Cockpit – An Easy Way to Administer Multiple Remote Linux Servers via a Web Browser

Cockpit is a free and open source web-based system management tool where users can easily monitor and manage multiple remote Linux srvers. It is very thin and light weight utility & directly interacts with the operating system from a real Linux session and doesn’t require any difficult configuration so just install it, it is ready for use.

Cockpit allows you to monitor system resources, containers management, storage administration, network configuration, inspecting logs and giving options to adjust limits to optimize and control the resources utilization.

It does not have a predefined template and resembling the data from Linux servers which dynamically updates itself to reflect the current state of the server, within a time frame of a few seconds.

Cockpit wont requires specific username, special permission and uses default system users and their system credentials.It doesn’t add a layer of other functionalities & configuration that are not present on your systems, instead it uses system generated configuration files to interact it.

Suggested Read : Check List of Available System Monitoring Tools in Linux

Moving between the terminal and web tool is not a big deal since its resembling the data, so if you stop the services in cockpit can be kick start from terminal. Likewise, if an error occurs in the terminal, it can be seen in the Cockpit journal interface.

We can easily add multiple remote hosts through cockpit dashboard with single click, which helps newbies to manage the multiple servers at the same time without headache.

Cockpit Features

  • Adjust system resources, CPU shares & memory limits
  • Systemd service management
  • Containers management
  • Storage administration
  • Network configuration
  • Log management
  • User Management
  • System Service Management

How to Install Cockpit in Linux

Installing cockpit in Linux is not a big deal and pieces of cakes since its available in major Linux distribution official repository. Its support Fedora, RHEL, CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian & Arch Linux.

For Fedora users, use DNF Package Manager to install cockpit.

$ sudo dnf install cockpit
$ sudo systemctl enable --now cockpit.socket
$ sudo firewall-cmd --add-service=cockpit
$ sudo firewall-cmd --add-service=cockpit --permanent

For CentOS users, use YUM Package Manager to install cockpit.

$ sudo dnf install cockpit
$ sudo systemctl enable --now cockpit.socket
$ sudo firewall-cmd --permanent --zone=public --add-service=cockpit
$ sudo firewall-cmd --reload

For RHEL users, use YUM Package Manager to install cockpit.

$ sudo subscription-manager repos --enable rhel-7-server-extras-rpms
$ sudo yum install cockpit
$ sudo systemctl enable --now cockpit.socket
$ sudo firewall-cmd --add-service=cockpit
$ sudo firewall-cmd --add-service=cockpit --permanent

For Debian 8 users, use APT Package Manager or APT-GET Package Manager to install cockpit.

$ sudo sh -c "echo 'deb http://repo-cockpitproject.rhcloud.com/debian/ jessie main' >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/cockpit.list"
$ sudo apt-key adv --keyserver sks-keyservers.net --recv-keys 0D2A45C3F1BAA57C
$ sudo apt-key finger F1BAA57C
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install cockpit

For Ubuntu 16.04 users, use APT Package Manager or APT-GET Package Manager to install cockpit.

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:cockpit-project/cockpit
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install cockpit

For Arch Linux users, use Yaourt Package Manager or Packer Package Manager to install cockpit.

$ yaourt -S cockpit
or
$ packer -S cockpit

How to Access & Use Cockpit in Linux

After successfully installation of cockpit, navigate to http://localhost:9090 or http://YourIP:9090 and use the same root login details to access it.

System Information : After logging in, you will be getting system information page where you can see hostname, operating system, domain, system date & time, hardware information. Also we can get graphs about CPU, Memory, Disk I/O & Network Traffic utilization.

Logs : Navigate to Logs menu which will display all kind of system logs such as Errors, Warnings & Notices.

Storage : Navigate to Storage menu which will display Storage details, Disk reading & Writing and related log information.

Networking : Navigate to Networking menu which will display network related informations such as Interface Name, IP Address, Data Sending (Kbps), Data Receiving (Kbps), & Networking Logs.

Containers : Navigate to Containers menu to check the running containers details.

Accounts : Navigate to Accounts menu which will display current users list in system. We can add & modify existing users accounts.

Services : Navigate to Services menu to Manage the system services. Here you can get Targets, System Services, Sockets, Timers & Paths.

To Manage particular services, just hit on the services. We are going to view the Apache web servers.

Terminal : Navigate to Terminal menu to use the terminal.

How to Add Remote Hosts

We have to install Cockpit on all remote Linux servers in order to monitor. Goto >> Dashboard >> Enter the Remote Server IP >> Hit Add, which will automatically add the remote servers in cockpit by using system default login details.

Magesh Maruthamuthu

Love to play with all Linux distribution

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  • Alan Moore

    This doesn’t work on Debian 8.0, I get the following messages when installing from apt:

    apt -s install cockpit
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
    requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
    distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
    or been moved out of Incoming.
    The following information may help to resolve the situation:

    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    cockpit : Depends: cockpit-bridge (>= 138.x) but it is not installable
    Depends: cockpit-dashboard (>= 139-0~jessie) but it is not installable
    Depends: cockpit-dashboard (= 139-0~jessie) but it is not installable
    Depends: cockpit-ws (< 139-0~jessie.1~) but it is not installable
    Depends: cockpit-system (= 139-0~jessie) but it is not going to be installed
    Recommends: cockpit-storaged (= 139-0~jessie) but it is not going to be installed
    Recommends: cockpit-networkmanager (= 139-0~jessie) but it is not going to be installed
    E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

    Trying to install the dependencies first give this:

    apt -s install cockpit-bridge cockpit-dashboard cockpit-ws cockpit-system
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    Package cockpit-bridge is not available, but is referred to by another package.
    This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
    is only available from another source

    Package cockpit-dashboard is not available, but is referred to by another package.
    This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
    is only available from another source

    Package cockpit-ws is not available, but is referred to by another package.
    This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
    is only available from another source

    E: Package 'cockpit-bridge' has no installation candidate
    E: Package 'cockpit-dashboard' has no installation candidate
    E: Package 'cockpit-ws' has no installation candidate

    This is a list of the cockpit packages available:

    apt search cockpit
    Sorting… Done
    Full Text Search… Done
    cockpit/unknown 139-0~jessie all
    User interface for Linux servers

    cockpit-doc/unknown 139-0~jessie all
    Cockpit deployment and developer guide

    cockpit-docker/unknown 139-0~jessie all
    Cockpit user interface for Docker containers

    cockpit-machines/unknown 139-0~jessie all
    Cockpit user interface for virtual machines

    cockpit-networkmanager/unknown 139-0~jessie all
    Cockpit user interface for networking

    cockpit-storaged/unknown 139-0~jessie all
    Cockpit user interface for storage

    cockpit-system/unknown 139-0~jessie all
    Cockpit admin interface for a system

    jets3t/stable 0.8.1+dfsg-1 all
    graphical and command-line tools for Amazon S3 and CloudFront

    kraptor/stable 0.0.20040403-8 i386
    Classic shoot 'em up scroller game

    As you can see some of the package dependencies are not available. Do I need to add another repository? I'm using the stable version of Debian 8.0

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