Plugins 〉SQLite

Data Source


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Grafana SQLite Datasource

License stability-stable CI

This is a Grafana backend plugin to allow using an SQLite database as a data source. The SQLite database needs to be accessible to the filesystem of the device where Grafana itself is running.

Plugin Installation

The most up to date (but also most generic) information can always be found here: Grafana Website - Plugin Installation

Recommended: Installing the Official and Released Plugin on an Existing Grafana With the CLI

Grafana comes with a command line tool that can be used to install plugins.

  1. Run this command: grafana-cli plugins install frser-sqlite-datasource
  2. Restart the Grafana server.
  3. To make sure the plugin was installed, check the list of installed data sources. Click the Plugins item in the main menu. Both core data sources and installed data sources will appear.

Latest Version: Installing the newest Plugin Version on an Existing Grafana With the CLI

The grafana-cli can also install plugins from a non-standard URL. This way even plugin versions, that are not (yet) released to the official Grafana repository can be installed.

  1. Run this command:

    # replace the $VERSION part in the URL below with the desired version (e.g. 2.0.2)
    grafana-cli --pluginUrl$VERSION/frser-sqlite-datasource-$ plugins install frser-sqlite-datasource
  2. See the recommended installation above (from the restart step)

Manual: Installing the Plugin Manually on an Existing Grafana

In case the grafana-cli does not work for whatever reason plugins can also be installed manually.

  1. Get the zip file from Latest release on Github

  2. Extract the zip file into the data/plugins subdirectory for Grafana: unzip <the_download_zip_file> -d <plugin_dir>/

    Finding the plugin directory can sometimes be a challenge as this is platform and settings dependent. A common location for this on Linux devices is /var/lib/grafana/plugins/

  3. See the recommended installation above (from the restart step)

Configuring the Datasource in Grafana

The only required configuration is the path to the SQLite database (local path on the Grafana Server).

  1. Add an SQLite datasource.
  2. Set the path to the database (the grafana process needs to find the SQLite database under this path).
  3. Save the datasource and use it.

Support for Time Formatted Columns

SQLite has no native "time" format. It relies on strings and numbers for time and dates. Since especially for time series Grafana expects an actual time type, however, the plugin provides a way to infer a real timestamp. This can be set in the query editor by providing the name of the column, which should be reformatted to a timestamp.

The plugin supports two different inputs that can be converted to a "time" depending on the type of the value in the column, that should be formatted as "time":

  1. A number input: It is assumed to be a unix timestamp / unix epoch. This represents time in the number of seconds (make sure your timestamp is not in milliseconds). More information is here:

  2. A string input: The value is expected to be formatted in accordance with RFC3339, e.g. "2006-01-02T15:04:05Z07:00". Edge cases might occur and the parsing library used is the source of truth here:

Timestamps stored as unix epoch should work out of the box, but the string formatting might require adjusting your current format. The below example shows how to convert a "date" column to a parsable timestamp:

WITH converted AS (
   -- a row looks like this (value, date): 1.45, '2020-12-12'
   SELECT value,  date || 'T00:00:00Z' AS datetime FROM raw_table
SELECT datetime, value FROM converted ORDER BY datetime ASC


This plugins supports macros inspired by the built-in Grafana data sources (e.g.

However, as each macro needs to be re-implemented from scratch, only the following macros are supported. Other macros (that you might expect from other SQL databases) are not supported by the plugin (yet).

$__unixEpochGroupSeconds(unixEpochColumnName, intervalInSeconds)

Example: $__unixEpochGroupSeconds("time", 10)

Will be replaced by an expression usable in GROUP BY clause. For example: cast(("time" / 10) as int) * 10

$__unixEpochGroupSeconds(unixEpochColumnName, intervalInSeconds, NULL)

Example: $__unixEpochGroupSeconds(timestamp, 10, NULL)

This is the same as the above example but with a fill parameter so missing points in that series will be added for Grafana and NULL will be used as value.

In case multiple time columns are provided the first one is chosen as the column to determine the gap filling. "First" in this context means first in the SELECT statement. This column needs to have no NULL values and must be sorted in ascending order.


The plugins supports the Grafana alerting feature. Similar to the built in data sources alerting does not support variables as they are normally replaced in the frontend, which is not involved for the alerts. In order to allow time filtering this plugin supports the variables $__from and $__to. For more information about those variables see here: Formatting of those variables (e.g. ${__from:date:iso}) is not supported for alerts, however.

Common Problems / FAQ

The following section describes common issues encountered while using the plugin.

I have a "file not found" error for my database

The first choice should be to make sure, that the path is correct. It is also good practice to use absolute paths (e.g. /app/state/data.db) instead of relative paths (state/data.db).

In case the path is correct but the database is in the /var directory on a linux system there might also be a systemd issue. This is typically observed with Grafana versions starting with v8.2.0. When Grafana is run via systemd (the typical default installation on Linux systems) the /var directory is not available to Grafana (and therefore also not to the plugin).

In order to change this behavior you need to do the following:

# edit (override) the grafana systemd configuration
systemctl edit grafana-server

add the following lines

[Service] PrivateTmp=false

reload the systemd config and restart the app

systemctl daemon-reload systemctl restart grafana-server

I have a "permission denied" error for my database

Make sure, that you have access to the file and all the folders in the path of the file. Read access is enough for the plugin.

