Managing Chronograf users

Warning! This page documents an old version of Chronograf, which is no longer actively developed. Chronograf v1.5 is the most recent stable version of Chronograf.

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Managing Chronograf users and roles

Starting with Chronograf 1.4, Chronograf includes the ability to create users using role-based access control. Chronograf now has four organization-bound user roles and one cross-organization SuperAdmin status. Within an organization, Chronograf users can be created and assigned roles, updated, and removed by admins (with the admin role) or anyone with SuperAdmin status.

Organization-bound users

Chronograf users are assigned one of the following four organization-bound user roles, listed here in order of increasing capabilities:

Each of these four roles, described in detail below, have different capabilities for the following Chronograf-owned or Chronograf-accessed resources.

InfluxDB and Kapacitor users within Chronograf

Chronograf uses InfluxDB and Kapacitor connections to manage user access control to InfluxDB and Kapacitor resources within Chronograf. The permissions of the InfluxDB and Kapacitor user specified within such a connection determine the capabilities for any Chronograf user with access (i.e., viewers, editors, and administrators) to that connection. Administrators include either an admin (admin role) or a user of any role with SuperAdmin status.

Note: Chronograf users are entirely separate from InfluxDB and Kapacitor users. The only association between Chronograf and InfluxDB or Kapacitor users is through an InfluxDB or Kapacitor connection created within Chronograf.

Chronograf-owned resources

Chronograf-owned resources include internal resources that are under the full control of Chronograf, including:

  • Kapacitor connections
  • InfluxDB connections
  • Dashboards
  • Canned layouts
  • Chronograf organizations
  • Chronograf users
  • Chronograf Status Page content for News Feeds and Getting Started

Chronograf-accessed resources

Chronograf-accessed resources include external resources that can be accessed using Chronograf, but are under limited control by Chronograf. Chronograf users with the roles of viewer, editor, and admin, or users with SuperAdmin status, have equal access to these resources:

  • InfluxDB databases, users, queries, and time series data (if using InfluxDB Enterprise, InfluxDB roles can be accessed too)
  • Kapacitor alerts and alert rules (called tasks in Kapacitor)

Members (role:member)

Members are Chronograf users who have been added to organizations but do not have any functional capabilities. Members cannot access any resources within an organization and thus effectively cannot use Chronograf. Instead, a member can only access Purgatory, where the user can switch into organizations based on assigned roles.

By default, new organizations have a default role of member. If the Default organization is Public, then anyone who can authenticate, would become a member, but not be able to use Chronograf until an administrator assigns a different role.

Viewers (role:viewer)

Viewers are Chronograf users with effectively read-only capabilities for Chronograf-owned resources within their current organization:

  • View canned dashboards
  • View canned layouts
  • View InfluxDB connections
  • Switch current InfluxDB connection to other available connections
  • Access InfluxDB resources through the current connection
  • View the name of the current Kapacitor connection associated with each InfluxDB connection
  • Access Kapacitor resources through the current connection
  • Switch into organizations where the user has a role

For Chronograf-accessed resources, viewers can:

  • InfluxDB
    • Read and write time series data
    • Create, view, edit, and delete databases and retention policies
    • Create, view, edit, and delete InfluxDB users
    • View and kill queries
    • InfluxDB Enterprise: Create, view, edit, and delete InfluxDB Enterprise roles
  • Kapacitor
    • View alerts
    • Create, edit, and delete alert rules

Editors (role:editor)

Editors are Chronograf users with limited capabilities for Chronograf-owned resources within their current organization:

  • Create, view, edit, and delete dashboards
  • View canned layouts
  • Create, view, edit, and delete InfluxDB connections
  • Switch current InfluxDB connection to other available connections
  • Access InfluxDB resources through the current connection
  • Create, view, edit, and delete Kapacitor connections associated with InfluxDB connections
  • Switch current Kapacitor connection to other available connections
  • Access Kapacitor resources through the current connection
  • Switch into organizations where the user has a role

For Chronograf-accessed resources, editors can:

  • InfluxDB
    • Read and write time series data
    • Create, view, edit, and delete databases and retention policies
    • Create, view, edit, and delete InfluxDB users
    • View and kill queries
    • InfluxDB Enterprise: Create, view, edit, and delete InfluxDB Enterprise roles
  • Kapacitor
    • View alerts
    • Create, edit, and delete alert rules

Admins (role:admin)

Admins are Chronograf users with all capabilities for the following Chronograf-owned resources within their current organization:

  • Create, view, update, and remove Chronograf users
  • Create, view, edit, and delete dashboards
  • View canned layouts
  • Create, view, edit, and delete InfluxDB connections
  • Switch current InfluxDB connection to other available connections
  • Access InfluxDB resources through the current connection
  • Create, view, edit, and delete Kapacitor connections associated with InfluxDB connections
  • Switch current Kapacitor connection to other available connections
  • Access Kapacitor resources through the current connection
  • Switch into organizations where the user has a role

