Create users and teams

Grafana Labs Team
By Grafana Labs Team

Last update on July 25, 2022

Beginner

Introduction

This tutorial is for admins or anyone that wants to learn how to manage users in Grafana. You’ll add multiple local users, organize them into teams, and make sure they’re only able to access the resources they need.

Scenario

Graphona, a fictional telemarketing company, has asked you to configure Grafana for their teams.

In this scenario, you’ll:

  • Create users and organize them into teams.
  • Manage resource access for each user and team through roles and folders.

Prerequisites

  • Grafana 7.0 or newer, this tutorial was tested with Grafana 8.5.
  • A user with the Admin or Server Admin role.

Add users

In Grafana, all users are granted an organization role that determines what resources they can access.

There are three types of organization roles in Grafana. The Grafana Admin is a global role, the default admin user has this role.

  • Grafana Admin - Manage organizations, users, and view server-wide settings.
  • Organization Administrator - Manage data sources, teams, and users within an organization.
  • Editor - Create and edit dashboards.
  • Viewer - View dashboards.

Note: You can also configure Grafana to allow anonymous access, to make dashboards available even to those who don’t have a Grafana user account. That’s how Grafana Labs made https://play.grafana.org publicly available.

Exercise

Graphona has asked you to add a group of early adopters that work in the Marketing and Engineering teams. They’ll need to be able to edit their own team’s dashboards, but want to have view access to dashboards that belong to the other team.

NameEmailUsername
Almaz Russomalmaz.russom@example.comalmaz.russom
Brenda Tilmanbrenda.tilman@example.combrenda.tilman
Mada Rawdha Tahanmada.rawdha.tahan@example.commada.rawdha.tahan
Yuan Yangyuan.yang@example.comyuan.yang

Add users

Repeat the following steps for each of the employees in the table above to create the new user accounts:

  1. Log in as a user that has the Server Admin role.
  2. On the sidebar, click the Server Admin (shield) icon.
  3. Choose Users from the menu drop-down, then click New User.
  4. Enter the Name, Email, Username, and Password from the table above.
  5. Click the Create User button to create the account.

When you create a user they are granted the Viewer role by default, which means that they won’t be able to make any changes to any of the resources in Grafana. That’s ok for now, you’ll grant more user permissions by adding users to teams in the next step.

Assign users to teams

Teams let you grant permissions to a group of users, instead of granting permissions to individual users one at a time.

Teams are useful when onboarding new colleagues. When you add a user to a team, they get access to all resources assigned to that team.

Exercise

In this step, you’ll create two teams and assign users to them.

UsernameTeam
brenda.tilmanMarketing
mada.rawdha.tahanMarketing
almaz.russomEngineering
yuan.yangEngineering

Create a team

Create the Marketing and Engineering teams.

  1. In the sidebar, hover your mouse over the Configuration (gear) icon and then click Teams.
  2. Click New team.
  3. In Name, enter the name of the team: either Marketing or Engineering. You do not need to enter an email.
  4. Click Create.
  5. Click on the Teams link at the top of the page to return to teams page and create the second team.

Add a user to a team

Repeat these steps for each user to assign them to their team. Refer to the table above for team assignments.

  1. Click the team name Marketing or Engineering to add members to that team.
  2. Click Add member.
  3. In the Add team member box, click the drop-down arrow to choose the user you want to add to the team .
  4. Click Add to team.

When you’re done, you’ll have two teams with two users assigned to each.

Manage resource access with folders

It’s a good practice to use folders to organize collections of related dashboards. You can assign permissions at the folder level to individual users or teams.

Exercise

The Marketing team is going to use Grafana for analytics, while the Engineering team wants to monitor the application they’re building.

You’ll create two folders, Analytics and Application, where each team can add their own dashboards. The teams still want to be able to view each other’s dashboards.

FolderTeamPermissions
AnalyticsMarketingEdit
EngineeringView
ApplicationMarketingView
EngineeringEdit

Repeat the following steps for each folder. You’ll move through all three steps for each folder before moving on to the next one.

