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Beginner Blueprint: Complete Monit Setup Guide

Setting up a home server can be a piece of work. After setting it up, you want to have it running as automatically as possible, with little or no intervention from you. You spend time looking at the most common home server uses, then find appropriate software from a list of best home server software. You might have automated your home server with our complete FlexGet setup guide, but now comes the question: what happens if anything fails? There are monitoring tools for home servers, such as Monit, and we will teach you how to get it up and running, and what to use it for, in this complete Monit setup guide. [Read: Three free android apps to remotely monitor and administer Linux servers]

Monit Configuration Guide image monit
Monitor and Auto Maintain server with Monit

Often, after you make an investment on purchasing or renewing your home server, you will want to keep the hardware in top notch condition. With this complete Monit setup guide, you will learn how to keep your server in check, to ensure a proper performance; and get alerts when this performance drops, so you know your server requires attention. If you haven’t built your server yet, take a look at this Energy efficient budget HTPC-NAS combo build, which is a great configuration if you’re just starting. Also read up on home server software such as CouchPotato, SickBeard, SickRage, and Sonarr, to expand the capabilities of your device.

Recommended HTPC / Home Server Builds 2017

Monit Setup Guide: install Monit

Install Monit on Ubuntu for home server monitoring

Monit Setup Guide Ubuntu

With this Monit setup guide for your Ubuntu home server, you will learn how to install Monit in this operating system, in order to monitor the health and status of your home server. Monit is a small open-source utility that lets you monitor and manage Unix systems, as well as conducting automatic maintenance in some cases, which makes it great for your Ubuntu home server. Monit is able to provide the status information in an easy-to-read web interface, and is able to monitor hardware and software. [Read: Screenshot Guide: Install Ubuntu Server 16.04 LTS Xenial Xerus]

After Monit is installed you have a few basic options: you can use it to monitor your hardware, to keep it from overheating or to maintain a check on its health status. You can also monitor web servers or file servers, and you can monitor individual processes as well. Before we proceed, take a look at these installation tutorials in case you are missing one of the apps to be monitored later with this Monit setup guide:

Monit Setup Guide: hardware monitoring

Monit: Home server system load monitoring (CPU, RAM, Swap)

How to use Monit hardware monitor

To continue with our complete Monit setup guide, we will show you how to use Monit to keep your server system load in check, in CPU, RAM and Swap. If the resource usage is high on any of them, Monit is capable of sending you an email alert. This email alert can get to you wherever you are (for example, if you are at work, you can be notified of the issue and fix it when you get home). The conditions for which an alert is sent are fully customizable and you can tweak them in order to get the best experience.

Monit: Server hard drive storage monitoring (HDD space)

Monit Config Examples hdd storageHDD space is an important parameter of home servers, because that’s where our files are stored and determines how many we can keep. With this Monit setup guide for HDD monitoring, you will learn to determine what partitions need to be kept in check, as well as knowing how full any of these partitions are at any given time. You will learn how to test and reload Monit with Monit config examples that will ultimately show available disk and partition space via the Monit web interface. A neat addition to any home server!

Monit: Motherboard temperature monitoring

How to configure Monit motherboard monitorWith this Monit setup guide you will learn how to configure Monit in order to send you alerts whenever the motherboard temperature of your home server is high. This will allow you to take corrective actions and maintain adequate cooling on your device. Monit is able to send you email alerts if the motherboard temperature goes above a certain threshold. Of course, it goes without saying, that in order for Monit to be able to work properly in this case, your motherboard needs to have accurate and functional temperature sensors.

Monit: Processor or CPU temperature monitoring

Monit Tutorial example cpu temperatureAnother critical part of your server that should be always monitored and in top notch condition is the CPU, also known as Processor. These are often expensive. Furthermore, since home servers are most of the time designed to be quiet, cooling for the processor is often passive, which means there are no fans or moving parts, and it might be easy for the CPU to overheat in these cases. Monit is of course able to send email alerts if the CPU temperature is higher than a user-defined threshold, and you will learn how to configure this with this Monit setup guide.

Monit: Monitor Hard drive SMART health and temperature

Monit how to monitor HDD tutorialNAS and server drives are prone to failure from time to time. It is important to keep an eye on them , to monitor their health and temperature, and ensure proper operation. Monit keeps the SMART health status and hard drive temperature in check, and if they change in a way that could signal a failure, Monit can also email you about it. With this Monit setup guide you will learn how to determine the partitions and drives to monitor, as well as installing smartmontools and then creating Monit scripts for hard drive health and temperature.

Monit Setup Guide: server monitoring

Besides helping you keep your hardware in check, Monit can also help you monitor file servers and web servers, to ensure continued operation and even solve certain problems by itself. Take a look at these Monit config examples to keep your servers operating smoothly.

Monit: Monitor file server status (Samba and NFS)

Samba and NFS monitoring MonitYou can use Samba or NFS as file servers if you’re running a home server, or even a Linux server at a large scale. If your Samba or NFS server stop operating, Monit can notify you via email; but it is not only limited to sending notifications. In this Monit setup guide you will also learn that this application could attempt restarting your SMB server or NFS server automatically. This tutorial teaches how to monitor each of these file servers separately, to ensure your files are always ready to stream when you need them. [Read: Install and configure NFS server on Ubuntu for serving files]

Monit: Monitor web server status (Apache, NGINX, and MySQL)

Monitor web server with Monit examplesWith Monit you can also monitor your web server status, if you use Apache, NGINX or even MySQL. It doesn’t matter if you’re running a home server or a large scale Linux server. You could be serving websites with Apache and MySQL, or you could be using Apache as a reverse server proxy and using MySQL as Kodi library. Either way, this Monit tutorial will teach you how to monitor Apache, NGINX and MySQL servers with Monit, notifying you of failures and also autorestarting whenever possible. [Read: How to install MySQL Server on Ubuntu and Secure it?]

Read about Monit Software Monitoring on the next page…

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About the author

Alejandro

Alejandro is an electrical engineer, working as a software developer and part-time writer. He has a passion for technology, languages and games, and has been around the web since 2004.

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