Docker-Pi – DB and Visualisation

During my docker trials and tribulations, I found two great tools for storing measurement and then displaying them..


It’s not a complex database like MySQL – it’s a simple way of storing time-lapse measurements.  I’ll late use it for storing temperature and humidity measurements, but for now we’ll get it setup and drop in some resource stats from the Pi.

Thankfully, someone’s already compiled Influx for the Raspberry Pi and Docker..

HypriotOS/armv7: pirate@black-pearl in ~
$ docker run -d -p 8083:8083 -p 8086:8086 --expose 8090 --expose 8099 -v /var/docker_data/influxdb:/data --name influxsrv sbiermann/rpi-influxdb

InfluxDB exposes two webports:

  • 8083 – is a web-based UI for basic DB administration and querying
  • 8086 – is a HTTP API for posting/getting data

The default username and password for influx is root/root.

Getting System Stats

It’s useful to know what your Pi is up to and how the resource utilisation looks, especially if you start pushing some heavy scripts or apps to it.  Telegraf has been compiled for the Pi architecture here.  Don’t follow the instructions about creating a dedicated data folder.. let Docker do this for you.

Now- the default rpi-telegraf configuration tries to send data to influx using localhost:8086 – this will fail as we’re not running influx inside the same container.  To fix this we need to do two things..

Firstly – add the ‘–link’ command to the docker run CLI to link the influxdb container to the telegraf container.

  • –link influxsrv:influxsrv – docker will create a DNS entry internally and map the influxsrv hostname to the dynamic IP of the influx container

Secondly – modify the telegraf configuration to point to the right influx hostname. To do this, you’ll need to run telegraf once and then use the docker inspect to find the data directory and edit the telegraf.conf file.

Run telegraf with the link:

HypriotOS/armv7: pirate@black-pearl in /var/docker_data
$ docker run -ti -v /data –link influxsrv:influxsrv –name telegraf apicht/rpi-telegraf

And then kill the process

Find the config config:

As we’ve been creating a dedicated store for our container’s data, you should find the telegraf data in /var/docker_data/telegraf

Edit the telegraf.conf file and the influxdb section:

[[outputs.influxdb]] ## The full HTTP or UDP endpoint URL for your InfluxDB instance.
## Multiple urls can be specified as part of the same cluster,
## this means that only ONE of the urls will be written to each interval.
# urls = [“udp://localhost:8089”] # UDP endpoint example
urls = [“http://influxsrv:8086”] # required
## The target database for metrics (telegraf will create it if not exists).
database = “telegraf” # required

Now telegraf can be run as a daemon container:

HypriotOS/armv7: pirate@black-pearl in ~
$ docker run -d -v /data –link influxsrv:influxsrv –name telegraf apicht/rpi-telegraf

Docker-Pi – Getting Started

Setup Raspberry Pi2 with HypriotOS

This gives us the basic docker platform to start from.. saves the agro of trying to work it all out for ourselves.  The guys over at Hypriot have put together a baseline OS for the ARM/Pi architecture that boots, DHCPs for network and then automatically starts the Docker components.
Download from here, and if you run a mac, follow these instructions.
The default SSH credentials for HypriotOS are pirate (username) / hypriot (password).

Assign static addressing

If you’re like me, you can’t remember half of the distribution variations for setting a static address.. HypriotOS is based on Debian – so the following would work fine: edit /etc/network/interfaces/eth0
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static

Getting Persistance

Docker instances are non-persistant, but for most of the things I want to use them for, I need some consistent storage I can present to them.  Don’t do this if you want your containers to be portable! A better way would be to present some storage via NFS and map that instead.. something a bit less host-centric.

HypriotOS/armv7: pirate@black-pearl in /var/docker_data
$ pwd

Create directories for:

  • dockerui
  • influxdb
  • telegraf
  • grafana

We’ll need these later as we build up our stack of containers..


Docker itself doesn’t have a web-frontend, it’s all CLI driven – but Docker-UI is a container-made app that allows you to see all the images and containers in your docker engine and view the connectivity between them.  Hypriot have pre-compiled the UI for their OS, and you can grab directly from the docker hub and manually run or, or by the power of docker, just run it (without downloading first) and let docker do the hard work:
HypriotOS/armv7: pirate@black-pearl in ~
$ docker run -d -p 9000:9000 -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock -v /var/docker_data/dockerui:/data --name dockerui hypriot/rpi-dockerui
Unable to find image 'hypriot/rpi-dockerui:latest' locally
latest: Pulling from hypriot/rpi-dockerui
f550508d4a51: Pull complete
a3ed95caeb02: Pull complete
Status: Downloaded newer image for hypriot/rpi-dockerui:latest

By trying to run the image without first downloading, you prompt docker into pulling it automatically from the Docker Hub and then starting it.

  • -d – Puts the instance into daemon mode
  • -p 9000:9000 – maps port 9000 on the localhost (the RiPi) to port 9000 on the instance
  • -v – Maps our local storage to a volume/directory in the container (local:container)
  • –name – gives us a recognisable name to reference the container with

Now if you browse to the Pi’s address on port 9000 – you should get the Docker UI:


Pi-Docker Failure

Arrrgh!  Total disappointment this weekend.  I’d spent a few days learning the basics of docker and installed HypriotOS to my RPi2.  I added a temperature/humidity sensor and wrote some scripts that bound a set of containers running pigpiod, influxdb, grafana and a python script to grab the sensor data and push it to influx. I had it all working perfectly and was ready to start playing with Git and trying out some rapid script development when a hasty and ungraceful shutdown lost the lot!
Even though I don’t have any backup (it was early days) – I still have plenty of notes, so I’ll rebuild it this week and post up as I go.