How to Use Variables In Grafana As Units?

6 minutes read

To use variables in Grafana as units, you can follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Grafana dashboard that you want to modify.
  2. Click on the "Settings" icon (cogwheel) on the top-right corner of the screen.
  3. In the settings menu, select "Variables."
  4. Click on the "New" button to create a new variable.
  5. Choose a name for your variable and set its type.
  6. Under the "Values" section, you can define the available units that should be selectable for the variable.
  7. Save the variable settings.
  8. Now, you can use this variable as a unit in various components of your dashboard.
  9. Select the desired panel or visualization where you want to use the variable as a unit.
  10. Look for any input field that requires a unit, such as axes or thresholds.
  11. Click on the field to open its settings, and then find the "Unit" or similar setting.
  12. Click on the dropdown menu and select the variable that represents the unit you want to use.
  13. Save your changes and observe the panel or visualization with the updated unit based on the selected variable.


By using variables as units, you can easily switch between different units in your Grafana dashboards without needing to manually modify each component. Variables provide flexibility and ease in managing units throughout your dashboard.

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How to define and use variables representing time units in Grafana?

In Grafana, you can define and use variables representing time units in the query editor or in the dashboard's variable settings. Here are the steps to define and use time unit variables:

  1. In the Grafana UI, open the dashboard where you want to define the time unit variable.
  2. Click on the "Settings" icon (gear icon) on the top-right corner of the Grafana UI.
  3. In the settings menu, click on the "Variables" option.
  4. In the Variables page, click on the "New" button to create a new variable.
  5. Give a name to the variable, for example, "TimeUnit".
  6. Select the "Custom" type for the variable.
  7. In the Query field, you can define the time units using the "interval" function. For example, to define time units in minutes, you can use the following query: interval(1m).
  8. Optionally, you can set a default value for the variable by providing a valid time unit value in the Default field.
  9. Save the variable.


Now that you have defined the time unit variable, you can use it in your queries or panel settings.


To use the time unit variable in the query editor:

  1. Open the query editor for a panel or data source.
  2. In the query editor, use the $TimeUnit variable in your query. For example, if you want to display data for the last 5 minutes, you can use the following query: SELECT * FROM tablename WHERE time > now() - $TimeUnit.


To use the time unit variable in the panel settings:

  1. Open the panel settings for a panel.
  2. In the General or Options tab, look for any time-related settings where you can use the time unit variable.
  3. Depending on the configuration, you may need to enter a query or a template expression that references the $TimeUnit variable.


Save the changes to the panel.


That's it! You have defined and used variables representing time units in Grafana.


What is the purpose of using variables in Grafana as units?

The purpose of using variables in Grafana as units is to provide a way to dynamically change the units used in the visualization or calculation of data. By using variables for units, users can easily switch between different units of measurement without having to manually edit each query or panel. This can be particularly useful when working with datasets that may have different units or when comparing data with different measurement scales. Additionally, using variables for units can make dashboards more interactive by enabling users to select their preferred unit of measurement.


How to filter data based on unit variables in Grafana queries?

To filter data based on unit variables in Grafana queries, you can use template variables in your queries along with the =~ operator. Follow the steps below:

  1. On the Grafana dashboard, click on the gear icon in the top-right corner and select "Variables."
  2. Create a new template variable by clicking on "New" or edit an existing one.
  3. In the "Name" field, give a name to your variable (e.g., unit_filter).
  4. In the "Query" field, write a query that retrieves the units you want to filter by. For example, if your data has a unit field, you can use a query like label_values(your_metric, unit).
  5. Configure other settings like the "Label" if you want to provide a more user-friendly label for the variable.
  6. In your dashboard panel query, use the =~ operator and the template variable name with curly braces ({}) to apply the filter. For example, if your unit value is stored in a field called unit_field, the query could be your_metric{unit_field=~"$unit_filter"}.


Now, when you select a specific unit from the template variable dropdown on your dashboard, the data will be filtered accordingly.

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