Big Sister Monitoring System Installation and Configuration

What is Big sister ?

Big Sister is an SNMP-aware monitoring program consisting of a Web-based server and a monitoring agent. It runs under various Unixes and Windows.

Big Sister Features

monitor networked systems

provide a simple real-time view of the current network status

notify you when your systems are becoming critical

generate a history of status changes

log and display a variety of system performance data

Download Big Sister

Big Sister Documentation

Big Sister Plugins

Install Big Sister in Debian

The latest debian packages are also available via the Big Sister debian repository. In order to use it you just add

 deb stable main

to your /etc/apt/sources.list file.You can then install Big Sister using

#apt-get update

#apt-get install bigsister-server bigsister-agent

This will install all the required files

Configuring your webserver (Big Sister server only)

This only needs to be done on your Big Sister server. Currently the Big Sister start script /etc/init.d/bigsister does not check the availability and configuration of a webserver on the same system which is used to display any processed data.

In order to save you some time, each installation procedure leaves you with a httpd.conf snippet in the /etc/bigsister directory which is taylored with the paths and options you might have specified during the installation process. However, the Big Sister installation routine will not touch your web server configuration in any way. It relies on you to include this snippet into your standard httpd.conf by appending the line

Include /etc/bigsister/httpd.conf

In debian you need to add this line in you /etc/apache/apache2.conf file

This will make the documents in the .../www directory available by the specified url

execute the CGI scripts on demand

After adding this line you need to restart the web server using the following command

#/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Now you can access your big sister from the following link http://your-server-ip/bigsis/

Installing Perl Modules

You need to install the following perl modules for big sister

#apt-get install libwww-perl snmpd snmp

Installing RRDTool

Big Sister is able to collect performance data, store it in a database and provide you with nice trend graphics. Currently only one database exactly designed for such purposes is supported: Tobi Oetiker's RRDTool. For this feature to work you will have to download and install RRDTool. At the time this manual was written it was not necessary to install the RRDTool perl modules - having the rrdtool command installed in your path was enough. Anyway it is a good idea to install these modules. In the near future they might improve the performance of your server.

RRDTool is available from

Installing RRDtool in Debian check here

Install Big Sister plugins

If you want to know how to configure big sister for monitoring hosts check big sister documentation it is very clear and nice one