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MRTG:

Introduction

MRTG is wonderful tool. You can use it to monitor traffic on your router or leased server
located at remote IDC. Since it is written in Perl and some code in C language, it is
portable and high performance tool.

What is MRTG?

As explained in official mrtg(1) man page "The Multi Router Traffic Grapher (MRTG) is
a tool to monitor the traffic load on network-links. MRTG generates HTML pages
containing GIF images which provide a LIVE visual representation of this traffic." Here
is public view of my own site. Please note following discussion based upon Red Hat
Linux Enterprise version 3 update 2 and RHEL v4.0.

What is SNMP and why should I care?

SNMP is Simple Network Management Protocol. It is use to manage IP network devices


such as servers, routers, switches etc. Administrator can find or manage network
performance, solve problem or even optimize it further. For more information on official
UNIX/Linux SNMP please see UCD-SNMP/NET-SNMP Tutorials and an excellent
resource at Snmplink.org

Assumptions

These installation instructions assume you have:

• Linux distribution
• You would like to perform MRTG and snmp binary installation using rpm. If you
are looking for source installation then visit author's web site here. This page has
an excellent information (systematically) to install it from source.
• Required RPMs
o mrtg
o snmp
o snmp-utils
• Installations were tested on Red Hat Enterprise Linux version 3 update 2.
Step # 1 : Make sure snmp server installed
Please note that snmpd configuration does not require using mrtg with remote network devices such as Routers and
switches. If you just want mrtg graphs for router or switch then please refer to step # 4 (as all these devices comes
preconfigured with snmpd software).

Run rpm commands query option to find out snmp server installed or not:

# rpm -qa | grep snmp

If snmp installed then please refer step # 2; otherwise snmp server and utils were not present and your need to install
them using following steps (login as a root user):

(a) Visit rpmfind.net to get snmp server and utilities rpms. If you are fedora user then use yum command as follows to
install it:

# yum install net-snmp-utils net-snmp

(b) If you are RHEL subscriber then use up2date command as follows to install:

#up2date -v -i net-snmp-utils net-snmp

Step # 2 : Determine if snmp server is running or not


Run 'ps' command to see if snmp server is running or not:

# ps -aux | grep snmp

Output:

root 5512 0.0 2.3 5872 3012 pts/0 S 22:04 0:00 /usr/sbin/snmpd

Alternatively, you can try any of the following two commands as well:

# lsof -i :199

Output:

COMMAND PID USER FD TYPE DEVICE SIZE NODE NAME


snmpd 5512 root 4u IPv4 34432 TCP *:smux (LISTEN)

OR try out netstat command:

# netstat -natv | grep ':199'

Output:

tcp 0 0 0.0.0.0:199 0.0.0.0:* LISTEN

If you found service is running or listing on port 199 then please see step #3; otherwise start service using following
command:
# service snmpd start

Make sure snmpd service starts automatically, when linux comes us (add snmpd service):

# chkconfig --add snmpd

Step # 3 : Make sure snmp server configured properly


Run snmpwalk utility to request for tree of information about network entity. In simple words query snmp server for
your IP address (assigned to eth0, eth1, lo etc):

# snmpwalk -v 1 -c public localhost IP-MIB::ipAdEntIfIndex


ip.ipAddrTable.ipAddrEntry.ipAdEntIfIndex.127.0.0.1 = 1
ip.ipAddrTable.ipAddrEntry.ipAdEntIfIndex.192.168.0.3 = 2

If you can see your IP address then please proceed to step 4; else it is a time to configure snmp server as follows (by
default RHEL and RH 8/9 are not configured for snmp server for security reason):

Configure SNMP

(1) Edit file /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf using text editor:


# vi /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf

Change/Modify line(s) as follows:

Find following Line:

com2sec notConfigUser default public


Replace with (make sure you replace 192.168.0.0/24 replace with your network IPs) following lines:
com2sec local localhost public
com2sec mynetwork 192.168.0.0/24 public

Scroll down bit and change:

Find Lines:

group notConfigGroup v1 notConfigUser


group notConfigGroup v2c notConfigUser

Replace with:

group MyRWGroup v1 local


group MyRWGroup v2c local
group MyRWGroup usm local
group MyROGroup v1 mynetwork
group MyROGroup v2c mynetwork
group MyROGroup usm mynetwork

Again scroll down bit and locate following line:

Find line:

view systemview included system


Replace with:

view all included .1 80

Again scroll down bit and change:

Find line:

access notConfigGroup "" any noauth exact systemview none none

Replace with:

access MyROGroup "" any noauth exact all none none


access MyRWGroup "" any noauth exact all all none

Scroll down bit and change:

Find lines:

syslocation Unknown (edit /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf)


syscontact Root (configure /etc/snmp/snmp.local.conf)
Replace with (make sure you supply appropriate values):
syslocation Linux (RH3_UP2), Home Linux Router.
syscontact Vivek G Gite <vivek@nixcraft.com>

For your convenient, here is my /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf file. Feel free to use this file. Make sure you make backup of
your existing file if you use this file as it is.

