Grafana CLI for quick and easy dashboards management.
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Latest commit e910b68 Aug 15, 2017


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Grafana CLI for fast and easy dashboards management.

Please note that grafcli has been tested for a while, but it still can have some minor defects. All help by contributions and suggestions is welcomed! Remember to back up your dashboards first.

Also note that grafcli was created when grafana itself lacked some features, like exports or API. Although it's still nice to have some of those in form of a CLI application.

Credit goes to b3niup for the original idea!


  • Dashboards backup and restore.
  • Easy rows and panels moving/copying between dashboards.
  • Editing dashboards/rows/panels in-place.
  • Templates of dashboards, rows and panels.
  • File export/import.
  • Interactive CLI with completions support.
  • Compatibility across older Grafana versions.
  • ...and more!


  • Lets you easily manage your dashboards using just your keyboard.
  • Provides convenient way to backup dashboards and restore them.
  • Can be used by any shell script with even more logic added.


Grafcli connects to Grafana HTTP API or directly to one of the backends (Elastic, SQLite, MySQL, PostgreSQL) and modifies the dashboards. This is all hidden behind an interface you already know well, similar to *nix filesystem.



pip3 install grafcli

or get the source and run:

python3 install

Then define your hosts in the config file (see below for details).

cp /etc/grafcli/grafcli.conf.example /etc/grafcli/grafcli.conf

You will need at least one of the backend libraries listed above (except sqlite3, which comes with Python).


  • Improve confirmation prompt.
  • Improve completions.
  • Implement asterisk (*) handling.



Use cd and ls commands to list nodes and move around.

[/]> cd templates
[/templates]> ls
[/templates]> ls dashboards
[/templates]> ls dashboards/example_dashboard
[/templates]> ls dashboards/example_dashboard/1-Example-Row


In the root directory, you will find three basic directories:

  • backups - for storing backups of your dashboards (surprised?).
  • remote - which lets you access remote hosts.
  • templates - that contains templates of dashboards, rows and panels.


Most of the arguments here are paths to a dashboard, row or panel.

  • cat <path> - display JSON of given element.
  • $EDITOR <path> - edit the JSON of given element in-place and update it afterwards. Editor name can be set in the config file.
  • merge <paths> - merge documents together. Merge tool can be set in the config file.
  • cp <source> <destination> - copies one element to another. Can be used to copy whole dashboards, rows or single panels.
  • mv <source> <destination> - the same as cp, but moves (renames) the source.
  • rm <path> - removes the element.
  • template <path> - saves element as template.
  • backup <remote_host> <system_path> - saves backup of all dashboards from remote host as .tgz archive.
  • restore <system_path> <remote_host> - restores saved backup.
  • export <path> <system_path> - saves the JSON-encoded element to file.
  • import <system_path> <path> - loads the JSON-encoded element from file.
  • pos <path> <index> - change position of row in a dashboard or panel in a row.


Grafcli will attempt to read ./grafcli.conf, ~/.grafcli.conf and /etc/grafcli/grafcli.conf in that order.

Here is the configuration file explained.

# Your favorite editor - this name will act as a command!
editor = vim
# Executable used as merge tool. Paths will be passed as arguments.
mergetool = vimdiff
# Commands history file. Leave empty to disable.
history = ~/.grafcli_history
# Additional verbosity, if needed.
verbose = off
# Answer 'yes' to all overwrite prompts.
force = on

# Directory where all local data will be stored (including backups).
data-dir = ~/.grafcli

# List of remote Grafana hosts.
# The key names do not matter, as long as matching section exists.
# Set the value to off to disable the host.
[hosts] = on

type = elastic
# In case of more hosts, use comma-separated values.
hosts =,
port = 9200
index = grafana-dash
ssl = off
# HTTP user and password, if any.
user =
password =

You can use other backends as well.


type = api
url = http://localhost:3000/api
# Use either user and password or just the token
user =
password =
token =


type = mysql
host =
port = 3306
user = grafana
password =
database = grafana


type = postgresql
host =
port = 5432
user = grafana
password =
database = grafana


type = sqlite
path = /opt/grafana/data/grafana.db


Batch mode

Any command can be passed directly as arguments to grafcli, which will exit just after executing it. If you run it without arguments, you will get to interactive mode (preferable choice in most cases).

Batch mode:

$ grafcli ls remote

Interactive mode:

$ grafcli
[/]> ls remote

Short names

All rows and panels names start with a number and it may seem that typing all that stuff gets boring soon. There are completions available (triggered by the TAB key) to help you with that.

It is enough to provide just the number of the row or panel. So instead of typing:

[/]> cp /templates/dashboards/dashboard/1-Top-Row/1-Top-Panel /remote/example/dashboard/1-Top-Row

You can just do:

[/]> cp /templates/dashboards/dashboard/1/1 /remote/example/dashboard/1

But then again, TAB-completions make it easy enough to type full names.


Some of the common operations.

  • Store dashboard as template (saved to templates/dashboards/main_dashboard):
[/]> template remote/example/main_dashboard
  • Create the exact copy of dashboard's template:
[/templates/dashboards]> cp main_dashboard new_dashboard
  • Update remote dashboard with local template:
[/]> cp templates/dashboards/new_dashboard remote/main_dashboard
  • Move row from one dashboard to another (adds one more row to destination dashboard):
[/templates/dashboards]> cp main_dashboard/1-Top-Row new_dashboard
  • Move row from one dashboard to another and replace existing row:
[/templates/dashboards]> cp main_dashboard/1-Top-Row new_dashboard/2-Some-Existing-Row
  • Copy panel between rows (add one more panel to destination row).
[/templates/dashboards]> cp main_dashboard/1-Top-Row/1-Top-Panel new_dashboard/1-Top-Row
  • Copy panel between rows and replace existing panel.
[/templates/dashboards]> cp main_dashboard/1-Top-Row/1-Top-Panel new_dashboard/1-Top-Row/2-Second-Panel
  • Backup all dashboards.
[/] backup remote/example ~/backup.tgz
  • Restore a backup.
[/] restore ~/backup.tgz remote/example
  • Import dashboard from a file.
[/]> import ~/dashboard.json templates/dashboards/dashboard
  • Export dashboard to a file.
[/]> export templates/dashboards/dashboard ~/dashboard.json


Running tests

Unit tests can be run by:

make unittests

To run integration tests:

make integration

The first run of integration tests can take a bit longer, since images will be built and downloaded.