For Chronograf-accessed resources, admins can:

  • InfluxDB
    • Read and write time series data
    • Create, view, edit, and delete databases and retention policies
    • Create, view, edit, and delete InfluxDB users
    • View and kill queries
    • InfluxDB Enterprise: Create, view, edit, and delete InfluxDB Enterprise roles
  • Kapacitor
    • View alerts
    • Create, edit, and delete alert rules

Cross-organization SuperAdmin status

SuperAdmin status is a Chronograf status that allows any user, regardless of role, to perform all administrator functions both within organizations, as well as across organizations. A user with SuperAdmin status has unlimited capabilities, including for the following Chronograf-owned resources:

  • Create, view, update, and remove organizations
  • Create, view, update, and remove users within an organization
  • Grant or revoke the SuperAdmin status of another user
  • Switch into any organization
  • Toggle the Public setting of the Default organization
  • Toggle the global config setting for All new users are SuperAdmin

Important SuperAdmin behaviors:

  • SuperAdmin status grants any user (whether member, viewer, editor, or admin) the full capabilities of admins and the SuperAdmin capabilities listed above.
  • When a Chronograf user with SuperAdmin status creates a new organization or switches into an organization where that user has no role, that SuperAdmin user is automatically assigned the admin role by default.
  • SuperAdmin users cannot revoke their own SuperAdmin status.
  • SuperAdmin users are the only ones who can change the SuperAdmin status of other Chronograf users. Regular admins who do not have SuperAdmin status can perform normal operations on SuperAdmin users (create that user within their organization, change roles, and remove them), but they will not see that these users have SuperAdmin status, nor will any of their actions affect the SuperAdmin status of these users.
  • If a user has their SuperAdmin status revoked, that user will retain their assigned roles within their organizations.

All New Users are SuperAdmins configuration option

By default, the Config setting for “All new users are SuperAdmins” is On. Any user with SuperAdmin status can toggle this under the Admin > Chronograf > Organizations tab. If this setting is On, any new user (who is created or who authenticates) will_ automatically have SuperAdmin status. If this setting is Off, any new user (who is created or who authenticates) will not have SuperAdmin status unless they are explicitly granted it later by another user with SuperAdmin status.

Creating users

Role required: admin

To create a user:

  1. Open Chronograf in your web browser and select Admin (crown icon) > Chronograf.
  2. Click the Users tab and then click Create User.
  3. Add the following user information:
    • Username: Enter the username as provided by the OAuth provider.
    • Role: Select the Chronograf role.
    • Provider: Enter the OAuth 2.0 provider to be used for authentication. Valid values are: github, google, and auth0.
    • Scheme: Displays oauth2, which is the only supported authentication scheme in this release.
  4. Click Save to finish creating the user.

Updating users

Role required: admin

Only a user’s role can be updated. A user’s username, provider, and scheme cannot be updated. (Effectively, to “update” a user’s username, provider, or scheme, the user must be removed and added again with the desired values.)

To change a user’s role:

  1. Open Chronograf in your web browser and select Admin (crown icon) > Chronograf.
  2. Click the Users tab to display the list of users within the current organization.
  3. Select a new role for the user. The update is automatically persisted.

Removing users

Role required: admin

To remove a user:

  1. Open Chronograf in your web browser and select Admin (crown icon) > Chronograf.
  2. Click the Users tab to display the list of users.
  3. Hover your cursor over the user you want to remove and then click Remove and Confirm.

Chronograf is always used in the context of an organization. When a user logs in to Chronograf, that user will access only the resources owned by their current organization. The only exception to this is that users with SuperAdmin status will also be able to manage organizations in the Chronograf Admin page.

Logging in and logging out

A user can log in from the Chronograf homepage using any configured OAuth 2.0 provider.

A user can log out by hovering over the User (person icon) in the left navigation bar and clicking Log out.

Switching the current organization

A user’s current organization and role is highlighted in the Switch Organizations list, which can be found by hovering over the User (person icon) in the left navigation bar.

When a user has a role in more than one organization, that user can switch into any other organization where they have a role by selecting the desired organization in the Switch Organizations list.

Purgatory

If at any time, a user is a member within their current organization and does not have SuperAdmin status, that user will be redirected to a page called Purgatory. There, the user will see their current organization and role, as well as a message to contact an administrator for access.

On the same page, that user will see a list of all of their organizations and roles. The user can switch into any listed organization where their role is viewer, editor, or admin by clicking Log in next to the desired organization.

Note In the rare case that a user is granted SuperAdmin status while in Purgatory, they will be able to switch into any listed organization, as expected.