An introduction to the Airflow UI
A notable feature of Apache Airflow is the user interface (UI), which provides insights into your DAGs and DAG runs. The UI is a useful tool for understanding, monitoring, and troubleshooting your pipelines.
This guide is an overview of some of the most useful features and visualizations in the Airflow UI. Each section of this guide corresponds to one of the tabs at the top of the Airflow UI. If you're not already using Airflow and want to get it up and running to follow along, see Install the Astro CLI to quickly run Airflow locally.
This guide focuses on the Airflow 2 UI. If you're using an older version of the UI, see Upgrading from 1.10 to 2.
All images in this guide were taken from an Astronomer Runtime Airflow image. Other than some modified colors and an additional
Astronomer tab, the UI is the same as that of OSS Airflow.
To get the most out of this guide, you should have an understanding of:
- Basic Airflow concepts. See Introduction to Apache Airflow.
- Airflow DAGs. See Introduction to Airflow DAGs.
The DAGs view is the landing page when you sign in to Airflow. It shows a list of all your DAGs, the status of recent DAG runs and tasks, the time of the last DAG run, and basic metadata about the DAG like the owner and the schedule. To see the status of the DAGs update in real time, toggle Auto-refresh (added in Airflow 2.4).
In the DAGs view you can:
- Pause/unpause a DAG with the toggle to the left of the DAG name.
- Filter the list of DAGs to show active, paused, or all DAGs.
- Trigger, refresh, or delete a DAG with the buttons in the Actions section.
- Navigate quickly to other DAG-specific pages from the Links section.
To see more information about a specific DAG, click its name or use one of the links.
The Graph view shows a visualization of the tasks and dependencies in your DAG and their current status for a specific DAG run. This view is particularly useful when reviewing and developing a DAG. When running the DAG, toggle Auto-refresh to see the status of the tasks update in real time.
Click a specific task in the graph to access additional views and actions for the task instance.
Specifically, the additional views available are:
- Task Instance Details: Shows the fully rendered task - an exact summary of what the task does (attributes, values, templates, etc.).
- Rendered Template: Shows the task's metadata after it has been templated.
- Log: Shows the logs of that particular
- XCom: Shows XComs created by that particular
- List Instances, all runs: Shows a historical view of task instances and statuses for that particular task.
- Filter Upstream: Updates the Graph View to show only the task selected and any upstream tasks.
The actions available for the task instance are:
- Run: Manually runs a specific task in the DAG. You have the ability to ignore dependencies and the current task state when you do this.
- Clear: Removes that task instance from the metadata database. This is one way of manually re-running a task (and any downstream tasks, if you choose). You can choose to also clear upstream or downstream tasks in the same DAG, or past or future task instances of that task.
- Mark Failed: Changes the task's status to failed. This will update the metadata database and stop downstream tasks from running if that is how you have defined dependencies in your DAG. You have additional capabilities for marking past and future task instances as failed and for marking upstream or downstream tasks as failed at the same time.
- Mark Success: Changes the task's status to success. This will update the metadata database and allow downstream tasks to run if that is how you have defined dependencies in your DAG. You have additional capabilities for marking past and future task instances as successful and for marking upstream or downstream tasks as successful at the same time.
The Grid view was introduced in Airflow 2.3 and shows a grid representation of the DAG's previous runs, including their duration and the outcome of all individual task instances. Each column represents a DAG run and each square represents a task instance in that DAG run. Task instances are color-coded according to their status. A small play icon on a DAG run indicates that a run was triggered manually, and a small dataset icon shows that a run was triggered via a dataset update.
Click a square in the grid to view more details about the task instance and access links to additional views and actions.
In Airflow version 2.6 and later, the Grid view includes an integrated graph visualization of the tasks and dependencies in your DAG. If you select a task or task group instance in the Grid column, the graph highlights and zooms to the selected task. You can also navigate complex DAGs using Filter Tasks and the minimap.
The Grid view replaced the Tree View in Airflow version 2.3 and later.
