mrtg−nt−guide − The MRTG 2.17.4 Windows Installation Guide


Installing MRTG on a Windows box is not quite as "click and point" as some might want it to be. But then again, it is not all that difficult if you follow the instructions below.


To get MRTG to work on Windows you need the following:

A current copy of Perl. For Example ActivePerl 5.8.8 from ActiveState

The latest version of MRTG from Look for mrtg− or better. The archive also contains a precompiled copy of rateup.exe for Win32.


I suggest you do the following from the machine that will be running MRTG , which, in this case, is also a web server. All examples are for doing things to a LOCAL machine.

Unzip MRTG to C:\mrtg−2.17.4 on the Windows machine of your choice.


Install Perl on the same Windows machine. You might want to make sure that the Perl binary directory is listed in your system path.

C:\Perl in;%SystemRoot%\system32;%SystemRoot%;...

You can manually check this by going to [Control Panel]−>[System]−>[Environment]

To see if everything is installed properly you can open a Command Shell and go into c:\mrtg−2.17.4 in. Type:

perl mrtg

This should give you a friendly error message complaining about the missing MRTG configuration file. Now, you have successfully installed MRTG and Perl.


Now it is time to create a configuration for MRTG . But before we begin you need to know a few things. Take an opportunity to gather the following information:

The IP address or hostname and the SNMP port number, (if non standard), of the device you want to monitor.

If you want to monitor something other than bytes in and out, you must also know the SNMPOID of what you want to monitor.

Finally you need to know the read-only SNMP community string for your device. If you don’t know it, try public, that is the default.

For the rest of this document we will be using device ( a CISCO Catalyst 5000) with Community string public. We are interested in monitoring traffic, and the CPU load. Let’s begin.

The first thing we do in setting up MRTG is making a default config file. Get to a cmd prompt and change to the c:\mrtg−2.17.4 in directory. Type the following command:

perl cfgmaker public@ −−global "WorkDir: c:\www\mrtg" −−output mrtg.cfg

This creates an initial MRTG config file for you. Note that in this file all interfaces of your router will be stored by number. Unfortunately, these numbers are likely to change whenever you reconfigure your router. In order to work around this you can get cfgmaker to produce a configuration which is based on Ip numbers, or even Interface Descriptions. Check cfgmaker

If you get an error message complaining about no such name or no response, your community name is probably wrong.

Now, let’s take a look at the mrtg.cfg file that was created.

In Perl, a "#" is a comment, synonymous with "REM" in DOS .

Add the following to the top of the mrtg.cfg file:

WorkDir: c:\www\mrtg

This is where the web pages are created, usually a web root.

# Description: LCP SUWGB
# Contact: Administrator
# System Name: LC−Bridge
# Location: Here

TargetDevice’s IP Address:Interface Number:Community:IP Address

Target[]: 1:public@

This is the interface speed (Default is 10 megabits; for 100Mbit devices use 12500000 and so on...)

MaxBytes[]: 1250000 Title[]: LC−Bridge (sample.device): ether0

This section determines how the web page headers will look

PageTop[]: <H1>Traffic Analysis for ether0</H1> <TABLE> <TR><TD>System:</TD><TD>LC−Bridge inAndover</TD></TR> <TR><TD>Maintainer:</TD><TD>Administrator</TD></TR> <TR><TD>Interface:</TD><TD>ether0(1)</TD></TR> <TR><TD>IP:</TD><TD>sample.device(</TD></TR> <TR><TD>Max Speed:</TD> <TD>1250.0 kBytes/s (ethernetCsmacd)</TD></TR> </TABLE> Target[]: 2:public@ MaxBytes[]: 1250000 Title[]: LC−Bridge (): ulink0 PageTop[]: <H1>Traffic Analysis for ulink0</H1> <TABLE> <TR><TD>System:</TD><TD>LC−Bridge inAndover</TD></TR> <TR><TD>Maintainer:</TD><TD>Administrator</TD></TR> <TR><TD>Interface:</TD><TD>ulink0(2)</TD></TR> <TR><TD>IP:</TD><TD>()</TD></TR> <TR><TD>Max Speed:</TD> <TD>1250.0 kBytes/s (ethernetCsmacd)</TD></TR> </TABLE> #−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−

And that’s a very basic MRTG config file. You can run this and see your results by going into the c:\mrtg−2.17.4 in directory and typing:

perl mrtg mrtg.cfg

It is normal to get errors for the first two times you run this command. The errors will alert you about the fact that there have not been any log files in existence before.

