Petter Reinholdtsen

Automatic Munin and Nagios configuration
27th January 2010

One of the new features in the next Debian/Lenny based release of Debian Edu/Skolelinux, which is scheduled for release in the next few days, is automatic configuration of the service monitoring system Nagios. The previous release had automatic configuration of trend analysis using Munin, and this Lenny based release take that a step further.

When installing a Debian Edu Main-server, it is automatically configured as a Munin and Nagios server. In addition, it is configured to be a server for the SiteSummary system I have written for use in Debian Edu. The SiteSummary system is inspired by a system used by the University of Oslo where I work. In short, the system provide a centralised collector of information about the computers on the network, and a client on each computer submitting information to this collector. This allow for automatic information on which packages are installed on each machine, which kernel the machines are using, what kind of configuration the packages got etc. This also allow us to automatically generate Munin and Nagios configuration.

All computers reporting to the sitesummary collector with the munin-node package installed is automatically enabled as a Munin client and graphs from the statistics collected from that machine show up automatically on http://www/munin/ on the Main-server.

All non-laptop computers reporting to the sitesummary collector are automatically monitored for network presence (ping and any network services detected). In addition, all computers (also laptops) with the nagios-nrpe-server package installed and configured the way sitesummary would configure it, are monitored for full disks, software raid status, swap free and other checks that need to run locally on the machine.

The result is that the administrator on a school using Debian Edu based on Lenny will be able to check the health of his installation with one look at the Nagios settings, without having to spend any time keeping the Nagios configuration up-to-date.

The only configuration one need to do to get Nagios up and running is to set the password used to get access via HTTP. The system administrator need to run "htpasswd /etc/nagios3/htpasswd.users nagiosadmin" to create a nagiosadmin user and set a password for it to be able to log into the Nagios web pages. After that, everything is taken care of.

Tags: debian edu, english, nuug, sitesummary.

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