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Getting Started With Grafana

When people talk about Graphite and show it to you, you are often shown a web UI through the Grafana tool rather than Graphite's own UI. This is because it is far sexier and nicer to create graphs with. However, just remember that Grafana is its own separate tool that we will use to hook up to Graphite, but it can also be plugged into other data sources as well.

This tutorial will show you how to get set up with Grafana as if you have just deployed Graphite through my previous tutorial.


Deploy Grafana through docker with the following commands

mkdir $HOME/docker-volumes/grafana
USER_ID=$(id -u)

docker run -d \
  --user $USER_ID \
  --volume "$HOME/docker-volumes/grafana:/var/lib/grafana" \
  -p 3000:3000 \

The reason for specifying the user ID is to do with changes that came in 5.1.


Using your browser, go to your server's IP or hostname in your browser on the port 3000. E.g.

You will be presented with a login page. Use the default credentials to log in for the first time:

  • username: admin
  • password: admin

Change The Default Password

Once you have logged in, you will then be prompted to change your password.

You will then be shown the home dashboard which shows your setup progress.

Add Data Source

Click on the item to add a data source.

You will be shown a screen like below

We will add our Graphite server from the previous tutorial, as our data source. Notice I used basic auth, and used the same credentials I used when I changed the login credentials on Graphite).

When you have filled in all of the details, click save and test and make sure you get a green message by the button when you do so. You can check the version of your Graphite server by going to

Adding A Dashboard

Click the dashboard tab and click the button to import the dashboard.


Last updated: 14th December 2019
First published: 16th August 2018