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Monitoring Instances with LibreNMS on Ubuntu Focal Fossa

Reviewed on 12 January 2022Published on 04 July 2019
  • compute
  • Instance
  • LibreNMS
  • Ubuntu-Focal
  • Fossa

LibreNMS Overview

LibreNMS is a fully-featured network monitoring system that supports a wide range of network hardware and operating systems including Linux and Windows. As well as network equipment made by Cisco, Juniper, Foundry, and many more.

The software is based on PHP and MySQL (MariaDB) and is a community-based fork of the last GPL-licensed version of Observium.


Installing LibreNMS

  1. Update the apt repository information.

    apt update
  2. Install the required packages.

    apt install software-properties-common
    add-apt-repository universe
    apt update
    apt install acl curl composer fping git graphviz imagemagick mariadb-client mariadb-server mtr-tiny nginx-full nmap php7.4-cli php7.4-curl php7.4-fpm php7.4-gd php7.4-json php7.4-mbstring php7.4-mysql php7.4-snmp php7.4-xml php7.4-zip python3-memcache python3-mysqldb python3-pip rrdtool snmp snmpd whois
  3. Create a user for LibreNMS:

    useradd librenms -d /opt/librenms -M -r
    usermod -a -G librenms www-data
  4. Enter the directory /opt and download LibreNMS:

    cd /opt
    git clone https://github.com/librenms/librenms.git
  5. Set the permissions:

    chown -R librenms:librenms /opt/librenms
    chmod 770 /opt/librenms
    setfacl -d -m g::rwx /opt/librenms/rrd /opt/librenms/logs /opt/librenms/bootstrap/cache/ /opt/librenms/storage/
    setfacl -R -m g::rwx /opt/librenms/rrd /opt/librenms/logs /opt/librenms/bootstrap/cache/ /opt/librenms/storage/
  6. Switch into the librenms user:

    su - librenms
  7. Install the PHP dependencies:

    ./scripts/composer_wrapper.php install --no-dev
  8. Logout from the user session:


Setting up the Database

LibreNMS stores the data collected from the monitored systems in a MySQL database. The open-source fork MariaDB is used in the setup, providing the same features as MySQL.

  1. Run the MariaDB setup assistant to configure a secure root password for the database server:

  2. Connect to the MariaDB shell with the user root and the password configured in the previous step:

    mysql -uroot -p
  3. Create a database and user for LibreNMS and grant permissions to the database:

    CREATE DATABASE librenms CHARACTER SET utf8 COLLATE utf8_unicode_ci;
    CREATE USER 'librenms'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY '<a_secure_password>';
    GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON librenms.* TO 'librenms'@'localhost';

    Replace <a_secure_password> with a secure password of your choice.

  4. Open the file /etc/mysql/mariadb.conf.d/50-server.cnf in a text editor, for example nano:

    nano /etc/mysql/mariadb.conf.d/50-server.cnf

    Add the following Lines within the [mysqld] section:


    Save the file by pressing CTRL+O and exit nano by pressing CTRL+X.

  5. Restart the MariaDB server:

    systemctl restart mysql

Setting up Nginx

Nginx is an open-source web server and is being used to serve the web frontend of LibreNMS.

  1. Create the file /etc/nginx/sites-available/librenms.example.com by opening it in a text editor:

    nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/librenms.example.com

    Add the Nginx configuration to the file, save it and exit nano:

    server {
    listen 80;
    server_name <librenms.example.com>;
    root /opt/librenms/html;
    index index.php;

    charset utf-8;
    gzip on;
    gzip_types text/css application/javascript text/javascript application/x-javascript image/svg+xml text/plain text/xsd text/xsl text/xml image/x-icon;
    location / {
    try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$query_string;
    location /api/v0 {
    try_files $uri $uri/ /api_v0.php?$query_string;
    location ~ \.php {
    include fastcgi.conf;
    fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+\.php)(/.+)$;
    fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php/php7.4-fpm.sock;
    location ~ /\.ht {
    deny all;

    Replace <librenms.example.com> with the FQDN of your instance.

  2. Enable the server block by linking it to the sites-enabled directory:

    ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/librenms.example.com /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/
  3. Restart the Nginx web server:

    service nginx restart

For security reasons, it is recommended to configure HTTPS by following this tutorial.

Setting up SNMP

Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is a protocol for collecting and organizing information about managed devices on IP networks. Data of SNMP is transported using User Datagram Protocol (UDP). Requests are sent to the agent listening on UDP port 161.

  1. Copy the SNMP configuration file in the directory /etc/snmp:

    cp /opt/librenms/snmpd.conf.example /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf
  2. Open the configuration file in a text editor:

    nano /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf

    Edit the string RANDOMSTRINGGOESHERE to a SNMP group name of your choice.

    Save the file and exit nano.

