How to Monitor Linux Servers Using Checkmk 2021 Tips

This tutorial covers how you can monitor Linux servers using Checkmk. We will do our best to make sure you understand this guide. I hope you will like this blog How to Monitor Linux Servers Using Checkmk. If your answer is yes, please share after reading this.

Check how you can monitor Linux servers with the help of Checkmk

As a system / network administrator, it is your responsibility to keep an eye on the Linux servers in your data center (either on-premises or in the cloud). Since the Linux platform has a significant number of tools to help you monitor these servers, you might not be sure where to start. Among these many titles, there is one software in particular that you should definitely try. This monitor is Checkmk.

Checkmk can monitor your servers, workstations, applications, networks and cloud environments, all from a well-designed web-based GUI dashboard.

I’ll walk you through the process of installing Checkmk and then adding a monitoring agent. We will do both on Ubuntu Server 20.04, but be aware that this software is compatible with Debian and RHEL based distributions.

Start monitoring with Checkmk

It’s time to switch to the Checkmk user interface in your web browser. Each Checkmk site has its own URL, consisting of the IP address or hostname of your monitoring server and the name of the Checkmk site. In this example, my Checkmk installation is done on monitoring-host-server / checkmk_demo /.

  • Open the link to your Checkmk site in your browser. You can open the link displayed in your terminal.
  • Log in as the cmkadmin user, using the password you copied from the terminal.
  • Once logged in, you will see an empty panel.
  • Click the User category in the sidebar on the left, then click Change Password under Profile. Here you can change your password.

Monitoring settings

Checkmk supports different ways of monitoring servers, and the best method of monitoring servers is usually to use Checkmk agents. Before adding a server, you must install the agent.

In the left sidebar, click Settings (the button with a cogwheel).

This is the control panel where you make all the settings and find the monitoring agents. There are a few differences in the user interface between Raw Edition and Enterprise Edition, but all screenshots in this article are from open source Raw Edition.

Click Agents and select the appropriate package for your operating system.

Agents packaged for Linux are provided in RPM and DEB file formats.

Select an agent

Download and install the agent on your monitoring host.

You can test if the agent is working correctly by running the check_mk_agent command in your terminal server.

Add a host

Once the agent is installed, return to the Configuration screen and select Hosts.

Click Add Host.

Add your server name in Hostname.

If you have configured DNS on your network, Checkmk automatically resolves the IP address to your hostname. Otherwise, add the IP address by checking the box next to the IPv4 address. If you add an IP address, you can choose any hostname you want. Leave the other areas unchanged.

Click Save and navigate to the service settings. Checkmk now automatically discovers all relevant monitoring services on this host and lists them as Undecided Services. Additionally, as you can see in the screenshot, Checkmk automatically adds tags based on the type of device.

Click Repair All to monitor all of these items. This adds all discovered services and host tags to your dashboard and removes any services that are gone. Of course, you can manage the services manually, but the Repair All feature makes it a lot easier.

Host monitoring fixes it all

Then activate your changes by clicking on the field highlighted by the yellow exclamation mark (!) In the upper right corner. Click Activate on Selected Sites and you have successfully added the first server to your monitor.

Enforcing explicit activation of changes is a security mechanism. Any changes made are listed first under Pending Changes so that you can review the changes before they affect your monitoring. Checkmk distinguishes between installing as a configuration environment, where it manages hosts, services and configurations, and the area called Monitor, where actual operational monitoring takes place. New hosts and other configuration changes do not initially affect monitoring. You must activate them before they go into production.

SNMP monitoring

In addition to server monitoring, another essential monitoring task is network monitoring. As an example, I would like to show you how to monitor a switch over SNMP. All you need to do is make sure that the SNMP agent on the device you want to monitor is enabled and that your Checkmk server can access that device.

  • Go to Settings> Hosts and click Add Host.
  • Enter the host name and IP address (if necessary).

By default, Checkmk assumes you are using a Checkmk agent, so you need to change it in Monitoring Agents.

Check the box next to SNMP and change the box to your SNMP version (probably “SNMP v2 or v3”).

Checkmk also assumes by default that its SNMP community is public as this is also the default on most SNMP devices. If so, you can leave the SNMP Credentials box unchecked (like me). Otherwise, you need to check this box and add your SNMP credentials here.

As before, click on Save and go to the service settings. Checkmk discovers all interfaces currently online, availability and verification of SNMP information.

If there is a monitoring plug-in for a particular type of device, Checkmk automatically detects more monitoring services.

Click Repair All and accept the changes.

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Final Words: How to Monitor Linux Servers Using Checkmk

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