In case the permissions are correct but database is in the /home directory on a linux system there might also be a systemd issue. This is typically observed with Grafana versions starting with v8.2.0. When Grafana is run via systemd (the typical default installation on Linux systems) the /home directory is not available to Grafana (and therefore also not to the plugin).

In order to change this behavior you need to do the following:

# edit (override) the grafana systemd configuration
systemctl edit grafana-server

add the following lines

[Service] ProtectHome=false

reload the systemd config and restart the app

systemctl daemon-reload systemctl restart grafana-server

Development and Contributing

Any contribution is welcome. Some information regarding the local setup can be found in the file.

Supporting the Project

This project was developed for free as an open source project. And it will stay that way.

If you like using this plugin, however, and would like to support the development go check out the Github sponsorship page. This allows sponsoring the project with monthly or one-time contributions.

Installing SQLite on Grafana Cloud:

For more information, visit the docs on plugin installation.


All notable changes to this project will be documented in this file.

The format is based on Keep a Changelog


This release should show no feature changes. Some underlying packages have been updated, which should improve stability and security but not have any other noticeable impact.


  • Fixed some typos in the readme
  • Removed the upper Grafana version constraint for the plugin
  • Update grafana plugin sdk for the backend
  • Updated grafana buildkit and test tool versions for the frontend


This release moved to a new underlying SQLite library: This should have no big changes to regular queries but can have effects on more subtle configurations (e.g. path options). Fore more information see the Changed section below.

This library has no dependency on CGO, which allows much easier cross-compilation for other systems. This way the plugin has a much simpler build process now and also supports more platforms (see information below under Added)


  • Added new platforms to the release: Darwin (MacOS) for ARM (Apple Silicon) and FreeBSD for AMD64


  • Changed the underlying SQLite library to: While the general SQLite features and especially queries should remain unchanged by this, path options need to be checked for compatibility with the new library now. Please refer to the link above for more information on the options.


  • No separate release is created anymore for ARM v7. ARM v6 should suffice for all devices. If that is not the case for your device, please open a new issue.




The plugin now supports adding a Path Prefix and Options to the SQLite connection string.



  • slightly changed the Plugin Health Check (when adding the data source) to provide better error messages.
  • conversion errors during a query are now logged at DEBUG level to avoid too large log files.


This release adds support for sub second precision for unix time.


  • When using numeric values for a timestamp in SQLite (unix timestamp) the plugin now supports precision below the second (at nanosecond precision)


This release adds the JSON extension to the compiled SQLite code.


  • JSON extension for SQLite


This release adds testing against Grafana v8.1.0 and fixes an issue with query variables.


  • Query variables can now also be used in Grafana v8.X.X


This release fixes some long standing issues that prevented the right use of the alerting feature of the plugin even though it was enabled already.


  • Using the $__from and $__to variables for alerting
  • Fixing a caching bug for the query (for alerting)


All current Raspberry Pi Zero and 1 models have an ARMv6 architecture. All other models (2 Mod. B v1.2, 3 and 4) have an 64Bit ARMv8 architecture. As only the Raspberry Pi 2 Mod. B has an ARMv7 architecture this is not used as default anymore. The Raspberry Pi 2 Mod. B will require a manual installation and all others will be handled via the Grafana CLI.


  • Using ARMv6 instead of ARMv7 as 32Bit ARM default



  • More debug level logging from the plugin


  • The type inference of columns in the backend is now ignoring the letter casing



  • The response of the plugin includes the final query as metadata and can be checked in the inspector now
  • Macro unixEpochGroupSeconds:
    • replace time columns with an expression to group by
    • Allow filling up missing values with NULL


  • return additional time formatted column for time-series formats as normal values (previously they were skipped)



  • Experimental support for MacOS (no static linking)



  • Showing better error messages for certain fail conditions of the plugin health check (e.g. permission error)



  • Fixed bug preventing using query variables when SQLite is the default datasource (<= Grafana 7.4)



  • Enabled the alerting feature for the plugin (no code change)


No breaking change was introduced but due to code stability the first major version is released.


  • variables like $__interval and $__interval_ms are supported now



  • Changing plugin name to SQLite

  • added category to plugin.json for better grouping on the Grafana homepage

  • updated Readme after first official release of plugin on Grafana homepage



  • Documentation about the time conversion in the README and in the query editor help text.



  • Correct handling of "NUMERIC" columns with mixed data (e.g. float and integer)



  • Added option to explicitly convert backend data frame to time series:

    • This requires the initial data frame to be in a Long Format

    • The resulting time series consists of one data frame per metric



  • Releasing arm6 (RaspberryPi Zero) as separate distribution (Github only)


  • Renamed the arm7 executable to arm (newer Raspberry Models should run fine now)



  • Different content of zip file published with Github release according to new Grafana v7.3 standards



  • Query variables are now supported



  • The plugin is now signed


  • For Signing grafana-toolkit 7.3.3 was necessary. The grafana version to test against was bumped to version 7.3.3



  • Fixed: Handling of NULL values in queries is now correct


First "working" version


  • Fixed: Plugin files in the zip file are now executable