Graph aggregation stacking example

Here we show how to create a stacked graph with data sources from multiple nodes.

Plugin involved

The example uses a plugin that monitors Postfix message throughput.

Let’s first look at its config output:

# munin-run postfix_mailstats config
graph_title Postfix message throughput
graph_args --base 1000 -l 0
graph_vlabel mails / ${graph_period}
graph_scale  no
graph_total  Total
graph_category postfix
graph_period minute
delivered.label delivered
delivered.type DERIVE
delivered.draw AREA
delivered.min 0
r450.label reject 450
r450.type DERIVE
r450.draw STACK
r450.min 0
r454.label reject 454
r454.type DERIVE
r454.draw STACK
r454.min 0
r550.label reject 550
r550.type DERIVE
r550.draw STACK
r550.min 0
r554.label reject 554
r554.type DERIVE
r554.draw STACK
r554.min 0

Extract from munin.conf

The following extract from munin.conf is explained in detail, step by step, below the configuration.

 1 []
 2       address ..
 4 []
 5       address ..
 7 []
 8       address ..
10 []
11       update no
12       contacts none
14 # This graph stacks the number of postfix delivered mails / minute
15 # from the nodes, and
17       total_mailstats.update no
18       total_mailstats.graph_args --base 1000 -l 0
19       total_mailstats.graph_category postfix
20       total_mailstats.graph_period minute
21       total_mailstats.graph_title Postfix delivered messages
22       total_mailstats.graph_vlabel mails / ${graph_period}
23       total_mailstats.graph_scale  no
24       total_mailstats.graph_total  Total
25       total_mailstats.total_delivered.label not_used
26       total_mailstats.total_delivered.type DERIVE
27       total_mailstats.total_delivered.draw AREA
28       total_mailstats.total_delivered.min 0
29       total_mailstats.total_delivered.stack \
30           foo=Infrastruktur; \
31           bar=Infrastruktur; \
32           baz=Infrastruktur;

Explanations, per line

  • 1 - 2: Configuration of Node
  • 4 - 5: Configuration of Node
  • 7 - 8: Configuration of Node
  • 10: Define the name of the virtual node. The name of a node group can optionally be added here, e.g. “[Virtual;]”.
  • 11: Make sure that munin-update does not try to actively gather information for this node.
  • 12: Tell munin-limits not to send alerts if any limit is breached.

The above lines (1 - 12) have now established the fundament for four nodes in the Munin tree; three real nodes delivering data on connect by munin-update and one virtual node for the aggregate graphs.

  • 17: No fetch from node should be done for this virtual plugin (which is named implicitly herewith to “total_mailstats”).
  • 18 - 24: Define the virtual plugin’s config in the same way as set for its ancestor plugin postfix_mailstats (see output in section Plugin involved above). We set a different graph title though, as we graph only field delivered here.
  • 25: The virtual plugin’s field itself will not show up in the graph but only the fields loaned from the real nodes. Therefore this hint that will be shown in the graphs legend.
  • 26: Default type is GAUGE but we have type DERIVE here. So the field’s type has to be declared explicitly.
  • 27: Values should be drawn as AREA and not as LINE for better recognition of small values.
  • 28: Cut off negative values which can arise at arithmetic overflow for data type DERIVE. See manual of rrdgraph
  • 29: This directive is the key that opens the door for loaning data sources from other nodes and plugins. As we choose option stack here, the values of the hereafter referenced data sources will show up stacked on each other in the graph.
  • 30 - 33: Declare the virtual data fields as reference to the original data source in node foo, bar and baz. The string on the left side of the expression will be the name of the data field shown in the graph of this virtual plugin. Hint: If you need to reference a node that is member of a node group, then enter its name with the leading group name like “Group;”.

Result graph

Source graph for


Aggregate graph:


Further reading