In the course of my job at Red Hat, I work with a lot of servers. Many of them are a mix of reproducers for customer environments and production boxes. Some of these are dedicated boxes, but there are also plenty of virtual machines, and a few Docker instances. That means I need to view and manage a lot of server resources daily.
Fortunately there’s a great way to do that which is part of Fedora. Cockpit is an elegant, beautiful way to see and manage my servers using just a web browser. It’s open source, and it is quickly growing new features and capabilities all the time. Best of all, it’s part of Fedora already, and for example ships with the Fedora Server edition.
I fired up a Fedora 23 cloud server on Digital Ocean to see what Cockpit’s all about.
First I installed the cockpit package and its dependencies:
# dnf install cockpit
I was then prompted with a pretty login screen with the Fedora logo.
From here I logged in and was greeted with real-time stats of my cloud server:
I noticed I could perform all sorts of management tasks here, such as setting the hostname or restarting the system. From the Tools menu I could also add users, or call up a web terminal. So far I’m really liking this. It reminds me of Webmin, but it’s more powerful and attractive.
I then started exploring the other options. For instance, I can see all my logs from the systemd journal via journalctl. You can see the numerous drive-by SSH attempts since I spun up the server:
I don’t have Docker running on this virtual private server, but if I did, I could manage and see real-time stats of my containers:
Looking at the Storage tab, I’m able to see realtime statistics of activity on my disk. I even have the ability to create LVM or RAID setups on my connected storage.
I looked at the Networking tab, where I can see realtime info on my network traffic, per adapter. I can also add bonds, VLANs, and bridges:
I then looked at the Service tab which lets me view all my currently running services:
I can click on a service, which allows me to enable, disable, restart, stop, or start each service right from Cockpit. (If you don’t remember the differences, check out this Fedora Magazine article on systemd units.)
I’m pretty impressed by Cockpit, and I’m going to start installing it on some of my boxes to see how much it increases my productivity. Cockpit is available for Fedora, CentOS, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.