2015. március 6., péntek

How to intall smokeping - the only way it works :)

What is smokeping? That's a powerful network monitoring tool which works mainly with tricky ICMP pings and also able to do special TCP and UDP port connection tests built-in. You can check your statistics on web based graphs.

How to install it? There are blogs that discusses the process but I strongly recommend not to follow them word for word because they suffer from serious errors that keep you from succeeding. Happily you are here, at the perfect place for the perfect tutorial!

What is a master and slave configuration?
Master is actually your central smokeping server. It periodically checks the hosts you configured to monitor. Nothing surprising, ehm ? Let's look at the slave(s) then. They check BACK to the master (or any other configured host) and send their results BACK to the master who process their data and displays the results together with its normal monitoring data.

Okay, let's install my master Debian/Ubuntu node first. I'm going to create two logical units inside my monitoring tree. I'll call the first "External hosts" and the second (guess what) "Internal hosts".

apt-get update
apt-get install smokeping
Check if /etc/default/smokeping has only ONE active line: "MODE=master"
cd /etc/smokeping/
touch slave-secrets
You define here your SLAVE servers individual passwords. In my case I will have two slave (also active checking) servers in my "External hosts", see later.
cat /etc/smokeping/slave-secrets
echo "topsecr3t" > slavesecrets.conf
chmod 660 slave-secrets
chmod 600 slavesecrets.conf
chown smokeping:www-data slave-secrets slavesecrets.conf
cd config.d/
cat Alerts
*** Alerts ***
to = me.admin@mydomain.com
from = smokeping@mydomain.com

[...others are remain the same default...]
cat Database
*** Database ***

step     = 200
pings    = 100

[...others are remain the same default...]
These two variables are changed because I want to check my hosts in every 200 seconds with 100 ping packets.
cat General
*** General ***

owner    = Me.Da.Admin
contact  = me.admin@mydomain.com
mailhost = localhost
# NOTE: do not put the Image Cache below cgi-bin
# since all files under cgi-bin will be executed ... this is not
# good for images.
cgiurl   = http://localhost/cgi-bin/smokeping.cgi
[...others are remain the same default...]
 cat Probes
*** Probes ***

+ FPing

binary = /usr/bin/fping
packetsize = 500
pings = 100
step = 200
timeout = 1.5
[...others are remain the same default...]
Several other parameters can be used, see later.
 cat Slaves
*** Slaves ***

display_name=My Great webserver

display_name=My Super FTP server

I've defined here my slave servers. NOT those hosts I want to check. Don't be confused: these two categories are totaly different!
cat Targets
 *** Targets ***
probe = FPing

menu = Top
title = Network Latency Grapher
remark = Welcome to my little SmokePing website.

+ External
menu = External hosts
title = Ext

++ mywebserver
menu = My Superb Webserver
host =

++ myftpserver
menu = My gorgeos ftpserver
host =

++ mysmokeping
menu = this.server
host =
slaves = mywebserver myftpserver

menu = Interal hosts
title = Gateways

++ MyGateway
menu = My Little Cisco Switch
host =

I've set the most important things here: my monitored hosts. Probe type is simple fping. Two units here: External and Internal. Their friendly name will shown in the web menu as "External hosts" and "Internal hosts". External has 3 hosts inside it: two external servers and the monitor server itself. mywebserver and myftpserver HAVE to be the same string as the servers identifies themselves! (as they answer to the "hostname" shell command) ++mysmokeping section MUST HAVE the "slaves = mywebserver myftpserver" line. If you don't have it, the slaves are going to reply with the unpleasant message
"ERROR: we did not get config from the master. Maybe we are not configured as a slave for any of the targets on the master ?"
/etc/init.d/smokeping restart
If you can't see any useful answer to this :) you may find this command profitable: journalctl -xn

Wait some minutes and point your browser to

And! Here is the point for slaves: set your file rights according to the following:
/var/lib/smokeping# ls -sal
4 drwxrwx---  2 smokeping www-data  4096 Mar  6 13:05 External
cd smokeping/
chown smokeping:www-data *
chmod 755 *
This is a MUST to let the Slaves able to POST their data to apache running on your smokeping master.

SLAVE nodes
apt-get install smokeping
cat /etc/default/smokeping

Note that this is considerably unsecure configuration. Use VPN connections, firewalls or other type of http authentication,in .htaccess for example. The above 3 lines you have to have, no more or less.
echo "topsecret" > /etc/smokeping/slavesecrets.conf
ls -sal /etc/smokeping/slavesecrets.conf
Set file rights as:
-r--r-----  1 smokeping root   13 Mar  6 07:41 slavesecrets.conf

All the other files are needless here. You can safely delete the whole config.d/ directory for example. Nice, huh?
/etc/init.d/smokeping restart
 Wait some minutes and watch your slave-driven data flow under your "External" session on your Master's webpage.
In case anything going wrong - or nothing, check your apache error log:
cat /var/log/apache/error.log

Check the online manual for further reference.

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