Alerts can be configured to notify site admins when there is something wrong or noteworthy on the Sourcegraph instance.

Understanding alerts

Alerts fall in one of two severity levels:

  • critical: something is definitively wrong with Sourcegraph. We suggest using a high-visibility notification channel for these alerts.
    • Examples: Database inaccessible, running out of disk space, running out of memory.
    • Suggested action: Page a site administrator to investigate.
  • warning: something could be wrong with Sourcegraph. We suggest checking in on these periodically, or using a notification channel that will not bother anyone if it is spammed. Over time, as warning alerts become stable and reliable across many Sourcegraph deployments, they will also be promoted to critical alerts in an update by Sourcegraph.
    • Examples: High latency, high search timeouts.
    • Suggested action: Email a site administrator to investigate and monitor when convenient, and please let us know so that we can improve them.

Refer to the alert solutions reference for a complete list of Sourcegraph alerts, as well as possible solutions when these alerts are firing. Learn more about metrics, dashboards, and alert labels in our metrics guide.

Setting up alerting

Visit your site configuration (e.g. to configure alerts using the observability.alerts field. As always, you can use Ctrl+Space at any time to get hints about allowed fields as well as relevant documentation inside the configuration editor.

Once configured, Sourcegraph alerts will automatically be routed to the appropriate notification channels by severity level.

Example notifiers


"observability.alerts": [
    "level": "critical",
    "notifier": {
      "type": "slack",
      // Slack incoming webhook URL.
      "url": "",


"observability.alerts": [
    "level": "critical",
    "notifier": {
      "type": "pagerduty",
      // Routing key for the PagerDuty Events API v2
      "routingKey": "XXXXXXXX"


"observability.alerts": [
    "level": "critical",
    "notifier": {
      "type": "webhook",
      // Webhook URL.
      "url": "https://my.webhook.url"

Webhook events provide the following fields relevant for Sourcegraph alerts that we recommend you leverage:

  "status": "<resolved|firing>",
  "commonLabels": {
    "level": "<critical|warning>",
    // Use the service name and alert name to find solutions in
    "service_name": "<string>",
    "name": "<string>",
    "description": "<string>",
    // This field can be provided to Sourcegraph to help direct support.
    "owner": "<string>"

For the complete set of fields, please refer to the Alertmanager webhook documentation.


Note that to receive email notifications, the email.address and email.smtp fields must be configured in site configuration.

"observability.alerts": [
    "level": "critical",
    "notifier": {
      "type": "email",
      // Address where alerts will be sent
      "address": "[email protected]"

Testing alerts

Configured alerts can be tested using the Sourcegraph GraphQL API. Visit your API Console (e.g. and use the following mutation to trigger an alert:

mutation {
    level: "critical"
  ) { alwaysNil }

The test alert may take up to a minute to fire. The triggered alert will automatically resolve itself as well.

Silencing alerts

If there is an alert you are aware of and you wish to silence notifications for it, add an entry to the observability.silenceAlertsfield. For example:

  "observability.silenceAlerts": [

You can find the appropriate identifier for each alert in alert solutions.

Setting up alerting: before Sourcegraph 3.17

Configure alert channels in Grafana

Before configuring specific alerts in Grafana, you must set up alert channels. Each channel corresponds to an external service to which Grafana will push alerts.

  1. Access Grafana directly as a Grafana admin:
  2. Follow these instructions to access Grafana directly (instead of going through the Sourcegraph Site Admin Monitoring page as usual).
  3. Navigate to the Grafana /login URL (e.g., http://localhost:3070/-/debug/grafana/login or append /login to your Grafana direct access URL if different). If you are doing this for the first time, user the username and password admin and admin.
  4. In the left sidebar, click the bell icon 🔔 and select Notification channels.
  5. Click New channel and then specify the settings of your channel. The Type field selects the type of external service (e.g., PagerDuty, Slack, Email). Some service types will require additional configuration in the service itself. Here are some examples:
  6. Slack
    1. Go to to create a new Slack App.
    2. Click Create an App, give the app a name, and click Create App.
    3. Click Incoming Webhooks and toggle on Activate Incoming Webhooks.
    4. Click Add New Webhook to Workspace.
    5. Pick the channel to which this Slack App will post.
    6. Back on the Grafana New Notification Channel page, copy the webhook URL to the Url field.
  7. PagerDuty
    1. Go to
    2. Click Create New App. Give the app a name and decription, and set the category to "Application Performance Management". For "Would you like to publish the app for all PagerDuty users?", select "No". Click Save.
    3. On the Configure App page, under Functionality > Events Integration, click Add.
    4. On the Event Integration page, under Events Integration Test > Create a Test Service, enter a name and click Create.
    5. Copy the Integration Key. Click Save and then Save again on the Configure App page.
    6. Back in the Grafana New Notification Channel page, paste the Integration Key into the Integration Key field.
  8. After you have specified the settings on the Grafana New Notification Channel page, click Send Test to send a test notification. You should receive a notification from Grafana via your specified channel. If this worked, click Save.

Set up an individual alert

After adding the appropriate notification channels, configure individual alerts to notify those channels.

  1. Navigate to the dashboard with the panel and metric for which you'd like to configure an alert.
    1. Make sure the dashboard is not read-only (the default Sourcegraph-provided dashboards are read-only, because they are provisioned from disk). If the dashboard is read-only, go to the dashboard settings (the gear icon in the upper right) and click Save As.. to create a writeable copy.
  2. The panel title has a small dropdown next to it. Click the dropdown icon and select Edit.
  3. In the left sidebar, choose the bell icon 🔔 for Alert.
  4. Fill out the fields for the alert rule and select a notification channel.
  5. Verify your rule by clicking Test Rule or viewing State History.
  6. Return to the dashboard page by clicking the left arrow in the upper left. Save the dashboard by clicking the save icon in the upper right.