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Installing NP-View Server

NP-View Server has been designed to be easily installed by a single person who has moderate Linux skills. This article provides step-by-step instructions on the installation process, which includes:

  1. Provisioning a server
  2. Downloading NP-View server
  3. Installing NP-View server
  4. Installing a SSL Certificate

NP-View is accessed through a web browser (Edge, Chrome, Firefox) running on a modern computer operating system (Windows 10 or later, macOS 11 Big Sur or later, Ubuntu 20 or later) with a recommended configuration of a 10th Gen Quad Core Processor and 16GB of RAM.

Provisioning a Server

The following table documents the CPU, memory, and disk requirements based on the number of network device configuration files monitored by NP-View server:

Number of network devices monitored
(firewall, router, switch) / concurrent users
Min. CPU Memory Disk Space
Up to 50 devices / 3 concurrent users 4-core 16GB 200GB
Up to 100 devices / 5 concurrent users* 8-core 32GB 400GB
Up to 500 devices / 10 concurrent users** 16-core 64GB 2TB
Up to 1,000 devices / 20 concurrent users 32-core 128GB 4TB

> 1,000 devices please contact support to discuss requirements

*Recommended as the minimum for most Professional Server users.
**Recommended as the minimum for most Enterprise Server users.

Note that loading and analyzing devices utilizes the majority of the CPU and Memory capacity.  The higher the server capacity and the faster the CPU, the faster devices will load and be analyzed.

Network ports used by NP-View server

The following ports are used by NP-View server.  Please ensure these ports are open on your firewall for proper communication.

Required ports:

  • TCP/22: SSH server to provide secure console access to the NP-Live server
  • TCP/443: access to NP-View Web UI through HTTPS
  • TCP/8443: access to NP-View connectors Web UI through HTTPS

Optional ports:

  • TCP/80: access to NP-View Web UI through HTTP
  • TCP/389: access to Active Directory / LDAP for LDAPv3 TLS
  • TCP/445: access to NP-View SMB Connector
  • TCP/636: access to Active Directory / LDAPS for TLS/SSL
  • TCP/8080: access to NP-View connectors Web UI through HTTP
Firewall Rules

The source IP should be the client workstation that will access NP-View and the destination IP should be the NP-View Linux server.


Downloading NP-View Server

Sign up on the Portal website to download the latest version of NP-View server and the license key.  A SHA256 checksum is supplied with each download by clicking on the “show checksum” link.  You can calculate the checksum on the files you download to verify their integrity:

  • Windows 10/11 using Powershell: Get-FileHash /the/full/path/to/your/file/name/extension | Format-List
  • Linux: sha256sum /the/full/path/to/your/file/name/extension
  • MACOS: shasum -a 256 /full/path/to/your/file/name/extension


Installing NP-View Server

NP-View server is a Linux application. It can be installed on a virtual machine or physical hardware. There are 2 package formats available:

  • NP-View Virtual appliance (~2GB OVF) that works on all major hypervisor with support for the .vmdk disk format (e.g., VMWare ESXi).
  • NP-View Linux installer (~600MB) that works on all major Linux distributions (Red Hat, CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu) on which Docker can be installed

The NP-View OVF uses the CentOS 7.9 (core) Linux distribution. Root access is provided (see the text file provided with the .OVF) so the operating system can be periodically updated. This option should be used for new installations. The NP-View Linux installer is used to update NP-View on an existing system or for a new install on a Linux server.

Note: Network Perception does not recommend running NP-View in a double virtualized environment (Linux VM encapsulated within a Windows VM) as the operation of connectors, notifications and external interfaces can be unpredictable. Additionally, running the OVF on AWS or Azure also falls into the double virtualization category and does not work.  The user will be required to build a Linux server and install the Linux installer.

Option 1: Using the NP-View Linux Installer

Once downloaded onto the Linux server, the NP-View Linux Installer can be launched with the following commands:

  1. SSH onto the Linux server
  2. Get root privilege with the command sudo -i
  3. Go to the directory in which the NP-View Linux installer was downloaded and run it with the command sh

The installer will automatically check if an internet connection is available and if Docker is installed. If an internet connection isn’t available but Docker is installed, the installation will proceed offline. If an internet connection isn’t available and Docker isn’t installed, the installation will stop and you will have to manually install the latest version of Docker before continuing. Finally, if an internet connection is available and Docker isn’t installed, the installer will automatically download and install the latest version of Docker.

