How to install Observium on Debian 11

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Observium is a low-maintenance auto-discovering network monitoring platform supporting a wide range of device types, operating systems including Windows, Linux, etc, and other platforms. Its auto-discovering feature collects data from network devices using Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) and stores it in a MySQL database. As open-source and free, and based on PHP/MySQL, it offers an easy-to-use web interface to allow you to monitor the network devices

In this article, we will show you how to install Observium on Debian 11


  • an active KVM VPS
  • sudo root privileges for a local or direct access to root account

1. Install and Configure Observium

Before starting with the installation and configuration of Observium from sources in your own server, first assure the system meets all the software requirements for compiling and installing the application. In the first step, update your system repositories and software packages by issuing the following command.

apt update
apt upgrade

Install all the required packages needed to run Observium.

apt install -y libapache2-mod-php7.4 php7.4-cli php7.4-mysql php7.4-gd php7.4-json php7.4-bcmath \
php7.4-mbstring php7.4-opcache php7.4-apcu php7.4-curl php-pear snmp fping rrdtool whois \
mariadb-server mariadb-client subversion mtr-tiny ipmitool graphviz imagemagick apache2 \
python3-mysqldb python3-pymysql python-is-python3

Add Observium system user.

useradd -r -M -d /opt/observium observium

Add the user to group www-data

usermod -a -G observium www-data

Download the latest Observium Community Edition installation files.


Unpack the downloaded files.

tar zxvf observium-community-latest.tar.gz

Move the extracted files into the /opt directory.

mv observium /opt

Copy the default configuration file.

cp /opt/observium/config.php.default /opt/observium/config.php

Edit the file for your system.

nano /opt/observium/config.php

Modify the file as shown below, save and close the file:

// Database config ---  This MUST be configured
$config['db_extension'] = 'mysqli';
$config['db_host']      = 'localhost';
$config['db_user']      = 'observium';
$config['db_pass']      = 'StrongPassword';
$config['db_name']      = 'observium';

Create rrd and logs directory.

mkdir /opt/observium/{rrd,logs}

Change the permissions of the directory.

chown -R observium:observium /opt/observium/ 
chown -R 775 /opt/observium

Edit snmp.conf configuration file to direct the SNMP utilities to use Observium’s MIBs.

nano /etc/snmp/snmp.conf

Modify the line as shown below, save and close the file:

mibs : /opt/observium/mibs/rfc:/opt/observium/mibs/net-snmp

2. Configure MySQL Database

Log in to the MySQL shell.


Create a database named observium


Create a user named observium. Modify the StrongPassword value with your secure password.

CREATE USER 'observium'@'localhost' identified by 'StrongPassword';

Grant all database privileges to the user.

GRANT ALL ON observium.* TO 'observium'@'localhost';

Reload the changes.


Exit MySQL shell.


Insert the default MySQL database schema.

cd /opt/observium
./discovery.php -u

4. Configure Apache

Edit the default Apache configuration file.

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
    DocumentRoot /opt/observium/html
    <FilesMatch \.php$>
      SetHandler application/x-httpd-php
    <Directory />
            Options FollowSymLinks
            AllowOverride None
    <Directory /opt/observium/html/>
      DirectoryIndex index.php
      Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
      AllowOverride All
      Require all granted

    ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
    LogLevel warn
    CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined
    ServerSignature On

Change the global server name.

nano /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

Add the code below at the end of the file, save and close the file:

ServerName localhost

Enable mpm_prefork module.

a2enmod mpm_prefork

Enable mod_rewrite.

a2enmod rewrite

Restart the Apache service.

systemctl restart apache2

5. Configure Admin Account

Add an initial user with access level 10 for administration. Modify the AdminPassword value with your secure password.

cd /opt/observium

./adduser.php admin AdminPassword 10

Create a new file /etc/cron.d/observium to add cron jobs.

nano /etc/cron.d/observium

Add the following contents, save and close the file:

# Run a complete discovery of all devices once every 6 hours
33  */6   * * *   root    /opt/observium/discovery.php -h all >> /dev/null 2>&1

# Run automated discovery of newly added devices every 5 minutes
*/5 *     * * *   root    /opt/observium/discovery.php -h new >> /dev/null 2>&1

# Run multithreaded poller wrapper every 5 minutes
*/5 *     * * *   root    /opt/observium/ >> /dev/null 2>&1

# Run housekeeping script daily for syslog, eventlog and alert log
13 5 * * * root /opt/observium/housekeeping.php -ysel >> /dev/null 2>&1

# Run housekeeping script daily for rrds, ports, orphaned entries in the database and performance data
47 4 * * * root /opt/observium/housekeeping.php -yrptb >> /dev/null 2>&1

6. Access Observium Web Interface

Install UFW.

apt-get install ufw -y

Enable UFW.

ufw enable

Allow port 80 and ssh through UFW firewall.

ufw allow 80

ufw allow ssh

To access the Observium Web Interface, go to your browser and visit http://Server_IP/. For example:

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