There is a new version of this tutorial available for Debian 9 (Stretch).

Installing Zabbix (Server And Agent) On Debian Etch

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme

Zabbix is a solution for monitoring applications, networks, and servers. With Zabbix, you can monitor multiple servers at a time, using a Zabbix server that comes with a web interface (that is used to configure Zabbix and holds the graphs of your systems) and Zabbix agents that are installed on the systems to be monitored. The Zabbix agents deliver the desired data to the Zabbix server. This tutorial shows how you can install the Zabbix server and agent on a Debian Etch system.

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Preliminary Note

I will use the system with the IP address as the Zabbix server, and I'll install a Zabbix agent on the same system (so that it can monitor itself) as well as on a second Debian Etch system with the hostname and the IP address


2 Install The Zabbix Server And Zabbix Agent On

The Zabbix server can store its information in a MySQL or PostgreSQL database. We use MySQL here, so we install the MySQL server and client first:

apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client

Create a password for the MySQL user root (replace yourrootsqlpassword with the password you want to use):

mysqladmin -u root password yourrootsqlpassword

Then check with

netstat -tap | grep mysql

on which addresses MySQL is listening. If the output looks like this:

tcp        0      0 localhost.localdo:mysql *:*                     LISTEN     2713/mysqld

which means MySQL is listening on localhost.localdomain only, then you're safe with the password you set before. But if the output looks like this:

tcp        0      0 *:mysql *:*                     LISTEN     2713/mysqld

you should set a MySQL password for your hostname, too, because otherwise anybody can access your database and modify data:

mysqladmin -h -u root password yourrootsqlpassword

Afterwards, we can install the Zabbix server, Zabbix agent, and the Zabbix web interface with a single command:

apt-get install zabbix-server-mysql zabbix-frontend-php zabbix-agent

You will be asked a few questions:

Configure database for zabbix-server-mysql with dbconfig-common? <-- Yes
Password of your database's administrative user: <-- yourrootsqlpassword (password of the MySQL root user)
MySQL application password for zabbix-server-mysql: <-- zabbixsqlpassword (password of the MySQL user zabbix)
Password confirmation: <-- zabbixsqlpassword

This should create a MySQL database called zabbix as well as the MySQL user zabbix (with the password you provided).

Next we must edit the Zabbix agent configuration in /etc/zabbix/zabbix_agentd.conf. Replace Server=localhost with Server= (to avoid lookup problems of localhost) and specify the hostname of the current system in the Hostname line:

vi /etc/zabbix/zabbix_agentd.conf

Then we restart the Zabbix agent:

/etc/init.d/zabbix-agent restart

Finally, we must specify the password of our zabbix MySQL user in the Zabbix web interface configuration:

vi /etc/zabbix/dbconfig.php

That's it. you can now open or in a browser. Log in with the username Admin and no password:

Afterwards, go to Configuration and configure Zabbix. The Zabbix configuration is beyond the scope of this document. You can learn more about this subject in the Zabbix documentation.

If you have problems with Zabbix, please check the Zabbix logs:

  • /var/log/zabbix-agent/zabbix_agentd.log
  • /var/log/zabbix-server/zabbix_server.log

The Zabbix configuration files for the server, agent, and web interface are as follows:

  • /etc/zabbix/apache.conf
  • /etc/zabbix/dbconfig.php
  • /etc/zabbix/zabbix_agentd.conf
  • /etc/zabbix/zabbix_server.conf


3 Install The Zabbix Agent On

Let's assume we have a second server (, that we want to monitor. Of course, we don't have to install the Zabbix server or a MySQL database on, because this is already installed on All we have to do is install the Zabbix agent:

apt-get install zabbix-agent

Then we must edit the Zabbix agent configuration file /etc/zabbix/zabbix_agentd.conf and put the IP address of our Zabbix server in the Server line and specify the hostname of the current system in the Hostname line:

vi /etc/zabbix/zabbix_agentd.conf

Afterwards, we restart the Zabbix agent:

/etc/init.d/zabbix-agent restart

That's it. You can now use the Zabbix web interface on the Zabbix server ( to monitor

If you have problems, you should check out the Zabbix agent log file /var/log/zabbix-agent/zabbix_agentd.log.


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2 Comment(s)

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By: Daniel Smith

Please note that the user login details for the zabbix web interface are as follows for the default config, not what is stated above;

 username: Admin

 password: zabbix

By: Rajeev


I am wanting to install a server monitoring app with all the bells and wiistels (graphs, historic data, comparing historical data). Zabbix looks right. (But) the questoins are:

1. how much load does zabbix add to a "busy" standalone server? server runs: mysql, apache, node.js (~500 page views per day, website allows remote login and remote terminal - needs near-realtime output to user commands)

2. would you even suggest to install zabbix? on such server, i looked at monit also, but not sure about it (does not look like as many features).

3. How to re-brand the zabbix logo wihh my own logo?

You have alreayy taken a step forward and tried to install this software and shaueyou r results, I appreciate you oor that.

Thank you.