Getting Started with Telegraf

Warning! This page documents an old version of Telegraf, which is no longer actively developed. Telegraf v1.3 is the most recent stable version of Telegraf.

Getting Started with Telegraf

Telegraf is an agent written in Go for collecting metrics and writing them into InfluxDB or other possible outputs. This guide will get you up and running with Telegraf. It walks you through the download, installation, and configuration processes, and it shows how to use Telegraf to get data into InfluxDB.

Download and Install Telegraf

Follow the instructions in the Telegraf section on the Downloads page.

Note: Telegraf will start automatically using the default configuration when installed from a deb package.

Configuration

Configuration file location by installation type

  • OS X Homebrew: /usr/local/etc/telegraf.conf
  • Linux debian and RPM packages: /etc/telegraf/telegraf.conf
  • Standalone Binary: see the next section for how to create a configuration file

Creating and Editing the Configuration File

Before starting the Telegraf server you need to edit and/or create an initial configuration that specifies your desired inputs (where the metrics come from) and outputs (where the metrics go). There are several ways to create and edit the configuration file. Here, we’ll generate a configuration file and simultaneously specify the desired inputs with the -input-filter flag and the desired output with the -output-filter flag.

In the example below, we create a configuration file called telegraf.conf with two inputs: one that reads metrics about the system’s cpu usage (cpu) and one that reads metrics about the system’s memory usage (mem). telegraf.conf specifies InfluxDB as the desired output.

telegraf -sample-config -input-filter cpu:mem -output-filter influxdb > telegraf.conf

Start the Telegraf Server

Start the Telegraf server and direct it to the relevant configuration file:

OS X Homebrew

telegraf -config telegraf.conf

Linux debian and RPM packages

sudo service telegraf start

Ubuntu 15+

systemctl start telegraf

Results

Once Telegraf is up and running it’ll start collecting data and writing them to the desired output.

Returning to our sample configuration, we show what the cpu and mem data look like in InfluxDB below. Note that we used the default input and output configuration settings to get these data.

> SHOW MEASUREMENTS
name: measurements
------------------
name
cpu
mem
> SHOW FIELD KEYS
name: cpu
---------
fieldKey
usage_guest
usage_guest_nice
usage_idle
usage_iowait
usage_irq
usage_nice
usage_softirq
usage_steal
usage_system
usage_user

name: mem
---------
fieldKey
available
available_percent
buffered
cached
free
total
used
used_percent
  • Select a sample of the data in the field usage_idle in the measurement cpu_usage_idle:
> SELECT usage_idle FROM cpu WHERE cpu = 'cpu-total' LIMIT 5
name: cpu
---------
time			               usage_idle
2016-01-16T00:03:00Z	 97.56189047261816
2016-01-16T00:03:10Z	 97.76305923519121
2016-01-16T00:03:20Z	 97.32533433320835
2016-01-16T00:03:30Z	 95.68857785553611
2016-01-16T00:03:40Z	 98.63715928982245

Notice that the timestamps occur at rounded ten second intervals (that is, :00, :10, :20, and so on) - this is a configurable setting.

That’s it! You now have the foundation for using Telegraf to collect metrics and write them to your output of choice.