InfluxDB line protocol reference

This page documents an earlier version of InfluxDB. InfluxDB v2.0 is the latest stable version. See the equivalent InfluxDB v2.0 documentation: Line protocol.

InfluxDB line protocol is a text based format for writing points to InfluxDB.

Line protocol syntax

<measurement>[,<tag_key>=<tag_value>[,<tag_key>=<tag_value>]] <field_key>=<field_value>[,<field_key>=<field_value>] [<timestamp>]

Line protocol accepts the newline character \n and is whitespace-sensitive.

Note Line protocol does not support the newline character \n in tag values or field values.

Syntax description

InfluxDB line protocol informs InfluxDB of the data’s measurement, tag set, field set, and timestamp.

Element Optional/Required Description Type
(See data types for more information.)
Measurement Required The measurement name. InfluxDB accepts one measurement per point. String
Tag set Optional All tag key-value pairs for the point. Tag keys and tag values are both strings.
Field set Required. Points must have at least one field. All field key-value pairs for the point. Field keys are strings. Field values can be floats, integers, strings, or Booleans.
Timestamp Optional. InfluxDB uses the server’s local nanosecond timestamp in UTC if the timestamp is not included with the point. The timestamp for the data point. InfluxDB accepts one timestamp per point. Unix nanosecond timestamp. Specify alternative precisions with the InfluxDB API.

Performance tips:

  • Before sending data to InfluxDB, sort by tag key to match the results from the Go bytes.Compare function.
  • To significantly improve compression, use the coarsest precision possible for timestamps.
  • Use the Network Time Protocol (NTP) to synchronize time between hosts. InfluxDB uses a host’s local time in UTC to assign timestamps to data. If a host’s clock isn’t synchronized with NTP, the data that the host writes to InfluxDB may have inaccurate timestamps.

Data types

Datatype Element(s) Description
Float Field values Default numerical type. IEEE-754 64-bit floating-point numbers (except NaN or +/- Inf). Examples: 1, 1.0, 1.e+78, 1.E+78.
Integer Field values Signed 64-bit integers (-9223372036854775808 to 9223372036854775807). Specify an integer with a trailing i on the number. Example: 1i.
String Measurements, tag keys, tag values, field keys, field values Length limit 64KB.
Boolean Field values Stores TRUE or FALSE values.

TRUE write syntax:[t, T, true, True, TRUE].

FALSE write syntax:[f, F, false, False, FALSE]
Timestamp Timestamps Unix nanosecond timestamp. Specify alternative precisions with the InfluxDB API. The minimum valid timestamp is -9223372036854775806 or 1677-09-21T00:12:43.145224194Z. The maximum valid timestamp is 9223372036854775806 or 2262-04-11T23:47:16.854775806Z.

Boolean syntax for writes and queries

Acceptable Boolean syntax differs for data writes and data queries. For more information, see Frequently asked questions.

Field type discrepancies

In a measurement, a field’s type cannot differ in a shard, but can differ across shards.

To learn how field value type discrepancies can affect SELECT * queries, see How does InfluxDB handle field type discrepancies across shards?.


Write the field value -1.234456e+78 as a float to InfluxDB

> INSERT mymeas value=-1.234456e+78

InfluxDB supports field values specified in scientific notation.

Write a field value 1.0 as a float to InfluxDB

> INSERT mymeas value=1.0

Write the field value 1 as a float to InfluxDB

> INSERT mymeas value=1

Write the field value 1 as an integer to InfluxDB

> INSERT mymeas value=1i

Write the field value stringing along as a string to InfluxDB

> INSERT mymeas value="stringing along"

Always double quote string field values. More on quoting below.

Write the field value true as a Boolean to InfluxDB

> INSERT mymeas value=true

Do not quote Boolean field values. The following statement writes true as a string field value to InfluxDB:

> INSERT mymeas value="true"

Attempt to write a string to a field that previously accepted floats

If the timestamps on the float and string are stored in the same shard:

> INSERT mymeas value=3 1465934559000000000
> INSERT mymeas value="stringing along" 1465934559000000001
ERR: {"error":"field type conflict: input field \"value\" on measurement \"mymeas\" is type string, already exists as type float"}

If the timestamps on the float and string are not stored in the same shard:

> INSERT mymeas value=3 1465934559000000000
> INSERT mymeas value="stringing along" 1466625759000000000

Quoting, special characters, and additional naming guidelines


Element Double quotes Single quotes
Timestamp Never Never
Measurements, tag keys, tag values, field keys Never* Never*
Field values Double quote string field values. Do not double quote floats, integers, or Booleans. Never

* InfluxDB line protocol allows users to double and single quote measurement names, tag keys, tag values, and field keys. It will, however, assume that the double or single quotes are part of the name, key, or value. This can complicate query syntax (see the example below).


