Home MonitoringGrafana How To Install Grafana on Windows 8/10

How To Install Grafana on Windows 8/10

by schkn

A version of this tutorial already exists for Ubuntu 18.04.

Released in 2013 by Grafana Labs, Grafana is one of the most fastest-growing monitoring solutions in use in 2019.

Grafana is a dashboarding solution plugging to a wide variety of datasources (most of the time time series databases) in order to visualize data in near real-time.

Used by many big companies such as the CERN, Digital Ocean or Paypal, Grafana is also used in small-to-medium corporations willing to have feedbacks on the health of their infrastructure.

If you are ready to use Grafana for your business or for personal use, this is the right tutorial for you.

Here are all the steps to install Grafana on Windows 8 and 10 :

I – Download the Grafana archive from the official website

For Windows, open your web browser and navigate to the Grafana downloads page.

Select “Windows” on the list of available operating systems, and click on “Download the Installer“.

Grafana for Windows download option

The MSI download should begin.

When you are done, simply execute the MSI installer.

Grafana MSI on Windows

II – Install Grafana on Windows

When running the MSI, this is what you should see.

Grafana installation first step

Click on “Next“.

Grafana installation second step

Accept the terms of the license agreement and click on “Next“.

Grafana installation third  step

Make sure that the Grafana OSS (the Grafana server) and the Grafana as a Service option are correctly selected.

If this is the case, click on “Next” and on “Install

Grafana installation fourth step

At this point, the Grafana installation should begin.

If at some point, you are prompted with a firewall exception, make sure to authorize Grafana to perform changes to your system.

When the installation is done, this is the screen that you should see.

Grafana installation last step

Awesome! You just installed Grafana on Windows.

III – Verify that your Grafana service is running

Before going any further, you have to verify that your Grafana server is correctly running as a Windows service.

In many cases, Grafana’s default port (3000) might be already taken, preventing Grafana to start correctly.

As a consequence, here’s how you can verify that it is running.

In Windows search menu, type “Services” and open the Services window.

Windows services panel

In the Services window, scroll until you reach the Grafana service.

Grafana service on Windows

Great! The Grafana service is up and running.

IV – Launch Grafana v6 Web UI

If the service is running properly, you should be able to access the Grafana v6 UI.

As a reminder, Grafana runs by default on the port 3000.

As a consequence, open a web browser and navigate to http://localhost:3000.

This is the screen that you should see.

Grafana v6.3 default web UI on Windows

On Grafana, the default credentials are admin (as a username) and admin (as a password) by default.

On the next window, you will be asked to change your password. Choose a strong password to prevent security breaches.

Grafana change password window

When you are done, click on “Save“.

Great! You should now see the default screen for Grafana v6.3 on Windows.

Grafana welcome default screen

Before creating your own dashboards, there are some configuration steps that you need to perform for a new instance.

V – Define your own configuration file

In the latest Grafana distributions for Windows, the service is launched by NSSM (which is a service manager for Windows).

By default, Grafana relies on configuration files located in the conf folder of your installation directory.

Mine is located at C:\Program Files\GrafanaLabs\grafana as an example.

This is the content of the conf folder.

Grafana configuration folder on Windows

By default, Grafana is going to use the content of the defaults.ini file, but we are going to overwrite that to have our own custom configuration file.

In case we are having some trouble with our own configuration file, we can go back to the defaults file easily.

Make a copy of the defaults file, and name it “custom.ini

Adding a custom configuration file

When running the installation MSI, Grafana is going to store a NSSM executable on the GrafanaLabs folder of your installation folder.

NSSM executable on Windows

Open a Powershell instance on your computer as an administrator, and navigate to this folder.

Do not forget the quotes around the path, otherwise you will get a Powershell exception.

$ cd "C:\Program Files\GrafanaLabs"
$ .\nssm.exe edit grafana

A window similar to this one should open.

NSSM window edit service

At the end of the path variable, add a –config flag with the name of the configuration file we just created.

Adding a custom argument on NSSM
Arguments: --config conf\custom.ini

Click on “Edit Service” and you should be prompted with a success message.

Service Grafana edit successfully

Restart your service, and make sure that Grafana is still running correctly (http://localhost:3000)

VI – Enable / Disable sign-up on Grafana

By default, the account creation is located at http://localhost:3000/signup on your Grafana instance.

On Grafana v6.3, account sign up is disabled by default.

Sign up option on Grafana

However, you may want to enable this option on your Grafana server, if you authorize guests to have an account to showcase some special dashboards.

To enable sign-up, head to your custom.ini configuration file (located on the conf folder), and navigate to the [users] section of the file.

Modify the allow_sign_up entry to true.

Allowing user sign up on Grafana

To verify that everything is working properly, go to http://localhost:3000/signup and try to create an account.

Grafana sign up page

Click on “Sign Up” and you should be redirected to the main page.

Awesome! Your account has been created!

Grafana user panel

VII – Enable / Disable Anonymous Access

By default, anonymous access is disabled on Grafana.

Anonymous access means that any unauthenticated user is able to browse your Grafana instance, at least for the default organization assigned to them.

Grafana anonymous access option

If you go http://localhost:3000, you are going to be redirected to the login screen if you are an anonymous user.

To change that, edit your custom.ini configuration file, and edit the [auth.anonymous] section.

Grafana anonymous access configuration file

Restart your Grafana service, and browse http://localhost:3000 as an anonymous user (in private mode for example).

You should now have a Viewer permission for the dashboards allowed.

Access allowed for anonymous users on Grafana on Windows

VIII – Conclusion

Today, you learned how to install Grafana on a Windows server.

Now that everything is set up, it is time for you to start monitoring your servers, your instances or your databases.

Here is a selection of articles that you should read to improve with Grafana :

Until then, have fun, as always.

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Taylor October 24, 2019 - 9:06 pm

Hey, I’m a supernoob to programming in general. In the powershell, should my input be strictly {$ cd “C:\Program Files\GrafanaLabs”
$ .\nssm.exe edit grafana}?
What should that look like?

schkn October 24, 2019 - 10:09 pm

Hello, I mean to say “Do not forget the quotations marks” in the tutorial, not the “brackets”, I fixed it!

You should execute

$ cd “C:\Program Files\GrafanaLabs”
$ .\nssm.exe edit grafana

bertaud marc November 15, 2019 - 10:51 am

Installation correct on a windows 7 machine. Using Firefox, Grafana is unreadable, impossible to use the web ui: html problem ?

schkn November 15, 2019 - 9:30 pm

What’s happening on your browser? Can you reach the Grafana Web UI, or the default home page?

bertaud marc November 17, 2019 - 11:35 am

Yes I can reach the grafana web ui but the page is not well formatted: it’s typical a problem of html or css
Note that I tried the exe and the msi, on windows 7 and on windows server 2012, with port 3000 and 8080

bertaud marc November 17, 2019 - 11:50 am

Yes I can reach the Grafana web UI. But the page is not well formatted: all information in column. It’s typical an html or css problem.
Note that I tried on windows 7, windows server 2012, with ports 3000 and 8080, the exe and the msi versions.

schkn November 17, 2019 - 12:42 pm

What web browser are you using to launch Grafana?

bertaud marc November 18, 2019 - 8:24 am


schkn November 18, 2019 - 6:41 pm


manasa September 8, 2022 - 6:47 am

may i know how to connect grafana to elasticsearch in on premises


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