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realtime http log visualization
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Narcissus - Realtime visualizations of web server hits

Narcissus wastes a bunch of time.

Narcissus wastes a bunch of time.

What is this?

This is narcissus. It is a web application that visualizes web server hits as they happen in real time.


  • IP addresses converted to latitude/longitude, then streamed via WebSockets to polymaps.
  • Realtime graphs of what countries are downloading what content with d3.
  • Ømq (zeromq) on the backend.
  • Fast. No polling.

Live Demo

You can see narcissus running live at

The Research Computing department at the Rochester Institute of Technology runs that narcissus instance. It is pointed at their very active FOSS mirror. (That site is the highest-traffic site at RIT!)


Get the source from


There are three processes that make up narcissus:

  • The web app that serves the initial map.
  • The websocket server, a.k.a the Moksha Hub, that serves the realtime data stream
  • The data collection script that feeds the Moksha Hub.

The Web App

Set up the WSGI app:

$ mkvirtualenv narc
$ pip install

Grab a default config file:

$ wget

And start that development-grade web server:

$ ~/.virtualenvs/narc2/bin/

You can also you apache with mod_wsgi to serve this if you wanted to do it more permanently.

The Moksha Hub

Assuming you're running the web app and the Moksha Hub on the same machine, you can share the virtualenv as well and just run:

$ workon narc
$ pip install narcissus.hub
$ ~/.virtualenvs/narc2/bin/moksha-hub

The Data Collection Script

Assuming you want to visualize the logs of a lighttpd server, you can run:

$ tail -f /var/log/lighttpd/access.log | \
    narcissus-zeromq-source --targets=tcp://

The development.ini file tells the moksha-hub to connect to tcp:// from which it will start getting your raw lighttpd logs. Those are then processed and stats are forwarded via WebSockets to anyone viewing the web app.


Try us in #moksha on


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