Ubuntu Server remote administration – Monit

Monit logoI have recently tested some remote administration tools for Ubuntu server (or any other Linux-based server). I have recorded here my findings and installation steps.

Today I present Monit, a monitoring and control tool for Unix and Unix-like systems.

This article will be followed by others with different tools. Stay tune, and you can find them all using the following tag remote-server-admin.

Monit – Server monitoring

Monit offers basic system monitoring and can act on predefined alerts.


As simple as

$ sudo apt-get install monit


You need to edit the file /etc/monit/monitrc I modified the following lines:

set httpd port 2812 and
#    use address localhost  # only accept connection from localhost
#    allow localhost        # allow localhost to connect to the server and
  allow admin:monit      # require user 'admin' with password 'monit'
#    allow @monit           # allow users of group 'monit' to connect (rw)
#    allow @users readonly  # allow users of group 'users' to connect readonly

This allows Monit to be monitored via a web browser from a remote machine using the credentials admin/monit.

Activate monitoring

In the same configuration file (/etc/monit/monitrc) there is a section called Services where some template monitoring services are defined. Simply uncomment those that interest you. I uncommented those two:

Monitoring the CPU resources

check system ubuntu-storage
  if loadavg (1min) > 4 then alert
  if loadavg (5min) > 2 then alert
  if memory usage > 75% then alert
  if swap usage > 25% then alert
  if cpu usage (user) > 70% then alert
  if cpu usage (system) > 30% then alert
  if cpu usage (wait) > 20% then alert

Monitoring my NAS server

check host sogur with address
  if failed icmp type echo count 3 with timeout 3 seconds then alert

Monitoring specific services and controlling them

Reading this resource at How to Forge regarding Munin and Monit installation, I did the following configuration. I created a new file

$ sudo vi /etc/monit/conf.d/sshd

And added the following configuration in it:

check process sshd with pidfile /var/run/sshd.pid
   start program  "/usr/sbin/service sshd start"
   stop program  "/usr/sbin/service sshd stop"
   if failed port 22 protocol ssh then restart
   if 5 restarts within 5 cycles then timeout

Activating the new configuration

We need to restart the monit service:

 $ sudo service monit restart

Visualising Monit

Open your favorite web browser and go to the page http://IP:2812 Example:

Monit output example
Monit remote web interface example