Start your snmp server and test it:

(a) Make sure when linux comes up snmpd always starts:

# chkconfig snmpd on

(b) Make sure service start whenever Linux comes up (after reboot):

# service snmpd start

(c) Finally test your snmp server:

# snmpwalk -v 1 -c public localhost IP-MIB::ipAdEntIfIndex

Step # 4 : Install mrtg if not installed


Mrtg software may install during initial installation; you can verify if MRTG installed or not with following RPM
command:

rpm -qa | grep mrtg

If mrtg already installed please see step # 5; else use rpmfind.net to find MRTG rpm or up2date command to install
MRTG software:

# up2date -v -i mrtg
Fedora Linux user can use yum command as follows to install MRTG:

# yum install mrtg

Step # 5 : Commands to Configure mrtg


(a) Create document root to store mrtg graphs/html pages:

# mkdir -p /var/www/html/mymrtg/

(b) Run any one of the following cfgmaker command to create mrtg configuration file:

#cfgmaker --global 'WorkDir: /var/www/html/mymrtg' --output


/etc/mrtg/mymrtg.cfg public@localhost

OR (make sure your FQDN resolves, in following example i'm using rh9.test.com which is my router FQDN address)

# cfgmaker --global 'WorkDir: /var/www/html/mymrtg' --output


/etc/mrtg/mymrtg1.cfg public@rh9.test.com

(c) Create default index page for your MRTG configuration:

# indexmaker --output=/var/www/html/mymrtg/index.html /etc/mrtg/mymrtg.cfg

(d) Copy all tiny png files to your mrtg path:

# cp -av /var/www/html/mrtg/*.png /var/www/html/mymrtg/

Step # 6 First test run of mrtg


(a) Run mrtg command from command line with your configuration file:

# mrtg /etc/mrtg/mymrtg.cfg

Note: You may get few warning message for first time; ignore them.

(b) Fire your favorite web browser (like FireFox :D ) and type url http://www.your.com/mymrtg/ or http://your-
ip/mymrtg/

Step # 7 Create crontab entry so that mrtg graph / images get generated
every 5 minutes
(a) Login as a root user or login as a mrtg user and type following command:

# crontab -e

(b) Add mrtg cron job entry to configuration file (append following line to it):

*/5 * * * * /usr/bin/mrtg /etc/mrtg/mymrtg.cfg --logging /var/log/mrtg.log

Save file and you are done with MRTG config issues :)

You do not want to give access to everyone to your snmp server for security reasons. SNMP server uses UDP 161, 162
ports for communication. Use Linux IPTABLES firewall to restrict access to SNMP server

(a) Allow outgoing SNMP server request from your Linux computer. This is useful when you query remote host/router
(replace SERVER IO with your real IP):

SERVER="xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx"
iptables -A OUTPUT -p udp -s $SERVER --sport 1024:65535 -d 0/0 --dport 161:162
-m state --state NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -p udp -s 0/0 --sport 161:162 -d $SERVER --dport 1024:65535
-m state --state ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

(b )Allow incoming SNMP client request via iptables. This is useful when you wish to accept queries for rest of the
world (replace SERVER IP with your real IP):

SERVER="xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx"
iptables -A INPUT -p udp -s 0/0 --sport 1024:65535 -d $SERVER --dport 161:162
-m state --state NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
iptables -A OUTPUT -p udp -s $SERVER --sport 161:162 -d 0/0 --dport 1024:65535
-m state --state ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

Pleae note that above two are just SNMP specific iptables rules. Please consult iptables(8) man page for complete
information on iptables

Step # 9 Optional: Protect your MRTG graphs/html pages with


password protected directory
Once again, you would like to restrict access to your MRTG reports. This can easily accomplished with Apache
webserver's .htaccess file. If you are on webhosting server with control panel (such as ensim or plesk) then you can use
control panel itself to create password-protected directory.

Below is process outlined to protect graphs using apache's .htaccess file and htpasswd command:

Step # 1: Create .htaccess file in /var/www/html/mymrtg/ directory (add text as follows):


vi /var/www/html/mymrtg/.htaccess

Add following text to file:

AuthName "MRTG Graphs/Html restricted access"


AuthType Basic
AuthUserFile /var/members/.htpasswd
require user mrtgadmin

Step # 2: Create a user and password name (-c assumes first time you are using .htpasswd file):

# htpasswd -c /var/members/.htpasswd mrtgadmin

For more information please see Apache Webserver Authentication and access control mini-howto.