Monitoring tools Linux in any environment, whether Linux or others, are important to keep the infrastructure and network intact and running smoothly. In this article, we have compiled the top 18+ monitoring tools in Linux that will adequately manage the applications and ensure that system is in good health. We have also categorized them into open source and closed source tools.
Let us take an in-depth look at these monitoring tools and see what they have to offer to Linux systems!
Top Monitoring Tools in Linux Operating System - 2021
Closed-Source Linux Monitoring Tools
- Zenoss Cloud
- Nagios Network Analyzer
- Paessler PRTG Network Monitor
- SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer
Open-Source Linux Monitoring Tools
- Icinga 2
- Pandora FMS
- Observium Community
Best Linux Server Monitoring Tools List 2021
#1 Zenoss Cloud
Zenoss is a known name in the network monitoring business. Since its inception, this company has offered several monitoring products, and one of them is the closed-source package called Zenoss cloud. It is mainly used for scalable network monitoring because it is rooted in a cloud-based architecture and can monitor fast-growing and large scale businesses. Like any other closed source tool, it also offers a free trial.
Features of Zenoss Cloud
- Helps in preparing simplified and intelligent relationship infrastructure
- Provides performance insights for any IT environment
- Supports new business tools
- Automates processes and streamline operations for better efficiency
- Simplifies cloud migrations
- Identifies issues, fix it by isolating it before it turns out to be a disaster
- Provides capacity optimization
#2 Nagios Network Analyzer
Nagios Network Analyzer contains network monitoring, and data log monitoring software to ensure that network and processes are threat free and run smoothly. In case some abnormal process is detected, Nagios Network Analyzer automatically alerts the IT center to fix it as soon as possible. Nagios has the individualized view board that helps specialists to focus on the specified areas of the network. The free trial version of Network Analyzer is called Nagios Core.
- Monitors network services such as POP3, HTTP, SMTP, NNTP, and more
- It has a simple plugin design that let you develop customized service checks
- Allows you to define network host hierarchy through patent hosts
- Automates log file rotation
- Offers web-based configuration
- Supports redundant monitoring tasks
- Dashboards can be customized to meet the preferences
- Supports capacity planning
#3 Paessler PRTG Network Monitor
Paessler is a German company that offers a closed source network monitoring tool called PRTG Network. PRTG network consists of sensors that monitor SNMP, LAN, cloud services, and collect data from a wide range of sources. The price depends on the number of sensors you want to license. The cost break-up for each is as follows. Paessler offers a minimum monitoring package called PRTG 500, which consists of 500 sensors and one server monitor. Also, it offers a maximum package called PRTG XL5 which has an unlimited number of sensors and up to five server monitors. It also offers a 30-day free trial of the complete program.
- Gives information about under and over capacities, which helps you plan better
- Provides an overview and in-depth data regarding the status and performance of devices
- Quickly identifies weak points and gives a detailed view on traffic structure in Linux network
- Easy to install
- Compatible with many mobile devices
- Supports languages such as English, Spanish, Dutch, Russian, Japanese, Portuguese, and more
#4 SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer
NTA is a very easy to use tool that provides visualized bandwidth monitoring to find the network units' capacity and see if any IT issues are pending. SolarWinds software is famous for providing impressive color-coded and searchable visual data. The performance analysis dashboard lets you analyze the precise NetFlow while operating in a streamlined visual display. NTA offers traffic-based alerts and helps in detecting threats in your network. It is also available for a 30 days free trial.
- Notifies if usage exceeds the bandwidth utilization threshold
- Gives a comprehensive view of entire network traffic on a single screen
- Drag and drop network performance metrics to quickly identify the problems
- Let you know about users and applications maximum consumption bandwidth
- In-depth network reports
- Allows integration with other SolarWinds products such as user device tracker, Network performance monitor, and Network configuration manager
- Create and access personalized network traffic using flow navigator module
- Supports different vendors and technologies such as Nortel networks, vSwitch, VMware, NBAR2, NetFlow v5, etc
Top Open-Source Linux Network Monitoring Tools:
#1 Icinga 2
Icinga 2 is a modified version of Icinga, which has got recognized among IT specialists for its live monitoring and scalability. Icinga 2 is compatible with almost every OS and provides color-coded graphs to measure vast networks. It contains a highly interactive visual monitoring interface for easy access monitoring.
- Checks the availability of your network resources
- Notifies users of outages
- Monitors network at high speeds
- Generates performance data for reporting.
- Scalable and extensible
- Monitors large, complex environments across multiple locations.
OpenNMS was established as a management-oriented monitoring tool in the late 1990s. It boasts of its notification system that gives live updates to the central control based on API monitoring results. It allows integration with industry-standard management tools. OpenNMS is available in two editions – Meridian and Horizon. Horizon is the free edition, while Meridian comes with an annual subscription.
- Built on an event-driven architecture
- Measures latency and alerts it threshold limit is crossed
- Detects service outages right away
- Collects performance metrics from SNMP, WMI, and XMP using generic collectors such as JSON and HTTP
- Extensible to any performance data collection framework
- Discovers layer two network topologies
- Backshift graph visualization helps in Time Series Storage
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Cacti is one of the prominent names in open-source network monitoring tools. Using it, multiple users can monitor the network devices and log network data; also, users are assigned particular items with the help of privacy settings. Cacti has a comprehensive online support system, showing templates on how to operate it on different devices. As it is an open-source monitoring tool, it is 100% free
- Supports all RRDTool graph items
- Supports auto-padding
- Built-in SNMP support
- Allows creation of custom scripts to gather data
- Several graph templates are available
- PHP-based poller to executes scripts
- Create graph hierarchies to get a tree view
- Administrators can create different users and assign them different permissions
Zabbix is a widely used network monitoring tool that supports Linux, Unix systems, Windows as well as Solaris systems, and has become a go-to tool for IT people. Zabbix is also an established monitoring tool having a significant online community. It offers a monitoring dashboard to detect disk space changes, CPU load, and network activity to track activities on your network.
- You can set various severity levels
- Predicts usage based on past trends and help in capacity planning
- Have Graphs, network maps, and slideshows to enhance the visual appeal of the data
- Helps with anomaly detection and root cause analysis
- Can send a message and notification alerts through a broad range of channels
- Messages can be customized
- Strong encryption across all Zabbix module
- Offers multiple authentication methods such as Active Directory and Open LDAP
- It is easy to install and use
- Can integrate well with the third party
- Scans network periodically and identify devices to add them to the network map
#5 Pandora FMS
Pandora Flexible Monitoring System is a network monitoring tool adaptable to almost any operating system. It gives you options for sensor add-ons and application integration. The basic version can perform a useful graphical analysis, which is usually not available in open-source network monitoring tools.
- Automated mapping of the network
- Polling SNMP v3
- multiple simultaneous application integration
- NetFlow for network capacity management
- Integrated MIB Explorer, with custom MIB loading
- API to access the database to use data in the Data Warehouse
- Historical graphs for up to three years back
- Monitoring of Windows and Unix computers
- Integrated IPAM for IP addressing management (IPv4/IPv6)
LibreNMS is a powerful, feature-rich, and open-source auto-discovering network monitoring system. It is compatible with several operating systems, including Linux, FreeBSD, and network devices such as Brocade, Foundry, HP, Cisco, Juniper, and many more.
- Auto-discovers networks using multiple protocols: FDP, LLDP, OSPF, BGP, SNMP, CDP, and ARP.
- It has a mobile-friendly Web user interface offering customized dashboards.
- Supports a Unix agent
- It offers a traffic billing system.
- Allows horizontal scaling to expand the network.
- t Highly flexible and customizable alerting system
- Supports Android and iOS apps offering core functionalities
- Allows integration with collectd, SmokePing, RANCID, NfSen, and Oxidized.
- Uses authentication methods such as HTTP, LDAP, Radius, MySQL, and Active Directory.
Prometheus is compatible with Linux and Unix systems and offers numerous basic network monitoring functions for free such as graphical visualization capacity. It has a built-in PromQL feature to provide customized and user-friendly visualization of its interface. Prometheus may not have a community support mechanism like Cacti and Zabbix, but major company networks are using it and will likely to gain influence in the coming years.
- Support multiple modes of graph and dashboard
- Discovers target via service discovery or static configuration
- Supports pushing time series via an intermediary gateway
- Time-series collection is done via a pull model over HTTP
- No reliance on distributed storage
- Single server nodes are autonomous
iftop is an open source monitoring tool that displays bandwidth usage on an interface. It records network traffic on a named interface and displays current bandwidth usage by pairs of hosts. By default, it counts all IP packets passing through the filter. Here are some fantastic features of an iftop tool.
- Support for 802.1q VLANs, IPv4 and IPv6, "tun" interfaces.
- Optional removal of the shell escape function.
- Flexible bandwidth limits.
- Monitors and displays destination host, host source, IP address, bandwidth limit, host interface, IP network block, filter rules, bandwidth rate, sorting order, and bandwidth usage summary.
- Can run in promiscuous mode
- Show port data
- Configuration file support
#9 Observium Community
Observium Community is a Linux network monitoring tool used for small servers. It has a group of online experts who send its updates and biannual patches to system software. It also supports a wide variety of operating systems and uses SNMP network monitoring.
- Threshold Alerting
- Extensive Device Support
- External Integration
- Traffic Accounting
- Mostly operable on personal servers
- Capacity & Disaster Recovery Planning
Monitorix is a small server monitoring tool specifically designed for Linux use, but now it supports all Unix-based operating systems. It operates on small servers exclusively and provides an excellent deal of monitoring capabilities. Its features have become increasingly comprehensive with time, and now it can monitor everything from network capabilities to disk drive heat to data consumption, ensuring the network's operating success.
- Easy to install and use
- Supports around 20 hardware temperature sensors
- Monitors system load average and usage
- Supports unlimited number of command-line utilities and cores
- Each group or graph can have up to nine directories
- Includes statistics for IPv6 and IPv4
- Comes with selectable ID sensors for every graph
- Can send monthly individual traffic report
- Hides the real URL of each remote server
- Provides file cache information statistics
- Color-coded graphs for visual trend analysis
- Allows to create groups of remote servers
dstat is a versatile tool for generating Linux system resource statistics that can be used as a replacement for all the tools mentioned in this post. It has some extra features, counters and is highly extensible. Users having Python knowledge can easily build their own plugins.
Features of dstat:
- Displays interrupt per device
- Represents statistics simultaneously
- Orders counters and highly-extensible
- Supports summarizing of grouped block/network devices
- Joins information from netstat, iostat, ifstat, vmstat, and mpstat tools
- Works on accurate timeframes
- Supports colored output for different units
Htop (the H stands for the designer's name, Hisham) is a flexible monitoring program that can be installed on Linux and Unix-based systems to monitor small-network use with accuracy and reliability. Htop might not be a visually pleasing monitoring tool, but it's beneficial in providing live updates on network activity and storage capacity in plain English. Moreover, if you don't wish to parse through several monitoring updates, htop uses an intuitive color-coding system.
- Htop is cross-platform that supports Linux, OpenBSD, Dragonfly BSD, macOS, and FreeBSD
- It supports real-time signals.
- Supports custom scripts
- Provides delay accounting metrics for OS such as Solaris, Linux, and others
- Interactive and customized UI to meet your color preferences.
- It provides data on several metrics such as load average, uptime, etc.
The next monitoring tool is one of the simplest and surprisingly flexible Linux monitoring solutions. BWM-NG (which stands for Bandwidth Monitor–Next Generation) does not provide any graphical updates or fancy color coding. However, it's nonetheless a useful program for small-network Linux specialists primarily interested in bandwidth monitoring.
- Licensed under GPL2
- Supports a wide range of devices and interfaces which can be blacklisted if needed
- Displays output in formats such as plain console, CSV, or HTML
- The config file is customizable to fulfill the requirements
- Displays parameters such as average, maximum, errors, and total sum.
EtherApe is a network monitoring software compatible with Linux/Unix systems. For IT specialists wishing to monitor small networks with fewer numbers and jargony script, EtherApe is the best option to go with. It can read packets from the network and from a file and support monitoring devices like WLAN, FDDI, ISDN, and more.
- Supports IP, link layers, and TCP modes along with FDDI, Token Ring, ISDN, PPP, SLIP, and WLAN devices
- Provides color-coded display of protocols
- Filters traffic and shows only needed data
- Able to read the packets from a given file or also from a live network
- Compatible with Scrollkeeper and rarian.
- Supports end to end IP and port to port TCP
- Summary dialog display shows traffic statistics node wise
- Node persistence time is easily configured
- It supports numerous frame and packet types such as ICMP, IGMP, UDP, IDP, PP, RSVP, GRE, EON, TELNET, FTP, HTTP, NETBIOS, SNMP, TRAIN, LOOP, VINES, and more.
Ibmonitor is a terminal-based application and monitors bandwidth usage and basic Linux network updates for smaller units. It provides simple analyses of the network and summarizes total network data. Like htop, it also uses color-coded text, and you can find multiple online forums to explain features.
- Shows total data transferred per interface.
- Displays transmitted, received, and total bandwidth consumed per interface.
- Calculates and shows the combined value of all interfaces.
- It gives the maximum bandwidth consumed per-interface since the beginning of a particular utility.
- Displays output and features that fit well on xterm or other consoles that are 80 X 24.