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The Graph API is the primary means to retrieve data from an Atlas store.

The default response is a PNG image plotting data matching the Atlas Stack Language expression along with optional parameters to control time ranges, size, style, labels, etc. For a quick overview by example see the examples page.

If graphs look familiar, that's because the design and language were inspired by RRDtool. RRD style graphs offer concise and highly customizable views of time series data. While a number of observability tools offer dynamic charts, a major benefit of these PNG graphs is the ability to snapshot data in time, particularly when that data may expire from a high throughput data store; PNGs are forever. Additionally, the majority of email and on-call systems support images out of the box without having to worry about porting a dynamic graphing library to various browsers and clients.

The API only supports HTTP query strings at this time. This makes it easy to construct queries with tooling and share the URIs with other users. No JSON request payloads needed.

Additional Output formats, including JSON, can be found in Outputs.



HTTP Method

GET - Only the GET method is allowed at this time.

Query Parameters


The only required query param is q which is the query expression used by the user to select and manipulate data. The simplest API query you can make is /api/v1/graph?q=42. This will produce a graph from Atlas with a straight line having a value of 42 for 3 hours* with a legend including statistics for the query period.

All query params related to fetching data:

Name Description Default Type
q Query expression must be specified by user expr
step Step size for data auto duration


In most cases users should not set step directly. The step parameter is deprecated.


There are three parameters to control the time range used for a graph:

Name Description Default Type
s Start time e-3h* Time
e End time now* Time
tz Time zone US/Pacific* Time zone ID

For more information on the behavior see the time parameters page.

Image Flags

Name Description Default Type
title Set the graph title no title String
no_legend Suppresses the legend 0 boolean
no_legend_stats Suppresses summary stats for the legend 0 boolean
axis_per_line Put each line on a separate Y-axis 0 boolean
only_graph Only show the graph canvas 0 boolean
vision Simulate different vision types normal vision type

Image Size

There are four parameters to control the image size and layout used for a graph:

Name Description Default Type
layout Mode for controlling exact or relative sizing canvas layout mode
w Width of the canvas or image 700* int
h Height of the canvas or image 300* int
zoom Transform the size by a zoom factor 1.0 float

For more information on the behavior see the graph layout page.


Name Description Default Type
stack Set the default line style to stack 0 boolean
l Lower bound for the axis auto-style axis bound
u Upper bound for the axis auto-style axis bound
ylabel Label for the axis no label String
palette Color palette to use armytage palette
o Use a logarithmic scale (deprecated in 1.6) 0 boolean
scale Set the axis scale to use (since 1.6) linear scale
tick_labels Set the mode to use for tick labels decimal tick label mode
sort Set the mode to use for sorting the legend expr order sort mode
order Set the order ascending or descending for the sort asc order

Output Format

Name Description Default Type
format Output format to use png output format
callback Method name to use for JSONP callback none String


If marked with an * the default shown can be changed by the administrator for the Atlas server. As a result the default in the table may not match the default you see. The defaults listed do match those used for the primary Atlas backends in use at Netflix.

For users running their own server, the config settings and corresponding query params are:

Key Query Param
atlas.webapi.graph.start-time s
atlas.webapi.graph.end-time e
atlas.webapi.graph.timezone tz
atlas.webapi.graph.width w
atlas.webapi.graph.height h
atlas.webapi.graph.palette palette

Boolean Flags

Flags with a true or false value are specified using 1 for true and 0 for false.