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Community Blog How to Setup RackTables Data Center Management Tool on Ubuntu 18.04

How to Setup RackTables Data Center Management Tool on Ubuntu 18.04

In this tutorial, we will learn how to install and configure RackTables on an Alibaba Cloud Elastic Compute Service (ECS) Ubuntu 18.04 server.

By Hitesh Jethva, Alibaba Cloud Community Blog author.

Introduction

If your company has a data center with a large number of hardware devices, then you will need to manage the company's IT assets and monitor their status as well as their physical location. RackTables can help you. It is a free and open source data center asset management tool that can be used to maintain documentation of the racks, devices, links and network resources.

In this tutorial, we will learn how to install and configure RackTables on an Alibaba Cloud Elastic Compute Service (ECS) Ubuntu 18.04 server.

Prerequisites

  • A fresh Alibaba Cloud instance with Ubuntu 18.04 installed.
  • A static IP address 192.168.0.104 is setup on your instance.
  • A root password is set up to your instance.

Create a new ECS instance and connect to your instance as the root user.

Once you are logged into your Ubuntu 18.04 instance, run the following command to update your base system with the latest available packages.

apt-get update -y

Install Nginx, PHP and MariaDB

RackTables runs on web server, written in PHP and use MariaDB to store their data. So, you will need to install Nginx, PHP, MariaDB and other required packages to your server. You can install all of them by running the following command:

apt-get install nginx mariadb-server php7.2 php7.2-fpm php7.2-curl php7.2-ldap php7.2-cli php7.2-snmp php7.2-gd php7.2-mysql php7.2-mbstring php7.2-bcmath php7.2-json git wget unzip -y

Once all the packages are installed, start Nginx and MariaDB service and enable them to start on boot time with the following command:

systemctl start nginx
systemctl start mariadb
systemctl enable nginx
systemctl enable mariadb

You can also check the status of MariaDB with the following command:

systemctl status mariadb

Once you have completed the above steps, you can proceed to the next section.

Configure Database for Racktables

By default, MariaDB is not secured. So, you will need to secure it first. You can secure it by running the following command:

mysql_secure_installation

Answer all the questions as shown below:

    Enter current password for root (enter for none):
    Set root password? [Y/n]: N
    Remove anonymous users? [Y/n]: Y
    Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n]: Y
    Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n]:  Y
    Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n]:  Y

Once the MariaDB server is secured, log in to MariaDB shell with the following command:

mysql -u root -p

Enter your root password, then create a database and user for Racktables with the following command:

MariaDB [(none)]> CREATE DATABASE racktables CHARACTER SET utf8 COLLATE utf8_general_ci;
MariaDB [(none)]> CREATE USER racktables@localhost IDENTIFIED BY 'password';

Next, grant all the privileges to Racktables with the following command:

MariaDB [(none)]> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON racktables.* TO racktables@localhost;

Next, flush the privileges and exit from the MariaDB shell with the following command:

MariaDB [(none)]> FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
MariaDB [(none)]> EXIT;

Install Racktables

First, you will need to download the latest version of Racktables from Git repository. You can do this with the following command:

cd /var/www/html/
git clone https://github.com/RackTables/racktables.git

Next, give proper permissions to the racktables directory with the following command:

chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/racktables
chmod -R 755 /var/www/html/racktables

Configure Nginx for Racktables

Next, you will need to create an Nginx virtual host file for Racktables. You can create it with the following command:

nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/racktables.conf

Add the following lines:

server {
        listen 80;
        server_name 192.168.0.104;

        root /var/www/html/racktables/wwwroot;

        location / {
            index index.php;
        }

        location ~ \.php$ {
            try_files $uri =404;
            fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock;
            fastcgi_index index.php;
            fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
            include /etc/nginx/fastcgi_params;
        }
    }

Save and close the file, when you are finished. Then, enable virtual host file with the following command:

ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/racktables.conf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Next, check Nginx for any configuration error with the following command:

nginx -t

You should see the following output:

nginx: the configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf syntax is ok
nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test is successful

Next, restart Nginx service to apply all the changes with the following command:

systemctl restart nginx

You can also verify the status of Nginx with the following command:

systemctl status nginx

Access RackTables

RackTables is now installed and configured, it's time to access RackTables web interface.

Open your web browser and type the URL http://192.168.0.104/?module=installer. You will be redirected to the following page:

1

Now, click on the proceed button. You should see the following page:

2

Make sure all the required dependencies have been installed. Then, click on the proceed button. You should see the following page:

3

Now, create secret.php and give proper permission with the following command:

touch '/var/www/html/racktables/wwwroot/inc/secret.php'
chmod a=rw '/var/www/html/racktables/wwwroot/inc/secret.php'

Next, click on the retry button. You should see the following page:

4

Now, provide your database details like database name, database username and password. Then, click on the retry button. You should see the following page:

5

Now, click on the proceed button. You should see the following page:

6

Next, open command prompt and reset permission of /var/www/html/racktables/wwwroot/inc/secret.php with the following command:

chown www-data:nogroup /var/www/html/racktables/wwwroot/inc/secret.php
chmod 440 /var/www/html/racktables/wwwroot/inc/secret.php

Next, click on the retry button. You should see the following page:

7

Next, click on the proceed button. You should see the following page:

8

Next, click on the proceed button. You should see the following page:

9

Next, provide your administrator password and click on the retry button. You should see the following page:

10

Next, click on the proceed button. Once the installation has been completed successfully. You should see the following page:

11

Next, click on the proceed button. You will be redirected to the following page:

12

Next, provide your username and password. Then, click on the Sign In button. You will be redirected to the Racktables default dashboard in the following page:

13

Congratulations! You have successfully installed RackTables on an ECS Ubuntu 18.04 server. You can now easily manage your IT assets from the central location.

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