10 Best Linux Monitoring Tools in 2022

Better Stack Team
Updated on May 4, 2022

Linux was created in 1991 by Finnish coder Linus Torvalds with the intention to build a new free OS kernel. Little did he know, thanks to its huge community, Linux grew into a giant, comprising millions of lines of code across multiple distributions, each crafted for a specific use.

Linux Logo

Among the most popular Distros, especially for servers belong:

  • Ubuntu
  • Debian
  • Fedora
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • OpenSUSE
  • SUSE Linux

Usually, most of the “flavors” branch out from a single origin distribution. If you want to learn more about the timeline and Linux “family tree”, check out this infographic.

Linux Monitoring Benefits

Unix-based operating systems are often a go-to platform for most developers on both on-premise and cloud infrastructures. It’s thanks to its significant customizability, low-resource requirements, reliability, security, and also continuous development by its community. All this comes for a price and often, poorly configured Linux machines are often left paralyzed by their own design. Packages coming from multiple contributors collide, cron jobs fail or you encounter hardware-related issues such as memory or storage capacity. Monitoring can help you prevent it, or at least, spot any issues soon enough.

The Best Linux Monitoring Tools and Software in 2022

We’ve established that you should always monitor your Linux machines. There are a lot of solutions allowing for full observability ranging from open-source and freemium all the way to enterprise-ready solutions. Let’s take a look at some of the best available.

1. Logtail

Logtail dash Logtail allows you to monitor your Linux machines in a structured and efficient way. Thanks to well-written documentation and community guides about Linux Logging, you can start monitoring your Linux-based machines in no time.

Logtail is a complete log management solution from Better Stack, allowing you to collect, transport, analyze, monitor, store, and archive logs from all over your cloud architecture.

By offering integrations into stacks like Kubernetes, Heroku, Logstash, Rails, Docker, or AWS, and more, you get a broad array of options for monitoring. Thanks to custom-built technology and data stored in ClickHouse, you can work with your logs more efficiently and save funds. All the collected data are sent to Grafana for comprehensive visualization and more efficient intel management.

Logtail allows you to query your logs the same way you'd query your database with SQL-compatible structured log management. Logtail allows you to search & filter petabytes of logs in a moment and set an anomaly detection alert to receive alerts when your logs become out of the ordinary.

One of the greatest benefits of Logtail is built-in collaboration features, where you can cooperate with your colleagues in a google docs-like environment, save, share, and archive parts of code, and collaborate with your colleagues.

Tighter security is one of the main benefits of log monitoring, and Logtail itself is one of the most secure tools available. Using industry-standard best practices and cooperating only with data centers compliant with DIN ISO/IEC27001 certifications, your data is safe during both transit and storage.

Main Benefits of Logtail:

  • Inexpensive and extremely efficient ClickHouse based storage
  • Integration with Better Uptime, enabling even better observability and incident management
  • Pricing starts at $0.25/GB

2. Sematext

Sematext dash Sematext allows you to monitor servers and applications in a unified monitoring solution. Metrics are collected and visualized in comprehensive dashboards, allowing you to observe the overall state of your infrastructure. Sematext also keeps an eye on server processes, system packages, and more.

Sematext offers a complete ecosystem of monitoring tools in one place, allowing you to troubleshoot your system, correlate data, detect anomalies and improve performance. Sematext aggregates all of the server-related metrics you might need, including CPU usage, memory, disk, IO, network, etc.

You can try Sematext Infrastructure Monitoring in a 14-day free trial. From there, you can choose one of their premium pricing tiers, including one free for up to three hosts, or Standard and Pro, starting at around 0.007$/per container host per hour.

Main Benefits of Sematext:

  • Automated Discovery and Sematext Agent
  • 100+ integrations for the most popular stacks.

3. Datadog

Datadog dash Datadog's server monitoring solution allows you to collect, correlate, and monitor servers alongside data from the rest of your stack. Thanks to their full-stack monitoring tool, you can unify your server monitoring with correlated metrics, traces, and logs, allowing you to investigate server issues down to the individual host level, identify hidden sources of latency and visualize server metrics.

