Almost everything in Cacti is somehow related to a graph. At any time, you can list all available graphs by clicking on the Graph Management menu item. While it is possible to manually create graphs through this screen, new users should follow the instructions provided in the next chapter for creating new graphs in Cacti.

For users that are familiar with RRDTool , you will immediately recognize that a graph in Cacti is closely modeled after RRDTool's graphs. This makes sense since Cacti provides a user friendly interface to RRDTool without requiring users to understand how RRDTool works. With this in mind, every graph in Cacti has certain settings and at least one graph item associated with it. While graph settings define the overall properties of a graph, the graph items define the data that is to be represented on the graph. So the graph items define which data to display and how it should displayed, and also define what should be displayed on the legend.

Each graph and graph item has a set of parameters which control various aspects of the graph. Fortunately through the use of graph templates, it is not necessary to understand the function of each field to create graphs for your network. When you are ready to take on the task of creating your own graph templates, extensive field descriptions for both graphs and graph items are provided in that section of the manual.