Explore InfluxDB: Part 1

Explore InfluxDB

I have been trying to manage time to explore InfluxDB for observability. This article is one of many about InfluxDB and Telegraf. I will cover basic installation here.

To install InfluxDB I have used docker-compose for now. In future, maybe I will choose and share some other form of installation.


version: '3.8'


    image: 'influxdb:latest'
      - influxdb
      - 8086:8086
      - $PWD/data/influxdb2_data:/var/lib/influxdb2
      - $PWD/data/influxdb2_config:/etc/influxdb2
    restart: on-failure
      - TZ=Asia/Dhaka
$ docker-compose up -d

Normally, image: 'influxdb:latest' is denoting to latest version of influx, influxdb2+.

Explore InfluxDB

Now we need telegraf on our servers from where we will get the metrics.

I have a ubuntu server at which some application is running.

  1. Docker
  2. Nginx
  3. Redis

So, I wanted to monitor those as well as host information.

First, I have installed telegraf.

$ sudo wget https://dl.influxdata.com/telegraf/releases/telegraf_1.21.3-1_amd64.deb
$ sudo dpkg -i telegraf_1.21.3-1_amd64.deb

It will enable a systemd service and make it running when installation complete. After installation, stop the service.

$ sudo service telegraf stop

make a backup of the configuration file

$ sudo mv /etc/telegraf/telegraf.conf /etc/telegraf.conf_backup

Create a new configuration with passing some parameters

$ sudo telegraf --sample-config --input-filter cpu:mem:system:net:swap:processes:disk:diskio:docker:nginx:redis --output-filter influxdb_v2 > /etc/telegraf/telegraf.conf

Here we are generating sample config and writing the config to the default config file of telgraf. I have used some plugins to send the metrics to influxdb.

  1. cpu
  2. mem
  3. system
  4. net
  5. swap
  6. processes
  7. disk
  8. diskio
  9. docker
  10. nginx
  11. redis

After that, need to pass token to allow this telegraf for sending metrics to the influxdb and also the influxdb endpoint.

# Configuration for sending metrics to InfluxDB
  ## The URLs of the InfluxDB cluster nodes.
  ## Multiple URLs can be specified for a single cluster, only ONE of the
  ## urls will be written to each interval.
  ##   ex: urls = ["https://us-west-2-1.aws.cloud2.influxdata.com"]
  urls = ["http://localhost:8086"]
  ## Token for authentication.
  token = ""

  ## Organization is the name of the organization you wish to write to; must exist.
  organization = "myorg"

  ## Destination bucket to write into.
  bucket = "mybucket"

Change the url of the influxdb and also the token collected from Influxdb Data>API Tokens. Also need to change the organization and bucket if you want.

Restart the telegraf.

$ sudo service telegraf restart

As soon as telegraf starts sending the data, You should be able to get the already created/default dashboard for system where you will be able to get information about uptime, load, cpu, memory, disk etc information. But what I also needed is nginx dashboard, redis and Docker dashboard.

Community plugins can be found here – https://github.com/influxdata/community-templates

  1. Redis: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/influxdata/community-templates/master/redis/redis.yml
  2. Nginx: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/influxdata/community-templates/master/nginx_mysql/nginx_mysql.yml
  3. Docker: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/influxdata/community-templates/master/docker/docker.yml

To Apply the templates you can use –

influx apply -f <url_to_dashboard_template_yaml_file>


You can just import through the dashboard itself. Settings>Template>Lookup Template with the url in the input field.

Redis was kind of readymade. But Nginx and Docker needed to change some parameters/variables.

For nginx, there are two variables created and can be changed.

  1. mysqlBucket
  2. nginxBucket

I did set only for nginx, as I did not need MySQL for now. I changed the bucket to my bucket at which telegraf is sending the metrics.

For Docker, there were no variables in the template file but default bucket set to docker. But I was not sending the metrics to the bucket named “docker”. So, I needed to edit all the graphs of the dashoard and replace the bucket “docker” with v.dockerBucket. Created a variable named dockerBucket setting value to the bucket where telegraf already sending the metrics.

Also I needed to add telegraf user to the docker group for giving telegraf permission to read docker stat from docker daemon.

sudo usermod -aG docker telegraf

This is the solution of below error on telegraf service.

2022-02-01T12:40:00Z E! [inputs.docker] Error in plugin: Got permission denied while trying to connect to the Docker daemon socket at unix:///var/run/docker.sock: Get "http://%2Fvar%2Frun%2Fdocker.sock/v1.21/info": dial unix /var/run/docker.sock: connect: permission denied,
2022-02-01T12:40:00Z E! [inputs.docker] Error in plugin: Got permission denied while trying to connect to the Docker daemon socket at unix:///var/run/docker.sock: Get "http://%2Fvar%2Frun%2Fdocker.sock/v1.21/containers/json?filters=%7B%22status%22%3A%5B%22running%22%5D%7D&limit=0": dial unix /var/run/docker.sock: connect: permission denied

For nginx, I needed to set some config to get the status too. First, needed to check if nginx install has the required module or not.

$ nginx -V 2>&1 | grep -o with-http_stub_status_module

If it doesn’t return anything then we need to install that module.

After having that, I have created a location block which will give nginx status in return.

location /nginx_status {
 	allow;	#only allow requests from localhost
 	deny all;		#deny all other hosts	

This endpoint was giving me some statistics/metrics of nginx itself. I needed to set this url to telegraf and restart telegraf service.

# Read Nginx's basic status information (ngx_http_stub_status_module)
  # An array of Nginx stub_status URI to gather stats.
  urls = ["http://localhost/nginx_status"]

  ## Optional TLS Config
  #tls_ca = "/etc/telegraf/ca.pem"
  #tls_cert = "/etc/telegraf/cert.cer"
  #tls_key = "/etc/telegraf/key.key"
  ## Use TLS but skip chain & host verification
  insecure_skip_verify = false

Thus the required dashboards are ready. I might need some more later.

Final dashboard for one of my RaspberryPi 3B+ as of now:

In next part I will try to cover the alert and task. Thank you for reading.