Datadog offers more than 450 key integrations, including AWS, Docker, or Azure what proves it to be a really versatile partner when it comes to server monitoring.

You can get Datadog for free. Their premium bundles start at around $18/month, and you get unlimited alerts, custom metrics, outlier detection, and 15 months of data retention. Following Enterprise bundle for $23/ month offers machine learning-based alerts and premium support.

Main Benefits of Datadog:

  • Anomaly Detection
  • Forecast Monitoring
  • IoT Device Monitoring

4. New Relic

New Relic Dash New Relic's infrastructure monitoring offers faster visibility and troubleshooting. It offers an all-in-one data observation tool capable of correlation or drill-down to specific log tracing in only a few steps. New Relic is highly adjustable, so it does not matter if you run from one or multiple clouds on-premise, you will have access to specific, accurate, and custom metrics in real-time. It is an open and flexible integration network supporting all the most popular integrations like AWS, Azure, GCP, MYSQL, NGINX, Kafka, and more. If you find an integration that is not supported, you can build it from scratch with New Relic's Flex integration builder.

You can get New Relic for free and access the basic logs management and analyzing features. The rest of the packages are priced depending on your usage, where you pay for everything you use on top of the free plan.

Main Benefits of New Relic:

  • Kubernetes monitoring Pixie
  • Multiple by use case solutions

5. Dynatrace

Dynatrace dash Dynatrace is a monitoring tool able to monitor metrics suitable for most of the server monitoring demands. Dynatrace offers an all-in-one platform for full-stack monitoring and out-of-the-box insights into your infrastructure. Advanced observability is available at scale for all infrastructure and is fully automatic. Dynatrace collects data from the cloud, hybrid, containers, VMs, network, servers, storage, and many more.

Thanks to advanced observability across PaaS and container technologies like AWS, Azure, Kubernetes, or Cloud Foundry, you gain access to process detection and resource utilization, network usage, and performance, log monitoring. Or you can use it to hold your partners accountable and verify their SLAs by third-party data and event monitoring integration. However, bear in mind that Dynatrace's complexity comes with a price, and fully plunging into how it works takes time.

Dynatrace's pricing depends on the monitoring solution. Their Full-stack monitoring starts at $69/month for 8 GB per host. Infrastructure monitoring offering observability for cloud, containers, and data center technologies, including AlOps, starts at $21/month.

Main Benefits of Dynatrace:

  • Unlimited AI-Assistance with anomaly detection and root-cause determination
  • More than 560 integrations
  • Unlimited ad-hoc analysis of log entries

6. Dotcom-Monitor

Dotcom-monitor dash Dynatrace is a monitoring tool able to monitor metrics suitable for most of the server monitoring demands. Dynatrace offers an all-in-one platform for full-stack monitoring and out-of-the-box insights into your infrastructure. Advanced observability is available at scale for all infrastructure and is fully automatic. Dynatrace collects data from the cloud, hybrid, containers, VMs, network, servers, storage, and many more.

Thanks to advanced observability across PaaS and container technologies like AWS, Azure, Kubernetes, or Cloud Foundry, you gain access to process detection and resource utilization, network usage, and performance, log monitoring. Or you can use it to hold your partners accountable and verify their SLAs by third-party data and event monitoring integration. However, bear in mind that Dynatrace's complexity comes with a price, and fully plunging into how it works takes time.

Dynatrace's pricing depends on the monitoring solution. Their Full-stack monitoring starts at $69/month for 8 GB per host. Infrastructure monitoring offering observability for cloud, containers, and data center technologies, including AlOps, starts at $21/month.

Main Benefits of Dynatrace:

  • Unlimited AI-Assistance with anomaly detection and root-cause determination
  • More than 560 integrations
  • Unlimited ad-hoc analysis of log entries

7. Checkmk

Checkmk dash With checkmk, you can monitor your entire hybrid IT infrastructure. That includes Servers, Networks, Apps, Databases, Cloud, Containers, Storage, and IoT. Checkmk provides more than 1800 integrations into databases, Cloud services, Operating Systems or Hardware

You can deploy checkmk within minutes from a single integrated package, available for many platforms and also as a docker container. Checkmk uses auto-discovery to help you pick the most relevant metrics for you and your project. You can monitor your infrastructure using powerful agent-based monitoring, but also agentless monitoring via HTTP/SNMP, or via a direct API connection.

