Dockerize Grafana And Deploy It on A Raspberry Pi Using AWS IoT Greengrass

Photo by Ian Taylor on Unsplash
  1. Set up your Raspberry Pi + Docker installation
  2. Install and Configure AWS IoT Greengrass Core Software on your Pi
  3. Prepare a Docker Image with Grafana and upload it to S3
  4. Write a Greengrass recipe and deploy the Docker image via Greengrass on your device
  5. Getting component insights using the LocalDebugConsole

#1: Set up your Raspberry Pi + Docker installation

If you’re starting from scratch you first need to flash your Pi with a decent Linux Distro i.e. Raspberry Pi OS. A good installation tutorial can be found here [5]. After the system has booted up successfully follow the next steps to get Docker up and running:

$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
$ curl -sSL | sh
$ sudo usermod -aG docker ${USER}
$ groups ${USER}
pi : pi adm dialout cdrom sudo audio video plugdev games users input netdev spi i2c gpio lpadmin docker
$ sudo systemctl enable docker
$ sudo apt-get install libffi-dev libssl-dev
$ sudo apt install python3-dev
$ sudo apt-get install -y python3 python3-pip
$ sudo pip3 install docker-compose
$ docker — version
Docker version 20.10.7, build f0df350
$ docker run hello-world
Hello from Docker!
This message shows that your installation appears to be working correctly.....

#2: Install and Configure AWS IoT Greengrass Core Software on your Pi

After setting up the Pi and having installed Docker you now have to install the so-called Greengrass IoT Core Software [2]. The Greengrass Core Software kind of acts as a man-in-the-middle between your IoT device and the AWS cloud. It handles the connections (reconnections in case of dropdowns) towards the cloud securely and supports you with new functionality such as deploying services as Lambda functions or installing and running Docker containers on your device. To install the Greengrass IoT Core Software the following steps are needed:

$ sudo apt install default-jdk
$ java -version
openjdk version “11.0.11” 2021–04–20
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build 11.0.11+9-post-Raspbian-1deb10u1)
OpenJDK Server VM (build 11.0.11+9-post-Raspbian-1deb10u1, mixed mode)
$ cd ~
$ curl -s $ >
$ unzip -d GreengrassCore && rm
$ sudo -E java -Droot=”/greengrass/v2" \
-jar ./GreengrassCore/lib/Greengrass.jar \
— aws-region eu-central-1 \
— thing-name MyGreengrassCore \
— thing-group-name MyGreengrassCoreGroup \
— tes-role-name GreengrassV2TokenExchangeRole \
— tes-role-alias-name GreengrassCoreTokenExchangeRoleAlias \
— component-default-user ggc_user:ggc_group \
— provision true \
— setup-system-service true \
— deploy-dev-tools true
  • Install of the nucleus component on your Pi
  • Register your device as an IoT Thing and download the certificate which allows your device to communicate securely with the AWS cloud.
  • Add your device’s AWS IoT Thing to a thing group. Groups can be used to manage a fleet of Greengrass core devices. It makes the handling of multiple devices much easier. I.e. you can request to install and run a Docker container directly to hundreds of devices instead of picking one by one.
  • Creation of an IAM role that allows the Greengrass core device to interact with AWS services — by default permission is only granted to the Amazon Cloudwatch Logs and AWS IoT.
  • By setting the option — deploy-dev-tools true the AWS IoT Greengrass command-line interface (greengrass-cli [3]) gets installed. This CLI is helpful for local development but should never be deployed on a production system.
The Greengrass core device status shows you if your device is ready to rumble ;-)

#3: Prepare a Docker Image with Grafana and upload it to S3

As an example, let’s assume you want to install Grafana [9] on your Pi via Greengrass. The following command lines are showing you how to create a docker image for Grafana. For readers who want to understand each and single line please have a detailed look at the following tutorial [6].

