MRTG for Dummies
Easy step by step MRTG tutorial for Windows users

Multiple Router Traffic Grapher (MRTG) is used for monitoring network traffic on Routers, Switches, and Servers. It can also be used in many other ways as MRTG is very powerful. MRTG will run on a variety of operating systems, including most Microsoft Windows versions, UNIX/Linux and Mac OS X. In this tutorial however we concentrate on installing and using MRTG on a Windows machine.

To learn more about MRTG, visit the website at There are loads of documentation and examples available for you to use. However, it can still be confusing to set up MRTG for the very first time.

This document is intended for the Novice and more specifically, a novice using a Windows Operating System. It is a great way to get started and build up your confidence using MRTG. By following right along, you can have MRTG fully functional in 15 minutes or less – no experience required!

After you have configured MRTG once, you can do the second device configuration in less than 5 minutes. (This is guaranteed to impress your significant other!) You do not have to read this through before you begin. Just follow the steps exactly and you will be successful. (FYI: there is not any restart required so you can install or configure at anytime.)

Assumptions: It is assumed you are running a version of Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, or Windows XP and that SNMP is installed and running on what you are trying to monitor. Also assumed is you have the rights or authority to monitor the traffic on that device.

I also assume you have a reasonable fast connection to the Internet. This tutorial is based upon many high quality PNG graphic files which may load slow over dial up connection. However, all pages should load in about 1 minute on a 56K connection. Be patient, it is worth it!

You need 2 items of software before you begin.

First, you need MRTG. It is available at Download the latest version available. ( was used in the following example.)

Second, you need a copy of PERL from ActiveState Tool Corp. at Again, download the latest version available. (Active PERL was used in the following example.)

These programs are under constant development so don't be alarmed that your version is newer. The process is still the same.

(You will also need a copy of WinZip ( installed, if you do not already have it.)

You are now ready to proceed.

There are 5 distinct steps to getting MRTG running for the first time. Follow the link to each step below to begin.






That's it! Five easy steps to success. What if it doesn't work? Make sure you did it exactly as shown. The demo in the example has worked for me dozens of times. If this doesn't fix it, then I would search the list-serve archive. If you have a problem, my guess is it has happened several times before. You can do a full search of the MRTG archives. Also, don't try to do too much before you get one good running installation on something simple. Only a fool would jump in and try to monitor a complex box. (Yes, I was a fool!) I do suggest signing up for the MRTG users mailing list. It is quite good and stays on topic and isn't full of spam!

Note: I take no credit for MRTG. There are many great contributors that deserve our thanks. I do take full credit for this MRTG for Dummies website. Please enjoy it and share it freely. However, do not takecredit for it or publish it in any form. All text and images are ©WOK & Jim Hunt - MCSE &

v2.04 – 05/16/2004 11:00 AM -0400
(peter (at) netmon. org)