[CentOS] Monitoring a remote server with Conky ?

Andrew Hull list at racc2000.com
Tue Oct 20 14:14:10 UTC 2009


Niki Kovacs wrote:
> Hi,
> 
> I've been using Conky for some time, a nifty utility to monitor just 
> about anything on the PC. Vital things like CPU, RAM, swap, disks, 
> current song playing in MPD :o)
> 
> Here's what it looks like :
> 
> http://www.microlinux.fr/images/bureau_conky.png
> 
> And with more detail :
> 
> http://www.microlinux.fr/images/conky_zoom.png
> 
> Now I wonder... I'd really like to use that to monitor my remote server. 
> I know this feature isn't officially supported by Conky, but I'm right 
> now thinking about a workaround. Something like: OK, my server is 
> 'headless' (e. g.: no graphical server, nothing), but why not install 
> just xorg-x11-server-Xorg, then use Conky and forward it to my local 
> display with SSH -X ? I'm pondering this question, thinking about the 
> possible issues...
> 
> ... so maybe one of you guys here has come up with some solution ?
> 
> Cheers,
> 
> Niki
> _______________________________________________
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> CentOS at centos.org
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Hi,
The suggestions offered by other posters to install/use a 
monitoring/polling/graphing system is a fine idea. Using something like 
Cacti is great for collecting and viewing historical data.

However for looking at what a server is doing _right now_, that kind of 
system falls short. I think your original idea is spot on!

I do exactly what you suggest. I keep a minimal X install on most of my 
headless machines -- I still boot run level 3. This lets me "ssh -X" to 
a machine and execute graphical commands, and up the come on my local 
Linux workstation.

Occasionally, this is very useful for me. For instance: I have some of 
these headless boxen scattered throughout the network. With this, I can 
launch firefox on a remote machine. This lets me test viewing resources 
from various points of the network; great for security policy testing.

What you're talking about works great too. I have gkrellm installed on 
these machines too, as well as the servers. Cacti is great for looking 
at trending or historical data. But to see what a server is up to _right 
now_ I fire up gkrellm this way (along with things like "tail 'cat 
/var/log/_something_'" and htop) to see what the machine is up to right 
then and there.

gkrellm is available from the wonderful rpmforge repo, but I'm sure 
Conky would work too.

Andy Hull




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