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Monitor linux — cross platform firmware with zabbix server

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This is small cross-platform linux-distro with zabbix server. It’s a simple way to deploy powerful monitoring system on ARM platfornms and x86_64.
Work’s like a firmware (non-changeable systemd image with config files), have web-interface for system management like network settings, password and other.


Who is this article for?

  • System admins/engineers who need to fast deploy of zabbix server.
  • Everyone, who want to deploy zabbix on ARM.
  • Enthusiasts


Ready images

Ready images can be found here:


Supported hardware

  • Rasberry pi 4
  • Asus tinker board
  • Beaglebone black (not recommend)
  • qemu/kvm x86_64


Building from source

First, clone repo from github:

git clone https://github.com/skif-web/monitor.git


Next, going go cloned directory:

cd monitor


Run prepare script and select target board:

cd monitor
[0] my_asus-tinker_defconfig
[1] my_beaglebone-black_defconfig
[2] my_rasberry-4_defconfig
[3] my_x86-64_defconfig
Select defconfig, press A for abort. Default [0]


After that, go to buildroot-2019.11 directory and run command make:

cd  buildroot-2019.11


After some time (depends on you build machine performance), you will have ready images:

ls -1 output/images/


  • sdcard.img — image for microsd-card (write via dd or rufus on windows).
  • qemu.qcow2 — image for qemu (only for x86_64)
  • external.qcow2 — qemu external drive for database files (only for x86_64)
  • monitor-0.9-beta.tar.gz — update arch


Option: ramdisk usage

If you use a slow hard drive or do not want to kill ssd (:-D), you can use ramdisk. To do this, open the run_me.sh file in the root directory of the repo and find the following lines:



If USE_RAMDISK=y, buuildroot will work on ramdisk. Ramdisk-size in hard coded because i am couch potato.


Install generic information

This firmware doesn’t have any installer. Just write image in microsd (or use images in qemu ) and run it. All prepare operations (disk resize, first boot prepare) will be run without your interaction.


Install on Asus tinker board, Beaglebone black and raspberry pi 4

First, write image to microsd-card(for example, microsd is /dev/sdb):

dd if=output/images/sdcard.img of=/dev/sdb && sync


After that, insert this microsd to your board and boot from them.

Asus tinker board — Always boot from miscosd card


Asus tinker board S- Read instructions here:



Beaglebone black — hold down the USER/BOOT button and apply power OR remove bootloader from build-im emmc



Raspberry pi 4 — Always boot from microsd card


Run in Qemu x86_64

qemu-system-x86_64 -smp 4 -m 4026M -enable-kvm -machine q35,accel=kvm -device intel-iommu -cpu host -net nic -net bridge,br=bridge0 -device virtio-scsi-pci,id=scsi0 -drive file=output/images/qemu.qcow2,format=qcow2,aio=threads -device virtio-scsi-pci,id=scsi0 -drive file=output/images/external.qcow2,format=qcow2,aio=threads


This command will run system with 4 cpu, 2048 RAM, enabled KVM, virtio-net device bridged to real NIC and 2 hdd drive: sdcard and second device for data.




First boot can take a long time. It’s happens because of:

  • System resizes partition
  • Postgresql prepares own data directory


Also, quite a long time is needed if new external drive connected because system formats it.


While system booting, you can see “System starting, please wait” message on display. Wait until it will be replaced by other message like:

current ip
Ready to work


Main system management way is through web-interface. It available by accessing recieved ip address (see boot part).



  • Admin panel — web-interface for device manage http://${system_ip}/manage
  • Zabbix management — Zabbix native web-interface http://${system_ip}/zabbix
  • About page http://${system_ip}


Default user-pass for ssh and web-console is root:admin. Default zabbix web-interface credentials is Admin:zabbix.


Admin panel

Open in web-browser: http://${system_ip}/manage
Available functions:

  • System status: uptime, load average, free memory, free disk space
  • Network settings: hostname, static/dhcp IP4 settings




  • Admin password
  • Backup/restore (settings and database dump separately), factory reset


NOTE Warning! Factory reset destroy ALL data!!!
Restore and Reset operations need reboot after them.


  • External drive support
  • System upgrade


Temperature control

Temperature control use RODOS-5 usb thermometer. Its usb device with dallas 1820. Of course, i know, that dallas 1820 can bi user directly, but you may need to buy 1-wire device (if not exist on your board).


Steps to enable thermal control:

  1. insert device to usb port
  2. Create data item in zabbix:
  3. Configuration -> Hosts
  4. Click ITEMS in your server line
  5. Click “Create item” button


- name — serverRoomTemp
- Type — zabbix agent
- Key — rodos
- Type- numeric
- Units — C
- History storage period — 10 days
- Trend storage period — 30 days
- New application — server Room Temp
- Click ADD button




Temperature graph:




Use external hard drive

I’m recommend to use external device because postgresql’s intence writing can kill microsd-card. Yes, you can use SLC cards with 30000–50000 cycles, but they are expensive. Just connect usb-device such as a flash stick, external hdd or ssd, enable external drive support in web-interface and reboot.


WARNING! System will destroy all data on new external device

WARNING! System does not move data from sdcard to external drive and back. You need to save backup (settings and database dump), enable/disable external drive, reboot and than — restore settings and zabbix database dump and reboot.



This work was not planned as standalone project, i am just wanted to port zabbix to Buildroot.
But in progress i have find, that a lot of small organization need monitoring system, but don’t have enought resources, such dedicated computer for monitoring or linux system administrator.
In my case, ARM-based single board computer (like rasberry pi 4) can do a lot of works in office, but will be cost-efficient.




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