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What tool do you use to monitor your servers?


I'm a bit of a nooby with Linux, and I managed to set up my Ubuntu machine with Webmin and Virtualmin. Now, I'd like to have a graph tool which monitors the network, showing the different domains and protocols/ports. Webmin provides one but it sucks big time (space and cpu consuming, awful graphs...).

I've tried to set up MRTG with RRD Tools but I can't manage to build the config file, and I can't either manage to get any tool for generating a config file to work (some of them ask for register_globals to be on in PHP, others for deprecated extensions). Also, last time I checked this was over 5 years ago, and I'm surprised it doesn't seem to have other free and popular solution.

Do you have any advice of either a good config maker for MRTG or another solution for checking the network activity in detail and through graph?



Setting up cacti (0.8.7e-2ubuntu0.1) ...
dbconfig-common: writing config to /etc/dbconfig-common/cacti.conf
Replacing config file /etc/cacti/debian.php with new version
sanity check failed for dbc_dbuser.
error encountered creating user:
No database user specified.
dbconfig-common: cacti configure: aborted.
dbconfig-common: flushing administrative password
dpkg: error processing cacti (--configure):
 subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit status 1
Errors were encountered while processing:
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)


marked as duplicate by Zypher Apr 5 '11 at 14:16

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  • How big is the network roughly ? – Jonathan Ross Apr 5 '11 at 13:36
  • 1
    You can look into cacti. – Vick Vega Apr 5 '11 at 13:37
  • @Jonathan Ross: a few websites, less than 100 Gb traffic/month – Nabab Apr 5 '11 at 13:42

ntop is pretty easy to setup. It'll run as a webserver (on a non standard port so or whatever). Should be pretty easy to setup for you.

  • For 20 minutes my server has become incredibly slow. Can it come from ntop?? – Nabab Apr 5 '11 at 14:18
  • I'd say its very unlikely, I've run it for an entire company on a very low powered embedded machine. Use 'top' or 'iotop' to see what's using up ram/cpu – Sirex Apr 6 '11 at 7:40

I've found Zabbix a lot easier to setup and use than Nagios and Cacti to collect and graph all sorts of operating parameters. For network monitoring, ntop on the firewall.

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