Grafana – An Open Source Software for Analytics and Monitoring

Grafana is an open source, feature rich, powerful, elegant and highly-extensible analytics and monitoring software that runs on Linux, Windows and MacOS. It is a de facto software for data analytics, being used at Stack Overflow, eBay, PayPal, Uber and Digital Ocean – just to mention but a few.

It supports 30+ open source as well as commercial databases/data sources including MySQL, PostgreSQL, Graphite, Elasticsearch, OpenTSDB, Prometheus and InfluxDB. It allows you to dig deeply into large volumes of real-time, operational data; visualize, query, set alerts and get insights from your metrics from different storage locations.

Read Also: How to Install Piwik (Google Analytics) Software in Linux

Importantly, Grafana allows for setting up multiple, independent organizations with each having their own usage environment (admins, data sources, dashboards and users).

Grafana Analytics Monitoring Software

Grafana Analytics Monitoring Software

Grafana Features:

  • Elegant graphics for data visualization.
  • Fast and flexible graphs with numerous options.
  • Dynamic and reusable dashboards.
  • It’s highly extensible using hundreds of dashboards and plugins in the official library.
  • Supports power user preferences.
  • Supports multi tenancy, setup multiple independent organizations.
  • Supports authentication via LDAP, Google Auth, Grafana.com, and Github.
  • Supports notifications via Slack, PagerDuty, and more.
  • Remarkably supports collaboration by allowing sharing of data and dashboards across teams and so much more.


An online demo is available for you to try before installing Grafana on your Linux distribution.

Demo URL: http://play.grafana.org/

In this article, we will explain how to install Grafana – Data Visualization & Monitoring software on CentOS, Debian and Ubuntu distributions.

Install Grafana in Linux Systems

1. We will install Grafana from its official YUM or APT repositories, so that you can update it using your default package manager.

Install Grafana on Debian and Ubuntu

$ echo "deb https://packagecloud.io/grafana/stable/debian/ stretch main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list
$ curl https://packagecloud.io/gpg.key | sudo apt-key add -
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install grafana

Install Grafana on CentOS, RHEL and Fedora

# echo "[grafana]
name=grafana
baseurl=https://packagecloud.io/grafana/stable/el/7/$basearch
repo_gpgcheck=1
enabled=1
gpgcheck=1
gpgkey=https://packagecloud.io/gpg.key https://grafanarel.s3.amazonaws.com/RPM-GPG-KEY-grafana
sslverify=1
sslcacert=/etc/pki/tls/certs/ca-bundle.crt" | sudo tee /etc/yum.repos.d/grafana.repo
# yum install grafana

2. After installing Grafana, you can find important files in the following locations:

  • Installs binary to /usr/sbin/grafana-server
  • Installs Init.d script to /etc/init.d/grafana-server
  • Creates default file (environment vars) to /etc/default/grafana-server
  • Installs configuration file to /etc/grafana/grafana.ini
  • Installs systemd service name grafana-server.service
  • The default configuration sets the log file at /var/log/grafana/grafana.log
  • The default configuration specifies an sqlite3 db at /var/lib/grafana/grafana.db
  • Installs HTML/JS/CSS and other Grafana files at /usr/share/grafana

3. Next, start the Grafana service, check if it is up and running, then enable it to auto-start at boot time as follows. By default, the process is run as the grafana user (created during the installation process), and listens on HTTP port 3000.

Start Grafana Server (via Systemd)

# systemctl daemon-reload
# systemctl start grafana-server
# systemctl status grafana-server
# systemctl enable grafana-server

Start Grafana Server (via init.d)

# service grafana-server start
# service grafana-server status
# sudo update-rc.d grafana-server defaults [On Debian/Ubuntu]
# /sbin/chkconfig --add grafana-server [On CentOS/RHEL/Fedora]

4. If your system has a firewall enabled by default, you need to open the port 3000 in the firewall to allow client requests to the grafana process.

----------- [On Debian/Ubuntu] -----------
$ sudo ufw allow 3000/tcp
$ sudo ufw reload
----------- [On CentOS/RHEL/Fedora] ----------- # firewall-cmd --permanent --add-port=3000/tcp
# firewall-cmd --reload

5. Now use the following URL to access the Grafana, which will redirect to the login page, user credentials as username: admin and password: admin)

http://Your-Domain.com:3000
OR
http://IP-Address:3000
Grafana Admin Login

Grafana Admin Login

6. After login, you will access the home dashboard, as shown in the screenshot below.

Grafana Home Dashboard

Grafana Home Dashboard

7. Next, add a database or data source, click on “Add Data Source”. For example we will add a MySQL database; specify the data source name, type, and connection parameters. Then click on Save & Test.

Add Grafana Data Source

Add Grafana Data Source

You will be notified if the database connection is successful or it has failed, as shown in the screenshot. Then go back to the home dashboard to add a new dashboard.

Grafana Data Source Connection

Grafana Data Source Connection

8. From the Home dashboard, click on New dashboard to add a new panel for visualizing metrics from your data source.

Add Grafana New Dashboard

Add Grafana New Dashboard

From here, you can add more data sources, dashboards, invite your team members, install apps and plugins to extend the default functionalities, and do more.

You can find more information from the Grafana Homepage: https://grafana.com/

Grafana is an elegant software for real-time data analytics and monitoring. We hope that you successfully installed Grafana on your Linux system, otherwise, use the feedback form below to ask any questions or share your thoughts about it.

10 Best Open Source Forum Software for Linux

A forum is a discussion platform where related ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged. You can setup a forum for your site or blog, where your team, customers, fans, patrons, audience, users, advocates, supporters, or friends can hold public or private discussions, as a whole or in smaller groups.

