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Server Monitoring With munin And monit On Mandriva 2010.0

In this article I will describe how you can monitor your Mandriva 2010.0 server with munin and monit. munin produces nifty little graphics about nearly every aspect of your server (load average, memory usage, CPU usage, MySQL throughput, eth0 traffic, etc.) without much configuration, whereas monit checks the availability of services like Apache, MySQL, Postfix and takes the appropriate action such as a restart if it finds a service is not behaving as expected. The combination of the two gives you full monitoring: graphics that lets you recognize current or upcoming problems (like “We need a bigger server soon, our load average is increasing rapidly.”), and a watchdog that ensures the availability of the monitored services.

Although munin lets you monitor more than one server, we will only discuss the monitoring of the system where it is installed here.

This tutorial was written for Mandriva 2010.0, but the configuration should apply to other distributions with little changes as well.

I want to say first that this is not the only way of setting up such a system. There are many ways of achieving this goal but this is the way I take. I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Preliminary Note

Our system’s hostname is, and we have a web site on it with the document root /var/www/


2 Install And Configure munin

To install munin on Mandriva 2010.0, we do this:

urpmi munin munin-node

Next, we must edit the munin configuration file /etc/munin/munin.conf. We want munin to put its output into the directory /var/www/, therefore we change the value of htmldir, and we want it to use the name instead of localhost in the HTML output, therefore we replace localhost with Without the comments, the changed file looks like this:

vi /etc/munin/munin.conf

dbdir   /var/lib/munin
htmldir /var/www/
logdir  /var/log/munin
rundir  /var/run/munin

# Where to look for the HTML templates
tmpldir /etc/munin/templates
# a simple host tree
    use_node_name yes

Next we create the directory /var/www/ and change its ownership to the user and group munin, otherwise munin cannot place its output in that directory. Then we start munin:

mkdir -p /var/www/
chown munin:munin /var/www/
/etc/init.d/munin-node start

Now wait a few minutes so that munin can produce its first output, and then go to in your browser, and you see the first statistics. After a few days this could look like this:


(This is just a small excerpt of the many graphics that munin produces…)


3 Password-Protect The munin Output Directory (Optional)

Now it is a good idea to password-protect the directory /var/www/ unless you want everybody to be able to see every little statistic about your server.

To do this, we create an .htaccess file in /var/www/

vi /var/www/

AuthType Basic
AuthName "Members Only"
AuthUserFile /var/www/
<limit GET PUT POST>
require valid-user

Then we must create the password file /var/www/ We want to log in with the username admin, so we do this:

htpasswd -c /var/www/ admin

Enter a password for admin, and you’re done!

4 Install And Configure monit

We install monit as follows:

urpmi monit

monit’s default configuration file is /etc/monitrc where you can find some configuration examples (you can find more configuration examples on that are all commented out. We open that file now and uncomment the include /etc/monit.d/* line at the end:

vi /etc/monitrc

include /etc/monit.d/*

This tells monit to also look in the directory /etc/monit.d for configuration files, therefore instead of modifying /etc/monitrc, we create a new configuration file /etc/monit.d/monitrc. In my case I want to monitor proftpd, sshd, mysql, apache, and postfix, I want to enable the monit web interface on port 2812, I want a https web interface, I want to log in to the web interface with the username admin and the password test, and I want monit to send email alerts to root@localhost, so my file looks like this:

vi /etc/monit.d/monitrc

set daemon  60
set logfile syslog facility log_daemon
set mailserver localhost
set mail-format { from: }
set alert root@localhost
set httpd port 2812 and
     PEMFILE  /var/certs/monit.pem
     allow admin:test

check process proftpd with pidfile /var/run/
   start program = "/etc/init.d/proftpd start"
   stop program  = "/etc/init.d/proftpd stop"
   if failed port 21 protocol ftp then restart
   if 5 restarts within 5 cycles then timeout

