pyDash – A Web Based Linux Performance Monitoring Tool

pydash is a lightweight web-based monitoring tool for Linux written in Python and Django plus Chart.js. It has been tested and can run on the following mainstream Linux distributions: CentOS, Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian, Arch Linux, Raspbian as well as Pidora.

You can use it to keep an eye on your Linux PC/server resources such as CPUs, RAM, network stats, processes including online users and more. The dashboard is developed entirely using Python libraries provided in the main Python distribution, therefore it has a few dependencies; you don’t need to install many packages or libraries to run it.

In this article, we will show you how to install pydash to monitor Linux server performance.

How to Install pyDash in Linux System

1. First install required packages: git and Python pip as follows:

-------------- On Debian/Ubuntu -------------- 
$ sudo apt-get install git python-pip
-------------- On CentOS/RHEL -------------- 
# yum install epel-release
# yum install git python-pip
-------------- On Fedora 22+ --------------
# dnf install git python-pip

2. If you have git and Python pip installed, next, install virtualenv which helps to deal with dependency issues for Python projects, as below:

# pip install virtualenv
$ sudo pip install virtualenv

3. Now using git command, clone the pydash directory into your home directory like so:

# git clone
# cd pydash

4. Next, create a virtual environment for your project called pydashtest using the virtualenv command below.

$ virtualenv pydashtest #give a name for your virtual environment like pydashtest

Create Virtual Environment

Important: Take note the virtual environment’s bin directory path highlighted in the screenshot above, yours could be different depending on where you cloned the pydash folder.

5. Once you have created the virtual environment (pydashtest), you must activate it before using it as follows.

$ source /home/aaronkilik/pydash/pydashtest/bin/activate

Active Virtual Environment

From the screenshot above, you’ll note that the PS1 prompt changes indicating that your virtual environment has been activated and is ready for use.

6. Now install the pydash project requirements; if you are curious enough, view the contents of requirements.txt using the cat command and the install them using as shown below.

$ cat requirements.txt
$ pip install -r requirements.txt

7. Now move into the pydash directory containing or simple run the command below to open this file to change the SECRET_KEY to a custom value.

$ vi pydash/

Set Secret Key

Save the file and exit.

8. Afterward, run the django command below to create the project database and install Django’s auth system and create a project super user.

$ python syncdb

Answer the questions below according to your scenario:

Would you like to create one now? (yes/no): yes
Username (leave blank to use 'root'): admin
Email address:
Password: ###########
Password (again): ############

Create Project Database

9. At this point, all should be set, now run the following command to start the Django development server.

$ python runserver

10. Next, open your web browser and type the URL: to get the web dashboard login interface. Enter the super user name and password you created while creating the database and installing Django’s auth system in step 8 and click Sign In.

pyDash Login Interface

11. Once you login into pydash main interface, you will get a section for monitoring general system info, CPU, memory and disk usage together with system load average.

Simply scroll down to view more sections.

pyDash Server Performance Overview

12. Next, screenshot of the pydash showing a section for keeping track of interfaces, IP addresses, Internet traffic, disk read/writes, online users and netstats.

pyDash Network Overview

13. Next is a screenshot of the pydash main interface showing a section to keep an eye on active processes on the system.

pyDash Active Linux Processes

Pyinotify – Monitor Filesystem Changes in Real-Time in Linux

Pyinotify is a simple yet useful Python module for monitoring filesystems changes in real-time in Linux.

As a System administrator, you can use it to monitor changes happening to a directory of interest such as web directory or application data storage directory and beyond.

It depends on inotify (a Linux kernel feature incorporated in kernel 2.6.13), which is an event-driven notifier, its notifications are exported from kernel space to user space via three system calls.

The purpose of pyinotify is to bind the three system calls, and support an implementation on top of them providing a common and abstract means to manipulate those functionalities.

In this article, we will show you how to install and use pyinotify in Linux to monitor filesystem changes or modifications in real-time.


In order to use pyinotify, your system must be running:

  1. Linux kernel 2.6.13 or higher
  2. Python 2.4 or higher

How to Install Pyinotify in Linux

First start by checking the kernel and Python versions installed on your system as follows:

# uname -r 
# python -V

Once dependencies are met, we will use pip to install pynotify. In most Linux distributions, Pip is already installed if you’re using Python 2 >=2.7.9 or Python 3 >=3.4 binaries downloaded from, otherwise, install it as follows:

# yum install python-pip      [On CentOS based Distros]
# apt-get install python-pip  [On Debian based Distros]
# dnf install python-pip      [On Fedora 22+]

Now, install pyinotify like so:

# pip install pyinotify

It will install available version from the default repository, if you are looking to have a latest stable version of pyinotify, consider cloning it’s git repository as shown.

