Being a Linux system admin, you have to perform various tasks such as installing, upgrading and monitoring the hardware and software of the company. Other than dealing with the core OS, the Linux system admin should know how to operate different Linux monitoring tools. In this article, I am going to discuss with you some powerful Linux tools that you must know if you want to grow your career as a sysadmin.
Undoubtedly, Linux has the ability to work using computing technology and system admins have to work on Linux systems. The purpose and functions of all Linux system monitoring tools are quite different from each other, you can use any tool based on your Linux administrative needs. You have to use these tools to work with an application server, database, messaging applications, web server, caching and so on.
Here are 11 top Linux server performance monitoring tools that you can use to excel in your Linux administration profession.
Webmin is a one-stop-shop tool provides a web interface for managing all aspects of a Linux server. From DNS file sharing to, to Apache server and numerous databases. If you require something that is not involved in the package, you can choose one from a huge set of third-party components that bring additional functionalities. For this, you have to download the up-to-date version and copy it on the home folder of the server. Afterwards, you just have to run the command as follow:
dpkg -i webmin_(version).deb.
Webmin is one of the system performance monitoring tools that you can use to perform almost all system administration’s tasks on a server such as creating user databases and accounts as well as managing and configuring disk quota, MySQL, PHP, and open source applications. The functionality of the Webmin can be extended by using any 3rd-party module available.
It one of the top network monitoring that is open-source and was introduced in 2002 under the name NetSaint. Nagios is the best network monitoring system that has a strong reputation for doing a good job of monitoring network devices and servers. It works really well when it is given the task to monitor an infrastructure with numerous basic conventions. Nagios offers a base for other utilities for monitoring, for example, Icinga, Naemon, and OP5. Nagios offers to alert and monitoring services for switches, servers, services and applications.
Nagios offers good documentation for you when getting it started.
The PhpMyAdmin is the best option for you if you are having to deal with the database maintenance, it is a very popular and classic tool. The key reason for its fame is maybe its portability. You can run the phpMyAdmin using a web browser that means you can access it using any device, even you mobile. One more reason is that it covers all the essential functions needed to work on the database, and you almost don’t need to know how to inscribe queries in SQL for this.
phpMyAdmin is a free and open-source web app based on PHP that lets you manage and create MySQL databases through the web browser. It is not as strong as MySQL Workbench but can be used to carry out several tasks of database administration in a more user-friendly way. It is also one of the reasons why it is the most recommended tool for the beginner system admins and students.
To control the increasing number of servers that operate on a corporate network, as a Linux administrator, you must require the most effective tools to do configuration and orchestration administration. Puppet a tool used to take into account user interfaces, available actions and modules.
Puppet not only displays you the complete picture of the Linux server but contains other operating systems that you can operate in a network, offers you a good understanding of each one. The installation of Puppet is very easy. It also allows the administrator of the system to write set-up as code through descriptive language to organize machines, rather than using customised and individualised scripts for this. The domain-specific language of Puppet is used to define the machine’s state, and Puppet can also impose this state. It means if the administrator changes something incorrectly on the machine, Puppet imposes the state and return the machine to the chosen state. Therefore, not just the Puppet code be used to arrange a system primarily, but it can be used to keep the system’s state in line with the required configuration.
YaST (Yet another Setup Tool) is used to set up all systems whether they are networks, hardware, security profiles, and system services from the YaST Control Center. YaST is known as a default configuration tool for enterprise-grade openSUSE and SUSE and ships with openSUSE and SUSE platforms. It allows system configuration for enterprise-grade openSUSE and SUSE and serves as the configuration and installation tool. With YaST, you can configure the network, hardware, and tune system security and services, with an attractive, easy-to-use GUI. YaST is by default installed in platforms for all openSUSE and SUSE.
If you have to manage MySQL databases but do not like web GUIs, more contented with old-style windowed apps, then MySQL Workbench is something you may like. The good thing about this tool is that it is very simple to install and has a user-friendly graphical interface, grouping all MySQL tasks you may require to do.
It provides some interesting goodies, like multiple MySQL connections, unlimited undo/redo, and visual modelling of schema and data. It can be automated via scripting and prolonged via plugins. The only disadvantage of MySQL Workbench is that, different from phpMyAdmin, to master it you must have a deep understanding of SQL.
