Grafana Cloud Enterprise Open source

State timeline

A state timeline visualization displays data in a way that shows state changes over time. In a state timeline, the data is presented as a series of bars or bands called state regions. State regions can be rendered with or without values, and the region length indicates the duration or frequency of a state within a given time range.

For example, if you’re monitoring the CPU usage of a server, you can use a state timeline to visualize the different states, such as “LOW,” “NORMAL,” “HIGH,” or “CRITICAL,” over time. Each state is represented by a different color and the lengths represent the duration of time that the server remained in that state:

A state timeline visualization showing CPU usage

The state timeline visualization is useful when you need to monitor and analyze changes in states or statuses of various entities over time. You can use one when you need to:

  • Monitor the status of a server, application, or service to know when your infrastructure is experiencing issues over time.
  • Identify operational trends over time.
  • Spot any recurring issues with the health of your applications.

Configure a state timeline

Give it a try using Grafana Play

With Grafana Play, you can explore and see how it works, learning from practical examples to accelerate your development. This feature can be seen on Grafana State Timeline & Status History.

Supported data formats

The state timeline visualization works best if you have data capturing the various states of entities over time, formatted as a table. The data must include:

  • Timestamps - Indicate when each state change occurred. This could also be the start time for the state change. You can also add an optional timestamp to indicate the end time for the state change.
  • Entity name/identifier - Represents the name of the entity you’re trying to monitor.
  • State value - Represents the state value of the entity you’re monitoring. These can be string, numerical, or boolean states.

Each state ends when the next state begins or when there is a null value.


The following tables are examples of the type of data you need for a state timeline visualization and how it should be formatted.

Single time column with null values

TimestampsServer AServer B
2024-02-29 8:00:00UpUp
2024-02-29 8:15:00nullUp
2024-02-29 8:30:00Downnull
2024-02-29 8:45:00Up
2024-02-29 9:00:00Up
2024-02-29 9:15:00UpDown
2024-02-29 9:30:00UpDown
2024-02-29 10:00:00DownDown
2024-02-29 10:30:00WarningDown

The data is converted as follows, with the null and empty values visualized as gaps in the state timeline:

A state timeline visualization with null values showing the status of two servers

Two time columns without null values

Start timeEnd timeServer AServer B
2024-02-29 8:00:002024-02-29 8:15:00UpUp
2024-02-29 8:15:002024-02-29 8:30:00UpUp
2024-02-29 8:45:002024-02-29 9:00:00DownUp
2024-02-29 9:00:002024-02-29 9:15:00DownUp
2024-02-29 9:30:002024-02-29 10:00:00DownDown
2024-02-29 10:00:002024-02-29 10:30:00WarningDown

The data is converted as follows:

A state timeline visualization with two time columns showing the status of two servers

If your query results aren’t in a table format like the preceding examples, especially for time-series data, you can apply specific transformations to achieve this.

Panel options

In the Panel options section of the panel editor pane, you set basic options like the panel title and description. You can also configure repeating panels in this section. To learn more, refer to Configure panel options.

State timeline options

Use these options to refine the visualization.

Merge equal consecutive values

Controls whether Grafana merges identical values if they are next to each other.

Show values

Controls whether values are rendered inside the state regions. Auto will render values if there is sufficient space.

Align values

Controls value alignment inside state regions.

Row height

Controls how much space between rows there are. 1 = no space = 0.5 = 50% space.

Line width

Controls line width of state regions.

Fill opacity

Controls the opacity of state regions.

Connect null values

Choose how null values, which are gaps in the data, appear on the graph. Null values can be connected to form a continuous line or set to a threshold above which gaps in the data are no longer connected.

  • Never: Time series data points with gaps in the data are never connected.
  • Always: Time series data points with gaps in the data are always connected.
  • Threshold: Specify a threshold above which gaps in the data are no longer connected. This can be useful when the connected gaps in the data are of a known size and/or within a known range, and gaps outside this range should no longer be connected.

Disconnect values

Choose whether to set a threshold above which values in the data should be disconnected.

  • Never: Time series data points in the data are never disconnected.
  • Threshold: Specify a threshold above which values in the data are disconnected. This can be useful when desired values in the data are of a known size and/or within a known range, and values outside this range should no longer be connected.

