Wowza 3 + Ubuntu 12.04 setup

2012-08-13 Update: simple monitoring with Cacti.

The goal

I want to have a clean Wowza setup for a live streaming platform. The access to the streaming server will be open but every other service (management interface, ssh, web server, etc) will be firewalled.

There will be usage reporting through awstats, monitoring through SNMP (performance) and Nagios NRPE (availability).


Ubuntu installation

I’ve done a standard installation, nothing fancy.

Partitionning is done like this:

  • /boot 1GB ext2
  • / 10GB ext4
  • swap 2G
  • /usr/local 10G ext4
  • /var 5G ext4
  • /home * ext4 .

The /home partition will hold the content files, if any. All partitions are mounted with the noatime flag and have a label defined to their mounting point.

I just installed OpenSSH server at installation, I will install the rest manually later.

Ubuntu configuration

Install all the required & useful packages:

apt-get install screen tcpdump vim mc ngrep ifstat tofrodos
sed -i \
  -e 's/#startup_message off/startup_message off/' \
  -e 's/vbell on/vbell off/' \
  -e 's/defscrollback 1024/defscrollback 10000/' \

Put a basic iptables ruleset in /etc/iptables and add “cat /etc/iptables | iptables-restore” in /etc/rc.local .

Reboot to test if it works :)

Wowza Media Server

Wowza Media Server installation

Download Java JRE (currently 1.7 version) from then install it:

mkdir /opt/java && cd /opt/java
wget -O - "" | tar -xzvf -
update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/java java /opt/java/jre1.7.0_04/bin/java 1

Download the installation package (Linux DEB): and install it:

chmod +x WowzaMediaServer-3.1.1.deb.bin

Buy a license or request a trial one and copy/paste it in /usr/local/WowzaMediaServer/conf/Server.license

Open the required ports for Wowza (see

Start Wowza:

/etc/init.d/WowzaMediaServer start

Try to open <yourserveripaddress&gt;:1935 with your browser. If you see something about Wowza, then it’s ok.

Wowza Media Server configuration

Change the default admin password:

mcedit /usr/local/WowzaMediaServer/conf/admin.password

I create an application for this streaming:

mkdir /usr/local/WowzaMediaServer/applications/axislive
mkdir /usr/local/WowzaMediaServer/conf/axislive
cp /usr/local/WowzaMediaServer/conf/Application.xml /usr/local/WowzaMediaServer/conf/axislive/

In that new axislive/Application.xml file, I need to change some parameters for live streaming (see
First, change Streams/StreamType from “default” to “live” . Change Streams/LiveStreamPacketizers from empty to “cupertinostreamingpacketizer, smoothstreamingpacketizer, sanjosestreamingpacketizer” . Change Streams/Authentication/PlayMethod> to none .

Then I want to open some streams at Wowza start, so I use the StartupStreams.xml file. In there, you to define which application will start which stream. The stream is defined in a .stream file which contains an URL. For me, the URL looks like this:


Restart Wowza and it’s going to receive video data from the cameras.

At this point, you should be able to see the camera videos with VLC or a flash player.

I need to limit the concurrent connections on my applications, there’s a module for that ( To install it, do the following:

cp wms-plugin-collection/wms-plugin-collection/lib/wms-plugin-collection.jar /usr/local/WowzaMediaServer/lib

Then add the following to your application modules:

	<Description>Limit connects to an Application</Description>

Then add the following property to your application properties:


Restart Wowza and tada!

Configuration and tuning

Now that we can stream what we want, we need to have a bit of reporting.

Usage reporting with awstats

apt-get install nginx fcgiwrap awstats libgeo-ip-perl

Change the default port for nginx to something like 8080, in /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default and restart nginx.

Follow these instructions ( to enable CGI on nginx.

