// Tutorial //

How To Install Linux Dash on Ubuntu 14.04

Published on February 18, 2015
Default avatar
By Afaq Tariq
Developer and author at DigitalOcean.
How To Install Linux Dash on Ubuntu 14.04

An Article from Linux Dash

Introduction

Linux Dash is an open-source dashboard to monitor Linux servers. It prides itself on its simplicity and ease of use. It can be very handy to have a high-level dashboard for a server instance. With a wide array of modules for server statistics, it also serves as a great visual debugging tool.

  • Before installing the software, you can try the demo here.

  • At the time of writing, Linux Dash supports PHP on Apache and Nginx, Go, and Node.js. For this tutorial, we will be covering a PHP and Apache stack installation.

  • For information on installing on a different stack, please refer to the installation section of the GitHub Project.

Prerequisites

Please complete these prerequisites.

  • Add a sudo user

  • Follow this tutorial to install Apache and PHP on your Droplet. Please note that MySQL is not required for Linux Dash, so you may skip that section

  • Install Git if you plan to use the Git installation method

    sudo apt-get install git
    

Step 1 — Installing Linux Dash

The following steps will install Linux Dash on your server.

First, you will need to SSH into your Droplet. See this DigitalOcean tutorial if you need directions.

Next, navigate to the web root directory.

cd /var/www/html/

Use Git to download Linux Dash.

sudo git clone https://github.com/afaqurk/linux-dash.git

Alternatively, for Composer, you can run composer create-project afaqurk/linux-dash -s dev.

Make sure shell_exec is enabled. If this is a fresh Apache installation, it should be already.

sudo nano /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini

Locate the disable_functions line and make sure shell_exec and exec are not listed.

At this point, you should be able to visit http://your_server_ip/linux-dash and see the dashboard.

Linux Dash home page

Step 2 — Password-Protecting the Dashboard

Linux Dash gives web access to private and sensitive information about your server. It is strongly suggested that you restrict access to this directory.

Follow these steps to password-protect Linux Dash. For more information on using the .htaccess file, please see this tutorial.

Open your Apache virtual hosts file for editing:

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf

Add a new Directory block for the linux-dash directory. This can be anywhere within the <VirtualHost *:80> block:

<Directory /var/www/html/linux-dash>
        Options FollowSymLinks
        AllowOverride All
        Order allow,deny
        allow from all
</Directory>

This enables the use of a .htaccess file. Now, create the .htaccess file in the Linux Dash directory:

sudo nano /var/www/html/linux-dash/.htaccess

Enable basic password authentication for this directory, and designate the password file:

AuthType Basic
AuthName "Restricted Files"
AuthUserFile /var/www/html/linux-dash/.htpasswd
Require valid-user

Create the password file with your chosen username and password.

sudo htpasswd -c /var/www/html/linux-dash/.htpasswd sammy

Enter your new password at the prompts:

New password: 
Re-type new password: 
Adding password for user sammy

Finally, restart Apache:

sudo service apache2 restart

If you refresh the page at http://your_server_ip/linux-dash, you should now be prompted for your credentials. Enter the ones you created in the previous step.

You should be able to see the Linux Dash application.

Step 3 — Using Linux Dash

Linux Dash gives you a bird’s-eye view of your server.

There are five sections to Linux Dash in the menu near the top of the page. Each section contains an ever-growing number of modules which display information about the server. Some modules are simple readouts of common commands and files on your server, while others are detailed tables and charts.

You can also filter the information inside a module using the search bar.

Search Results

When debugging issues, Linux Dash can be a very useful tool.

For example, if a website or application on your Droplet is experiencing lag, you can investigate the SYSTEM STATUS section of Linux Dash. Here you can see CPU and RAM usage charts which show live information. If, for instance, the RAM chart shows unusually high usage, you can check the RAM INTENSIVE PROCESSES module on the next row to see which processes are struggling.

You can follow the same process for investigating high CPU usage as well.

Conclusion

Now you should have greater insight into your server’s status through the Linux Dash dashboard.

For support, please use the following resources:


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About the authors
Default avatar
Developer and author at DigitalOcean.

Default avatar
Developer and author at DigitalOcean.

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Was this helpful?

Thumbs up for this tutorial. Unfortunately I have Nginx instead of Apache and obviously couldn’t use this.

However, after searching the net I found this article and it helped me a lot. An added bonus is that I password protected the statistics pages. Hopefully someone will find that useful.

Real-time loading graph is great and awesome. But how much loading will be added on server itself ?

Hey guys, first of all, loving all the tutorials, everything usually works spot on, but I’m facing a small problem this time. After the, sudo htpasswd -c /var/www/html/linux-dash/.htpasswd sammy step I get the following.

sudo: htpasswd: command not found

What am I doing wrong?