January 22nd 2018

linux, server

Monitoring a small server


So you set up your server, it's open to the world, and everybody talks about what security risk that is. Your firewalls work, you probably use something like fail2ban, you check your logs every now and then, but that's not 100% protection.

Really you'd need to be able to monitor the server over time to see if everything is ok. This applies to security risks of the modern internet, but also to hard drive trouble, processes running rampant eating all your resources, overheating etc.

Monitoring tools exist, but most are geared towards a professional environment with more than one server. They are hard to understand and I fear they would put more stress on my poor old kitchenserver than all other applications combined...

Monitorix seems to be a good solution for me.

It's been around for more than a decade.
It's really simplistic and totally transparent, for a clueless half-nerd like me.

Installation and initial setup is easy. Then I decided to use nginx as a reverse proxy for the built-in HTTP server.

It works.
Boy, is it ugly. HTML coding with tables and without CSS - that's the stone age! - says the web developer in me. But nevermind, we want functionality.

Looking at /etc/monitorix/monitorix.conf, there's a lot to do. Everything is well documented.
Now, the trick is to configure it to point to the proper logfiles, and to show the info needed and not much more (otherwise one gets lost looking at it).