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Step 7. Netdata's dashboard in depth

Welcome to the seventh step of the Netdata guide!

This step of the guide aims to get you more familiar with the features of the dashboard not previously mentioned in step 2.

What you'll learn in this step

In this step of the Netdata guide, you'll learn how to:

Let's get started!

Change the dashboard's settings

The settings area at the top of your Netdata dashboard houses browser settings. These settings do not affect the operation of your Netdata server/daemon. They take effect immediately and are permanently saved to browser local storage (except the refresh on focus / always option).

You can see the Performance, Synchronization, Visual, and Locale tabs on the dashboard settings modal.

Animated GIF of opening the settings

To change any setting, click on the toggle button. We recommend you spend some time reading the descriptions for each setting to understand them before making changes.

Pay particular attention to the following settings, as they have dramatic impacts on the performance and appearance of your Netdata dashboard:

  • When to refresh the charts?
  • How to handle hidden charts?
  • Which chart refresh policy to use?
  • Which theme to use?
  • Do you need help?

Some settings are applied immediately, and others are only reflected after you refresh the page.

Check if there's an update to Netdata

You can always check if there is an update available from the Update area of your Netdata dashboard.

Opening the Agent's Update modal

If an update is available, you'll see a modal similar to the one above.

When you use the automatic one-line installer script attempt to update every day. If you choose to update it manually, there are several well-documented methods to achieve that. However, it is best practice for you to first go over the changelog.

Export and import a snapshot

Netdata can export and import snapshots of the contents of your dashboard at a given time. Any Netdata agent can import a snapshot created by any other Netdata agent.

Snapshot files include all the information of the dashboard, including the URL of the origin server, its unique ID, and chart data queries for the visible timeframe. While snapshots are not in real-time, and thus won't update with new metrics, you can still pan, zoom, and highlight charts as you see fit.

Snapshots can be incredibly useful for diagnosing anomalies after they've already happened. Let's say Netdata triggered an alarm while you were sleeping. In the morning, you can look up the exact moment the alarm was raised, export a snapshot, and send it to a colleague for further analysis.

❗ Know how you shouldn't go around downloading software from suspicious-looking websites? Same policy goes for loading snapshots from untrusted or anonymous sources. Importing a snapshot loads quite a bit of data into your web browser, and so you should always err on the side of protecting your system.

To export a snapshot, click on the export icon.

Animated GIF of opening the export

Edit the snapshot file name and select your desired compression method. Click on Export.

When the export is complete, your browser will prompt you to save the .snapshot file to your machine. You can now share this file with any other Netdata user via email, Slack, or even to help describe your Netdata experience when filing an issue on GitHub.

To import a snapshot, click on the import icon.

Animated GIF of opening the import

Select the Netdata snapshot file to import. Once the file is loaded, the dashboard will update with critical information about the snapshot and the system from which it was taken. Click import to render it.

Your Netdata dashboard will load data contained in the snapshot into charts. Because the snapshot only covers a certain period, it won't update with new metrics.

An imported snapshot is also temporary. If you reload your browser tab, Netdata will remove the snapshot data and restore your real-time dashboard for your machine.

What's next?

In this step of the Netdata guide, you learned how to:

  • Change the dashboard's settings
  • Check if there's an update to Netdata
  • Export or import a snapshot

Next, you'll learn how to build your first custom dashboard!

Next: Build your first custom dashboard

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