aint as value,
  avarchar as metric
FROM my_table
WHERE $__timeFilter(atimestamp) and hostname in($hostname)
ORDER BY atimestamp ASC

[[varname]] Example with a template variable named hostname:

SELECT
  UNIX_TIMESTAMP(atimestamp) as time,
  aint as value,
  avarchar as metric
FROM my_table
WHERE $__timeFilter(atimestamp) and hostname in([[hostname]])
ORDER BY atimestamp ASC

Disabling Quoting for Multi-value Variables

Grafana automatically creates a quoted, comma-separated string for multi-value variables. For example: if server01 and server02 are selected then it will be formatted as: 'server01', 'server02'. Do disable quoting, use the csv formatting option for variables:

${servers:csv}

Read more about variable formatting options in the Variables documentation.

Annotations

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

Example query using time column with epoch values:

SELECT
  epoch_time as time,
  metric1 as text,
  CONCAT(tag1, ',', tag2) as tags
FROM
  public.test_data
WHERE
  $__unixEpochFilter(epoch_time)

Example query using time column of native sql date/time data type:

SELECT
  native_date_time as time,
  metric1 as text,
  CONCAT(tag1, ',', tag2) as tags
FROM
  public.test_data
WHERE
  $__timeFilter(native_date_time)
NameDescription
timeThe name of the date/time field. Could be a column with a native sql date/time data type or epoch value.
textEvent description field.
tagsOptional field name to use for event tags as a comma separated string.

Alerting

Time series queries should work in alerting conditions. Table formatted queries is not yet supported in alert rule conditions.

Configure the Datasource with Provisioning

It’s now possible to configure datasources using config files with Grafana’s provisioning system. You can read more about how it works and all the settings you can set for datasources on the provisioning docs page

Here are some provisioning examples for this datasource.

apiVersion: 1

datasources:
  - name: MySQL
    type: mysql
    url: localhost:3306
    database: grafana
    user: grafana
    password: password