Quick Installation Guide

Below is the result of our efforts to be able to walk you through, step by step, the process of installing NARC on a central server and have it monitor your systems. Walk throught it sequentially or hit the quick links to skip to the juicy bits. We've tried very hard to not leave anything out, but no one is perfect. If you're having problems, visit our support pages to see if your problem has already been addressed. If not, please, .

System Requirements

  • NAR
  • NAR is the data collection package that NARC was developed for. You can find the most recent version on our download page.

  • Hardware
  • Disk space for host performance data for 30 days, plus another .8 MByte of disk space of each disk for 30 days. A monitored host with 3 open ports would require 29 Mbyte for 30 days of data.

  • Perl 5 (or greater)
  • Also, the following modules, all of which are available from http://www.perl.com

    Required Perl Modules

    Some of the above modules come with Perl while the others are available from the Perl website listed above.

    NOTE: If you need to install any of the above dependancies, we recommend using the 'yum -y install "perl(*Cwd*)"' command to mitigate any issues with CPAN.

  • HTTP Server
  • Only if you want the graphs web accessible. The Apache webserver is used for development purposes.

  • Web Browser
  • For viewing files (Netscape, Mozilla, IE, etc).

  • RRDTool
  • Installed with the RRD Perl modules in the system perl libraries. Avaliable at: http://oss.oetiker.ch/rrdtool/

  • NARC User
  • A generic user and group on all systems that will be used to collect data via the 'rsh' or 'ssh' command from the NARC server. .rhosts (or .shosts or ssh key exchange) must be configured to allow access without password prompting. (The account can have a disabled password.)

    user - narc:x:3334:NARC:/usr/local/narc:/bin/bash
    group - narc:x:3334:NARC

    NOTE: If you intend to use NARC to also monitor the 'server' machine, make sure that the key exchanges are also performed to allow passwordless 'remote' access from that machine to itself.


    Versions 0.1.0 or greater
  1. Make sure all of the above prerequisites are installed.
  2. Unpack the tarball.
  3. Update the Makefile's User Variables to match your system's specifications.
  4. Run 'make install' from Makefile.
  5. Ex. % make install

  6. If this is your first installation or you find any errors, continue to the Configuration section.
  7. The Makefile should migrate any previous installation configuration to the new installation

    Older Versions of Narc (Manual install)
  1. Make sure all of the above prerequisites are installed.
  2. Unpack the tarball.
  3. Edit the $web_dir (line 63) and $sw_dir (line 64) variables in the private file to suit your environment.
  4. Ex. % cd narc-{VERSION}/bin
           % vim private

  5. Edit the $web_dir (line 27) and $sw_dir (line 28) variables in the webgen file to match those is the private file.
  6. Ex. % vim webgen

  7. Edit the crontab file to match the $sw_dir is the private file.
  8. Ex. 5,20,35,50 * * * * /usr/local/narc/bin/narc > /dev/null 2>&1

  9. Edit the http.conf-narc file to match the $web_dir is the private file.
  10. Ex. ScriptAlias /narc/bin/ "/home/www/html/narc/bin/"

  11. Create the $sw_dir and $web_dir directories.
  12. Ex. % mkdir /usr/local/narc /home/www/html/narc

  13. Copy the contents to the narc directory.
  14. Ex. % cp -r ./narc-{VERSION}/* $sw_dir

  15. Continue to the Configuration section.


  1. Edit the hosts.master file.
  2. Change directory to ${NARC_PREFIX}/narc/bin and edit the hosts.master file.

    Ex. % cd /usr/local/narc/bin
       % vim hosts.master

    The example hosts.master file provided documents the fields.

  3. Run webgen
  4. Ex. % ./webgen

  5. Create ${NARC_USER}
  6. Make sure that the ${NARC_USER} has been created on all hosts to be monitored, and that ${NARC_USER} can access the system without being prompted for a password. A simple test as ${NARC_USER} is a good idea ('rsh <remotehost>' is enough).

  7. Enable NAR
  8. Make sure that NAR is installed and activated on all systems to be monitored. NAR is available as one of the packages provided by the NCAR Tools Group. NAR may be installed, but not active. The 'enable_nar' script can be used to make entries into the appropriate crontabs to enable NAR data collection.

    The RRDTool databases configured by NARC expect data samples every 5 minutes. Use the 'enable_nar' script on each host to be monitored to properly configure the crontab.

  9. Merge the httpd.conf files. - SKIP IF VERSION ≥ 0.1.0
  10. Merge the 'httpd.conf-narc' file with the web server httpd.conf file, the restart the webserver. (This only needs to be done once per installation, not after every configuration.)

  11. Run loadall.sh - OPTIONAL
  12. This will load historical NAR data. Depending on the number of hosts and size of historical data, this could take a while (30 minutes plus).

    NOTE: This will only work if NAR data has been previously collected in 5 minute sample times.

    Ex. % su ${NARC_USER}
       % ./loadall.sh

  13. Merge crontabs - SKIP IF VERSION ≥ 0.1.0
  14. Merge the generated crontab with the ${NARC}'s crontab.

That should be it. Congrats! You now have NARC installed. For questions and support, see our documentation page where you can get all kinds of useless helpful information, .