How to install New Relic server monitoring on DreamHost VPS (no root/sudo)

New Relic is a modern performance monitoring service capable of analyzing infrastructure and application. The server monitoring tool can be installed on DreamHost VPS without sudo and with a little bit of patience.

First download the latest release from New Relic in your VPS:

[VPS server]:~$ wget

untar it:

[VPS server]:~$ tar xvzf newrelic-sysmond-*-linux.tar.gz

Then prepare your VPS user’s home to hold the monitor agent by creating directories for the configuration file, the binary and the logs:

[VPS server]:~$ mkdir -p bin var/log var/run etc

Move the 64-bit version of the New Relic monitoring daemon to your ~bin directory:

[VPS server]:~$ mv newrelic-sysmond-*-linux/daemon/nrsysmond.x64 bin/nrsysmond

and copy the template configuration file to ~/etc/:

[VPS server]:~$ cp newrelic-sysmond-*-linux/nrsysmond.cfg etc/

Now it’s time to get the license key from If you haven’t signed up for New Relic service, now is the time time to do it.

Once you have your license key for the server monitor, head back to your VPS and edit ~/etc/nrsysmond.cfg to add the license and to change the location of the log file you created before. The file will have the following keys modified:


To start the daemon simply run the command below:

[VPS server]:~$ ./bin/nrsysmond -c etc/nrsysmond.cfg

After a few minutes, you will see the server popping up in the New Relic UI.

Things to be aware of

  1. Because of how DreamHost VPS run, you may notice that the CPU reports seem busy. This is due by the way the VPS system operates: New Relic (like system level top) sees the host CPU utilization, not the individual virtual CPU.
  2. New Relic is quite more valuable at monitoring applications. See how to install the PHP applications monitor.
  3. If the VPS is restarted, you have to manually restart New Relic monitor.
  4. When New Relic releases a new version of its tools, you’ll have to manually update the software.
  5. DreamHost has no official relationship with New Relic. This howto was produced for education only and is not an officially supported document. In fact, this post is a wiki: if you have suggestions, please edit it (or leave comments if your trust level is not high enough yet.)
1 Like

Can NewRelic be used to monitor usage of the VPS in terms of RAM etc? I need a way of monitoring this as Dreamhost Control Panel graphs aren’t real-time or accurate.

Short answer: yes. Check for all the details.