The Calendar view is available in Airflow 2.1 and later. It shows the state of DAG runs overlaid on a calendar. States are represented by color. If there were multiple DAG runs on the same day with different states, the color is a gradient between green (success) and red (failure).
The Code view shows the code that is used to generate the DAG. While your code should live in source control, the Code view provides a quick insight into what is going on in the DAG. DAG code can't be edited in the UI.
This view shows code only from the file that generated the DAG. It does not show any code that may be imported in the DAG, such as custom hooks or operators or code in your
Additional DAG views
The following are the additional DAG views that are available, but not discussed in this guide:
- Task Duration: Shows a line graph of the duration of each task over time.
- Task Tries: Shows a line graph of the number of tries for each task in a DAG run over time.
- Landing Times: Shows a line graph of the time of day each task started over time.
- Gantt: Shows a Gantt chart with the duration of each task for the chosen DAG run.
- Details: Shows details of the DAG configuration and DagModel debug information.
- Audit Log: Shows selected events for all DAG runs.
The Dataset tab was introduced in Airflow 2.4 in support of the new dataset driven scheduling feature. The Dataset tab links to a page showing all datasets that have been produced in the Airflow environment, as well as all dependencies between datasets and DAGs in a graph.
Click a dataset to open the history of all updates to the dataset that were recorded in the Airflow environment.
The Security tab links to multiple pages, including List Users and List Roles, that you can use to review and manage Airflow role-based access control (RBAC). For more information on working with RBAC, see Security.
If you are running Airflow on Astronomer, the Astronomer RBAC will extend into Airflow and take precedence. There is no need for you to use Airflow RBAC in addition to Astronomer RBAC. Astronomer RBAC can be managed from the Astronomer UI, so the Security tab might be less relevant for Astronomer users.
The Browse tab links to multiple pages that provide additional insight into and control over your DAG runs and task instances for all DAGs in one place.
The DAG runs and task instances pages are the easiest way to view and manipulate these objects in aggregate. If you need to re-run tasks in multiple DAG runs, you can do so from this page by selecting all relevant tasks and clearing their status.
The DAG Dependencies view shows a graphical representation of any cross-DAG and dataset dependencies in your Airflow environment.
Other views on the Browse tab include:
- Jobs: Shows a list of all jobs that have been completed. This includes executed tasks as well as scheduler jobs.
- Audit Logs: Shows a list of events that have occurred in your Airflow environment that can be used for auditing purposes.
- Task Reschedules: Shows a list of all tasks that have been rescheduled.
- Triggers: Shows any triggers that occurred in this Airflow environment. To learn more about triggers and related concepts added in Airflow 2.2, you can check out the guide on Deferrable Operators.
- SLA Misses: Shows any task instances that have missed their SLAs.
The Admin tab links to pages for content related to Airflow administration that are not specific to any particular DAG. Many of these pages can be used to both view and modify your Airflow environment.
For example, the Connections page shows all Airflow connections stored in your environment. Click
+ to add a new connection. For more information, see Managing your Connections in Apache Airflow.
Similarly, the XComs page shows a list of all XComs stored in the metadata database and allows you to easily delete them.
Other pages on the Admin tab include:
- Variables: View and manage Airflow variables.
- Configurations: View the contents of your
airflow.cfgfile. Note that this can be disabled by your Airflow admin for security reasons.
- Plugins: View any Airflow plugins defined in your environment.
- Providers: View all Airflow providers included in your Airflow environment with their version number.
- Pools: View and manage Airflow pools.
The Docs tab provides links to external Airflow resources including:
- Airflow documentation
- The Airflow website
- The Airflow GitHub repo
- The REST API Swagger and the Redoc documentation
This guide provided a basic overview of some of the most commonly used features of the Airflow UI.
The Airflow community is consistently working on improvements to the UI to provide a better user experience and additional functionality. Make sure you upgrade your Airflow environment frequently to ensure you are taking advantage of Airflow UI updates as they are released.