We also have to tell nginx where to find awstats icons:

location /awstatsicons {
  alias /usr/share/awstats/icon;

We need to patch /usr/lib/cgi-bin/ a little so that it handles the protocols of Wowza. Here’s the patch:

---      2012-05-16 16:24:17.312306052 +0200
+++  2012-05-16 16:26:05.808310486 +0200
 -17755,7 +17755,11 @@
                                || uc($field[$pos_method]) eq 'MMS'
                                || uc($field[$pos_method]) eq 'RTSP'
                                || uc($field[$pos_method]) eq 'HTTP'
-                               || uc($field[$pos_method]) eq 'RTP' )
+                               || uc($field[$pos_method]) eq 'RTP'
+                               || uc($field[$pos_method]) eq 'RTMP'
+                               || uc($field[$pos_method]) eq 'RTMPE'.
+                               || uc($field[$pos_method]) eq 'RTMPT (HTTP-1.1)' )
+ )

We customize a bit our awstats configuration to take Wowza output (or you can configure Wowza to change its output to match awstats input). So the file is /etc/awstats/awstats.axislive.conf and we put the following lines in it:

LogFile="awk 'BEGIN{FS="\t"; OFS="\t";} {if ($4 == "destroy") print $1, $2, $18, $17, $19, $7, $37, $23, $13, $28, $27, $26, $8, $18, $12;}' /usr/local/WowzaMediaServer/logs/wowzamediaserver_access.log |"
LogFormat="date time %method c-ip %referer %code %url sc-bytes filelength x-sname sc-stream-bytes cs-stream-bytes cs-uri-stem %extra1 %virtualname"

You can tweak it more if you want, I don’t need to.

Create the required directory:

mkdir /usr/local/WowzaMediaServer/awstats-wmc/data

Execute awstats a first time to see if it’s working:

/usr/lib/cgi-bin/ -update -config=axislive -showdropped

If so (it should be), put it in crontab.

Restart nginx, check if it’s working: .

Monitoring performance with SNMP

Monitoring of standard things.

apt-get install snmpd

Edit /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf to your needs (version, community, login/password, restrictions, etc). Edit /etc/default/snmpd and remove “-Lsd” fromS SNMPDOPTS so that it’s doesn’t flood your logs with connections. Restart snmpd.

Monitoring of Wowza viewers.

I chose to monitor to connection count of each type (flash, rtsp, etc) and not bother with connection count by application or stream name (just because I don’t know how to update dynamically Cacti graphs). So this is the easiest way I think.

How it is done: a script query in Cacti that gets Wowza stats with the HTTP interface. It’s parsed and the totals is printed back, then Cacti graphs this result.

The script is here, rename it to CactiWowzaDIM.php . Here’s the XML templates, import it to Cacti through the web interface.

Bug: there’s a problem with this script and Cacti and I don’t get why it’s there. Although the script will print a value for the key sessionsCupertino , Cacti keeps it at “-nan”. If someone finds the reason and the fix, it would be great!

Monitoring availability with Nagios

Streaming server side
apt-get install nagios-nrpe-server

Edit /etc/nagios/nrpe_local.cfg and change any parameters you see fit (allowed_hosts for example).

Nagios server side

You need to tell Nagios which services you want to monitor. I will check load average, free disk space, zombie processes, SSH (TCP/22), Wowza RTMP (TCP/1935), Nginx (TCP/8080) . The configuration file for Nagios looks like this:

Later :)

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6 Responses to Wowza 3 + Ubuntu 12.04 setup

  1. Sathishkumar says:

    Thanks a lot for the great tutorial. Let me try the monitoring setup with wowza


  2. Bruno says:

    Hi man,

    Great article and great scripts. It seems that the bug you mention about the sessionsCupertino field is related to the name. RRDTool limits data_names to 19 characters and that one is bigger, that’s why it’s failing.

    Hope it helps. :)

  3. Tom Kuipers says:

    Thank you for sharing this.
    I’ve changed wowza output to match awstats input. This way you don’t have to rewrite like you did with awk in the LogFile option.
    Configure wowza logging by editing and set:



    Using this configuration only ‘destroy’ events are logged and wowza output matches awstats input.

  4. xenadmin says:

    Ah yes, that’s another approach I didn’t think of. I will do this for my next setup, I seems more logical/easy.

  5. Hassan says:

    I am trying to use the scripts you provided and somehow i am stuck with the following error. When i comment out Line 19 it goes to the next line which has writeToLog function.
    This is the error i get when i run from shell
    PHP Notice: Undefined variable: writeToLog in /usr/share/cacti/resource/script_queries/CactiWowzaDIM.php on line 19

    This is the error from cacti
    12/06/2015 02:16:02 PM – CMDPHP: Poller[0] Host[9] DS[58] WARNING: Result from CMD not valid. Partial Result: U

  6. blogger says:

    Hello, you just need to change line 17 (global $logfile;) with the following:

    global $logfile, $writeToLog;

    The variable $writeToLog is not in the function scope, so you need to explicitely look for it in the main scope.

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