I’m really not a fan of political infighting. It’s bad for an organization, and it’s bad for the people who rely on the organization. But it happens, because we’re people, and people have ideas and egos and goals that are mutually exclusive of each other.
Such as it is with Nagios at the moment. Although there’s been some strife for the IP and trademarks surrounding Nagios for a while, the most recent thing is that the plugins site was…reassigned, I suppose you would say.
For a brief timeline, Nagios began as NetSaint, back in 1999. It was renamed Nagios in 2001 according to the WayBack Machine, apparently because of potential trademark issues. The plugins were apparently spun off from the main NetSaint project around this time as well, although the domain creation date is 2008-05-23 for nagios-plugins.org and 2007-01-15 for nagiosplugins.org.
So what’s going on now? Well, according to a news entry on the Nagios.org site, the Nagios Plugin Team had some changes:
The Nagios Plugin team is undergoing some changes, including the introduction of a new maintainer. The www.nagios-plugins.org website will remain the official location of the Nagios Plugins, and development of the plugins will continue on github at https://github.com/nagios-plugins.
Changes are being made to the team as the result of unethical behavior of the previous maintainer Holger Weiss. Weiss had repeatedly ignored our requests to make minor changes to the plugins website to reflect their relation to Nagios, rather than unrelated projects and companies. After failing to acknowledge our reasonable requests, we updated the website to reflect the changes we had requested. Rather than contacting us regarding the change, Weiss decided to embark on a vitriolic path of attacking Nagios and spreading mistruths about what had happened.
We believe that this type of unethical behavior is not beneficial for the Nagios community nor is it in keeping with the high standards people have come to rely on from Nagios. Thus, we have decided to find a new maintainer for the plugins. A new maintainer has already stepped forward and will be announced shortly.
We would like to thank all current and past plugin developers for their contributions and welcome anyone new who is interested in contributing to the project moving forward.
So that’s what Nagios has to say.
The reason that they specify the official location for the plugins is because the original team is continuing development on the (their?) project, at https://www.monitoring-plugins.org. According to a news post there:
In the past, the domain nagios-plugins.org pointed to a server independently maintained by us, the Nagios Plugins Development Team. Today, the DNS records were modified to point to web space controlled by Nagios Enterprises instead. This change was done without prior notice.
This means the project can no longer use the name “Nagios Plugins”. We, the Nagios Plugins Development Team, therefore renamed the Nagios Plugins to Monitoring Plugins.
We’re not too happy having to make this move. Renaming the project will lead to some confusion, and to quite a bit of work for others and for ourselves. We would’ve preferred to save everyone this trouble.
However, we do like how the new name indicates that our plugins are also used with various other monitoring applications these days. While the Nagios folks created the original implementation of the core plugins bundle, an independent team has taken over development more than a decade ago, and the product is intended to be useful for all users, including, but not limited to, the customers of Nagios Enterprises.
It’ll probably take us a few days to sort out various issues caused by the new project name, but we’re confident that we can resume our development work towards the next stable releases very soon.
We’d like to take the chance to thank you, our community, for your countless contributions, which made the plugins what they are today. You guys are awesome. We’re looking forward to the next chapter of Monitoring Plugins development, and we hope you are, too!
Throwing gasoline onto the fire is Michael Friedrich, Lead Developer of Icinga, a Nagios Fork, who submitted a RedHat bug claiming:
The nagios-plugins.org website has been compromised, and the project team therefore moved to https://www.monitoring-plugins.org including the tarball releases. They also renamed their project from ‘nagios-plugins’ to ‘monitoring-plugins’ and it’s most likely that the tarball release names will be changed to the new name in future releases.
While I wouldn’t suggest to rename the package unless there’s an immediate requirement, the source and URL location should be updated in order to use official releases provided by the Monitoring Plugins Development Team. Further, users should use official online references and stay safe.
then later in the thread
Actually the old Nagios Plugins Development Team was required to rename their project due to the fact that Nagios Enterprises hijacked the DNS and website and kicked them out.
Whilst the original memebers are now known as ‘Monitoring Plugins Development Team’, the newly formed ‘Nagios Core Plugin Development Team’ is actually providing a fork of their work under the old name.
For any clarifications required, you should follow the discussion here: https://www.monitoring-plugins.org/archive/devel/2014-January/009417.html
Imho the official former nagios plugins are now provided by the same developers under a new URL and that should be reflected for any future updates.
Though, I’m leaving that to you who to trust here. I’m just a community member appreciating the work done by the original Nagios Plugins Development team, accepting their origin and the fact that there’s no censorship of Icinga, Shinken or Naemon (as Nagios forks) needed.
Clearly, the nagios-plugins.org site was not compromised – neither Nagios nor the Monitoring Plugins team is claiming that. I’ll kindly assume that Mr Freidrich was mistaken when he posted the original bug. Hanlon’s Razor and all.
So what’s my opinion? Glad you asked.
The Nagios news post states that there had been continued requests to change small content. When that didn’t happen, they pulled the rug out from under half a dozen community contributors who have collectively done a great deal of good for the project. That’s not the way you show appreciation where I’m from, but hey, I don’t know the particulars. I only know what I see on the web, just like you.
What does this all mean for us? Well, if you run anything that uses Nagios plugins, it means you’ve got a choice – go with the official package, or go with the community-maintained version. Which will be better? Which will the distros use? Probably the official plugins, though I expect the more rapidly-moving distros to offer a package from the monitoring-plugin team as soon as there’s any noticeable difference.
But on the bigger picture scale, Nagios’s previously solid position as the principle Open Source monitoring solution isn’t as unassailable as it seems they think it is. Cutting off a volunteer team that produces a big part of your product isn’t really a good way to advertise stability and unification. There are a lot of options for monitoring today, and a lot more of them are way more viable than was the case 4 or 5 years ago. Instead of this political crap that does nothing to advance the project, I think Nagios should focus on improving the core product. But what do I know? I’m just some blogger on the internet.
Strangely, as I write this, the Nagios Exchange is down. I don’t know what that means.