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Migrating a Grafana configuration database from SQLite to MySQL/MariaDB

In the default installation Grafana is using a SQLite database for its configuration and session data. Certainly, this is working very well in most situations.

Nevertheless I preferred to use my anyhow existing MariaDB server.

So, I had to migrate the already existing SQLite database containing the Grafana configuration to MySQL syntax. Not to difficult, but at least it was not working without some adjustments. I found some hints how to do this migration. However, at least one hint I found more than once pointed to a paid migration service - no, thank you.

I think for text processing using regular expressions Perl is the language of choice. so I prepared a small processing frame:

#!/usr/bin/perl -w
use strict;

while (<>) {

  print "$_\n";

I deployed a dedicated test instance of a MariaDB server using Docker on my laptop, created a database on that MariaDB server

create database grafana;
create user 'grafana'@'%' identified by 'test123';
grant all privileges on grafana.* to 'grafana'@'%';
flush privileges;
and used a small shell script to export the SQLite database into a SQL file, pass it through the above Perl script and feed it into the MariaDB server:



cat | sqlite3 grafana.db && \
cat grafana.sql | ./ > new.sql && \
echo "drop database $DB_NAME; create database $DB_NAME;' |  \
  mysql -h $DB_HOST -u root --password=$DB_ROOT_PASS mysql && \
cat new.sql | mysql -h $DB_HOST -u $DB_USER --password=$DB_PASS --abort-source-on-error -v $DB_NAME

Inspecting the error messages from the import into the MariaDB I extended the Perl script more and more and finally ended up with this code:

#!/usr/bin/perl -w

use strict;

while (<>) {
  s/^PRAGMA .+?;//;
  s/`for` INTEGER/`for` BIGINT/;
  s/`frequency` INTEGER/`frequency` BIGINT/;
  s/`epoch` INTEGER/`epoch` BIGINT/;
  s/`epoch_end` INTEGER/`epoch_end` BIGINT/;
  s/`created` INTEGER/`created` BIGINT/;
  s/`updated` INTEGER/`updated` BIGINT/;
  s/^.+? sqlite_sequence.*$//;
  s/^CREATE INDEX `.+$//;
  print "$_\n";

Maybe on a different installation or using a future version of Grafana you would run into more issues. In that case: just put additional substitutions into the script.

When the whole stuff ran through without errors I backupped the configuration and storage volumes of my Grafana container, created new ones with copies of the old ones. I removed the grafana.db file from the storage volume and modified the grafana.ini in the configuration volume to use the MariaDB server, loaded the transformed SQL into the productive MariaDB server and restarted the Grafana container with the new volumes.

Suprisingly it works immediately.