How to Setup Monit to Monitor Server Uptime and Record Downtimes on Linux

How to Setup Monit to Monitor Server Uptime and Record Downtimes on Linux

Ensuring that your web server is always up and running is crucial for any webmaster or system administrator. Downtimes can lead to loss of revenue, user trust, and can negatively impact your website’s SEO.

One of the best tools available for monitoring server uptime on Linux is Monit. Monit is a free, open-source utility that checks the status of services running on your server and can take automatic actions if any of them fail.

In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of setting up Monit to monitor server uptime over extended periods and record any downtimes.


  • A Linux server (this tutorial assumes you’re using a Debian-based distribution like Ubuntu).
  • Root or sudo access to the server.
  • Basic knowledge of Linux command line.

Step 1: Installing Monit

Update your package lists:

sudo apt update

Install Monit:

sudo apt install monit

Once installed, start the Monit service and enable it to start on boot:

sudo systemctl start monit
sudo systemctl enable monit

Step 2: Configuring Monit

Open the Monit configuration file in your preferred text editor:

sudo nano /etc/monit/monitrc

Look for the set daemon line. This line determines how often Monit checks the services. For example, to check every 2 minutes:

set daemon 120

To monitor the system’s uptime, add the following lines at the end of the file:

check system <hostname>
    if loadavg (1min) > 4 then alert
    if loadavg (5min) > 2 then alert
    if memory usage > 75% then alert
    if swap usage > 25% then alert

Replace <hostname> with your server’s hostname.

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Save and close the file.

Restart Monit to apply the changes:

sudo systemctl restart monit

Step 3: Setting Up Alerts

In the same configuration file, find the set mail-format section and configure it to your liking. This section defines the format of alert emails.

Add your email address to receive alerts:

set alert

Configure the mail server settings to send the alerts. For example, using Gmail:

set mailserver port 587
    username "" password "your-password"
    using tlsv1
    with timeout 30 seconds

Step 4: Monitoring Additional Services

Monit can monitor various services like Apache, MySQL, and more. For instance, to monitor Apache:

check process apache with pidfile /var/run/apache2/
    start program = "/etc/init.d/apache2 start"
    stop program = "/etc/init.d/apache2 stop"
    if failed host localhost port 80 protocol http then restart
    if 5 restarts within 5 cycles then timeout

Commands Mentioned

  • sudo apt update – Updates the package lists for upgrades and new packages.
  • sudo apt install monit – Installs Monit.
  • sudo systemctl start monit – Starts the Monit service.
  • sudo nano /etc/monit/monitrc – Opens the Monit configuration file in the nano text editor.
  • sudo systemctl restart monit – Restarts the Monit service.
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  1. What is Monit used for?

    Monit is a free, open-source utility used for monitoring the status of services running on a server. It can take automatic actions if any of the services fail, ensuring server uptime and stability.

  2. How often does Monit check services by default?

    By default, Monit checks services every 120 seconds (2 minutes). However, this interval can be adjusted in the Monit configuration file.

  3. Can Monit monitor services like Apache or MySQL?

    Yes, Monit can monitor a wide range of services, including Apache, MySQL, and many others. Specific configurations can be added to the Monit configuration file to define how each service is monitored.

  4. How does Monit alert administrators of issues?

    Monit can send email alerts to administrators when it detects issues with services. The email format, recipient, and mail server settings can all be configured in the Monit configuration file.

  5. Is Monit suitable for all Linux distributions?

    Monit is versatile and can be used on various Linux distributions. However, the installation and configuration steps might vary slightly depending on the distribution in use.

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Monitoring server uptime is essential for maintaining a reliable and efficient online presence. With Monit, administrators can easily keep an eye on their server’s health and receive timely alerts for any issues.

By following this guide, you’ve equipped yourself with the knowledge to set up Monit on your Linux server, ensuring that you’re always aware of your server’s status. For further insights into different server types and hosting solutions, consider exploring topics like dedicated server, VPS server, cloud hosting, and shared hosting.

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