CactiEZ – Centos 5

This past weekend I was feeling a bit under the weather, so I took some time off and rebuild my CactiEZ CD using CentOS 5.  Here a few bullet points

  • 32 Bit only – I tried but couldn’t find a way to get the 32 Bit and 64 Bit running off the same CD (since they completely changed the way anaconda works since CentOS 4), so I think I will continue forward with 32 Bit only installs.  The reasoning for this is that if you have such a seriously large install that actually requires all the benefits that 64 Bit has to offer, your system probably should be designed from the ground up instead of being built by an automated CD.  I may at some point come out with a 64 Bit version on a separate CD, but it s not a priority at this point.
  • Reduction of extra software – In the past I have added Nagios, Wireshark, and a slew of other software to the CD, but it was always a pain to keep up with updates for all these since I have to pull them from alternative sources.  I will still include Webmin for all the non-Linux administrators out there, but most everything else will be pulled from the standard Repository of packages or it will be left out.
  • RPM Repository – I plan on setting up my own small Repository of RPMs for things like RRDTool, etc… This will allow the CD to pull new updates for the few extra items I have installed without having to check the entire external repositories I had to pull them from.   The main point of this RPM Repository, is in the future I can create a RPM for Cacti (with Plugin Architecture), Spine, and separate ones for all the various plugins, and you can upgrade your CactiEZ install that much easier without having to rebuild it from scratch.
  • Improved security – I will be doing a bit of extra work to improve the security of the install from the start.  So you will see things such as no root ssh allowed, forcing the changing of the root password, file permission fixes, etc…
  • I am currently contemplating a setup script, which will walk you through a few of the basic things that need to be done first before it will even start Apache, Webmin, etc…  This would do things like change the root password, ask about specific services (NetFlow, Webmin, Syslog to MySQL, etc…), setting the Time Zone, Backups, etc…   This would ensure the server is setup exactly how you want it before it actually starts polling.

I am sure I will think of more things while I finish building the CD, if so I will post them in the comments here.

December 7, 2009 · Jimmy · 12 Comments
Posted in: CactiEZ

12 Responses

  1. Greg Sowell - December 7, 2009

    I would say go ahead and have the netflow configured and running. It is kind of a pain to get it going.

    Maybe you could go ahead and have the IPTables setup for the additional services like netflow on default ports?

    I really like the idea of the startup script…this will open up cacti to a lot more of the non-linux guys.

    Install and configure the new snmp-trap plugin.

    Edit the backup script so it doesn’t include the syslog table by default, only the syslog adds and alerts.

    Maybe default the install to using the spine poller with a good number of threads listed.

    Include a bunch of templates already installed for common equipment. If you are interested, I can send you the one’s I use most.

    I’ll keep thinking 😉

  2. Jimmy - December 7, 2009

    Net-flow will always be included (as will the preconfigured plugin), and iptables has always been setup for netflow and any other services on the box. The startup script is in part to help remove services you don’t particularly want, and to then remove those entries from the iptables when they aren’t needed.

    Spine is default (cmd.php is too slow), but I certainly could up the number of threads.

    The traps plugin has major issues (and its super slow), so I am not sure if I will ever bring it into the fold, but we shall see.

    I already include several common templates from the normal install. I am actually thinking to instead have the configure script allow you to select different templates (from a few I will provide), and it will auto-import them for you (its a real pain to include them otherwise if cacti changes it default sql file).

  3. Chris Schott - February 2, 2010

    Not to rush, as I can only begin to imagine what goes into something like this, but do you have a rough idea of an ETA for Cacti on CentOS 5? Also, as an idea for something to include, what are the chances of throwing on htop? I personally prefer it to top, but that’s just me. If you end up leaving ntop on, maybe the startup script could include an option to set that up as well. Also, is there a particular reason for going with 32 bit over 64 bit since you’re sticking with just one?

  4. Jimmy - February 2, 2010

    No real ETA just yet, as I still have lots of things to implement and less time than I would like. Honestly I am thinking of trimming down the features (RPM Repo, etc…) just to get it out the door faster.

    As for 32 bit vs 64 bit. I would have to guess that 95% of the implementations don’t really take advantage of what 64 bit has to offer and gains no real advantage over 32 bit. Additionally by serving a 32 bit version, people with 32 bit hardware only can run it, as can the people with 64 bit. Even if I primarily release only a 32 bit version, I will most likely offer a 64 bit version at some point too, I just can’t offer them on 1 CD anymore with a lot of recoding of boot image.

  5. Scott - February 5, 2010

    One suggestion i have is changing some of the settings in regardless to disk layout. IO seams to be big issue in reasonable sized cacti installs. I would suggest making a smaller OS partition perhaps 2-5 gigs.

    Put the mysql database and the rrd files on another parition and mount that file system either as xfs or ext3 with data=writeback enabled. I’ve noticed a huge increase in performance on most of my machines with data=writeback mode enabled. However due to the way the cactiEZ install is partitioned i can’t fix my cactiEZ machine.

  6. James - February 17, 2010

    Any chance of it fully supporting virtualization? I have your previous CactiEZ on my Xenserver, but it won’t recognize itself as a VM.


  7. Tony - March 17, 2010

    Please leave root SSH allowed or give an option to allow it. This is very useful.
    Also please fix routerconfigs.

  8. Jeremy - March 19, 2010

    Another vote for virtualization support on xenserver!

  9. Erick - April 22, 2010


    Awesome CD!!, could you bring us root password?

    Thank you!!

  10. Armstrong Zhao - May 1, 2010

    The syslog feature is cool. Is it possible to put CaMM into the CD? The default syslog does not support large syslog table well, such as the log table is larger than 2G.

  11. John - July 5, 2010

    Just wondering if there’s any word on when we will see the next version of CactiEZ? Or even a time frame for when we will see a beta release.

  12. Jimmy - August 23, 2010

    I currently have everything 90% functional, just working on fixing a problem with the CactiEZ rpm I have made.