If you take a look at those web pages they are not very exciting (yet). You need to have the MRTG files run every five minutes to produce the desired results. Just run it again after a few minutes. You should now be able to see the first lines in your graphs.


Starting MRTG by hand every time you want to run it is not going to make you happy I guess.

There is a special option you can set in the MRTG configuration file so so that MRTG will not terminate after it was started. Instead it will wait for 5 minutes and then run again.

Add the option

RunAsDaemon: yes

to your mrtg.cfg file and start it with:

start /Dc:\mrtg−2.17.4 in wperl mrtg −−logging=eventlog mrtg.cfg

If you use wperl instead of perl, no console window will show. MRTG is now running in the background. If it runs into problems it will tell you so over the EventLog. To stop MRTG , open the Task Manager and terminate the wperl.exe process. If mrtg has anything to tell you these messages can be found in the event log.

If you put a shortcut with

Target: wperl mrtg −−logging=eventlog mrtg.cfg Start in: c:\mrtg−2.17.4 in

into your start-up folder, MRTG will now start whenever you login to your NT box.

If you do not want to log into your box just to start MRTG . Have a look at−howto.html which describes a free tool to start any program as a Service. The pages gives specific instructions for MRTG users.


Additional Prerequisites

MRTG must be installed and fully configured on the target system. In the following exercise the assumption is that MRTG is installed under c:\mrtg\ and all the sample files use this location.

Microsoft Tools SRVANY .exe (Applications as Services Utility) and INSTSRV .exe (Service Installer) − Those files can be downloaded from Microsoft as a part of Windows 2000 Resource Kit at <>. They are also available from other locations such as <>, <>, etc. Detailed instructions on how to use this package are available at <>. In order to follow the steps in this HOW-TO you MUST obtain both executables.

You must have administrative rights on the target system.

Please complete the following steps before starting the installation:

Copy srvany.exe and instsrv.exe to c:\mrtg−2.17.4 in\ (your MRTG bin directory).

Create a file called mrtg.reg anywhere on your system and paste the following content into it:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
"Application"="c:\\perl\ in\\wperl.exe"
"AppParameters"="c:\\mrtg−2.17.4\ in\\mrtg −−logging=eventlog c:\\mrtg−2.17.4\ in\\mrtg.cfg"
"AppDirectory"="c:\\mrtg−2.17.4\ in\\"

Service Installation
Once again, assuming that MRTG is already fully installed and configured on the target system under c:\mrtg\ the following steps are necessary to setup MRTG as a service.

Using the command prompt go into the temporary directory where you unzipped the package. When there type the following command to create a service named " MRTG " in the Windows Services management console:

instsrv MRTG c:\mrtg in\srvany.exe

Now you need to create the App* entries required for the new service. You can do this by either right-clicking on the mrtg.reg file and selecting ’merge’ or by running the following command:

regedit /s mrtg.reg

After setting up the registry entry it is time to point it to your MRTG installation. If you have installed MRTG under c:\mrtg\, you can skip this step. Open your registry editor (Start −> Run −> regedt32), and locate the [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MRTG] key. Make sure that the ImagePath variable is correctly pointing to srvany.exe located in your MRTG bin directory (for example c:\mrtg in\srvany.exe). Next you have to expand the MRTG tree, and go to the [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MRTG\Parameters] key. Under Parameters make sure that all the Application variables are setup properly.

At this point you are ready to run the service. The only thing left to do is to start the MRTG service in the Services management console. After you do this, you should see two new processes running on your system: srvany.exe and wperl.exe. Make sure to stop any previously running MRTG processes to avoid conflict.

Note that it is imperative to set the RunAsDaemon: yes option or the service will stop after just one single run!


