This guide helps you get started developing Grafana.
Make sure you have the following dependencies installed before setting up your developer environment:
We recommend using Homebrew for installing any missing dependencies:
brew install git brew install go brew install node npm install -g yarn
We recommend using Go to download the source code for the Grafana project:
export GOPATH=$HOME/go/to the bottom of your
go get github.com/grafana/grafanain your terminal. This command downloads, and installs Grafana to your
$GOPATH/src/github.com/grafana/grafanain your favorite code editor.
Grafana consists of two components; the frontend, and the backend.
Before we can build the frontend assets, we need to install the dependencies:
yarn install --pure-lockfile
After the command has finished, we can start building our source code:
yarn start has built the assets, it will continue to do so whenever any of the files change. This means you don’t have to manually build the assets whenever every time you change the code.
Next, we’ll build the web server that will serve the frontend assets we just built.
Build and run the backend by running
make run in the root directory of the repository. This command compiles the Go source code and starts a web server.
Are you having problems with too many open files?
By default, you can access the web server at
Log in using the default credentials:
When you log in for the first time, Grafana asks you to change your password.
The Grafana backend includes Sqlite3 which requires GCC to compile. So in order to compile Grafana on Windows you need to install GCC. We recommend TDM-GCC.
The test suite consists of three types of tests: Frontend tests, backend tests, and end-to-end tests.
We use jest for our frontend tests. Run them using Yarn:
If you’re developing for the backend, run the tests with the standard Go tool:
go test -v ./pkg/...
To run the tests:
By default, the end-to-end tests assumes Grafana is available on
localhost:3000. To use a specific URL, set the
BASE_URL environment variable:
BASE_URL=http://localhost:3333 yarn e2e-tests
To follow the tests in the browser while they’re running, use the
yarn e2e-tests:debug instead.
The default configuration,
grafana.ini, is located in the
To override the default configuration, create a
custom.ini file in the
conf directory. You only need to add the options you wish to override.
Enable the development mode, by adding the following line in your
app_mode = development
By now, you should be able to build and test a change you’ve made to the Grafana source code. In most cases, you need to add at least one data source to verify the change.
To set up data sources for your development environment, go to the devenv directory in the Grafana repository:
setup.sh script to set up a set of data sources and dashboards in your local Grafana instance. The script creates a set of data sources called gdev-<type>, and a set of dashboards located in a folder called gdev dashboards.
Some of the data sources require databases to run in the background.
Installing and configuring databases can be a tricky business. Grafana uses Docker to make the task of setting up databases a little easier. Make sure you install Docker before proceeding to the next step.
In the root directory of your Grafana repository, run the following command:
make devenv sources=influxdb,loki
The script generates a Docker Compose file with the databases you specify as
sources, and runs them in the background.
See the repository for all the available data sources. Note that some data sources have specific Docker images for macOS, e.g.
To build a Docker image, run:
The resulting image will be tagged as grafana/grafana:dev.
Note: If you’ve already set up a local development environment, and you’re running a
linux/amd64 machine, you can speed up building the Docker image:
go run build.go build-frontend.
Note: If you are using Docker for macOS, be sure to set the memory limit to be larger than 2 GiB. Otherwise
grunt build may fail. The memory limit settings are available under Docker Desktop -> Preferences -> Advanced.
Are you having issues with setting up your environment? Here are some tips that might help.
Depending on your environment, you may have to increase the maximum number of open files allowed.
To see how many open files are allowed, run:
To change the number of open files allowed, run:
ulimit -S -n 2048
The number of files needed may be different on your environment. To determine the number of open files needed by
make run, run:
find ./conf ./pkg ./public/views | wc -l
Another alternative is to limit the files being watched. The directories that are watched for changes are listed in the
.bra.toml file in the root directory.