Time series data with thresholds

The visualization can be used with time series data as well. In this case, the thresholds are used to turn the time series into discrete colored state regions.

state timeline with time series
state timeline with time series

Standard options

Standard options in the panel editor pane let you change how field data is displayed in your visualizations. When you set a standard option, the change is applied to all fields or series. For more granular control over the display of fields, refer to Configure overrides.

You can customize the following standard options:

UnitChoose which unit a field should use.
Min/MaxSet the minimum and maximum values used in percentage threshold calculations or leave these field empty for them to be calculated automatically.
Field min/maxEnable Field min/max to have Grafana calculate the min or max of each field individually, based on the minimum or maximum value of the field.
DecimalsSpecify the number of decimals Grafana includes in the rendered value.
Display nameSet the display title of all fields. You can use variables in the field title.
Color schemeSet single or multiple colors for your entire visualization.
No valueEnter what Grafana should display if the field value is empty or null. The default value is a hyphen (-).

To learn more, refer to Configure standard options.

Legend options

When the legend option is enabled it can show either the value mappings or the threshold brackets. To show the value mappings in the legend, it’s important that the Color scheme as referenced in Color scheme is set to Single color or Classic palette. To see the threshold brackets in the legend set the Color scheme to From thresholds.

For more information about the legend, refer to Configure a legend.


Toggle the switch to turn the legend on or off.


Use these settings to define how the legend appears in your visualization.

  • List - Displays the legend as a list. This is a default display mode of the legend.
  • Table - Displays the legend as a table.


Choose where to display the legend.

  • Bottom - Below the graph.
  • Right - To the right of the graph.


Control how wide the legend is when placed on the right side of the visualization. This option is only displayed if you set the legend placement to Right.

Tooltip options

Tooltip options control the information overlay that appears when you hover over data points in the visualization.

Tooltip mode

When you hover your cursor over the visualization, Grafana can display tooltips. Choose how tooltips behave.

  • Single - The hover tooltip shows only a single series, the one that you are hovering over on the visualization.
  • All - The hover tooltip shows all series in the visualization. Grafana highlights the series that you are hovering over in bold in the series list in the tooltip.
  • Hidden - Do not display the tooltip when you interact with the visualization.

Use an override to hide individual series from the tooltip.

Values sort order

When you set the Tooltip mode to All, the Values sort order option is displayed. This option controls the order in which values are listed in a tooltip. Choose from the following:

  • None - Grafana automatically sorts the values displayed in a tooltip.
  • Ascending - Values in the tooltip are listed from smallest to largest.
  • Descending - Values in the tooltip are listed from largest to smallest.

Max width

Set the maximum width of the tooltip box.

Max height

Set the maximum height of the tooltip box. The default is 600 pixels.

Data links allow you to link to other panels, dashboards, and external resources while maintaining the context of the source panel. You can create links that include the series name or even the value under the cursor.

For each data link, set the following options:

  • Title
  • URL
  • Open in new tab

To learn more, refer to Configure data links.

Value mappings

Value mapping is a technique you can use to change how data appears in a visualization.

For each value mapping, set the following options:

  • Condition - Choose what’s mapped to the display text and (optionally) color:
    • Value - Specific values
    • Range - Numerical ranges
    • Regex - Regular expressions
    • Special - Special values like Null, NaN (not a number), or boolean values like true and false
  • Display text
  • Color (Optional)
  • Icon (Canvas only)

To learn more, refer to Configure value mappings.

Value mappings side editor
Value mappings side editor


A threshold is a value or limit you set for a metric that’s reflected visually when it’s met or exceeded. Thresholds are one way you can conditionally style and color your visualizations based on query results.

Set the following options:

  • Value - Set the value for each threshold.
  • Thresholds mode - Choose from:
    • Absolute
    • Percentage

To learn more, refer to Configure thresholds.

Field overrides

Overrides allow you to customize visualization settings for specific fields or series. When you add an override rule, it targets a particular set of fields and lets you define multiple options for how that field is displayed.

Choose from one the following override options:

Fields with nameSelect a field from the list of all available fields.
Field with name matching regexSpecify fields to override with a regular expression.
Fields with typeSelect fields by type, such as string, numeric, or time.
Fields returned by querySelect all fields returned by a specific query, such as A, B, or C.
Fields with valuesSelect all fields returned by your defined reducer condition, such as Min, Max, Count, Total.

To learn more, refer to Configure field overrides.