# Create all necessary directoriesmkdir -p $HOME/docker/grafana/data 
mkdir -p $HOME/docker/grafana/provisioning
mkdir -p $HOME/docker/compose-files/grafana
# Extract grafana default configuration file
cd $HOME/docker/grafana
docker run — rm — entrypoint /bin/bash grafana/grafana:latest -c ‘cat $GF_PATHS_CONFIG’ > grafana.ini
# Set grafana directory to the default Grafana user ID
chown 472:472 $HOME/docker/grafana/data
# Create a .env file with the Grafana credentials
# $HOME/docker/compose-files/grafana/.env GF_SECURITY_ADMIN_USER=admin GF_SECURITY_ADMIN_PASSWORD=initialpassword
version: "3.3" 
image: grafana/grafana:latest
container_name: grafana
restart: always
— "3000:3000" # expose for localhost
— $HOME/docker/grafana/data:/var/lib/grafana # data path
— $HOME/docker/grafana/grafana.ini:/etc/grafana/grafana.ini
— $HOME/docker/grafana/provisioning:/etc/grafana/provisioning
— GF_INSTALL_PLUGINS=grafana-clock-panel,grafana-simple-json-datasource
cd $HOME/docker/compose-files/grafana 
docker-compose up -d
  • Amazon Elastic Container Registry (Amazon ECR)
  • S3 bucket
  • Public Docker Hub repository and Public Docker Trusted Registry
docker save grafana/grafana:latest > grafana.tar
"Version": "2012–10–17",
"Statement”: [
"Action": [
"Resource": [
"Effect": "Allow"

#4: Write your Greengrass recipe and deploy the docker image on your Pi

Deploying Greengrass components can be either done via the AWS Management Console or via the AWS-CLI [8]. First, I’m gonna show usage of the AWS Management Console to create a Greengrass component. For this, we need to write a so-called recipe [7]— either in JSON- or in YAML representation. You have to give each component a proper name and within Lifecycle, you specify from where the Docker image can be pulled from and what are the docker run parameters to execute the container.

RecipeFormatVersion: '2020-01-25'
ComponentName: com.example.GrafanaDockerComponent
ComponentVersion: '1.0.0'
ComponentDescription: 'Greengrass Component with Grafana'
ComponentPublisher: Amazon
- Platform:
os: linux
Script: docker load -i {artifacts:path}/grafana.tar
Script: docker run -p 3000:3000 --rm grafana/grafana
- URI: s3://unique-bucket-name/artifacts/com.example.GrafanaDockerComponent/1.0.0/grafana.tar
# save our component recibe from above into a file (recipe.yaml)aws greengrassv2 create-component-version  --inline-recipe fileb://recipe.yaml# an example deployment to a group could look like - save this into a separate file (deployment.json){
"targetArn": "arn:aws:iot:eu-central-1:<your-id>:thinggroup/MyGreengrassCoreGroup",
"components": {
"com.example.GrafanaDockerComponent": {
"componentVersion": "1.0.0"
# finally run the deployment
aws greengrassv2 create-deployment --cli-input-json file://deployment.json

#5: Getting component insights using the LocalDebugConsole

If you have installed the Greengrass core software with the option deploy-dev-tools true you can generate a username/password for the graphical Web-Frontend provided by the AWS component aws.greengrass.LocalDebugConsole which you have to install manually either via command line or via the AWS IoT Management console. The following screenshots show how to install this public component via the console.

#1: Within the IoT Service search for aws.greengrass.LocalDebugConsole underneath the Public components — select the component name.
#2: Press the Deploy button to continue.
#3: Choose if you want this component to be deployed under an existing deployment or if you want to create a new deployment — note only one deployment per device.
#4: Finally give your deployment a meaningful name and specify the target (either one particular device or a group of devices).
$ sudo ./greengrass-cli get-debug-passwordUsername: debug
Password: SDFfdsdfjsdfsdfjsdklfsdfjksdflk Password will expire at: 2021-08-17T13:26:39.453454534+02:00


  1. [Run a Docker container]
  2. [Getting started with AWS IoT Greengrass V2]
  3. [AWS IoT Greengrass V2 CLI Reference]
  4. [AWS IoT Greengrass component recipe reference]
  5. [Setting up your Raspberry Pi Tutorial]
  6. [Setting up Grafana on Raspberry Pi with Docker (compose)]
  7. [AWS IoT Greengrass component recipe reference]
  8. [AWS Command Line Interface]
  9. [Grafana]



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Frank Haubenschild

Frank Haubenschild


Dad, Software Engineer, Photographer, Reef- & Bee-Keeper, Founder, Drone Pilot — 🤓 💻 📷 🐝 🐠 💡👨‍✈️