first of all, I'm not an database expert at all, but I managed to set up a system fitting my monitoring needs for more than one year now. Unfortunately, now the problem arises. Short summary of my system:

  • Raspberry Pi 3 (Raspbian buster) is running InfluxDB 1.8.5
  • Python script is running as a service, writing ~20 datapoints every 5sec plus additional several 100 per month on demand. I would say, that is not too much in total.

My database is now >1GB:

/var/lib/influxdb $ sudo du -hd1
12K     ./meta
39M     ./wal
1.1G    ./data
1.2G    .

I started to notice several days/weeks ago, that my system got really laggy. uptime reported load averages >4. I suspected the pretty old sd-card and switched to a proper new one, first only by putting the old image to the new card, later I really reinstalled everything and restored the influx data. It got better, but not really good. uptime reported now load averages in the range of 2. I added a monitor for uptime in my python script and it looks like this: plot of uptime over 3h

(at ~22.30 I restarted influxdb)

I did some more analysis and found that I can read the influx log with the command sudo journalctl -u influxdb.service. In the result I find lots of lines with the content similar to

Apr 26 21:04:22 xxx influxd[5598]: ts=2021-04-26T19:04:22.133912Z lvl=info msg="Error replacing new TSM files" log_id=0TksnBt0000 engine=tsm1 tsm1_strategy=full tsm1_optimize=false trace_id=0TktwGCG000 op_name=tsm1_compact_group db_shard_id=534 error="cannot allocate memory"

And here my knowledge really stops. Does anyone know what the issue is and what I can do to "repair" my database without loosing more data?


After some more research, my conclusion is that the root cause is my 32bit raspberry pi operating system with the limited RAM. Influx performs some kind of periodic housekeeping where the database is compressed and this fails on my system with slightly >1GB of database.

After all, it is just a hobby for me and I never really used proper databases. Influx was quite appealing for me, at least what I read made sense and I was able to set everything up quite easily. For my purpose I think of a workaround that I monitor my data with a high granularity every year in a new database. With that, I should not suffer the size limit of the individual databases. I'll have an additional database for the daily key measures. This should only consume some MB after several years.

Do you think that could work out or could there be some other pitfall?

  • That is a lot of data for such an embedded system
    – nbk
    Apr 26, 2021 at 22:40
  • error="cannot allocate memory" hints at memory shortage.
    – mustaccio
    Apr 27, 2021 at 11:51
  • Originally I didn't think roughly more than 1GB is too much data. There is more than enough storage available. I don't know too much about RAM however. I just found this info: github.com/influxdata/influxdb/issues/6975 This does not sound too promising for me. Could somehow playing with a swap file help?
    – bene
    Apr 27, 2021 at 19:19


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