Cacti plugin and Editor


Before doing anything else, please verify that your Plugin Architecture is working properly with a simpler plugin, like Links or Tools. Weathermap is relatively complex, and fault-finding both your Cacti Plugin Architecture and Weathermap at the same time will make life harder for you!

You will need the 'pcre' and 'gd' PHP modules in both your command-line and server-side (mod_php/ISAPI) PHP. The poller-process runs using the command-line PHP, and the editor uses the server-side one. In some situations it is possible to have two completely different PHP installations serving these two - if you install from a package, then re-install from source, but to a different directory, for example. The editor and the poller process should both warn you if the part they need is not present.

You can then use the pre-install checker to see if your PHP environment has everything it needs. To do this, you need to run a special check.php script, twice...

First, go to http://yourcactiserver/plugins/weathermap/check.php to see if your webserver PHP (mod_php, ISAPI etc) is OK. Then, from a command-prompt run php check.php to see if your command-line PHP is OK. If any modules or functions are missing, you will get a warning, and an explanation of what will be affected (not all of the things that are checked are deadly problems).

Before you start using it, you might want to change one PHP setting. Weathermap uses a fair bit of memory by PHP standards, as it builds the image for the map in memory before saving it. As a result, your PHP process may run out of memory. PHP has a 'safety valve' built-in, to stop runaway scripts from killing your server, which defaults to 8MB in most versions (this has changed in 5.2.x). This is controlled by the 'memory_limit =' line in php.ini. You may need to increase this to 32MB or even more if you have problems. In fact, the current Cacti manual suggests 128MB. These problems will typically show up as the poller process just dying with no warning or error message, as PHP kills the script.


To use the Cacti plugin, you must unpack the zip file into a directory called '<cacti_root>/plugins/weathermap'. The zip contains a folder called 'weathermap' already, so unzipping it in the plugins folder should do the job.

File Permissions

You will need to change the permissions on the output directory, so that the Cacti poller process can write to it. This is the same as you would have done for the rra directory while installing Cacti itself originally. For a *nix system, it will be something like:

                                chown cactiuser output

Getting Started

To actually enable the plugin, you need to add a line to your Cacti config file. This file is includes/config.php for Cacti 0.8.6 and includes/global.php for Cacti 0.8.7(a through f), then includes/config.php again for 0.8.7g and newer:

                                $plugins = array();
                                $plugins[] = 'monitor';
                                $plugins[] = 'weathermap';

Now, refresh your Cacti page, to be sure that everything is still working right. If not, remove the line you just added and you should return to normal. Make a note of any error message and let me know!

Assuming it all looks fine (but not very different), you can start to enable Weathermap. Log in as 'admin' or another user with User Management rights, go to the User Management section under Tools in the Cacti console, and then choose your own username from the list. Check the two new 'realms' boxes that should be there - View Weathermaps, and Manage Weathermaps - and then click Save. A 'Weathermap' tab should appear at the top of the page.

That's it! The Weathermap plugin is installed. To go further, you need some weathermap configuration files to define your maps. You can do this in two ways - using the Web-based map editor, or by editing the text-based configuration files directly.

To use the editor, you need to make a few more changes (see below).

To learn more about actually using the Cacti plugin, see the Cacti Plugin page.

The Editor

Once you have weathermap itself working, continue onto the editor:

Copy the editor-config.php-dist file to editor-config.php. If you want to be able to pick data sources from your Cacti installation by name, edit the file and make sure that the line that sets $cacti_base is correct, and that the base URI below that is also correct for your Cacti installation (these two lines are marked CHANGE in the file).

Make sure that your webserver can write to the configs directory. To do this, you need to know which user your webserver runs as (maybe 'nobody', 'www' or 'httpd' on most *nixes) and then run:

chown www configs
                                chmod u+w configs
In a pinch, you can just chmod 777 configs, but this really isn't a recommended solution for a production system.

On Windows, the same applies - the user that runs the webserver runs as should have permissions to write new files, and change existing files in the configs folder.

Since version 0.97, you now also need to enable the editor. The reason is so that you can't have the editor enabled without knowing about it. The editor allows access to your config files without authentication (it doesn't use Cacti's authentication), so you should consider using features in your webserver to limit who can access editor.php. For example, on an Apache server, something like:

                            <Directory /var/www/html/cacti/plugins/weathermap>
                                <Files editor.php>
                                    Order Deny,Allow
                                    Deny from all
                                    Allow from
When you are happy that the world can't edit your maps, then enable the editor. This is done by editing the top of editor.php and changing $ENABLED=false; to $ENABLED=true;

You should now be able to go to http://your.server/cacti/plugins/weathermap/editor.php in a browser, and get a welcome page that offers to load or create a config file. That's it. All done. Please see the editor manual page for more about using the editor!

You can also edit an existing map from the Cacti web interface, by choosing Manage..Weathermaps and then clicking on the name of a config file in the list of active maps. The editor will open with that map loaded.

Important Security Note: The editor allows anyone who can access editor.php to change the configuration files for your network weathermaps. There is no authentication built-in for editing, even with the Cacti Plugin. This is why the configuration file doesn't exist by default - the editor won't work until you choose to make it work. It's recommended that you either: