Try Humio the Easy Way

Humio is powerful and extremely useful for system administrators. We’ve put together an easy way to try Humio without have to install it. Just go to Humio Cloud and use our Sandbox repository with sample, streaming data. It includes an interactive tutorial that will take you through the steps of how to search and monitor data.

The interactive tutorial is fairly self-explanatory. However, this page will tell you what to expect; it explains the layout and gives you some tips on how to get the most from the tutorial. There are several screenshots included, which may be enlarged by clicking on them.


Humio Cloud

Most software sites require you to download their software, install it on your server — which often involves unfamiliar configuration settings that drag out the process — and then you stare at an interface with no sample data. You’ll like then delete the software, not sure what it could do for you or why anyone would use it.

At Humio, we offer an easy way to try our software. Just set up a free Humio Cloud account for yourself by logging into Humio Cloud with Google, GitHub, or BitBucket. Then you can start trying the software with no installation or configuring required. You’ll be using a temporary, free Humio Cloud account. You’ll also be able to use an interactive tutorial to learn about Humio.

Opening Console

Figure 1: Opening Console in Humio Cloud

Once you’ve logged into Humio Cloud, it will look like the screenshot here, in Figure 1. Let’s look at a few things on that screen.

To start, there’s a welcome message with links to start an interactive tutorial, and links back to this Getting Started guide. Next time you log in, you may not see this message. Don’t worry about bookmarking the link to the interactive tutorial: It’s provided elsewhere.

The main panel of this opening console has two tabs: Repos & Views and Dashboards. Depending on your Humio Cloud account, you may have a few repositories available. At a minimum, though, you’ll have a Sandbox repository. This is where you’ll find sample data for you to try Humio, which is also the repository used with the interactive tutorial.

The Dashboards tab will show your dashboards, which are where widgets are displayed, each containing a set of queries. The results of those queries can be displayed with graphs or plain text in a table. You won’t have any dashboards at this point. They’re covered in the next tutorial — not in the interactive tutorial.

Fig. 2: Help Menu

In the right margin, you’ll see some notices, an offer to try Humio Pro. Don’t worry about that yet. Focus on running the tutorial and trying the software in this mode. We prefer that you’re thoroughly convinced of the value of Humio before you go any further. There’s also a colorful box suggesting you join our public Slack channel. That’s a good idea for asking questions later about the software, once you’re using it with your systems. Many of our engineers and support personnel participate in that channel.

If you’re ready to start the interactive tutorial, click on one of the links on the page. Incidentally, you can always find a link to the interactive tutorial in the Help pull-down menu (see Figure 2). You can also find links back to the Humio Library (i.e., Documentation), where you’ll find this Getting Started guide.

Layout of the Interactive Tutorial

Figure 3: Starting the Interactive Tutorial in Humio Cloud

When you first open the interactive tutorial, you’ll see a screen that looks similar to the screenshot in Figure 3 here. There are a few things worth noticing before starting the tutorial. First, at the top left, next to the Humio logo is the word, sandbox. This is the sample repository that will be used for the interactive tutorial. You can see the data it contains in the main panel.

The second thing to notice is that next to where it says sandbox, you’ll see that Search is underlined — that’s the tab you’re in. On this page, the input box, noted with the number 1, is there for you to query the repository. During the interactive tutorial, you’ll be asked to enter text in that box. The results of those queries will appear in the main panel where there is raw data at the start.

Starting the Interactive Tutorial

The last item to notice is the tutorial interface itself in the right margin — which brings us to this next topic. That whole margin will display instructions for you to read and follow. It will tell you what to type and where, as well as explain what you’re doing. And it’ll include links to relevant pages of documentation.

Figure 4: Interactive Tutorial

To start the interactive tutorial, just click on the large dark purple button in the right margin where it says, Start (see Figure 3 above). When you do so, the tutorial will begin and you’ll see the right margin change to look like the screenshot excerpt as you see in Figure 4.

Searching the Sandbox

As you can see in this screenshot, there is an input box containing some text, “example.com” here. To search for all log entries containing that text, you would type it in the input box near the top left of the screen (see Figure 5 below). For the interactive tutorial, you could copy and paste it in that box, or you could just click on the right arrow next to the input box in the right margin, in the tutorial panel, and it’ll paste it into the input box of Humio for you. Since the tutorial box won’t be there when you start using Humio for real, you may as well enter it in the input box for youself, so you’ll get used to that.

When you run a search, you’ll notice after a short amount of time that the log entries in the main panel will change to only those containing the search term. These will be entries that contain “example.com”. If you’d like, you can go beyond the example suggested. You could change the search term to something else, like Chrome to see all entries in which the server’s web site was accessed with the Google Chrome browser, or maybe to Safari for the Macintosh web browser. Try whatever comes to mind, and don’t worry about causing problems: you won’t change the data or ruin the tutorial by doing this.

Figure 5: First Query

Whether using the Sandbox or some other repository, you can search on almost anything you want. However, to be assured of some results, click on one of the Known Fields in the left margin to see what’s available. For instance, you might click on the field, userid. That will show in the main panel the user identifiers in the repository data. You would then take one of those names (e.g., peter) and type it in the search input box and hit Enter. The results in the main panel will then show all of the entries that contain the user name you entered.

All of this playing will cause the interactive tutorial to take longer than predicted, but it’s alright. It’ll help you to learn Humio software, and to be comfortable with the interface. When you’ve had enough, though, click on the dark purple button at the bottom of the right margin that’s labeled, Continue. This will take you to many more instructions on how to search a repository.

Other Elements in the Tutorial

Figure 6: Tutorial Hints & Run Button

At this point you should be able to manage fine with the interactive tutorial. There are just a few more things worth mentioning, things you might not notice as you’re going through the tutorial.

First, notice the purple button labeled, Run (see Figure 6). Sometimes you’ll need to click on this button for a query to be processed or the data to otherwise be effected. That button will sometimes be relabeled Stop — and the color will change to red. You may want to stop the processing of a query at some point. The interactive tutorial doesn’t alway make these recommendations.

Next is something that you’re bound to notice: the colorful owl image. It will sometimes point you to where you need to click, as it’s doing in Figure 6. We mention it in advance because sometimes you might be so focused on the main panel containing data that you won’t notice the owl image is in a new position trying to alert you to something — even when it’s slightly in motion.

Another thing: when you’re about to enter text in the search field, if you can’t remember a function, try hitting Alt+Enter on Macintosh machines and Ctrl+Space on Windows or Linux computers. This will offer you some assistance.

Figure 7: Tutorial Navigator

Last is the tutorial navigation (see Figure 7). At the bottom of the right margin, you’ll see the Back and Continue to be able to go back to a previous page or forward to another page, one page at a time. You can also click on where it says, Tutorial Outline. That will reveal the list of pages in the interactive tutorial. This will give you a sense of how far along you are in the tutorial. You can also use this to navigate. You would click on whichever page you want to view.

We recommend that you go through the pages of the interactive tutorial in order. However, you may want to jump back to a previous page to remember something that was covered already, and then jump back to wherever you were. Also, if you have to stop the tutorial and want to return to it later, this navigation will help you to go back to where you left off.

Learning More

The interactive tutorial is very useful in taking you through the process of first trying Humio. However, you’ll learn more from creating your own repository and using your own data. You can add your own temporary trial repository to the same Humio Cloud account — still for free, as long as you do so within thirty days. After you’ve finished the interactive tutorial and you’re ready to learn more, read the Humio with Your Data tutorial. A link to it can be found in the left margin of the Humio Library, in the Training section, under Getting Started.