Article

Setup Cacti on Debian Jessie

Published on: Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 3:25 pm EST
Debian Linux Guides

Introduction

Cacti is an open-source monitoring and graphing tools which is fully based on RRD Data. Through Cacti, you can monitor nearly any type of device such as:

  • Routers.
  • Switches.
  • Servers (Virtual and Bare Metal).

Note: Cacti relies on SNMP to monitor and gather information on devices. As such, whichever device you choose to monitor with Cacti must have SNMP support. As a security practice, you would want to limit the SNMP ACL to the Cacti server's IP.

Requirements

  • Debian Jessie

Installation

The Cacti package are part of Debian's default apt repository. In this guide, we will be demonstrating a basic installation of Cacti with Apache (though you can use Nginx or any other web server that supports PHP).

We will begin the installation process using the below command:

apt-get install cacti

The packet manager will prompt you to answer a questions in order to install Cacti. The following is suggested for a basic install:

Please select the web server for which Cacti should be automatically configured...

Apache [enter]

While not mandatory, it is highly recommended that you set a password for the MySQL administrative...

Pick a secure password, however, make sure to recall / save it somewhere.

The cacti package must have a database installed and configured before it can be used...

Yes [enter]

Please provide the password for the administrative account with which this package should...

Enter the same secure password you entered two steps earlier.

Please provide a password for cacti to register with the database server...

Enter the same secure password you entered three steps earlier.

At that point, you will have a working Cacti install on your system and you can proceed with the configuration through the web-based wizard.

Configuration

Point your browser to the following URL: http://<your_instances_ip>/cacti/. Once the page opens, select "New Install" from the dropdown and click "Next". In the next step, Cacti makes sure everything is properly installed and configured. If everything passes through, just click the "Next" button again. At this point, your installation has finished and you can use Cacti.

If you are having issues while trying to finish the Cacti installation, make sure that you've followed all steps of this guide properly and try again, however, usually there shouldn't be any issues.

Conclusion

Cacti is a decent monitoring tool to monitor devices over SNMP the traditional way providing lots of different options which other monitoring solutions may not have. In addition to that, there is a wide variety of plugins for Cacti, like the "Weathermap" plugin, allowing you to draw maps of your network showing the usage of links, for example.

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