MySQL Workbench is known to be the most commonly used database administration tool across the operating system’s platforms. Using this tool, you can develop, design, and work on MYSQL databases through a wide range of tools that let you work remotely and locally. It features the skill to migrate Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Access, Sybase ASE, PostgreSQL, and other RDBMS objects, tables, and data to MySQL with other proficiencies.
cPanel is a web Linux administration tool that allows you to manage and configure your customers’ services and websites. It covers everything you can think of, such as domains, mail, files, databases, and so on. It is not open source but is by far the ideal choice as far as web hosting concern because it helps decrease efforts and costs in server maintenance and user management.
The reason why sysadmins to use web hosts cPanel is that it has all in one place, and that is easy to create email accounts and add domains.
cPanel is known to be the best web server monitoring tools ever. You can use it to manage domains, websites, apps and databases, server security, app files, mail, logs, etc. cPanel is an optimum web-based admin tool that you can use. It allows you to configure sites, customers’ sites, and quite a bit more. With this tool, you can configure/manage mail, security, domains, apps, apps, files, logs, databases, and so on. It is an enterprise hosting control panel and you can purchase the license for this tool for it to work with complete functionality.
Apache Directory is an Eclipse RCP app made for ApacheDS but it can work as an LDIF, LDAP browser, ACI editors, and ApacheDS, with other functions. ApacheDS 2.0 is an extendable, standards-compliant, embeddable, contemporary LDAP server entirely written in Java, and you can use it through Apache Software License. Other network protocols such as NTP and Kerberos are also supported (even more can be added), but fundamentally ApacheDS is known to be an LDAP server.
Apache Directory is an embeddable app that means that you can use it to configure, stop and start ApacheDS from other components of Java, especially application servers, and another server runs on the same VM. The result has been embedded successfully in JBoss, Apache Geronimo, and others. The server is embeddable, nonetheless, you have the distribution option for separately running the server. Maybe you understand this condition from other LDAP servers – open source (such as OpenLDAP) and also commercial ones (such as Sun Java System Directory Server).
Cockpit is a server monitoring system that stands out for being simple and user-friendly that makes it the best choice for beginners. It is easy to use, simple and lightweight, still very effective tool. It provides a web GUI that enables storage administration tasks, service starting/ stopping, multi-server setup management, and journal inspection.
The tool was made for Red Hat, but it runs on a lot of Linux server distros, other than Red Hat Enterprise Linux: Arch Linux, Fedora, CentOS, Ubuntu, with others.
The installation process differs for each distro. In some distros, such as CentOS, RHEL, and Fedora, you can find the Cockpit in the official sources. In others, such as Debian, Linux Mint, Ubuntu, and you can get Cockpit from its authorized PPA.
Whenever you required to find any network-related issues, Zenmap one of the best server monitoring tools you can use. It is not an instrument you will daily use to perform system administration tasks, but it is known to be precious when the necessity for network scan for troubleshooting the problems arises.
The Nmap network scanner not just operates on Linux but also in BSD, Windows, macOS and other Unix’s versions. In addition to network scanning, it can be used port scanning for and penetration testing, either by beginner or experienced sysadmins.
Zenmap can store profiles that surely is one of its plus points. You can reuse these profiles for later scans. Zenmap is an open-source and free, its main purpose is to scan and troubleshoot network problems. As an official Nmap Security Scanner GUI, it is made to used easily by beginners and offering to provide innovative tools for professionals. For the Nmap network scanner, it is a certified front end. Using this tool, both advanced users and beginners can easily and rapidly scan the network to troubleshoot problems. Once the scanning is done, you can save the results to analyze them later. Though you don’t have to use this tool to manage your system directly, it will turn out to be precious in the pursuit of determining issues in the network.
The Shorewall adds an abstraction layer for attaining a Netfilter’s higher-level configuration. This tool reads files of configuration and in the Linux kernel, configures Netfilter, with the support of the tc, ip, iptables-restore, and iptables utilities. The benefit of using Shorewall is that its divisions the interfaces into sectors, assign different access levels to all of them. It lets the user operate on computers’ groups linked to the interface, rather than working on addresses’ groups. Users can simply deploy various policies for all zones.
This article discusses different Linux performance monitoring tools that should be known by a good Linux system administrator. If you want to be a Linux sysadmin then this article is a must-read for you. I have shared 11 best Linux tools that are very famous and common such as Webmin, Nagios, PhpMyAdmin, Puppet, YaST, Workbench, cPanel, Apache Directory, Cockpit, Zenmap and Shorewall.
I hope the information I have shared in this article is useful and helpful. Do share your thoughts about this article in the common. Let us know if you still have any confusion about the functionalities of these Linux based tools.