Now lets look at a config file to monitor what we wanted to on our mythical Cisco Cat 5000 -- utilization on ports 3, 5, 10, and 24, and the CPU Load, which will show us nonstandard mrtg configurations as well as more options..

WorkDir: c:\www\mrtg RunAsDaemon: yes ###################################################################### # Description: LCP SUWGB # Contact: Administrator # System Name: LC−Bridge # Location: Here #..................................................................... Target[]: 3:public@ MaxBytes[]: 1250000 Title[]: LC−Bridge (sample−device): ether0 PageTop[]: <H1>Traffic Analysis for ether0</H1> <TABLE> <TR><TD>System:</TD><TD>LC−Bridge inAndover</TD></TR> <TR><TD>Maintainer:</TD><TD>Administrator</TD></TR> <TR><TD>Interface:</TD><TD>ether0(3)</TD></TR> <TR><TD>IP:</TD><TD>sample−device(</TD></TR> <TR><TD>Max Speed:</TD> <TD>1250.0 kBytes/s (ethernetCsmacd)</TD></TR> </TABLE> #−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−− Target[]: 5:public@ MaxBytes[]: 1250000 Title[]: LC−Bridge (): ulink0 PageTop[]: <H1>Traffic Analysis for ulink0</H1> <TABLE> <TR><TD>System:</TD><TD>LC−Bridge inAndover</TD></TR> <TR><TD>Maintainer:</TD><TD>Administrator</TD></TR> <TR><TD>Interface:</TD><TD>ulink0(5)</TD></TR> <TR><TD>IP:</TD><TD>()</TD></TR> <TR><TD>Max Speed:</TD> <TD>1250.0 kBytes/s (ethernetCsmacd)</TD></TR> </TABLE> #−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−− Target[]: 10:public@ MaxBytes[]: 1250000 Title[]: LC−Bridge (sample−device): ether0 PageTop[]: <H1>Traffic Analysis for ether0</H1> <TABLE> <TR><TD>System:</TD><TD>LC−Bridge inAndover</TD></TR> <TR><TD>Maintainer:</TD><TD>Administrator</TD></TR> <TR><TD>Interface:</TD><TD>ether0(10)</TD></TR> <TR><TD>IP:</TD><TD>sample−device(</TD></TR> <TR><TD>Max Speed:</TD> <TD>1250.0 kBytes/s (ethernetCsmacd)</TD></TR> </TABLE> #−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−− Target[]: 24:public@ MaxBytes[]: 1250000 Title[]: LC−Bridge (): ulink0 PageTop[]: <H1>Traffic Analysis for ulink0</H1> <TABLE> <TR><TD>System:</TD><TD>LC−Bridge inAndover</TD></TR> <TR><TD>Maintainer:</TD><TD>Administrator</TD></TR> <TR><TD>Interface:</TD><TD>ulink0(24)</TD></TR> <TR><TD>IP:</TD><TD>()</TD></TR> <TR><TD>Max Speed:</TD> <TD>1250.0 kBytes/s (ethernetCsmacd)</TD></TR> </TABLE> #−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−− # Router CPU load % Target[cpu.1]: RouterUptime[cpu.1]: public@ MaxBytes[cpu.1]: 100 Title[cpu.1]: CPU LOAD PageTop[cpu.1]: <H1>CPU Load %</H1> Unscaled[cpu.1]: ymwd ShortLegend[cpu.1]: % XSize[cpu.1]: 380 YSize[cpu.1]: 100 YLegend[cpu.1]: CPU Utilization Legend1[cpu.1]: CPU Utilization in % (Load) Legend2[cpu.1]: CPU Utilization in % (Load) Legend3[cpu.1]: Legend4[cpu.1]: LegendI[cpu.1]: LegendO[cpu.1]: &nbsp;Usage Options[cpu.1]: gauge

This is a nice example of how to monitor any SNMP device if you know what OID you want to use. Once again, for an explanation of the more advance features of mrtg, please see the rest of the documentation.


Tobi Oetiker <>, David S. Divins <>, Steve Pierce <>, Artyom Adjemov <>, Ilja Ivanov <> Karel Fajkus <>


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