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Charly's Column – darkstat

Article from Issue 234/2020

Thanks to its minimal footprint, 20-year-old darkstat hardly generates any noticeable load even on low-powered systems, making it the perfect monitoring tool for Charly's home utility room.

Next to our kitchen, there is a small utility room. I don't think its floorspace is even two square meters. In addition to the usual building services, such as fuse box, there are two firewalls, a web and mail server, network attached storage (NAS), and a large switch.

The tiny router supplied by my Internet provider sits a little intimidated in the corner. I downgraded it to something like the IT equivalent of a flow heater. It opens the connection to the provider and passes it to the firewall. I have switched off everything else, like WLAN, telephony, and the DHCP server; I prefer to do that myself, on my own hardware.

You need to monitor what you run. For long-term monitoring of loads and latencies, I use Munin and SmokePing. But if I just want to have a quick look at what currently is happening on the firewall interface, darkstat [1] is the hero of the day.


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