Chapter 3. Installing Under Windows

Software Components Required

  1. (Optional) Apache> - This software is optional if running Windows Internet Information Server.

  2. Cacti - Install from the zip distribution and install in the web root or your choice. Many choose to install into a "Cacti" sub folder.

  3. Spine - Install from the zip distribution into the c:\cacti directory. Make sure your spine.conf.dist is located in that directory as well.

  4. RRDTool - Install from the Cacti website. Install it into the c:\cacti directory.

  5. PHP 5.x - Install into the c:\php folder. If you choose to install into c:\Program Files\php, you will have to use 8.3 filenames to reference it's binaries in Cacti.

  6. MySQL 5.x - Install into the default location. This is typically c:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server X.XX.

  7. (Optional) Cygwin - Download and execute setup.exe from the Cygwin website. Keep the setup.exe file for later use.

  8. (Optional) Net-SNMP - Install to the c:\net-snmp directory. If you choose to use c:\Program Files\net-snmp you will have tu use 8.3 filenames to reference it's binaries in Cacti.

Configure PHP

  1. Add the following directory to the existing Windows System PATH environment variable: c:\php. The Windows path can be accessed via the Control Panel at: System | Advanced | Environment Variables | System Variables.

  2. Add the following directory to a new Windows System environment variable called PHPRC: c:\php.

  3. Add a new Windows System environment variable called MIBDIRS set it to c:\php\extras\mibs

  4. Rename the file c:\php\php.ini.dist to php.ini, and make the following changes to it:

    Uncomment the following lines.

    extension_dir = c:\php\ext
    cgi.force_redirect = 0
  5. In earlier installation guides to PHP, they recommended moving certain DLL's to the c:\winnt\system32 directory. If so, you will have to remove those files. Please review the PHP installation documentation for instructions on removing those files.

  6. If you want to allow template importing, uncomment the following line:

    file_uploads = On
  7. Give the user who will be running the scheduled task, modify rights to the .index file in the location pointed to by the MIBDIRS Windows System environment variable.

Configure the Webserver (Apache)

  1. Make sure you have stopped any IIS web servers before you proceed with Apache installation, or make sure Apache is configured on an alternate port.

  2. If using Apache 2.x and PHP 5, then add the following lines.

    LoadModule php5_module c:\php\php5apache2.dll
    AddType application/x-httpd-php .php
    DirectoryIndex index.html index.htm index.php

Configure the Webserver (IIS)

  1. Start the Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager, right click on the Default Web Site (in most cases) and select Properties.

  2. Under the Home Directory tab, select Configuration and click Add. Browse to the path of php4isapi.dll or php5isapi.dll, and type in .php as the extension. Note: if using IIS6, Enable All Verbs and Script Engine.

  3. Under the ISAPI Filters tab, click Add and browse to the php4isapi.dll or php5isapi.dll file. Name the filter "php" and click OK.

  4. Under the Documents tab, add index.php to the list.

  5. If using IIS6, goto Web Service Extensions and add a new Web Service Extension. Name the extension "php", and click Add and browse to the php4isapi.dll or php5isapi.dll file, enable Set Extension status to Enable, and click OK.

  6. Give the IUSR_XXXX and IIS_WPG users read & execute permissions to the file %windir%\system32\cmd.exe. They will also need read permissions on cacti_web_root/cacti and it's subfolders.

  7. If using IIS6, give the IIS_WPG user modify permissions to the folders cacti_web_root/cacti/log and cacti_web_root/cacti/rrd.

  8. Completely stop and start the IIS service using the following commands:

    net stop iisadmin
    net start w3svc

Install Cygwin (optional)

  1. Installing a single instance of Cygwin, and using it for all applications that require it is recommended so you do not have different versions of the Cygwin dlls laying around on your system, which can cause conflicts.

  2. Run setup.exe you previously download.

  3. Once you reach the portion of setup entitled Select Packages, install the following:

    Base (include all items)
  4. Add c:\cygwin\bin to your Windows System PATH environment variable.

  5. Move setup.exe to c:\cygwin for future use.

Install RRDTool

  1. Extract the RRDTool zip file from the Cacti web site to c:\cacti\rrdtool.exe.

Install MySQL

  1. Extract the MySQL zip file to a temp directory and run setup.exe.

  2. Install MySQL to the default directory, or for the purposes of this manual to the c:\mysql directory.

  3. If running an older version of MySQL, start it by running c:\mysql\bin\winmysqladmin.exe. In more recent versions, this is not required.

  4. Set a password for the root user

    shell> cd mysql\bin
    shell> mysqladmin --user=root password somepassword
    shell> mysqladmin --user=root --password reload
  5. Create the MySQL database:

    shell> mysqladmin --user=root --password create cacti
  6. Import the default Cacti database:

    shell> mysql --user=root --password cacti < c:\apache2\htdocs\cacti\cacti.sql
  7. Create a MySQL username and password for Cacti.

    shell> mysql --user=root --password mysql
    mysql> GRANT ALL ON cacti.* TO cactiuser@localhost IDENTIFIED BY 'somepassword';
    mysql> flush privileges;
  8. If you are running MySQl 4.1 and above, you will need to apply the old password setting in order to authenticate with Cacti. To make this change, stop the MySQL service and add the following to the Start Parameter field. Start it again once it has been added.


