For our basic Cricket setup, let's assume you're going to install it on a Linux server that already has an Apache server running on it. Also you'll need to have installed the basic development tools: make, GCC compiler, and the Linux kernel headers.
I found these instructions in the
beginner.txt file in the
cricket/doc directory. My instructions are more explicitly geared for a Linux system; if you are running something else, you'll probably want to refer to the
beginner.txt file as well. So, let's get started.
You will need a recent version of Perl -- version 5.004 or newer. To check the version number, use the
perl -v command.
You will also need these packages from CPAN (Comprehensive Perl Archive Network); you may have some of them already.
|Package name||Where to get it:||MD5 CPAN||by-authors/id/GAAS/Digest-MD5-*.tar.gz|
|DB_File CPAN||by-authors/id/PMQS/DB_File-*.tar.gz Date::Parse|
If you have the CPAN module installed and configured, you can issue the following commands while running as "root." If you have the CPAN module but have not configured it, the first time you run it, it will ask some questions. Go ahead and give it a shot; it's not that hard. Otherwise you can go to CPAN.org web site. Here you can find the modules, download them, unpack them, and build and install each one by following the ReadMe file. This is known as doing it the hard way.
Each of these CPAN module commands will install the latest version of each package. It is safe to run the command; if the latest version is already installed, it will just tell you that and stop.
perl -MCPAN -eshell cpan> install MD5 cpan> install LWP cpan> install DB_File cpan> install Date::Parse cpan> install Time::HiRes cpan> quit
There are two more packages that are not in the CPAN archives, so you have to fetch and install them separately. Use your web browser to find the latest version of each and download them to a spot on your system where you can unpack and build the package. Then use your rootly powers to install it.
First the SNMP_Session package: For this HTTP tracking project we actually don't need to use any SNMP services, but Cricket requires the package so you have to install it anyway.
- The SNMP_Session web site is:
- You can download the latest version from:
Here are the abbreviated instructions on building version 0.76:
% tar xzf SNMP_Session-0.76.tar.gz % cd SNMP_Session-0.76 % perl Makefile.PL % make % su root Password: # make install # exit % cd ..
- The RRD package is the heart of Cricket. The main RRD site is:
- You can download the package from:
Here are the abbreviated instructions on building version 1.0.11:
% tar xzf rrdtool-1.0.11.tar.gz % cd rrdtool-1.0.11
I had to do this to get configure to work on one of my systems:
% unset noclobber % ./configure % make % su root Password:
This next line will install the RRD Perl modules in your system's
site-perl directory tree instead of putting them in a separate
location (which is what
make install does). This is necessary for
the Cricket scripts to find the RRD modules.
# make site-perl-install
Now, as root, create a user account that will run Cricket.
These commands work on a Linux system; use your own preference on your system to create a Cricket user. You don't strictly need a separate Cricket account, but I find it is a lot easier this way.
Set an alias to receive Cricket's mail.
# groupadd cricket # useradd -g cricket -c 'Cricket Traffic Grapher' cricket # passwd cricket # chmod 755 ~cricket
# echo "cricket: root" >> /etc/aliases # newaliases # exit
Download and install Cricket.
% su - cricket Password:
Now that you're running as Cricket, use a browser to download the Cricket source archive from here.
Here are the abbreviated instructions on installing version 0.72:
% tar xzf cricket-0.72.tar.gz
Using this symbolic link will allow you to upgrade easily later:
% ln -s cricket-0.72 cricket % cd cricket
Running "configure" will fix up the first line of each Cricket script so they can find Perl on your system.
Now we get into the configuration; this is the most
complicated step. Copy the sample configuration tree to
~cricket/cricket-config directory, which is where
the installed Cricket will look for it.
% cd .. % cp -r cricket/sample-config cricket-config
There are lots of setup files in there that won't be used but maybe
you'll want them later; they won't hurt anything for now. For now,
we are only interested in
the URLs file.
% cd cricket-config/http-performance % ls Defaults urls % emacs urls
The sample file looks like this. Remove those entries and put in entries for whatever you would like to monitor.
target cricket-home short-desc = "The Cricket Homepage" url = "http://www.munitions.com/~jra/test-file.txt" target www.cnn.com url = "http://www.cnn.com"
targetname (for example, cricket-home) will be used to name the database table, and as the default name in the web interface.
short-desctext will override the target name in the web interface.
- The URL can be any standard HTTP statement.
You can have as many targets as you like; each one will cause a database table of approximately 60 kilobytes to be created. If it takes more than five minutes to collect a set of data, you will receive warning messages telling you that the collection subtree is locked. You can ignore these messages or change the collection interval.
The defaults file in this directory contains settings to control how
the data is displayed. For a while, one
of my servers was consistently delivering pages in times greater than
five seconds. I had to change the setting for
y-max so that I could see
more data on the graphs. I won't tell you how slow the server was -- too embarrassing. Every page on that site was generated by Perl
Each time you make changes to the
cricket-config files, you have to
recompile them. There will be error messages if you entered anything
% cd ~ % cricket/compile
To test the data collector, run it now manually.
% cricket/collector /http-performance
If it works, you'll see a lot of messages like this indicating Cricket is testing each target in your configuration file:
[09-Feb-2000 22:26:55 ] Retrieving data (EXEC: /home/cricket/cricket-config/../cricket/util/test-url http://www.xml.com) for XML
The collector will also create the data tables in the
~cricket/cricket-data/http-performance directory the first time you run it.
The collector is run from a script called collect-subtrees.
You can set up Cron to run different collection sets at different
intervals. The file
cricket/subtrees-sets defines what is in
each set. For our example, you will have to edit that file to change
set normal: /routers /router-interfaces
set normal: /http-performance
Now, to test collection of the set, run the wrapper script:
% cricket/collect-subtrees normal % exit
You won't see any output from this script, but the wrapper will create
cricket-logs, and log its output to file in it,
Making a Cron Entry
Now you are ready to set up a Cron job to run the collection script.
Make a Cron entry to run Cricket once every five minutes. I run Cricket
/etc/cron.d directory. You could run it directly under the
Cricket account (using the
crontab -e command to edit the file), but I
find it easier to keep track of what administrative Cron jobs are
installed by putting them all in the
% su root
[Next command all on one line]
# echo "*/5 * * * * cricket /home/cricket/cricket/collect-subtrees normal" > /etc/cron.d/cricket # exit
Now wait until the next 5-minute increment rolls around and watch to
see if the data collection happens. Once Cricket has been running for
awhile, you will see a series of files from
collect-subtrees file runs, it renumbers the files so the newest
one is always
Cricket is now logging data. If you modify the files in
remember to re-run
compile to update the configuration.
On page 3, we'll cover how to set things up for web browsing.