Checkmk does not offer preset subscription models. You can calculate your own solution on their pricing page. Price will depend on the Edition you chose, the number of services you want to add on. The Default setting starts at $600/month without tax.

Main Benefits of checkmk:

  • Log and event monitoring
  • Infrastructure monitoring
  • Dynamic dashboards

8. Zabbix

Zabbix dash Zabbix is a full-stack, Enterprise ready open source monitoring tool licensed under the GNU GPL2 license. It allows you to monitor everything from Network, via Server and Cloud, to Applications and services. Zabbix can run either on-premise or one of the many supported cloud platforms. Zabbix offers unlimited scalability for any infrastructure, flexible monitoring and visualization tools, and seamless deployment that will take no more than 10 minutes. The collected data is handled by widget-based dashboards, which can be customized with a drag and drop.

Zabbix allows you to collect metrics from Network devices, Cloud, containers and virtual machines, Databases, Applications, HTTP(s) endpoints, and many more. Alerting is handled by multiple platforms, including On-Call, Opsgenie, Pagerduty, Slack, MS Teams, Telegram, or Webhooks.

Zabbix offers a complete set of education courses and materials with recognized certificates, confirming a certain level of expertise in Zabbix's function. Zabbix is really lightweight but supports all the most popular infrastructure aspects.

Zabbix is open-source, so there are no subscription packages. However, you can enroll in one of their courses or purchase advice in the form of technical support or consulting.

Main Benefits of Zabbix:

  • International, complex service covering a lot of solutions
  • Open-source (but paid training is needed in most cases)
  • User-friendly

9. Prometheus

Prometheus dash Prometheus is a set of tools for monitoring and alerting developed at SoundCloud. Prometheus is open-source and has a very rich community of developers. It is a standalone project maintained independently of any company and belongs to the CNCF (Cloud Native Computing Foundation).

Prometheus enables you to collect and store metrics as time-series data, meaning that data is stored with a respective timestamp and optional key-value pairs called labels.

Prometheus uses its own PromQL query language, collects time series via a pull model over HTTP, pushes data over an intermediary gateway. It allows for multiple different approaches to data visualization. Prometheus is usually deployed alongside Grafana since it supports out-of-the-box support.

However, bear in mind that Prometheus delivers reliable service, but if you have a zero fault tolerance policy when it comes to data accuracy such as per-request billing, Prometheus might not be the right choice.

Main Benefits of Prometheus:

  • Open-source platform developed by a plethora of community contributors
  • CNCF project
  • Grafana integration

10. LogicMonitor

LogicMonitor dash LogicMonitor offers log intelligence at scale for hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Your data are centralized, correlated, and contextualized, with an emphasis on data hygiene and internal compliance. LogicMonitor allows you to centralize your monitoring, correlate relevant logs with metrics in a single platform.

It supports more than 2000 integrations, modules, and pre-built templates for on-premises and cloud infrastructures. LogicMonitor is truly user-friendly since it offers query options for all experience levels. It also allows you to access raw data up to 12 months old. Metrics, logs, and log anomalies are all associated with their corresponding devices, cloud instances, and containers.

LogicMonitor manipulates your data with machine learning tools, which decreases troubleshooting times and allows better workflow by sparing your engineers of unproductive tasks. Anomalies are automatically detected and contextualized for easier root cause analysis. LogicMonitor offers Full IT operations lifecycle support via integrations like ServiceNow, CMDB, and Ansible.

One of the biggest disadvantages is the need to communicate your subscription with a sales team. You need to get a custom quote.

Main Benefits of LogicMonitor:

  • Heavy usage of automation and machine learning methods
  • Suitable of all experience levels without compromising functions

Conclusion

In this article, we briefly introduced Linux, its many distros, and the reasons, why it’s still so relevant, popular, and changes the way modern cyberspace looks. While we believe, that Linux requires no further introduction, we are strong advocates of monitoring, and we believe, that we made our case for it. Try to pick a solution that will suit your needs the most and if you need any further assistance, make sure to check out our logging guides.

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