Easily Install and Setup Cacti on Ubuntu 20.04

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In this tutorial, you will learn how to easily install and setup Cacti on Ubuntu 20.04. Cacti is a complete frontend to RRDTool. RRDTool is a time-series data storage and display system. It stores and display time-series data (e.g. network bandwidth, machine-room temperature, server load average) in a database. It stores the data in Round Robin Databases (RRDs), a very compact way that will not expand over time. RRDtool processes the extracted data to enforce a certain data density, allowing for useful graphical representation of data values. The Cacti frontend is completely PHP driven. Along with being able to maintain Graphs, Data Sources, and Round Robin Archives in a database, cacti handles the data gathering. There is also SNMP support for those used to creating traffic graphs with MRTG.

Cacti Feature Highlights

  • Remote data collectors (Pollers)
  • Network discovery and automation
  • Device management automation
  • Expanded color sets
  • Enhanced user, group and domain management
  • User interface enhancements
  • Additional RRDtool graph option support
  • Multiple poller intervals
  • Merged almost 20 plugins into core

Installing Cacti on Ubuntu 20.04


Below are the requirements for setting up Cacti;

  • RRDTool 1.0.49 or greater, 1.4+ recommended
  • MySQL 5.x or greater
  • PHP 5.1 or greater
  • Web Server that supports PHP e.g. Apache, Nginx

Run System Update

To begin with, ensure your system package cache is up-to-date;

apt update

Install RRDTool on Ubuntu 20.04

As stated in the requirements section above, RRDTool 1.4+ is recommended for use with Cacti. In the default Ubuntu 20.04 repos, RRDTool 1.7.2 is available.

apt-cache policy rrdtool

  Installed: (none)
  Candidate: 1.7.2-3build2
  Version table:
     1.7.2-3build2 500
        500 http://ke.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu focal/main amd64 Packages

Therefore, you can install RRDTool on Ubuntu 20.04 by running the command below;

apt install rrdtool -y

You also need to install SNMP by running the command below;

apt install snmpd snmp snmp-mibs-downloader libsnmp-dev

Install and Setup MySQL/MariaDB Database on Ubuntu 20.04

Install MariaDB 10.5 on Ubuntu 20.04

In this setup, we will use MariaDB 10.5 as our database backend. Thus, run the commands below to install and setup MariaDB 10.5 on Ubuntu 20.04;

apt-key adv --fetch-keys 'https://mariadb.org/mariadb_release_signing_key.asc'
add-apt-repository 'deb [arch=amd64] http://mariadb.mirror.globo.tech/repo/10.5/ubuntu focal main'
apt update
apt install mariadb-server mariadb-client

Securing MariaDB

MariaDB ships with initial security script which can be run to remove test databases, disallow remote root login, remove anonymous users.


Create Cacti Database and Database User

Login to MariaDB and create the Cacti database and database user. Be sure to replace the database name and the username and password accordingly.

create database rrdtooldb CHARACTER SET utf8mb4 COLLATE utf8mb4_unicode_ci;
grant all on rrdtooldb.* to rrdtooladmin@localhost identified by 'RRDTOOLDB_pass';

Reload privileges table and exit the database;

flush privileges;

Fine-tune MariaDB Database for Cacti

Open the /etc/mysql/mariadb.conf.d/50-server.cnf file and add the following lines under the [mysqld] section to optimize the database for Cacti.

vim /etc/mysql/mariadb.conf.d/50-server.cnf

# utf8 4-byte character set. See also client.cnf
character-set-server  = utf8mb4
character_set_client  = utf8mb4
collation-server      = utf8mb4_unicode_ci

Save and exit the file and restart MariaDB;

systemctl restart mariadb

Install PHP and Other Required Modules

Run the command below to install PHP and other required modules;

apt install php php-mysql php-curl php-net-socket php-gd php-intl php-pear php-imap php-memcache libapache2-mod-php php-pspell php-tidy php-xmlrpc php-snmp php-mbstring gettext php-gmp php-json php-xml php-ldap

Set the PHP timezone;

vim /etc/php/7.4/apache2/php.ini
; Defines the default timezone used by the date functions
; http://php.net/date.timezone
date.timezone = Asia/Qatar

Maximum execution time;

; Maximum execution time of each script, in seconds
; http://php.net/max-execution-time
; Note: This directive is hardcoded to 0 for the CLI SAPI
max_execution_time = 60

Set the Memory limit;

; Maximum amount of memory a script may consume (128MB)
; http://php.net/memory-limit
memory_limit = 400M

Similarly, set the timezone on PHP INI CLI configuration.

vim /etc/php/7.4/cli/php.ini
; Defines the default timezone used by the date functions
; http://php.net/date.timezone
date.timezone = "Asia/Qatar"

Install Apache Web Server on Ubuntu 20.04

In this setup, we are using Apache HTTP Server with Cacti. Note that when you install PHP, Apache gets installed along with it. If not already installed, then you can install it as follows;

apt install apache2

Install Cacti

Next, install Cacti. As much as the package is available on the default Ubuntu Universe repos, it is the latest stable release.

apt-cache policy cacti
  Installed: (none)
  Candidate: 1.2.10+ds1-1ubuntu1
  Version table:
     1.2.10+ds1-1ubuntu1 500
        500 http://ke.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu focal/universe amd64 Packages

As of this writing, the latest stable version is 1.2.14, released 08/02/20.

Hence, download and extract Cacti tarball archive to your default Web root directory.

wget https://www.cacti.net/downloads/cacti-latest.tar.gz

In this setup, am gonna use /var/www/html/cacti as the web root directory for Cacti;

mkdir /var/www/html/cacti
tar xzf cacti-latest.tar.gz -C /var/www/html/cacti --strip-components=1

Set the ownership of the Cacti web root directory to Apache HTTP server user;

chown -R www-data: /var/www/html/cacti/

Import the default Cacti database

Import the default Cacti database from the extracted web root directory to the new database created above for Cacti;

mysql -u rrdtooladmin -p -D rrdtooldb < /var/www/html/cacti/cacti.sql

Import timezone data into MariaDB database

Import the timezone data into MariaDB database and grant Cacti database user SELECT right access to mysql.time_zone_name table;

mysql -u root -p mysql < /usr/share/mysql/mysql_test_data_timezone.sql
mysql -u root
grant select on mysql.time_zone_name to rrdtooladmin@localhost;

Configure Cacti Database Connection details

Once the import is done, open the Cacti configuration file, /var/www/html/cacti/include/config.php, and define the database connection details.

vim /var/www/html/cacti/include/config.php

 * Make sure these values reflect your actual database/host/user/password

$database_type     = 'mysql';
$database_default  = 'rrdtooldb';
$database_hostname = 'localhost';
$database_username = 'rrdtooladmin';
$database_password = 'RRDTOOLDB_pass';
$database_port     = '3306';

Create Cacti Apache Configuration

Next, create an Apache configuration for Cacti;

vim /etc/apache2/conf-available/cacti.conf

Alias /cacti    /var/www/html/cacti

<Directory /var/www/html/cacti/>
        <IfModule mod_authz_core.c>
                Require all granted

Save and exit the file.

Check Apache configuration syntax;

apachectl configtest

If you get, Syntax OK, output, restart Apache. Otherwise fix any would be errors.

systemctl restart apache2

Open Apache on UFW, if at all UFW is running;

ufw allow "Apache Full"

Finalize installation and Setup of Cacti on Ubuntu 20.04

Accessing Cacti Web Interface

You can now access Cacti Web interface via the URL, http://server-IP/cacti as per our setup.

Login using the default credentials, admin:admin for both username and password.

cacti login

Upon login, you are prompted to reset your password. Please reset and proceed.

Accept End User License Agreement;


Click Begin to perform Pre-installation checks. If any error, please fix before you can proceed.

pre installation checks

Installation type

install type

Directory Permission Checks

dir perms check

Critical Binary Locations and Versions.

binary locations

Input Validation Whitelist Protection

input validation

Default Profile and Automation Network

profile net auto

Template Setup

template setup

Server, Database collation and Table Setup.

server db collation tbl setup

Cacti Installation: Select Confirm Installation and click install to install Cacti on Ubuntu 20.04.

cacti installation

Once the installation completes, click Get started to access Cacti web interface.

installation complete

Cacti Web Console;

Install and Setup Cacti on Ubuntu 20.04


Installing Cacti Under Unix

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I am the Co-founder of Kifarunix.com, Linux and the whole FOSS enthusiast, Linux System Admin and a Blue Teamer who loves to share technological tips and hacks with others as a way of sharing knowledge as: "In vain have you acquired knowledge if you have not imparted it to others".

1 thought on “Easily Install and Setup Cacti on Ubuntu 20.04”

  1. Hi, can you please give me the crontab config based on this tutorial so my graphs will run automatically. Thank you in advance.


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