General Installing Instructions

Make sure the following packages are installed according to your operating systems requirements. Verify, that httpd/apache and MySQL/MariaDB are started at system startup.

Required Packages for Most Operating Systems

Depending on your operating system and PHP version, certain packages are required for Cacti. The largest variable in these requirements come with regard to PHP and MySQL/MariaDB.

Installation requirements include the packages below. The installation of these packages will vary by operating system.

Base OS


MySQL versions to 5.7 are supported. MariaDB to 10.2 is also supported.


PHP Modules

The installation of these modules vary by OS. Use the php -m command to verify that they are installed.

PHP Optional Modules

The following modules are optional, but preferred to be installed.


When installing on FreeBSD you can use two ways. For both ways, cacti has a lot of dependent packages, you don't need to install anything else. Everything is prepared. Both ways have few pros and cons:

Apache and other software is possible install with package or Ports too.

Everything in FreeBSD is installed to /usr/local/ directory! In this documentation you can see paths like /etc/php.ini, /usr/bin/spine, ...

Please use correct paths - /usr/local/etc, /usr/local/bin/spine, ...

For Spine set suid bit (without this isn't possible make ICMP ping):

chmod +s /usr/local/bin/spine

Configure PHP

Verify that the modules are installed and configured correctly. There are several ways to do so - consult PHP configuration instructions for a complete description.

It is imperative that you set the date.timezone in your /etc/php.ini, or /etc/phpX/apache/php.ini and /etc/phpX/cli/php.ini files. Failure to do so will result in errors after the install is complete.

Most other PHP configuration is done automatically by the base OS, so there is no need to discuss that here.

Configure the Webserver (Apache)

Most Linux/UNIX OS' automatically configure the Web Server to allow PHP content. So there should be no need to provide additional configuration. However, the following section is included below for reference in the case that you are running a UNIX version that does not properly configure the Webserver properly. The documentation below is written specifically for RHEL and variants. So, the instructions may vary.

Find the file /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf or its equivalent and make the following changes to it:

# Load config files from the config directory "/etc/httpd/conf.d".
Include conf.d/*.conf

Now, locate the PHP configuration file at /etc/httpd/conf.d/php.conf

# PHP is an HTML-embedded scripting language which attempts to make it
# easy for developers to write dynamically generated webpages.
LoadModule php_module modules/
# Cause the PHP interpreter to handle files with a .php extension.
AddHandler php-script .php
AddType text/html .php
# Add index.php to the list of files that will be served as directory
# indexes.
DirectoryIndex index.php

Configure MySQL/MariaDB

Set a password for the root user, and record this password. If you loose control of this password, you may have to re-install your database server in the case of any system disaster or recovering from a crash.

shell> mysqladmin --user=root password somepassword
shell> mysqladmin --user=root --password reload

You must also load timezone information into the database. This is required for various plugin use. Later, you will be required to grant access to the time_zone_name table during the final installation steps.

shell> mysql_tzinfo_to_sql /usr/share/zoneinfo | mysql -u root mysql

Since Cacti 1.x is supporting internationalization (i18n), it is important that the default character set for MySQL/MariaDB be i18n compatible. The Cacti installer will make specific recommendations on MySQL/MariaDB settings. Follow those as applicable for your OS.

Galera clustering: There are several tables which are set to use the MEMORY storage engine which do not get replicated among nodes which can cause problems. If you configure Cacti to only connect to one node of your cluster and are not load balancing this does not apply to you.

If you are running multiple nodes in a load-balanced environment where you connect to a VIP you should remove all but one node from rotation during Cacti installation or update. After the installation/update login to your MySQL server and execute the following commands to update those tables to use the InnoDB engine:

MariaDB [(none)]> use cacti;
MariaDB [cacti]>> ALTER TABLE `automation_ips` ENGINE=InnoDB;
MariaDB [cacti]>> ALTER TABLE `automation_processes` ENGINE=InnoDB;
MariaDB [cacti]>> ALTER TABLE `data_source_stats_hourly_cache` ENGINE=InnoDB;
MariaDB [cacti]>> ALTER TABLE `data_source_stats_hourly_last` ENGINE=InnoDB;
MariaDB [cacti]>> ALTER TABLE `poller_output` ENGINE=InnoDB;
MariaDB [cacti]>> ALTER TABLE `poller_output_boost_processes` ENGINE=InnoDB;

These changes should replicate to the other nodes in your cluster. Allow Cacti to run at least two or three full polling cycles before placing the other nodes back into rotation.