If you are planning to launch a forum, and you can’t build your own software from scratch, you can opt for any of the existing forum applications out there. Some forum applications allow you to setup only a single discussion site on a single installation, while others support multiple-forums for a single installation instance.

In this article, we will review 10 best open source forum software for Linux systems. By the end of this article, you will know exactly which open source forum software best suites your needs.

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1. Discourse – Discussion Platform

Discourse is a free open source, simple, modern, incredibly powerful and feature-rich community discussion software.

Discourse Forum Software

Discourse Forum Software


It works as a mailing list, discussion forum, long-form chat room, and so much more. Its front-end is built using JavaScript and it is powered by the Ember.js framework; and the server side is developed using Ruby on Rails backed by a PostgreSQL database and Redis cache.

It is responsive (auto-switches to a mobile layout for small screens), it supports: dynamic notifications, community moderation, social login, spam blocking, reply via email, emojis and badges. It also comes with a trust system and so much more. Above all, Discourse is simple, modern, awesome and fun, and has a one-click upgrade feature, once installed.

2. phpBB – Bulletin Board Software

phpBB is a free open source, powerful, feature-rich and highly extensible forum or bulletin board software. There are numerous extensions and a styles database (with hundreds of style and image packages) for you to enhance its core functionality and to customize your board respectively.

phpBB Bulletin Board Forum

phpBB Bulletin Board Forum

It is secure and comes with various tools to protect your forum from unwanted users and spam. It supports: a search system, private messaging, multiple methods of notifying users of forum activities, conversation moderators, and user-groups. Importantly, it has an advanced caching system for increased performance. You can integrate it with other applications via multiple plugins and so much more.

3. Vanilla – Modern Community Forum

Vanilla is an open source, fully-featured, intuitive, robust cloud-based and multi-lingual community forum software. It is easy to use giving users a modern forum experience, allows users to post questions and polls; it has an advance editor for formating posts with html, markdown, or bbcode, and supports @ mentions.

Vanilla Community Forum

Vanilla Community Forum

It also supports user-profiles, notifications, auto-save, avatars, private messaging, real-time preview, a powerful search facility, user-groups, single sign on and so much more. Vanilla can be integrated with social networks for easy sharing, login and more. It comes with numerous plugins and themes to enhance its primary features and customize its look and feel.

4. SimpleMachinesForum (SMF)

SimpleMachinesForum is a free, open source, simple, beautiful and powerful forum software. It is available in over 45 different languages. SMF is easy to use and highly customizable, with a multitude of powerful and effective features. It comes with high quality and reliable support.

Simple Machines Forum

Simple Machines Forum

SMF is highly customizable; it has many extensions/packages (under various categories such as security, socialization, administration, permissions, posting, theme enhancements and more) to modify its core functionality, add or remove features, and lot more.

5. bbPress – Forum Software

bbPress is a free open source, simple, lightweight, fast and secure bulletin board software built in a WordPress-fashion. It is easy to install, and configure, fully integrated and supports setting up multiple forums on one site installation.

bbPress Forum Software

bbPress Forum Software

It is highly extensible and customizable, supports several plugins. It also supports RSS feeds and offers spam blocking functionality for additional security.

6. MyBB – Powerful Forum Software

MyBB is a free open source, simple, easy-to-use, intuitive yet powerful, and extremely efficient forum software. It is a discussion-oriented application that supports: user profiles, private messages, reputation, warnings, calenders and events, user promotion, moderation, and more.

MyBB Community Forum

MyBB Community Forum

It ships in with a number of plugins, and templates and themes to extend its core functionality and customize its default look and feel, allowing you to setup a fully customized and effective online community forum with ease.

7. miniBB – Community Discussion Forum

miniBB is a free open source, standalone, lightweight, fast, and highly customizable software for building a web forum. It is suitable and effective for setting up a simple and stable community discussion platform, especially for novices. It allows for dynamic and content-rich discussions, and you can enable it to be responsive via the mobile template.

MiniBB Community Discussion Forum

MiniBB Community Discussion Forum

It can easily be integrated with your website, allowing you to change its layout to the look of your website. In addition, miniBB offers facilities for you to synchronize with an existing membership system. Importantly, it supports guest posts and quick moderation.

8. Phorum – Forum Software

Phorum is a free open source, simple, highly-customizable, and easy-to-use PHP message board software. It has a very flexible hook and module system for you to customize your web community discussion platform.

Phorum Forum Software

Phorum Forum Software

You can easily changes its default using HTML templates that have simple to understand text commands in-built.

9. FluxBB – Forum Software

FluxBB is fast, light, easy-to-use, stable, secure, user-friendly and multi-lingual PHP forum software. It comes with a well organized administration interface and admin panel plugins, supports a flexible permission system, and it is XHTML compliant.

FluxBB Forum Software

FluxBB Forum Software

It supports user profiles, avatar, forum categories, announcements, topic search, post preview RSS/Atom feeds, user selectable CSS styles and language and so much more.

10. PunBB – Bulletin Board Software

PunBB is a free open source, lightweight and fast PHP bulletin board software. It has a simple layout and design, like most forum software listed above, it supports private messaging, polls, linking to off-site avatars, advanced text formatting commands, file attachments, multi-forums and so much more.

PunBB Bulletin Board Forum

PunBB Bulletin Board Forum

That’s all for now! In this article, we reviewed 10 best open source forum software for Linux. If you are interested in setting up a forum for your site or blog, by now, you should be knowing which open source software to use. If your favorite software is missing in the list, let us know via the feedback form below.

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