Homepage of Ubuntu website on the display of PC, url - Ubuntu.com.
Image: sharafmaksumov/Adobe Stock

Every Linux system admin knows how important it is to be able to keep track of how a server performs. Whether it’s a load average, kernel usage, filesystem usage or network I/O, you need the tools to keep tabs on that information. Of course, because this is Linux, there are a lot of options, one of which is called Monitorix. This open-source tool is capable of watching the following:

  • System load average
  • Active processes
  • Per-processor kernel usage
  • Global kernel usage
  • Memory allocation
  • Disk drive temperatures and health
  • Filesystem usage and I/O activity
  • Network traffic usage (for up to 10 network devices)
  • System services (such as SSH, FTP, Vsftpd, ProFTP, SMTP, POP3, IMAP and POP3)
  • MTA Mail statistics
  • Network port traffic
  • FTP statistics
  • Apache statistics
  • MySQL statistics
  • Squid Proxy Web Cache statistics
  • Fail2ban statistics

Monitorix is also capable of monitoring remote servers, viewing statistics in graphs or plain text tables for day, week, month or year. And with a built-in HTTP server, you can install Monitorix on a GUI-less server and view the statistics from any web browser on your network.

Let’s get Monitorix installed on Ubuntu Server 22.04 and see what’s what.

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What you’ll need

The only things you’ll need to install Monitorix are a running instance of Ubuntu Server (version 20.04 and up) and a user with sudo privileges. With those at the ready, let’s get to the installation.

How to install Monitorix

Monitorix is found in the default repositories, so installing it on Ubuntu Server is as simple as logging in to your server and issuing the command:

sudo apt-get install monitorix -y

If you find you’re using an older distribution and Monitorix isn’t found in the default repositories, create a new repo file with:

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list.d/monitorix.list

In that file, paste the following:

deb http://apt.izzysoft.de/ubuntu generic universe

Save and close the file.

Download the GPG key with:

wget http://apt.izzysoft.de/izzysoft.asc

Add the key with:

apt-key add izzysoft.asc

Update apt with:

sudo apt-get update

Finally, install Monitorix with:

sudo apt-get install monitorix -y

Either way you go, you should have Monitorix installed and running.

How to access the Monitorix web UI

Open a web browser and point it to http://SERVER:8080/monitorix, where SERVER is the IP address of the hosting server. You should see the host, graph and time selector page (Figure A).

Figure A

This is where you select what server you want to monitor and the services to be viewed.

Select Localhost, All Graphs and Daily. Once you’ve made those selections, click OK and you’ll find yourself on the graph page. It might take a bit of time before the Monitorix graphs start showing results, but you should start seeing new information every time the page automatically refreshes (Figure B).

Figure B

Monitorix is up and running and displaying data for my Ubuntu Server instance.

And there you go, a powerful system monitor that shouldn’t take you more than five minutes to get up and running that will keep you updated with more information than you probably need about your server.

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