Lighttpd mod_rrdtool: Monitor The Load, Requests Per Seconds and Traffic

last updated in Categories CentOS, Debian Linux, fedora linux, Hardware, Howto, lighttpd, Linux, Monitoring, RedHat/Fedora Linux, Ubuntu Linux

The round-robin database tool aims to handle time-series data like network bandwidth, temperatures, CPU load etc. The data gets stored in round-robin database so that system storage footprint remains constant over time. Lighttpd comes with mod_rrdtool to monitor the server load and other details. This is useful for debugging and tuning lighttpd / fastcgi server performance.

Install rrdtool

Type the following command if you are using CentOS / RHEL / Fedora Linux (enable EPEL repo):
# yum install rrdtool
If you are using Debian / Ubuntu Linux, enter:
# apt-get update && apt-get install rrdtool

Configure mod_rrdtool

You need to use /usr/bin/rrdtool binary file. Open the lighttpd configuration file, enter:
# vi /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf
Add the following:

server.modules              += ( "mod_rrdtool"  )
### RRDTOOL Config
# path to the rrdtool binary
rrdtool.binary = "/usr/bin/rrdtool"
# rrd database file
rrdtool.db-name = "/home/lighttpd/rrd"

Save and close the file. Now gracefully reload lighttpd webserver:
# service lighttpd reload
/home/lighttpd/rrd is a filename of the rrd-database. Make sure that /home/lighttpd/rrd doesn’t exist before the first run, as lighttpd has to create the DB for you.

How Do I View Graphs?

You need to download and install cgi script. My cgi-bin directory is located at /home/lighttpd/cgi-bin/ (see how to configure cgi-bin CGI access under Lighttpd):
$ cd /home/lighttpd/cgi-bin/
$ wget
$ chmod +x lightygraph.cgi

Open the web browser and type url:
Sample graphs:

Fig.01: Lighttpd WebServer Statistics For Last 4 Hours
Fig.01: Lighttpd WebServer Statistics For Last 4 Hours

Fig.02: Lighttpd WebServer Statistics - Daily Graphs
Fig.02: Lighttpd WebServer Statistics - Daily Graphs

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

13 comment

  1. Hi,

    I use perl lightygraph.cgi to validate the results. Unfortunately, the lightygraph.cgi is broken due to the old perl module. Check out here:

    The details on RRDTool for Lighttpd can be found here:

    I appreciate that you’re trying to let us know of the RRDTool. Next time, try to validate the results first before posting here. 🙂



    1. It is working here w/o any problem. Tested on RHEL 4.x and 5.3:
      lighttpd -v
      lighttpd-1.4.22 (ssl) – a light and fast webserver
      Build-Date: May 7 2009 11:37:00

      perl -v | grep built
      This is perl, v5.8.8 built for x86_64-linux-thread-multi

      rrdtool info| grep RRD
      RRDtool 1.2.27 Copyright 1997-2008 by Tobias Oetiker

      I don’t post anything without testing 😉


  2. Hi Vivek,

    Thanks for writing this nice document. I followed your steps. I am able to run sample perl script w/o any problem.
    But when ever I tried to access lightygraph.cgi page download pop-up windows comes for downloading. Then I made some changes in lighttpd.conf for accessing .cgi pages now its saying “403 Forbidden”. My rrdtool is in /usr/local/bin/rrdtool.
    Also, there is no file for rrd-db.

    Pls. let me know if u have any suggession.


  3. Hi Vivek,

    Although i use Linux for many years, I never ‘stumbled’ over this website before.
    Better late than never! The best website about linux i’ve seen !!!!

    Thanks for all the effort you are putting into this site.

  4. This might seem a silly question. But what is the red data on the ‘TrafficWebserver’ graph? Are those errors, because they’re negative…


  5. i wonder if it is it possible to view traffic graphs per domain ? (“host”)
    since lighty knows how to limit bandwidth on particular host so i guess it also possible to retrieve this data somehow.

  6. if you are getting 503 errors check that the paths are correct in the .cgi file, mkdir as necessary

    you can test it from the linux command line as follows
    # perl lightygraph.cgi

    to fix the Can’t locate issue you can
    # yum install rrdtool-perl.x86_64

  7. On CentOS do

    yum rddtool to install.
    then edit the lighttpd config.
    If lighttpd restarts and has following in error-log
    ERROR: creating ‘/var/lib/lighttpd/lighttpd.rrd’: No such file or directory

    You may have to
    cd /var/log/lighttpd.rrd
    touch ./lighttpd.rrd
    chown lighttpd.lighttpd ./lighttpd.rrd

  8. On CentOS do

    yum rddtool # to install.
    /etc/initd.d/rrdcached start
    Make sure it is in rc.scripts so it will start on bootup

    If lighttpd restarts and has following in error-log
    ERROR: creating ‘/var/lib/lighttpd/lighttpd.rrd’: No such file or directory

    You may have to

    cd /var/log/lighttpd
    touch ./lighttpd.rrd
    chown lighttpd.lighttpd ./lighttpd.rrd

  9. Is possible to set a rrdtool by much hostname? I have 5 hostnames in one lighttpd

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