Step by Step Install of Graphite with Carbon and StatsD on CentOS 7.1.x

Recently, we started to build our own Graphite StatsD Server. We tried following a couple of step by step guides, but all them were seeming out of date. And we encountered several errors, many of which did not have defined documentation.

We ran this first from a Vagrant VirtualBox, and then on a Virtual Server, both running a fresh install of CentOS 7.1.x.


Step 1 - Verify CentOS

first thing we need to do is to verify that we have the correct version of CentOS. This guide is specifically for CentOS 7.1.x

cat /etc/centos-release  

Step 2 - Install Dependancies

Now we need to install all our system requirements to get everything running.

sudo yum -y update  
sudo yum install -y epel-release  
sudo yum install -y httpd net-snmp perl pycairo mod_wsgi python-devel git gcc-c++  
sudo yum install -y python-pip node npm  

Note: At the time we were running this, the epel-release repo was in the process of being updated and produced and error. We simply needed to wait a few hours for the update to be completed and were able to proceed.

With PIP now installed, we want to install all the Python Libraries including graphite and carbon.

sudo pip install 'django<1.6'  
sudo pip install 'Twisted<12'  
sudo pip install 'django-tagging<0.4'  
sudo pip install pytz  
sudo pip install whisper  
sudo pip install graphite-web  
sudo pip install carbon  

Note: some of the later install scripts will not function with newer versions of some of these libraries, so ensure you have the older ones.

Step 3 - Configuration

The graphite install has several config file examples for us to use, so our first step will be the copy all of those and modify them.

sudo cp /opt/graphite/conf/storage-schemas.conf.example /opt/graphite/conf/storage-schemas.conf  
sudo cp /opt/graphite/conf/storage-aggregation.conf.example /opt/graphite/conf/storage-aggregation.conf  
sudo cp /opt/graphite/conf/graphite.wsgi.example /opt/graphite/conf/graphite.wsgi  
sudo cp /opt/graphite/conf/graphTemplates.conf.example /opt/graphite/conf/graphTemplates.conf  
sudo cp /opt/graphite/conf/carbon.conf.example /opt/graphite/conf/carbon.conf  
sudo cp /opt/graphite/webapp/graphite/ /opt/graphite/webapp/graphite/  

Update Carbon Config

Update Carbon to storage schemas. This will tell your system how to hang on to data for. This is important because data can build up very quickly.

sudo vi /opt/graphite/conf/storage-schemas.conf  


pattern = .*  
retentions = 10s:4h, 1m:3d, 5m:8d, 15m:32d, 1h:1y  

Now we start Carbon

sudo /opt/graphite/bin/ start  

Update Graphite Config

Graphite will override default settings with values you set in a file.

sudo vi /opt/graphite/webapp/graphite/  

Only thing we initially changed in here was the timezone information for our location and the SECRET_KEY value. Once these are in, we can run the Database Setup.

sudo python /opt/graphite/webapp/graphite/ syncdb  

At the point, you should be able to run the Development copy of Graphite off Port 8080. If you want to try this, run sudo /opt/graphite/bin/ /opt/graphite/. However, we will continue forward by setting up Apache to run Graphite for us.

Setup Apache httpd

first, we can copy another example config file.

sudo cp /opt/graphite/examples/example-graphite-vhost.conf /etc/httpd/conf.d/graphite.conf  

We will then need to make few changes to that file depending on the version of Apache httpd that was installed. In our case, 2.4.x was installed, so the default config does not work.

sudo vi /etc/httpd/conf.d/graphite.conf  

and modify the bottom Directory directives to read as follows.

<Directory /opt/graphite/conf/>  
        Require all granted
<Directory /opt/graphite/webapp/>  
        Require all granted
<Directory /opt/graphite/webapp/content/>  
        Require all granted

This will give httpd the correct permissions to run in those directories.

Next we need some log files for the system.

sudo chown apache:apache /opt/graphite/storage/log/webapp/  
touch /opt/graphite/storage/log/webapp/error.log  
sudo chown apache:apache /opt/graphite/storage/log/webapp/error.log  
touch /opt/graphite/storage/log/webapp/access.log  
sudo chown apache:apache /opt/graphite/storage/log/webapp/access.log  

Httpd also needs some additional permissions

sudo chown apache:apache /opt/graphite/storage/graphite.db  

We are now ready to enabled and start httpd

sudo systemctl enable httpd  
sudo systemctl start httpd  

You should at this point have a working graphite application running on the server name at port 80. However, you do not have much data at this point. Only some system data from Carbon itself. Next we'll install and run StatsD.

Install StatsD

This is the easy part. StatsD as provided by Etsy is an open source project, and easy to install and run. We can use GIT (which we install above) to download the latest copy.

sudo git clone /usr/local/src/statsd/  
cd /usr/local/src/statsd/  
sudo npm install  

Next we'll configure for local.

sudo cp exampleConfig.js config.js  
sudo vi config.js  

and insert the following

  graphitePort: 2003, 
  graphiteHost: "localhost",
  port: 8125,
  backends: [ "./backends/graphite" ]

Lastly, we will install forever globally to run statsD as service on the system.

sudo npm install -g forever  
sudo npm install -g forever-service  
sudo forever-service install statsd -s stats.js -o " config.js"  
sudo service statsd start  

Now you should have StatsD listening on UDP:8125 (as per the config we set) and ready to accept data. You can refer to The Power of Statistics post to learn more on how to do that.


After 24 hours of running, system is stable. However, we are still working out issues with Django Serving static assets. Once we have this worked out, I'll have another post here.