Add a folder for each team

  1. In the sidebar, hover your cursor over the Dashboards (four squares) icon and then click Browse.
  2. To create a folder, click New Folder.
  3. In Name, enter the folder name.
  4. Click Create.
  5. Stay in the folder view and move on to the next sections to edit permissions for this folder.

Remove the viewer role from folder permissions

By default, when you create a folder, all users with the Viewer role are granted permission to view the folder.

In this example, Graphona wants to explicitly grant teams access to folders. To support this, you need to remove the Viewer role from the list of permissions:

  1. Go to the Permissions tab.
  2. Remove the Viewer role from the list, by clicking the red button on the right.
  3. Stay in the permissions tab and move on to the next section to grant folder permissions for each team.

Grant folder permissions to a team:

  1. Click Add Permission.
  2. In the Add Permission For dialog, make sure “Team” is selected in the first box.
  3. In the second box, select the team to grant access to.
  4. In the third box, select the access you want to grant.
  5. Click Save.
  6. Repeat for the other team.
  7. Click the Dashboards link at the top of the page to return to the dashboard list.

When you’re finished, you’ll have two empty folders, the contents of which can only be viewed by members of the Marketing or Engineering teams. Only Marketing team members can edit the contents of the Analytics folder, only Engineering team members can edit the contents of the Application folder.

Define granular permissions

By using folders and teams, you avoid having to manage permissions for individual users.

However, there are times when you need to configure permissions on a more granular level. For these cases, Grafana allows you to override permissions for specific dashboards.

Exercise

Graphona has hired a consultant to assist the Marketing team. The consultant should only be able to access the SEO dashboard in the Analytics folder.

NameEmailUsername
Luc Massonluc.masson@exampleconsulting.comluc.masson

Add a new user

  1. In the sidebar, click the Server Admin (shield) icon.
  2. In the Users tab, click New user.
  3. In Name, enter the name of the user.
  4. In E-mail, enter the email of the user.
  5. In Username, enter the username that the user will use to log in.
  6. In Password, enter a password. The user can change their password once they log in.
  7. Click Create user to create the user account.

Create a dashboard

  1. In the sidebar, click the Create (plus) icon to create a new dashboard.
  2. In the top right corner, click the cog icon to go to Dashboard settings.
  3. In Name, enter SEO.
  4. Click Save Dashboard.
  5. In the Save dashboard as… pop-up, choose the Analytics folder from the drop-down and click Save.

Grant a user permission to view dashboard

  1. In the top right corner of your dashboard, click the cog icon to go to Dashboard settings.
  2. Go to the Permissions tab, and click Add Permission.
  3. In the Add Permission For dialog, select User in the first box.
  4. In the second box, select the user to grant access to: Luc Masson.
  5. In the third box, select View.
  6. Click Save.
  7. Click Save dashboard.
  8. Add a note about giving Luc Masson Viewer permission for the dashboard and then click Save.

You’ve created a new user and given them unique permissions to view a single dashboard within a folder.

Check your work

You can repeat these steps to log in as the other users you’ve created see the differences in the viewer and editor roles.

For this example, you can log in as the user luc.masson to see that they can only access the SEO dashboard.

  1. Click the profile (avatar) button in the bottom left corner, choose Sign out.
  2. Enter luc.masson as the username.
  3. Enter the password you created for Luc.
  4. Click Log in.
  5. In the sidebar, hover your cursor over the Dashboards (four squares) icon and then click Browse.
  6. You’ll notice that you won’t see the Analytics folder in the folder view because we did not give Luc folder permission.
  7. Click on the list icon (3 lines) to see the dashboard list.
  8. Click on the SEO dashboard, there shouldn’t be any editing permissions since we assigned Luc the viewer role.

Summary

In this tutorial, you’ve configured Grafana for an organization:

  • You added users to your organization.
  • You created teams to manage permissions for groups of users.
  • You configured permissions for folders and dashboard.

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