monitor the temp of your macos using telegraf

Monitor the Temperature of Your MacOS Hardware Using Telegraf

Table of Contents


Monitoring your machine's internal temperatures is important for maintaining system health, optimizing performance, and ensuring the longevity of your computer hardware. It allows you to take proactive measures to prevent potential damage caused by overheating and helps in diagnosing and addressing cooling-related issues effectively.

In this article we'll detail how to use the Telegraf agent to collect temperature readings from a Mac computer, that you can forward to a datasource.

Getting Started with the Telegraf Agent

Telegraf is a plugin-driven server agent built on InfluxDB, and is used for collecting and sending metrics/events from databases, systems, processes, devices, and applications. Telegraf is written in Go and compiles into a single binary with no external dependencies, and requires a very minimal memory footprint. It is compatible with many operating systems, and has many useful output plugins and input plugins for collecting and forwarding a wide variety of system performance metrics. 

Install Telegraf (MacOS)

brew install telegraf

See the telegraf docs for up-to-date versions and installation commands for other operating systems (Ubuntu/Debian, RedHat/CentOS, Windows, Linux binaries). 

For MacOS, packages and files are generally installed in the /usr/local/etc/ directory.

Configure an Output

You can configure telegraf to output to a variety of sources, like Graphite, Kafka, InfluxDB, Prometheus, SQL, NoSQL, and more. 

In this example we will configure telegraf with a Graphite output. If you're not currently hosting your own datasource, you can start a free trial with Hosted Graphite by MetricFire in order to follow along with these next steps.

A Hosted Graphite account will provide the datasource, offers an alerting feature, and includes Hosted Grafana as a visualization tool.

To configure the Graphite output, you need to locate the downloaded telegraf configuration file at ~/usr/local/etc/telegraf/telegraf.conf and open it in your preferred text editor. Then you will need to make the following changes to the file:

Locate and comment out the line:

# [[outputs.influxdb]]

Then, uncomment the line:


Next, uncomment and edit the servers line to:

servers = [""]

Finally, uncomment and edit the prefix line to:

prefix = "<YOUR_API_KEY>.telegraf"
If you don't already have a Hosted Graphite account, sign up for a free trial here to obtain a Hosted Graphite API key.
Otherwise, you can configure a different telegraf output and forward metrics to another datasource.

Configure the Telegraf Temp Input Plugin:

Telegraf has many input plugins that can collect a wide range of data from many popular technologies and 3rd party sources. In this example, we'll demonstrate how to configure the temp plugin.

All you need to do is search for the inputs.nginx section in your telegraf.conf file, and uncomment the [[inputs.temp]] line:


Save your changes, and then run telegraf using the following command, to see if there are any configuration errors in the output:

telegraf --config telegraf.conf

Telegraf will now be forwarding 21 metrics to your datasource, this is what they will look like in the Graphite format:


See the official GitHub repository for more information on the temp input plugin.

Use Hosted Graphite by MetricFire to Create Custom Dashboards and Alerts

MetricFire is a monitoring platform that enables you to gather, visualize, and analyze metrics and data from sources such as servers, databases, networks, devices, and applications. By utilizing MetricFire, you can effortlessly identify problems and optimize resources from within your infrastructure. Hosted Graphite by MetricFire takes away the burden of self-hosting your own monitoring solution, allowing you more time and freedom to work on your most important tasks.

Once you have signed up for a Hosted Graphite account and used the above steps to configure your server with the Telegraf Agent, metrics will be forwarded, timestamped, and aggregated into the Hosted Graphite backend.

  1. Metrics will be sent and stored in the Graphite format of: <numeric-value> <unix-timestamp>
  2. The dot notation format provides a tree like data structure and makes them efficient to query
  3. Metrics are stored in your Hosted Graphite account for 2 years, and you can use them to create custom Alerts and Grafana dashboards

Build Dashboards in Hosted Graphite's Hosted Grafana

In the Hosted Graphite UI, navigate to Dashboards => Primary Dashboards and select the + button to create a new panel:

Monitor the Temperature of Your MacOS Hardware Using Telegraf - 1

Then you can use the query UI to select a graphite metric path (the default datasource will be the hosted graphite backend if you are accessing Grafana through your Hosted Graphite account):

Monitor the Temperature of Your MacOS Hardware Using Telegraf - 2

The Hosted Graphite datasource also supports wildcard (*) searching to grab all metrics that match a specified path.

Hosted Graphite also has a pre-configured dashboard for Telegraf metrics located in their Dashboard Library:

Monitor the Temperature of Your MacOS Hardware Using Telegraf - 3

Once this dashboard is generated in your account, you can locate it your Primary Dashboards to see system metrics (cpu, mem, disk) displayed, including a row for hardware temperatures:

Monitor the Temperature of Your MacOS Hardware Using Telegraf - 4

Creating Graphite Alerts

In the Hosted Graphite UI, navigate to Alerts => Graphite Alerts to create a new alert. Name the alert, add a query to the alerting metric field, and add a description of what this alert is:

Monitor the Temperature of Your MacOS Hardware Using Telegraf - 5

Then select the Alert Criteria tab to set a threshold, and select a notification channel. The default notification channel is the email you used to signup for the Hosted Graphite account, but you can easily configure channels for Slack, PagerDuty, Microsoft Teams, OpsGenie, custom webhooks and more. See the Hosted Graphite docs for more details on notification channels:

Monitor the Temperature of Your MacOS Hardware Using Telegraf - 6


High temperatures in your machine can potentially damage hardware components and lead to reduced lifespan or failure of components like CPUs, GPUs, and hard drives.

Monitoring the system performance of your machine provides valuable data, and using tools like dashboards and alerts will complement this data by providing real-time visualization, proactive identification of issues, historical trend analysis, and facilitating informed decision-making, all of which are essential for maintaining a robust and efficient infrastructure. 

Sign up for the free trial, and experiment with monitoring your machine's internal temperatures today. You can also book a demo and talk to the MetricFire team directly about your monitoring needs.

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