check process sshd with pidfile /var/run/
   start program  "/etc/init.d/sshd start"
   stop program  "/etc/init.d/sshd stop"
   if failed port 22 protocol ssh then restart
   if 5 restarts within 5 cycles then timeout

check process mysql with pidfile /var/run/mysqld/
   group database
   start program = "/etc/init.d/mysqld start"
   stop program = "/etc/init.d/mysqld stop"
   if failed host port 3306 then restart
   if 5 restarts within 5 cycles then timeout

check process apache with pidfile /var/run/
   group www
   start program = "/etc/init.d/httpd start"
   stop program  = "/etc/init.d/httpd stop"
   if failed host port 80 protocol http
      and request "/monit/token" then restart
   if cpu is greater than 60% for 2 cycles then alert
   if cpu > 80% for 5 cycles then restart
   if totalmem > 500 MB for 5 cycles then restart
   if children > 250 then restart
   if loadavg(5min) greater than 10 for 8 cycles then stop
   if 3 restarts within 5 cycles then timeout

check process postfix with pidfile /var/spool/postfix/pid/
   group mail
   start program = "/etc/init.d/postfix start"
   stop  program = "/etc/init.d/postfix stop"
   if failed port 25 protocol smtp then restart
   if 5 restarts within 5 cycles then timeout

(Please make sure that you check processes only that really exist on your server – otherwise monit won’t start. I.e., if you tell monit to check Postfix, but Postfix isn’t installed on the system, monit won’t start.)

The configuration file is pretty self-explaining; if you are unsure about an option, take a look at the monit documentation:

In the apache part of the monit configuration you find this:

   if failed host port 80 protocol http
      and request "/monit/token" then restart

which means that monit tries to connect to on port 80 and tries to access the file /monit/token which is /var/www/ because our web site’s document root is /var/www/ If monit doesn’t succeed it means Apache isn’t running, and monit is going to restart it. Now we must create the file /var/www/ and write some random string into it:

mkdir /var/www/
echo “hello” > /var/www/

Next we create the pem cert (/var/certs/monit.pem) we need for the SSL-encrypted monit web interface:

mkdir /var/certs
cd /var/certs

We need an OpenSSL configuration file to create our certificate. It can look like this:

vi /var/certs/monit.cnf

# create RSA certs - Server

RANDFILE = ./openssl.rnd

[ req ]
default_bits = 1024
encrypt_key = yes
distinguished_name = req_dn
x509_extensions = cert_type

[ req_dn ]
countryName = Country Name (2 letter code)
countryName_default = MO

stateOrProvinceName             = State or Province Name (full name)
stateOrProvinceName_default     = Monitoria

localityName                    = Locality Name (eg, city)
localityName_default            = Monittown

organizationName                = Organization Name (eg, company)
organizationName_default        = Monit Inc.

organizationalUnitName          = Organizational Unit Name (eg, section)
organizationalUnitName_default  = Dept. of Monitoring Technologies

commonName                      = Common Name (FQDN of your server)
commonName_default              =

emailAddress                    = Email Address
emailAddress_default            =

[ cert_type ]
nsCertType = server

Now we create the certificate like this:

openssl req -new -x509 -days 365 -nodes -config ./monit.cnf -out /var/certs/monit.pem -keyout /var/certs/monit.pem

openssl gendh 512 >> /var/certs/monit.pem

openssl x509 -subject -dates -fingerprint -noout -in /var/certs/monit.pem

chmod 700 /var/certs/monit.pem

Finally, we can start monit:

/etc/init.d/monit start

Now point your browser to (make sure port 2812 isn’t blocked by your firewall), log in with admin and test, and you should see the monit web interface. It should look like this:


(Main Screen)


(Apache Status Page)

Depending on your configuration in /etc/monit.d/monitrc monit will restart your services if they fail and send notification emails if process IDs of services change, etc.

Have fun!


  • munin:
  • monit:
  • Mandriva: