Long Overdue Nagios Presentation Material (and video!)

Last year, I presented a Nagios presentation at the Professional IT Community Conference, and I promised to get the contents of the USB key online Real Soon Now(tm). Well, guess what? It’s finally done!

That’s right, you can download the contents of the key right here.

The zipfile should unpack into a directory called “Keeping Nagios Sane”, and under there, you’ll see the following directory structure:

|– SlideShow
| |– Nagios Presentation.odp
| `– Nagios Presentation.pdf
|– SyntaxHighlighting
| |– nagios-mode-emacs.tar.gz
| `– nagios.vim
`– example-config
|– all kinds of stuff!

From the README file:

I’m hoping that you’ll find them interesting, and maybe useful. Here’s a
quick manifest of what you’ll find.

This is a small, but complete (for the most part) configuration of Nagios
mostly employing the suggestions that I make for arranging your hierarchy.
It’s small, but it should get you on your way. Make sure to look for
lines that start with #MS#, as these are comments I’ve added to help
explain options or why I picked a particular configuration directive.

You should be receiving this thumbdrive at the Professional IT Community
Conference (PICC), and theoretically there will be wifi. Conference WiFi
is notoriously bad, so I wanted you to be able to install and play with
Nagios on your own computer, if you wanted. For that reason, the Nagios
core and the plugins are included on the key. Installation is fairly
standard, for the most part. Instructions are included in the packages.

This directory contains the slideshow (or something very close to it)
that I’ll be going through. It’s in .odf (pretty) and .pdf (not as
pretty), so feel free to use whichever you like. You should be aware
that the show may change to some extent by the time it’s given live.

Creating a working Nagios configuration is akin to development, and very
few people program without the aid of syntax highlighting. Nagios should
be no different. Included in this directory are the syntax highlighting
rules for vim and emacs.

Thanks for attending my talk. I hope you enjoy the show.

–Matt Simmons
[email protected]

Since this is The Internet, and you can download Nagios from the source, I didn’t include the older, out of date package in the zip file. One thing that I did not mention in the README was that the sample Nagios config has a network-diagram.jpg, to give you a better idea of the network that you’re dealing with. You can refer to it when looking through the configuration.

When it comes to the configuration, feel free to drop me an email or comment here with any questions, but it’s been a while. I reserve the right to forget why I made an arbitrary choice, and if I did something monumentally dumb, I also reserve the right to claim that I was possessed by demons.

As an extra special bonus, I was talking to Tom Limoncelli, who had the videos from all of the presentations at the conference, but hadn’t put them online yet. As I type this, we’re currently working to get those available via YouTube on Tom’s Channel. My Nagios presentation is already up and available, so I’ve embedded it below. If you want to watch it at YouTube, you can do so here.

Thanks for your patience, and please, leave a comment if you have any questions!

  • chewyfruitloop

    40 mins!!! this will keep me going for a bit ;)

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  • Just tried the vim syntax plugin – I like it, but it breaks if you have any single quote marks floating around, even in valid fields like

    define host {
    host_name payables2.example.com
    hostgroups digamma_desktop,sda_desktop
    use generic_desktop
    alias Janes's PC

  • Amadeus

    Thanks for sharing the many gems!

    One thing I find very useful is to have 1 service per cfg and 1 host per cfg. Enabling and disabling a host or service is then just a matter of appending e.g. “_disabled” to the file names.

    I like to name them like this

    A problem is have run into is when using templates, and then later find out that you need an extra option to move from the template into the host or service cfg’s. Read: One have to edit all services/host configs=(

    The only way I can think of to solve this is to write a script that generates all the configs from one “master” config.

    Have you heard about someone making such a script?

    About SNMP. Does that mean you just install SNMPD on each host, and don’t have to install or configure any Nagios plugins?