By default, everything in the Gravwell search pipeline is temporally sorted (when appropriate). This means that if you execute the query tag=gravwell Gravwell will automatically insert a sort by time desc so that the data you see is strictly sorted.

However, there may be times where the extra overhead from the sort may not be required or explicitly not wanted; this is where nosort comes into play. The nosort module does nothing but inform Gravwell that you explicitly do not want the data sorted at any stage, it basically turns off the sort by time injection.

The nosort module is purely for query optimization and is never required, don’t use it unless you really know what you are doing. The nosort module has a single optional flag -asc that tells Gravwell that you don not care about explicit time sorting but you would like the data read from oldest to newest (roughly). The -asc flag is useful on big aggregate queries because it means that we will likely pull data in the order it was ingested which means the disks are probably moving in a more or less linear pattern.


tag=syslog nosort

Show syslog entries in a rough ordering, do not strictly sort them by time.

tag=syslog nosort -asc

Show syslog entries in a rough ordering from oldest to newest, do not strictly sort them by time.


The nosort module collapses the pipeline, this means that if you are running on a cluster environment it may actually reduce the query performance if you place it in the wrong location.