Observium on the Raspberry Pi 2

Please note – I have also detailed the installation of LibreNMS on the Pi, which is a fork of Observium. Please take a look at my post at:

LibreNMS on the Raspberry Pi 2 or 3

I love Observium, an open source network monitoring platform. I monitor anything and everything with this tool: firewalls, servers, routers, switches, wireless access points, printers… the possibilities are endless. If you are not familiar with Observium, please check out everything you are missing at their site:


The Raspberry Pi 2 seems to render and handle Observium well in my lab. You will not be disappointed by the beautiful graphs and the constant flow of information that Observium will feed you via the Raspberry Pi 2.

For the installation, I will deviate off the beaten path by using a currently unsupported version of Ubuntu on the Raspberry Pi 2. I am aware that Snappy Core Ubuntu is available, but I did not want to gravitate away from my comfort zone, and elected to go with Ubuntu 14.04LTS Server…

First, I would recommend grabbing a decent Micro-SD card (I used a 32GB class 10), and installing Ubuntu 14.04LTS per:


Choose to install OpenSSH-Server during the installation. You will reboot the pi after the installation, and can log in using ubuntu/ubuntu for your username and password. You will first want to set a static IP address on the Pi so you always know how to find it, by editing the following file:

sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces.d

The file should instruct how to configure eth0, the ethernet interface on the Pi. For example:

iface eth0 inet static

Save the config with “control+o” to write the file, and “control+x” to exit the editor.

Now proceed by accessing your Raspberry Pi 2 via SSH (use Putty from Windows) with the static IP you assigned.

ssh ubuntu@

Install you base packages required for Observium, making sure you document your MySQL password:

apt-get install libapache2-mod-php5 php5-cli php5-mysql php5-gd php5-mcrypt php5-json php-pear snmp fping \ mysql-server mysql-client python-mysqldb rrdtool subversion whois mtr-tiny ipmitool graphviz imagemagick

If you monitor libvert machines, you will need to install the following, if not, please skip:

apt-get install libvirt-bin

Make a directory for Observium, then change directory into /opt:

sudo mkdir -p /opt/observium && cd /opt

I will be working with the community edition of Observium, install it with the following command:

sudo wget http://www.observium.org/observium-community-latest.tar.gz 
sudo tar zxvf observium-community-latest.tar.gz

After downloading, change into the unpackaged Observium directory:

cd observium/

Copy the example php config into your working config:

cp config.php.default config.php

Create the MySQL database:

mysql -u root -p

<you will be prompted to enter your root MySQL password to continue>

mysql> CREATE DATABASE observium DEFAULT CHARACTER SET utf8 COLLATE utf8_general_ci;
mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON observium.* TO 'observium'@'localhost'         -> IDENTIFIED BY 'observium_db_password';
mysql> quit

MySQL setup Observium

Now we will need to edit the working config file we copied from the default, updating it with our database password:

sudo nano config.php

You should be updating the “db_user” to observium and your “db_password” to the password configured above when setting up MySQL with the line “IDENTIFIED BY ‘observium_db_password'”

You will see in my attached example I simply used “ubuntu” for my Observium database password. This is also the time and place to update the default SNMP community name. In my attached example I am using the SNMP community name of “infosoda”.

config.php Observium

I used “nano” to edit the file – you will need to use a “control+o” to save and then a “control+x” to exit.

Now update the database with the following php script:

sudo php includes/update/update.php

As long as your updated database password in the config.php file matches your setup password, yo should see the terminal session scroll while updating the database schema.

We need to create the directory “rrd” to store RRD files. We then follow it up by modifying the permissions:

mkdir rrd
sudo chown www-data:www-data rrd

Assuming this is the only site running on Apache on your Raspberry Pi 2, we should edit the Apache config:

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf

Edit the file (see my attachment – please omit me working around the default comments in the config file):

<VirtualHost *:80>
       ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
       DocumentRoot /opt/observium/html
       <Directory />
               Options FollowSymLinks
               AllowOverride None
       <Directory /opt/observium/html/>Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
              AllowOverride All
              Require all granted
       ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log 
       LogLevel warn 
       CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined 
       ServerSignature On 

Apache2 config Observium

We then need to run the mcrypt module:

sudo php5enmod mcrypt

Enable the module rewrite:

sudo a2enmod rewrite

Restart Apache:

sudo service apache2 restart

We now get to add a user in the format ‘user_name’ ‘password’ ‘level’, where a level 10 denotes an administrator:

sudo ./adduser.php admin observium 10

We will then perform an initial discovery:

sudo ./discovery.php -h all

Followed by an initial poll:

sudo ./poller.php -h all

We finally need to set up a CRON job to maintain the discovery and polling:

sudo nano /etc/cron.d/observium

Edit the newly created job to reflect the following:

33  */6   * * *   root    /opt/observium/discovery.php -h all >> /dev/null 2>&1
*/5 *     * * *   root    /opt/observium/discovery.php -h new >> /dev/null 2>&1
*/5 *     * * *   root    /opt/observium/poller-wrapper.py 2 >> /dev/null 2>&1

Please note, this cron job utilizes a username.

Editing /etc/cron.d/observium

To set the correct timezone for your graphs, you will need to edit your php.ini file and set the time on your Raspberry Pi.

The Pi can be set in Ubuntu with the following command in the terminal, which will launch the interface that users usually utilize when they set up their servers:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

Edit the php.ini file with your editor:

sudo nano /etc/php5/cli/php.ini

Editting php.ini

 You will need to setup SNMP on all of your hosts and devices, which is beyond the scope of my post, but here is how we add our Raspberry Pi 2 within Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install snmpd

Move the original snmpd.conf file:

sudo mv /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf.original

Now re-create the snmpd.conf file:

sudo nano /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf

There are only a few variables that are necessary in your new, blank config:

rocommunity         batman
syslocation         Bat Cave
syscontact          Bruce@wayneenterprises.com

Usually you would enter some useful information to help you locate the device on your network.

Relaunch the snmpd service:

sudo service snmpd restart

Now you can monitor your own Observium install…

Simply add it using “localhost” for the hostname and the appropriate SNMP community name. Observium requires DNS names to resolve, and you will want to correctly setup DNS in your environment.

A sample screenshot:

Raspberry Pi in Observium
Observium screenshot



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