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Install Cockpit on CentOS 8 - Step by Step Process ?



Cockpit is a free and open-source front-end server management tool that allows Linux users and system administrators to monitor and troubleshoot pesky issues on their systems. Cockpit is accessed through a web browser and its dashboard gives you a peek of your server's health alongside other system statistics such as network usage, disk space, and utilization, current users, system uptime, running processes and system logs. Additionally, you can run administrative tasks such as enabling and disabling the firewall, creating and deleting users, installing / updating / upgrading / uninstalling software packages and even rebooting or powering off the server. 

Here at LinuxAPT, as part of our Server Management Services, we regularly help our Customers to perform related Open Source Software Installation queries on Linux Systems.

In this context, we shall look into how to install Cockpit on the CentOS system.

In a previous section, we mentioned the installation process of Cockpit on Ubuntu OS .


Process to Install Cockpit on CentOS 8 system

To install Cockpit on CentOS, follow the steps outlined below.

1. Install Cockpit

The cockpit is included in the CentOS default repositories. So in order to install Cockpit on CentOS, you only require to run the command below in your Terminal:

$ sudo yum install cockpit

Enter the sudo password, after which Cockpit should be installed on your system. During installation, if it asks for confirmation, type y and press Enter.

You don't have to manually start the Cockpit service as it automatically starts after installation. However, in case it is not started, you can manually start it as follows:

$ sudo systemctl start cockpit

To enable the service to automatically start at boot, use the command below:

$ sudo systemctl enable cockpit

To verify if the service is started and running, view the status of cockpit service as follows:

$ sudo systemctl status cockpit

The output of the command should verify that the Cockpit is active and running.


2. Configure Firewall

Cockpit's browser-based interface can be accessed on localhost port 9090. If you need to access the cockpit web interface from other systems, you will need to allow external connections to port 9090 through the firewall.

Use the command below to allow Cockpit’s web interface accessible from other systems:

$ sudo firewall-cmd --permanent --zone=public --add-service=cockpit

Then reload firewall:

$ sudo firewall-cmd --reload

This rule will allow other systems to access the Cockpit web interface.


3. Access Cockpit Web Interface

To access the Cockpit web interface, head to https://localhost:9090 in your web browser. To access the web interface from any other system, use https://ip-address:9090, where ip-address is the IP address of the Cockpit server.

After accessing the web interface, you will see a login page. You can log in to Cockpit using the username and password of any local account of your Cockpit server. Once you are logged in, you will see a Dashboard with only one server listed in it which is the Cockpit server itself. 


4. Add Servers for Monitoring

To manage remote servers from Cockpit, you will first need to make sure they have:

  • Cockpit installed and running. If the remote machine is CentOS, you can use the steps described above for installing Cockpit. If the remote machine is Ubuntu or Debian, follow this guide.
  • SSH enabled (Visit how to enable SSH on Ubuntu and CentOS).
  • SSH port allowed in the firewall.


Now to add remote serves for monitoring, click Add new host from the left panel in the Cockpit web interface. It will open a Add new host window. Here, enter the hostname/IP address and username of the remote system. Then click Add.

Next, you'll see a window with your host key fingerprint. Here you are required to verify the host key fingerprint. You can do so by running the command displayed on the screen on your remote system.

Compare the fingerprint with your host key fingerprint. If the fingerprint on the remote machine matches with fingerprint on Cockpit server machine, click Accept key and connect, otherwise click Cancel.

Once the host is added, you will see it listed in the let panel of Cockpit's web interface. Similarly, you can add multiple hosts in the Cockpit for monitoring.


How to Uninstall Cockpit from CentOS 8 machine ?

In case, you need to remove Cockpit from your system, you can do so using the command below in the Terminal:

$ sudo yum remove cockpit


[Need help in Installing Open Source Software on CentOS Linux System? We can help you. ]


Conclusion

This article covers how you can easily install Cockpit on your CentOS system and manage other Linux servers. With Cockpit, you can have a quick glance at the performance of all your added servers. Also, you can monitor system resources, start and stop services, shut down the system, install updates, view network activity (send/received). create or remove user accounts, access Terminal, and much more on the remote servers. Cockpit helps to save a lot of time by letting the administrators manage the remote servers that are spread across the network using a lightweight and intuitive interface. 


Benefits of Cockpit in our GNU/Linux servers:

  • It consists of systemd service manager for ease.
  • It has a Journal log viewer to perform troubleshoots and log analysis.
  • Storage setup including LVM was never easier before.
  • Basic Network configuration can be applied with Cockpit
  • We can easily add and remove local users and manage multiple servers.


To Install  and enable Cockpit packages from repository, run the command:

$ sudo yum install cockpit

Type "y" and it will start downloading and installing the required packages.

To enable the Cockpit with the following command:

# sudo systemctl start cockpit

or

$ sudo systemctl enable --now cockpit.socket


To confirm the status of Cockpit, run the command:

# sudo systemctl status cockpit

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