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So after yesterdays rant, I went back and figured out how to install the Cacti monitoring software (OSS, Free) onto a Ubuntu 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope” Desktop installation. This guide uses packages only, no compiling, no Makefiles or anything like that…..You should be able to just follow this and get a fully functioning Cacti installation in about 30 minutes. Here are the steps:

  1. install ubuntu 9.04 (“Jaunty Jackalope“) Desktop Edition on your machine
  2. Login, open a Shell window and install ubuntu LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) server stack on your machine
    “sudo tasksel install lamp-server”.
    Note: Make sure you remember the password for “root” user in mysql Database, write it down somewhere, we will need it later on.
  3. Get a superuser shell started since it will make for less typing.
    “sudo -i”
    followed by your password. Be carefull from now on, you’re ROOT and can literally destroy your system if you issue the wrong command. Follow along by typing the commands in the rest of this document and answering the prompts where appropriate.
  4. Issue:
    “apt-get install rrdtool snmp php5-snmp php5 php5-gd”
    This will get all of the prereqs installed on your system. Answer “yes” when prompted for additional packages. 
  5. Issue:
    “apt-get install cacti-cactid”
    This will get cacti and cacti server installed. Again answer “yes” when prompted for additional packages.
  6. You’ll be presented with a bunch of ANSI screens that ask for information or give you choices to configure “libphp-adodb” package. Follow as per below:
    • Click “Okay” on php.ini update path (screen 1).
    • Choose “Apache 2” from the pull down on next screen (screen 2).
    • Click “Okay” on cacti and spine configuration screen (screen 3).
    • At this point some config scripts will run and you’ll see a bunch on jiberish on the screen. Let it go, don’t touch nothing.
    • Click “yes” on the dbconfig-common screen and provide the password from step 2. (above) for the mysql “root” user (screen 4).
    • Now you’re prompted to choose a password for a new mysql user known as “cacti”. I used the same password as “root” user since my system is single user only. You will need to confirm the password on the next screen (screen 5,6).
    • Almost there……..
  7. Now the hard part is over. Start your browser and point it at http://localhost/cacti — assuming you’re running the browser on the cacti machine — or the appropriate IP address instead of localhost.
  8. Click “Next” on the first screen (might want to read it too).
  9. Select “New Install” on screen 2 and Click “Next”
  10. On the next screen (Path Check screen) make sure everything is found and make 100% sure to select “RRDTool 1.2.x” from the RRDTool utility version pull down. Click “Finish” when you’re done.
  11. You’ll see the login screen. Use Username “admin” and Password “admin” to login. On the next screen you’re forced to change the password for user admin. This is a good thing. Change the password to something complicated and easy to remember (does that exist?). Click “Save”.
  12. Make sure under Configuration Settings/Paths that “Spine Poller file path” is correctly set to “/usr/sbin/spine”, and its found.
  13. Make sure under Configuration Settings/Poller you select “Poller type” and set it to “spine” and Click “Save”. You’re done……Please RTFM for more Cacti info (or come back here and you might potentially find another episode of my ramblings). Have Fun!!