  3. To display distribution information, download the distro script and make it executable:

    curl -o /usr/bin/distro https://raw.githubusercontent.com/librenms/librenms-agent/master/snmp/distro
    chmod +x /usr/bin/distro
  4. Restart the SNMP service:

    systemctl restart snmpd

Setting up the Cronjob and Logrotate

Cron is a job scheduler available on Linux systems. It can be used to run jobs (i.e. shell scripts) automatically at given points in time to automatize system maintenance. Logrotate is a tool to rotate log files automatically. This means to clean up log files periodically by removing old contents to ensure the disk space they occupy does not exceed a configured maximum value.

  1. Copy the cron configuration file into the directory /etc/cron.d/ to execute actions automatically:

    cp /opt/librenms/librenms.nonroot.cron /etc/cron.d/librenms

    The file contains the basic cronjobs required by LibreNMS.

  2. To avoid that the log files of LibreNMS become too large, logrotate can rotate them out from time to time to save space. Enable it by copying the provided configuration file into /etc/logrotate.d:

    cp /opt/librenms/misc/librenms.logrotate /etc/logrotate.d/librenms

Running the Web Installer

  1. Open a web browser and go to your LibreNMS instance:

  2. Fill in the database connection parameters and the password set during database creation:

  3. Configure a user and password for LibreNMS and complete the setup.

  4. Login to LibreNMS with the user and password created in the previous step:

Adding Localhost

Start by adding the local host as the first device to monitor:

  1. Once logged in, click Devices, then Add Device in the pop-up menu:

  2. Enter the hostname localhost, keep SNMP on, leave the values for SNMP version and Port Association Mode as preset. Enter the configured community name in the file /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf as value for Community. Once all values are set, click Add Device to add the device:

  3. LibreNMS starts polling the device and different graphs are created, showing the status of the device.

Adding a Remote Device

LibreNMS is capable of monitoring many different network devices. To monitor a remote cloud instance or elastic metal server, the use of SNMP is widespread. SNMP stands for Simple Network Management Protocol. It is a protocol that was designed for monitoring and management purposes of network-connected devices (servers, switches, printers, routers, etc.). On Ubuntu systems a daemon called SNMPd is available to listen and reply to SNMP requests.

  1. To monitor another cloud instance or elastic metal server, connect to the machine as root:

    ssh root@second_cloud_instance
  2. Update the apt repository inventory:

    apt update
  3. To display distribution information, download the distro script and make it executable:

    curl -o /usr/bin/distro https://raw.githubusercontent.com/librenms/librenms-agent/master/snmp/distro
    chmod +x /usr/bin/distro
  4. Install SNMPd via apt:

    apt install snmpd
  5. Open the SNMPd configuration file in a text editor (e.g. nano):

    nano /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf
  6. Delete the content present in the default configuration file and replace it with the example below:

    # Change RANDOMSTRINGGOESHERE to your preferred SNMP community string
    com2sec readonly RANDOMSTRINGGOESHERE
    group MyROGroup v2c readonly
    view all included .1 80
    access MyROGroup "" any noauth exact all none none

    syslocation "Paris, France"
    syscontact Your Name <your@email.address>

    #Distro Detection
    extend . distro /usr/bin/distro

    Edit the file to meet your requirements, the meaning of the different lines is explained below:

    • com2sec readonly RANDOMSTRINGGOESHERE - This line maps a security string to a community name. A security string is an access policy, an IP address limitation (replace with the IP address of the LibreNMS instance) and a community name (replace RANDOMSTRINGGOESHERE with the community name configured during the installation of LibreNMS).
    • The line group MyROGroup v2c readonly maps a group (MyROGroup) to a security name (v2c readonly).
    • The line view defines a subset of which information from the MIB is visible when polling the device via SNMP
    • With the line access MyROGroup "" any noauth exact all none none acces rules are tied to the group set before. In this example it means that the group MyROGroup can, in any context (""), access the data over any version of the protocol (any), without authentication (noauth), matching the exact context (exact), allowing access to all view rules (all). No write (none) or modify access (none) is permitted.
    • syslocation “Paris, France” is pretty self-explanatory and specifies the geographical location of the machine.
    • syscontact Your Name <your@email.address> defines the administrative contact for the machine.
    • The last line is used to communicate the distribution information collected by distro via SNMP

    Edit the values in the file towards your needs before saving it and exiting the editor.

  7. Restart the SNMP service:

    systemctl restart snmpd
  8. Add the device to LibreNMS by clicking on Devices, then Add Device in the pop-up menu from within the LibreNMS web interface.

  9. Enter the hostname of the device, keep SNMP on, leave the values for SNMP version and Port Association Mode as preset. Enter the community name set in the file /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf as value for Community. Once all values are set, click Add Device to add the device.

  10. LibreNMS starts polling the device and creating different graphs showing the status of the device:

For more information about the configuration options of SNMP, refer to the official documentation. You may also refer to the documentation of LibreNMS.