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Install Observium on Debian 11

Author: Thomas Rakwach

Last Updated: Tue, Nov 16, 2021
Debian Security Server Apps


Observium is a free network monitoring and management platform that supports a wide range of operating systems, devices, and other platforms. Its auto-discovering feature collects data from network devices using Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) and stores it in a MySQL database. Furthermore, being a PHP-based platform, it offers an easy-to-use web interface to allow you to monitor the network devices. Some supported platforms and devices are Linux, Cisco, FreeBSD, Windows, Juniper, Brocade, Netscaler, and NetApp. In this article, you will learn how to install Observium on Debian 11 server.


1. Install and Configure Observium

Update the system packages.

$ sudo apt update

Install all the required packages needed to run Observium.

$ sudo apt install -y libapache2-mod-php7.4 php7.4-cli php7.4-mysql php7.4-gd php7.4-json php7.4-bcmath \
php7.4-mbstring php7.4-opcache php7.4-apcu php7.4-curl php-pear snmp fping rrdtool whois \
mariadb-server mariadb-client subversion mtr-tiny ipmitool graphviz imagemagick apache2 \
python3-mysqldb python3-pymysql python-is-python3

Add Observium system user.

$ sudo useradd -r -M -d /opt/observium observium

Add the user to group www-data.

$ sudo usermod -a -G observium www-data

Download the latest Observium Community Edition installation files.

$ sudo wget

Unpack the downloaded files.

$ sudo tar zxvf observium-community-latest.tar.gz

Move the extracted files into the /opt directory.

$ sudo mv observium /opt

Copy the default configuration file.

$ sudo cp /opt/observium/config.php.default /opt/observium/config.php

Edit the file for your system.

$ sudo nano /opt/observium/config.php

Modify the file as shown bellow, save and close the file:

// Database config ---  This MUST be configured
$config['db_extension'] = 'mysqli';
$config['db_host']      = 'localhost';
$config['db_user']      = 'observium';
$config['db_pass']      = 'StrongPassword';
$config['db_name']      = 'observium';

Create rrd and logs directory.

$ sudo mkdir /opt/observium/{rrd,logs}

Change the permissions of the directory.

$ sudo chown -R observium:observium /opt/observium/

$ sudo chmod -R 775 /opt/observium/

Edit snmp.conf configuration file to direct the SNMP utilities to use Observium's MIBs.

$ sudo nano /etc/snmp/snmp.conf

Modify the line as shown below, save and close the file:

mibs : /opt/observium/mibs/rfc:/opt/observium/mibs/net-snmp

2. Configure MySQL Database

Log in to the MySQL shell. Then, at the password prompt, just press ENTER to continue.

$ sudo mysql -u root -p

Create a database named observium.


Create a user named observium. Modify the StrongPassword value with your secure password.

CREATE USER 'observium'@'localhost' identified by 'StrongPassword';

Grant all database privileges to the user.

GRANT ALL ON observium.* TO 'observium'@'localhost';

Reload the changes.


Exit MySQL shell.


Insert the default MySQL database schema.

$ cd /opt/observium

$ sudo ./discovery.php -u

4. Configure Apache

Edit the default Apache configuration file.

$ sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf

The final content should be similar to the one below, save and close the file:

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
    DocumentRoot /opt/observium/html

    <FilesMatch \.php$>
        SetHandler application/x-httpd-php

    <Directory />
        Options FollowSymLinks
        AllowOverride None

    <Directory /opt/observium/html/>
        DirectoryIndex index.php
        Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted

    ErrorLog  ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
    LogLevel warn
    CustomLog  ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined
    ServerSignature On

Change the global server name.

$ sudo nano /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

Add the code below at the end of the file, save and close the file:

ServerName localhost

Enable mpm_prefork module.

$ sudo a2enmod mpm_prefork

Enable mod_rewrite.

$ sudo a2enmod rewrite

Restart the Apache service.

$ sudo systemctl restart apache2

5. Configure Admin Account

Add an initial user with access level 10 for administration. Modify the AdminPassword value with your secure password.

$ cd /opt/observium

$ sudo ./adduser.php admin AdminPassword 10

Create a new file /etc/cron.d/observium to add cron jobs.

$ sudo nano /etc/cron.d/observium

Add the following contents, save and close the file:

# Run a complete discovery of all devices once every 6 hours
33  */6   * * *   root    /opt/observium/discovery.php -h all >> /dev/null 2>&1

# Run automated discovery of newly added devices every 5 minutes
*/5 *     * * *   root    /opt/observium/discovery.php -h new >> /dev/null 2>&1

# Run multithreaded poller wrapper every 5 minutes
*/5 *     * * *   root    /opt/observium/ >> /dev/null 2>&1

# Run housekeeping script daily for syslog, eventlog and alert log
13 5 * * * root /opt/observium/housekeeping.php -ysel >> /dev/null 2>&1

# Run housekeeping script daily for rrds, ports, orphaned entries in the database and performance data
47 4 * * * root /opt/observium/housekeeping.php -yrptb >> /dev/null 2>&1

6. Access Observium Web Interface

Install UFW.

$ sudo apt-get install ufw -y

Enable UFW.

$ sudo ufw enable

Allow port 80 and ssh through UFW firewall.

$ sudo ufw allow 80

$ sudo ufw allow ssh

To access the Observium Web Interface, go to your browser and visit http://Server_IP/. For example:


You have successfully installed Observium on your server. You will get a log-in screen; use admin as your username and AdminPassword as your password. Modify the AdminPassword value with the secure password you entered during setup. You can now access the Dashboard and configure it to begin managing your network.

More Information

To learn more about Observium, go to the official documentation page.

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