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As part of my work and collaborations and universities I've attended, I have access to many machines, about 13 or so. These are all Linux machines and I could ssh using my key-pair. There are a bunch of stuff running on these machines from time to time and also these machines are shared among users.

Is there a utility which could help me monitor these systems or something like take a stock of the systems as to what is going on on them.

I am looking for something lightweight which just needs a list of machine ids and a very minimal installation and could fetch me this information every morning when I log into my laptop.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You could use something like Munin or Cacti to monitor the hosts via snmp. You could run it on one host that checks the hosts periodically and presents you a web page.

If you want to monitor and automatically alert you, you could use something like nagios.

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Nagios is a powerful monitoring system that enables organizations to identify and resolve IT infrastructure problems before they affect critical business processes.

Features (from the Nagios website)

  • Comprehensive Monitoring
  • Visibility
  • Awareness
  • Reporting
  • Extendable
  • Architecture
  • Customizable Code

Can be downloaded directly from here.

Hope this helps...

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  • cron job that would collect the information you need and mail them to you (possibly encrypted)

  • a shell script that connects to the machines in question via ssh (key-based authentication) runs a command and pipes it to a file on your machine, alerting you if something unexpected happens.

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