How to install Sensu on Ubuntu 14.04

Featuring Uchiwa, RabbitMQ & Redis

Sensu is a monitoring tool that uses RabbitMQ to handle messages and Redis to store data. It’s typically used to create a robust monitoring and alert system in a cloud environment by coordinating check executions with check and handler scripts. An event that’s triggered by a check script is passed to its corresponding handler script, which takes the specified action. Installing Sensu on Ubuntu 14.04 also requires you to install RabbitMQ and Redis, among other supporting software. You must also install the Uchiwa dashboard, which will display information from Sensu in your browser.

To set this up, you’ll need a live Linux server (that you can tweak) with a dedicated IP address and a way to connect to it. We recommend a GoDaddy Virtual Private Server if you’re just getting started, or a full dedicated server if you’re ready to take total control. To connect to your server, you’ll need some kind of an SSH client. Google it, or try PuTTY (Windows) or Terminal (Mac).

1. Install the supporting software.

Open a terminal window with a user that has root privileges. Update the list of available apt-get packages.

# apt-get update

Add the RabbitMQ source to the APT source list.

# curl -s http://www.rabbitmq.com/rabbitmq-signing-key-public.asc | apt-key add -
# echo "deb http://www.rabbitmq.com/debian/ testing main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/rabbitmq.list

Add the Sensuapp source to the APT source list.

# curl -s http://repos.sensuapp.org/apt/pubkey.gpg | apt-key add -
# echo "deb http://repos.sensuapp.org/apt sensu main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/sensu.list

Add the Elasticsearch source to the APT source list.

# curl -s http://packages.elasticsearch.org/GPG-KEY-elasticsearch | apt-key add -
# echo "deb http://packages.elasticsearch.org/elasticsearch/1.0/debian stable main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/elasticsearch.list

2. Install Erlang, RabbitMQ and Redis-server.

# apt-get install -y erlang-nox
# apt-get install -y rabbitmq-server
# apt-get install -y redis-server

3. Install Sensu and Uchiwa.

Download the Sensu source code.

# wget http://repos.sensuapp.org/apt/pubkey.gpg -O- | sudo apt-key add -

Add the keys for Sensu.

# echo "deb http://repos.sensuapp.org/apt sensu main" | tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/sensu.list

Install Sensu.

# apt-get install -y sensu

Install Uchiwa.

# apt-get install -y uchiwa

4. Configure RabbitMQ.

Create a RabbitMQ virtual host.

# rabbitmqctl add_vhost /sensu

Create a user for Sensu.

# rabbitmqctl add_user sensu monitor

Change the password for the Sensu user.

# rabbitmqctl set_permissions -p /sensu sensu ".*" ".*" ".*"

5. Start the Sensu and Uchiwa services.

Enable the Sensu services to start automatically.

# update-rc.d sensu-server defaults
# update-rc.d sensu-client defaults
# update-rc.d sensu-api defaults

Enable the Uchiwa service to start automatically.

# update-rc.d uchiwa defaults

6. Verify that Sensu is installed and configured.

Point your browser to the address and port number specified in /etc/sensu/uchiwa.json to access the Uchiwa dashboard that will display the Sensu API. This address defaults to localhost and the default port number is 3000. In this case, you would enter localhost:3000 in your browser’s address line. You’ll be prompted for the user/password for the Uchiwa dashboard, which defaults to admin/secret. You should see a browser page similar to the following if Sensu and Uchiwa are properly installed and configured:

Uchiwa

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Christopher Carfi
A veteran of both startups and the enterprise, Chris has a deep track record in developing customer community and evangelist programs for brands such as Adobe, H&R Block and Aruba Networks while holding executive positions at Ant’s Eye View and Edelman Digital, and he was co-founder and CEO at Cerado. He currently lives in the Bay Area with his family.