Install and Configure Cacti

  1. Extract the distribution tarball.

    shell> tar xzvf cacti-version.tar.gz
  2. Create the MySQL database:

    shell> mysqladmin --user=root create cacti
  3. Import the default cacti database:

    shell> mysql cacti < cacti.sql
  4. Optional: Create a MySQL username and password for Cacti.

    shell> mysql --user=root mysql
    MySQL> GRANT ALL ON cacti.* TO cactiuser@localhost IDENTIFIED BY 'somepassword';
    MySQL> GRANT SELECT ON mysql.time_zone_name TO cactiuser@localhost IDENTIFIED BY 'somepassword';
    MySQL> flush privileges;

Note that if your root (or equivalent) user does not have SUPER permissions, it may still be possible to GRANT SELECT privileges to the Cacti user via an INSERT INTO mysql.tables_priv.

INSERT INTO mysql.tables_priv (Host, Db, User, Table_name, Grantor, Table_priv)
VALUES ('localhost', 'mysql', 'cactiuser', 'time_zone_name', 'root@localhost', 'Select');
  1. Edit include/config.php and specify the database type, name, host, user and password for your Cacti configuration.

    $database_type = "mysql";
    $database_default = "cacti";
    $database_hostname = "localhost";
    $database_username = "cactiuser";
    $database_password = "cacti";
  2. Set the appropriate permissions on Cacti's directories for graph/log generation. You should execute these commands from inside Cacti's directory to change the permissions.

    shell> chown -R cactiuser rra/ log/ cache/

    (Enter a valid username for cactiuser, this user will also be used in the next step for data gathering.)

  3. Create your cron task file or systemd units file

    Starting with Cacti 1.2.16, you have the option to use either the legacy Crontab entry, or an optional cactid units file and server to run your Cacti pollers.

    For Crontab use, follow the instructions below:

    Create and edit /etc/cron.d/cacti file. Make sure to setup the correct path to poller.php

    */5 * * * * apache php <path_cacti>/poller.php &>/dev/null

    For systemd unit's file install, you will need to modify the included units file to following your install location and desired user and group's to run the Cacti poller as. To complete the task, follow the procedure below:

    vim <path_cacti>/service/cactid.service (edit the path)
    touch /etc/sysconfig/cactid
    cp -p <path_cacti>/service/cactid.service /etc/systemd/system
    systemctl enable cactid
    systemctl start cactid
    systemctl status cactid

    The systemd units file makes managing a highly available Cacti setup a bit more convenient.

  4. During install, you will need to provide write access to the following files and directories:

    shell> chown -R resource scripts include/config.php

    Once the installation is complete, you may change the permissions to more restrictive settings.

  5. Point your web browser to:


    Log in the with a username/password of admin. You will be required to change this password immediately. Make sure to fill in all of the path variables carefully and correctly on the following screen.

(Optional) Install and Configure Spine

Spine is a very fast data collection engine, written in C. It is an optional replacement for cmd.php. If you decide to use it, you will have to install it explicitly. It does not come with cacti itself.

The easiest way is to install Spine using rpm or ports. You will find packages for Spine at the main cacti site or from your distribution.

To compile Spine, download it to any location of your liking. Then, issue from the downloaded directory following commands


If the boostrap script is successful, you then will follow the instructions it provides to compile and install.

Assuming, you've managed to install spine correctly, you will have to configure it. The configuration file may be placed in the same directory as spine itself or at /etc/spine.conf.

DB_Host or hostname (not localhost)
DB_Database cacti
DB_User     cactiuser
DB_Password cacti
DB_Port     3306

Copyright (c) 2004-2022 The Cacti Group