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How to use Grafana

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Adding plugins to Grafana

To install Grafana plugins on your local machine you need to locate Grafana’s install folder, and then the plugins folder. In windows it is: 

Once inside the plugins folder you must unzip/git clone your plugin. If a plugin has specific instructions related to its installation follow them. Most plugins require you to run the following commands inside the root folder for your plugin: 

  • yarn install
  • yarn dev or yarn watch or yarn build

Once you have finished installation the Grafana service needs to be restarted. To do this on Windows, in Windows search type in Services and open the application:

Once inside Services, locate Grafana and push the Restart button: 

Now that the service has been restarted, we can verify in the Grafana UI that the plugins are appearing. To do so navigate in your browser to Grafana, by default it is located at: localhost:3000. If you have never logged in to Grafana before the default logins are: 

  • Username: admin
  • Password: admin

Once logged in click the Gear icon and then the Plugins menu option:

Inside the Plugins menu you can now look for or search for the names of the plugins you added. If they were added successfully, they will appear in the list.  

Configuring different types of plugins

If you are only added visualization plugins then they will be usable as soon as they are successfully added. They would also appear in the visualization tab when creating a dashboard. But for DataSource plugins additional configuration is needed.  

To start click the Gear icon again, then click the Data Sources button: 

From that menu click the Add data source button: 

From here select your data source plugin, enter any needed configuration settings and push Save & Test

Making a dasboard

Now that all necessary plugins are installed you can test them all together by creating a dashboard. To start doing so click the + icon and then Dashboard:

You will be brought to a screen that looks like: 

Click the Add new panel button and select your Visualization

Once you have selected the Visualization you will then need to select your data source. To do so look at the Query section at the bottom and select your data source from the dropdown: 

From the query add whatever parameters are needed and the graph in the centre should update itself. With my configuration complete my graph looks like: