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Canonical's Landscape service seems really nice. Is there any free alternatives? If not directly, what would you recommend to administer number of Ubuntu (and Debian) servers? Main use cases would be to see that all machines are running and doing fine (disk space, memory usage, some important processes, etc).

If this would be business critical I would be happy to pay Canonical to provide the service, but this is just for personal use.

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I have used Munin previously, but it requires too much configuration per client. I would prefer to deploy some very thin client software for every node, and then just use the server to do the monitoring. For example I would have to install and administer my own plugins for every client separetely. –  Taskinen Jul 25 '09 at 22:31
    
What configuration? –  David Pashley Jul 26 '09 at 7:50

5 Answers 5

up vote 1 down vote accepted

We use -

  • Groundworks - for network monitoring (groundworks is Nagios with a web frontend)
  • Splunk - for logfile analysis
  • Puppet - for rolling out changes to ubuntu servers; very useful for load-balancing servers
  • Tripwire - for intrusion detection

All are free, if you spend some time configuring them we find them very effective. Groundworks/Nagios requires the use of the nrpe agent to allow monitoring of processes, disk space etc on remote servers. This is reasonably easy to configure though.

If all you want to do is CPU/disk/Memory usage then an snmp monitor like cacti is also an option.

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Nagios for the monitoring/alerting, Puppet for the centralised management.

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3  
+1 Added Munin and it would have been the perfect answer. –  David Pashley Jul 26 '09 at 7:50
    
Pfft, munin's unnecessary. Nagios do all the data collection and thresholding you'll ever need. –  womble Jul 26 '09 at 11:39
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nagios can even do graphing, with the addition of a plugin or two. –  Cian Jul 26 '09 at 12:45
    
Yes, Nagios in combination with NagVis does a good job, even with many monitored devices. –  Manuel Faux Jul 26 '09 at 14:37

You can install nagios or munin on a server to do something similar.

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I currently use the following:

  • Munin - network and server stats monitoring (and noting else!). I use it over Nagios, as it's dead simple to set up. Install munin on one machine and munin-node and edit /etc/munin/munin-node.conf on all others.
  • Logcheck - scans all logs for "bad" words and filters out known-OK's. Has reasonable (and working!) default setup. After a few days, I usually end up spending an hour or so tweaking the filters to remove extra known-OK noise.
  • I've looked at Puppet, but I haven't gotten around to do anything serious about it (hints, anybody?).
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Puppet has a bit of a learning curve, but it's well worth your effort. We have all our servers configured exclusively through puppet and it's pretty much the best thing that happened to us, like ever :) –  Walter Heck Aug 18 '11 at 6:56

so many different ways... most of them already mentioned, but if you google for free opensource linux server monitoring you'll come across lots more options

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