    You will also need to update the cactiuser account with the old password style.

    shell> UPDATE mysql.user SET Password = OLD_PASSWORD('cactipwd')
    				WHERE Host = 'localhost' AND User = 'cactiuser';

Install Net-SNMP

  1. If you plan to use any hosts with SNMP v2c support, and are using early versions of PHP, you must download and install the Net-SNMP libraries. Net-SNMP provides installers to install their product. However, caution must be taken if you choose to use long file names as Cacti does not them as long file names. You will have to user 8.3 notation. For example c:\Program Files\Net-SNMP\bin becomes c:\progra~1\net-snmp\bin.

Install Spine

  1. Extract the Spine zip file to c:\cacti and modify the spine.conf.dist file to include the following statements.

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

    All other pre 0.8.6 settings are obsolete.

  2. Spine now comes with a binary distribution. However, we strongly suggest that you install Cygwin and then remove all the DLL files and sh.exe from the c:\cacti directory.

Configure Cacti

  1. Edit cacti_web_root/cacti/include/config.php and specify the MySQL user, password, database, and database port for your Cacti configuration.

    $database_default = "cacti";
    $database_hostname = "localhost";
    $database_username = "cactiuser";
    $database_password = "cacti";
    $database_port = "3306";
  2. Point your web browser to:


    Log in using the username and password of admin/admin. You will be required to change this password immediately.

  3. From Cacti, go to Settings->Paths and verify/udate your paths to point to the correct locations. Recommended examples are posted below. If you plan on using Spine, then it is very important that all paths include forward slashes instead of backslashes.

    PHP Binary Path:


    RRDTool Binary Path:




    Cacti Logfile Path:


    Spine Path:

  4. Click on Devices. Delete the Localhost devices as it intended for Linux environments In the upper right corner, click Add. Fill in the following information and then click Add.

    Description: My Windows localhost
    Hostname: localhost
    Host Template: Windows 2000/XP
  5. You should now be looking at the localhost device screen. Right under it's name, there should be some SNMP information listed, if not you should double check the SNMP settings on the server and firewall settings. In the upper right-hand corner, click on Create Graphs for this Host. On the following screen, select a disk partition and network interface. At the bottom of the page, click on Create.

  6. Log into the user account you'll be using for the scheduled task and verify starting a Cacti polling cycle works. Do this by running the following from the command prompt:

    php c:/cacti_web_root/cacti/poller.php

    The output should look something like the following:

    C:\>php c:\inetpub\wwwroot\cacti\poller.php
    OK u:0.00 s:0.06 r:1.32
    OK u:0.00 s:0.06 r:1.32
    OK u:0.00 s:0.16 r:2.59
    OK u:0.00 s:0.17 r:2.62
    10/28/2005 04:57:12 PM - SYSTEM STATS: Time:4.7272 Method:cmd.php Processes:1 Threads:N/A Hosts:1 HostsPerProcess:2 DataSources:4 RRDsProcessed:2

    After this has ran once, you should have cacti.log in /cacti/log/ and rrd files in /cacti/rra/.

  7. You are going to need to schedule a task while logged on as an Administrator. This task is required to you can run poller.php every 5 minutes. Make sure the Task Scheduler service is started and follow the steps below to begin.

    Note: The following instructions are based on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. You should be able to follow these instructions close enough for Windows 2000 as well.

    1. Select Start --> Settings --> Control Panel and double click on Scheduled Tasks.

    2. Double click on Add Scheduled Task.

    3. Click Next and Browse on the following screen. Find c:\php and select php.exe. Choose Daily on and click Next.

    4. Click Next again without changing the time or date settings.

    5. When entering a username and password make sure the user has read and write access to the following directories:


      Make sure the user has read, write, and execute access to the following directories:

    6. Click Next and Finish to close the wizard.

    7. Right click on the task you just created, and select Properties.

    8. Select the Schedule tab.

    9. Make sure Daily is selected and click the Advanced button.

    10. Check the Repeat checkbox, set it for 5 minutes and set the duration for 24 hours.

    11. Click Ok

    12. In the Run textbox enter the following text making sure to use the appropriate paths.

      c:\php\php.exe c:\mycacti\website\cacti\poller.php

      The start in box should say c:\mycacti\website\cacti.

Apply Patches

  1. There are two methods of applying patches to Cacti:

    1. If you have Cygwin installed, then the patch instructions which use wget and patch, will work.

    2. The other method requires you to visit and manually download and replace the patched files.

  2. You might need to reapply file/folder security on the files patched. Double check they are correct.