Option 2: Using the NP-View Virtual Appliance

Once the Virtual Appliance OVF file has been downloaded, extract the .zip archive and import the appliance files into your hypervisor. Please make sure to update the CPU, memory, and disk space for the VM according to the requirements above. Once imported, launch the appliance and log into the terminal using the credentials provided in the README.txt file inside the OVF archive. Once logged in, the NP-View shell script will guide you through setting up the network configuration and then launching the NP-View server.


Installing a SSL Certificate

NP-View listens on both port TCP/80 (HTTP) and TCP/443 (HTTPS). For HTTPS, it uses a self-signed SSL certificate by default. Users can also provide their own SSL certificate by simply copying a valid .pem file into the NP-View db folder.  If using HTTPS, the best practice is to disable HTTP or forward HTTP to HTTPS.

The following command can be used to generate a valid .pem file:

openssl req -new -x509 -days 365 -nodes -out cert.pem -keyout cert.pem

To learn more about generating your own SSL certificate, please visit python documentation.

Please note that .pem file should include both the private key and the full certificate. If you received the private key and the certificate as two separate files, you can concatenate them into a single .pem file.


Setting the Virtual Appliance Time Zone

By default, the Virtual Appliance install creates the file `/opt/np-live/local-settings.yml`, set to America/Chicago.  This file needs to be updated to reflect your local time zone.  To change to a different time zone, log into the server using SSH and become root with the command sudo -i. You can then perform the following updates.

Update TZ= to a value from timedatectl list-timezones

version: '3.4'
x-environment-tz: &timezone 
         - *timezone
         - *timezone
         - *timezone
         - *timezone
         - *timezone

Once you have set the new time zone, you can restart NP-Live with the command /opt/np-live/  and then /opt/np-live/ 


Additional Installation Information


Upgrading NP-View Server

To upgrade an existing NP-View server, the steps are:

  1. Download the latest release Linux Installer Release (not the .OVF) from the Network Perception Portal and copy it onto your NP-view server using SCP (or WinSCP from a Windows client)
  2. Login onto the NP-Live server using SSH (or Putty from a Windows client)
  3. Get root permissions using the command: sudo -i
  4. Execute the new NP-Live release file using the command: sh  (where is the name of the new release file downloaded in step 1).
  5. Follow the guided steps of the installer, which will automatically start NP-View once the upgrade is complete.
  6. Connect to the user interface of NP-View using your web browser and check in the bottom-left corner of the home page that the version number matches the new release
Improving NP-View Server Performance

If a server upgrade or restart fails due to lack of disk space, please perform the following clean-up procedure:

  1. sudo rm -f /opt/np-live/db/log/system/nplive.log.*
  2. sudo docker system prune –volumes
  3. sudo rm /opt/np-live/docker-compose.yml.backup

NP-View does not automatically delete log files, the Linux system admin may wish to schedule the above commands in a periodic CRON job to maintain optimal performance.

If server upgrade or restart issues continue to occur, please reach out to the Tech Support team.

Default Disk Encryption

As the NP-View OVF is typically installed within a secure environment, the disk is not encrypted by default for data at rest.  The Linux Admin can encrypt the system drive for increased security knowing that system performance will be slightly degraded to accommodate the data decryption and encryption.

Personalize the Login Page

To add a custom message to the login page, a NP-View administrator can edit the file /opt/np-live/docker-compose.yml with the following entry in the webserver environment section: “- banner=Welcome to NP-view”

For NP-View, the file ~/Documents/np-live/config.ini can be edited to add: “banner=Welcome to NP-View”

Upload File Size Limit

When users upload a file through the Web user interface, NP-View will enforce a maximum file size which is 200MB by default. To change it, a NP-View Linux administrator can edit the file /opt/np-live/docker-compose.yml with the following entry in the webserver environment section: “- MAX_IMPORT_SIZE=209715200”.  The value is in bytes, so 209715200 corresponds to 200MB.

Complete Removal of NP-View

If you wish to completely remove NP-View from you server to start with a fresh install, perform the following steps:

  • Stop NP-View using the script /opt/np-live/
  • Remove Docker containers using the command docker system prune -a as root (WARNING: this will completely reset Docker, so if non NP-View containers have been added they will be deleted as well)
  • Remove the NP-View folder with the command rm -rf /opt/np-live as root (WARNING: the NP-View database will be permanently deleted)
Previous Configuring NP-View Desktop
Next Configuring NP-View Server
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