Install and setup Cacti reporting for your server

Cacti is an open source reporting tool that uses the RRA style graphing modules, embedded in a nice HTML GUI.  A user can report on a whole range of subjects such as hosts or networking equipment using SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) to using the command line tools to parse from any application that delivers command line driven stats.

In the steps below, we will take you through the simple installation of Cacti on a new machine, running Ubuntu.

Prerequisites

1. A machine running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or newer

2. No pre existing installation of Apache, MySQL or PHP

3. Superuser privileged user

Installing Cacti and Cacti-Spine

1. Start installing Cacti and Cacti-spine with the following commands:-

$ sudo apt-get update

$ sudo apt-get install cacti cacti-spine

The update is to ensure that your repositories are up to date, sometimes you may get an error if you have not updated them first.

2. Set the root password of MySQL when prompted to do so

3. Hit enter when the prompt displays stating that the PHP directory has changed

4. Select Apache2 as the webservice to use and hit enter (it should be selected by default)

5.Next choose Yes to configure database with dbconfig-common.  This should be set by default

6. Finally, the installer will want to create a database for Cacti.  At that point you will get asked for your recently added MySQL Administrative password followed by 2 additional prompts for the Cacti user password


Install Cacti for the first time

1. Open your favourite browser and go to http://localhost/cacti

There will be a couple of pages that load the first time you visit cacti.

2.Select Next at the following prompt to begin first time installation [screenshot]

3. Choose New Install from the drop down and click next.  It should be selected by default

4. Ensure that all binary files are located before clicking next.  [screenshot]


Log In

1. To login to Cacti for the first time the username and password is admin, admin

2. Cacti will ask for a new admin password before proceeding.  Choose something more secure at this point


Configure poller to use spine

When you first login, you will have many options down the left hand side.  This is the Console area and you can return to this screen by clicking the “console” link at the top left of the page.

1. In the console area click on Settings

2. Go to Poller from the above tabs

3. Next to the setting Poller Type, select spine from the drop down menu [screenshot]

4. Click Save and then away you go.


View your graphs

1. Click on graphs from the top menu to view your graphs [screenshot]

The graphs take about 15 mins to show data.  The first Poll will generate the graphs, the second will replace “-NAN”  with actual figures underneath and the 3rd begins plotting those values to the graphs.