Invalid line protocol - Double quote the timestamp
> INSERT mymeas value=9 "1466625759000000000"
ERR: {"error":"unable to parse 'mymeas value=9 \"1466625759000000000\"': bad timestamp"}

Double quoting (or single quoting) the timestamp yields a bad timestamp error.

Semantic error - Double quote a Boolean field value
> INSERT mymeas value="true"
name: mymeas
fieldKey	 fieldType
value		   string

InfluxDB assumes that all double quoted field values are strings.

Semantic error - Double quote a measurement name
> INSERT "mymeas" value=200
name: measurements
> SELECT * FROM mymeas
> SELECT * FROM "mymeas"
> SELECT * FROM "\"mymeas\""
name: "mymeas"
time				                        value
2016-06-14T20:36:21.836131014Z	 200

If you double quote a measurement in line protocol, any queries on that measurement require both double quotes and escaped (\) double quotes in the FROM clause.

Special characters

In field values, you must use a backslash character (\) to escape:

  • double quotes (")
  • the backslash character itself (\).

For example, \" escapes a double quote.

Note on backslashes:

  • If you use multiple backslashes, they must be escaped. Influx interprets backslashes as follows:
    • \ or \\ interpreted as \
    • \\\ or \\\\ interpreted as \\
    • \\\\\ or \\\\\\ interpreted as \\\, and so on

In tag keys, tag values, and field keys, you must escape:

  • commas (,)
  • equal signs (=)
  • spaces

For example, \, escapes a comma.

Tag values cannot end with the backslash character, even if it is escaped.

In measurements, you must escape:

  • commas (,)
  • spaces

You do not need to escape other special characters.


Write a point with special characters
> INSERT "measurement\ with\ quo⚡️es\ and\ emoji",tag\ key\ with\ sp🚀ces=tag\,value\,with"commas" field_k\ey="string field value, only \" need be esc🍭ped"

The system writes a point where the measurement is "measurement with quo⚡️es and emoji", the tag key is tag key with sp🚀ces, the tag value is tag,value,with"commas", the field key is field_k\ey and the field value is string field value, only " need be esc🍭ped.

Additional naming guidelines

# at the beginning of the line is a valid comment character for line protocol. InfluxDB will ignore all subsequent characters until the next newline \n.

Measurement names, tag keys, tag values, field keys, and field values are case sensitive.

InfluxDB line protocol accepts InfluxQL keywords as identifier names. In general, we recommend avoiding using InfluxQL keywords in your schema as it can cause confusion when querying the data.

Note: Avoid using the reserved keys _field and _measurement. If these tag keys are included, the associated point is discarded.

The keyword time is a special case. time can be a continuous query name, database name, measurement name, retention policy name, subscription name, and user name. In those cases, time does not require double quotes in queries. time cannot be a field key or tag key; InfluxDB rejects writes with time as a field key or tag key and returns an error. See Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

InfluxDB line protocol in practice

To learn how to write line protocol to the database, see Tools.

Duplicate points

A point is uniquely identified by the measurement name, tag set, field set, and timestamp

If you write a point to a series with a timestamp that matches an existing point, the field set becomes a union of the old and new field set, and conflicts favor the new field set.

For a complete example of this behavior and how to avoid it, see How does InfluxDB handle duplicate points?

Duplicate keys

If you have a tag key and field key with the same name in a measurement, one of the keys will return appended with a _1 in query results (and as a column header in Chronograf). For example, location and location_1. To query a duplicate key, drop the _1 and use the InfluxQL ::tag or ::field syntax in your query, for example:

  SELECT "location"::tag, "location"::field FROM "database_name"."retention_policy"."measurement"

Set your InfluxDB URL

Upgrade to InfluxDB Cloud or InfluxDB 2.0!

InfluxDB Cloud and InfluxDB OSS 2.0 ready for production.