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libtimeseries is a C library that provides a high-performance abstraction layer for efficiently writing to time series databases. It is optimized for writing values for many time series simultaneously.

libtimeseries has two main components:

  • Key Package
  • Time Series Backend(s)

Key Packages

The Key Package can be thought of as a table of key/value pairs, where the keys are strings, and the values are 64 bit unsigned integers (support for other value types is planned for a future release). Using the Key Package allows libtimeseries to optimize writes by pre-fetching and caching internal key IDs. A Key package is reused by updating the values for keys and then "flushing" to a backend. The flush operation associates a timestamp with the key/values, creating a "point" for each time series represented by the keys of the Key Package.


Time series backends are pluggable components that implement the libtimeseries backend API and provide write support for a specific time series database implementation.

Currently supported backends are:

  • Graphite ASCII format (ascii)
  • DBATS: DataBase of Aggregated Time Series (dbats)
  • TSK: Time Series Kafka (kafka)

ASCII Backend

The ASCII backend simply writes the time series data to stdout in the Graphite ASCII format (

<key1> <value1> <epoch-seconds>
<key2> <value2> <epoch-seconds>

e.g.: 320 1472669180 100 1472669180

DBATS Backend

The DBATS backend uses libdbats ( to write time series data to a DBATS database. Note that to use this backend, the DBATS database must be on a locally-accessible file-system, and as such this backend is normally used in conjunction with TSK to handle time series transport.

Kafka Backend




To build and install libtimeseries

./configure [options]
make install

If you cloned libtimeseries from GitHub, you will need to run ./ before ./configure.

API Documentation

See lib/timeseries_pub.h, lib/timeseries_backend_pub.h and lib/timeseries_kp_pub.h for API documentation.

Also, tools/timeseries-insert.c provides a simple example of how to use the API to write timeseries data.


Run any program with the -? option for a list of options.

  • timeseries-insert Simple command-line tool to write time series data (input should be in the Graphite format described above).

  • tsk-proxy Server to proxy time series data from a TSK instance to any libtimeseries backend. This is usually used to write data from TSK into a DBATS database.

Copyright and Open Source Software

Unless otherwise specified (below or in file headers) libtimeseries is Copyright The Regents of the University of California and released under a BSD license. See the LICENSE file for details.

Embedded Code

Below is a list of third-party code distributed as part of the libBGPStream package. While we make every effort to keep this list current, license information in file headers should be considered authoritative.

  • common/ - the common submodule contains code released under multiple licenses (BSD, MIT, LGPL). See for more details. Note that while libtimeseries currently links against all of the sub-libraries in this module, it does not require many of them for normal operation. At some point we plan to modify the libtimeseries build process to only link against required libraries.

External Dependencies


  • libwandio is released under an LGPL v3 license.


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