# git clone
# cd pyinotify/
# ls
# python install

How to Use pyinotify in Linux

In the example below, I am monitoring any changes to the user tecmint’s home (/home/tecmint) directory as root user (logged in via ssh) as shown in the screenshot:

# python -m pyinotify -v /home/tecmint

Monitor Directory Changes

Next, we will keep a watch for any changes to the web directory (/var/www/html/

# python -m pyinotify -v /var/www/html/

To exit the program, simply hit [Ctrl+C].

Note: When you run pyinotify without specifying any directory to monitor, the /tmp directory is considered by default.

Linux commands

sudo!! : Forgot to run a command with sudo? You need not re-write the whole command, just type “sudo!!” and the last command will run with sudo.

2. Python -m SimpleHTTPServer : Creates a simple web page for the current working directory over port 8000.

3. mtr : A command which is a combination of ‘ping’ and ‘traceroute’ command.

4. Ctrl+x+e : This key combination fires up, an editor in the terminal, instantaneously.

5. nl : Outputs the content of text file with lines Numbered.

6. shuf : Randomly selects line/file/folder from a file/folder.

7. ss : Outputs Socket Statistics.

8. Last: Want to know history of last logged in users? This command comes to rescue here.

9. curl : Shows machine’s external IP Address.

10. tree : Prints files and folders in tree like fashion, recursively.

11. Pstree : Prints running processes with child processes, recursively.

13. stat : Shows the status information of a file as well as of a file system.

15. Pv : outputs simulating text, similar to hollywood movies.

16. Mount | column -t : Lists mounted file system, in nice formatting with specification.

17. Ctrl + l: clear shell prompt, instantaneously.

18. curl -u gmail_id –silent “” | perl -ne ‘print “\t” if //; print “$2\n” if /(.*)/;’. This simple scripts, opens up, unread mail of an user, in the terminal itself.

19. screen : Detach and Reattach, long running process from a session.

20. file : Outputs information, regarding types of file.

21. id : Print User and Group Id.
22. ^foo^bar : Run last command with modification, without the need of rewriting the whole command again.

24. at : Run a particular command, time based.

25. du -h –max-depth=1 Command : Outputs the size of all the files and folders within current folder, in human readable format.

26. expr : Solve simple mathematical calculations from the terminal.

27. look: Check for an English word, from the dictionary, in case of confusion, right from the shell.

28. yes : continues to print a sting, till interrupt instruction is given.

29. factor: Gives all the possible factors of a decimal number.

30. ping -i 60 -a IP_address : Pings the provided IP_address, and gives audible sound when host comes alive.

31. tac : Prints content of a file, in reverse order.

32. strace : A debugging tool.

33. disown -a && exit Command : Run a command in background, even after terminal session is closed.

34. getconf LONG_BIT Command : Output Machine Architecture, very clearly.

35. while sleep 1;do tput sc;tput cup 0 $(($(tput cols)-29));date;tput rc;done & : The script outputs date and time on the top right corner of shell/ terminal.

36. convert : converts the output of a command in picture, automatically.

37. watch -t -n1 “date +%T|figlet” : Show animated digital clock at the prompt.

38. host and dig : DNS lookup utility.

39. dstat : Generates statistics regarding system resource.

40. bind -p : Shows all the shortcuts available in Bash.

41. Touch /forcefsck : Force file-system check on next boot.

42. lsb_release : Prints distribution specification information.

43. nc -ZV localhost port_number : Check if a specific port is open or not.

44. curl : Outputs Geographical Information, regarding an ip_address.

45. find .-user xyz : Lists all file owned by user ‘xyz’

46. apt-get build-dep package_name: Build all the dependency, automatically while installing any specific package.

47. lsof -iTCP:80 -sTCP:LISTEN. The script, outputs all the service/process using port 80.

48. find -size +100M : This command combination, Lists all the files/folders the size of which is 100M or more.

49. pdftk : A nice way to concatenate a lot of pdf files, into one.

50. ps -LF -u user_name : Outputs Processes and Threads of a user.

51. Startx — :1 (This command creates another new X session).

top 6 files that eat up your space:

du -hsx * | sort -rh | head -6
  • Alt+Backspace: Deletes the previous word.
  • Alt+F: Skips ahead to the next space.
  • Alt+B: Skips back to the previous space.
  • Ctrl+U: Cuts all text up to the cursor.
  • Ctrl+K: Cuts all text after the cursor until end of line.
  • Ctrl+A: Moves the cursor to the start of line.
  • Ctrl+E: Moves the cursor to the end of line.