Graph Sockets Pipes Files


Since everything in Linux/Unix is a file, Linux has some interesting ways to monitor for problems. Often systems administrators monitor CPU, Ram, Disk Space, and Network Usage. These are all valid data points and are especially useful for capacity planning. For real time detection of problems, especially with web/application/databases, these are not always the best indicators. In my experience, checking and trending the number of open sockets, pipes, files, tcp/udp sockets, and unix sockets has been the single best indicator of a problem. These have been much better than CPU, Load, or I/O Wait. In fact, under optimal usage of server hardware, one would expect spikes in CPU, RAM, and I/O.



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This graph is an overlay of five important indicators, they are described below. Notice that the number of files is devided by 100 for purpose of graphing. This done in the graph template and can be tuned for different applications. This is just what worked well for us.

  • Files: Number of open files per /proc
  • Pipes: Number of open pipes per lsof
  • TCP: Number of open TCP sockets per netstat
  • UDP: Number of open UDP sockets per netstat
  • Unix: Number of open Unix sockets per netstat

This graph requires several files to work correctly. They are described below

  • – This is collector script used on the cacti server
  • – This script is used to send information back to cacti, it is also used by a sister Nagios check
  • sockets_pipes_files_template.xml – Templates file which is imported in Cacti in web interface



There is both a server component and a node component

Cacti Server

Import XML template on the cacti server


Copy the poller script out to the cacti server (could be different on your server)



Remote Node

Install perl/net-snmpd components

yum install -y net-snmp-perl

Copy the client script to the client

Configure snmp on the client and restart. Generally, this is in /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf

perl do '/etc/snmp/';
service snmpd restart

In Cacti, add the graph template

Cacti Web Interface -> devices -> -> Associated Graph Templates -> Sockets Pipes Files -> Add
Cacti Web Interface -> Create Graphs for this Host -> Create: Sockets Pipes Files -> Check -> Create


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