Nagios – What A Pain in the Pi!

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Working in the IT world you deal with a lot of servers (unless you are lucky and virtualize most of what you have). With all of that power comes great responsibility…and the need to monitor everything.  Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to know about problems BEFORE they happened? Luckily there are a lot of solutions out there.  Being that I work in a SMB my buget is small, as in $0 small.  That leaves me with a lot of issues when it comes to implementing worthwhile solutions.  That is where Nagios comes in.

Nagios is a free unless you pay for more network and server monitoring solution.  Therefore it is great for people in situations like mine, so long as you understand Linux enough to set it up and get it running. Since I have no problem working in Linux that normally isn’t an issue. However since we didn’t have the money or spare hardware for a server to run Nagios on, we opted to use a spare Raspberry Pi my boss had laying around.

Being the super tech savvy Nix nerd I am, I opted to do a simple sudo apt-get install Nagios3, not realizing what I was getting myself into.  I thought I would be avoiding a whole messy compile of the program for a clean and easy install.  Instead I got one messy Pi to clean up after.

After the install completed I tried to long in to the web interface, no luck. I tried to start the service again, and that is when I started seeing errors about missing .cfg files.  Apparently when you install Nagios on Raspbian most of the .cfg files are commented out and you have to uncomment them.  I’m not going to go into detail about fixing the issue, as this is more of a rant/vent than a How-To and besides it was a fun experience learning how to get it all to work.

Once I finally had all the config files loading correctly, as well as a few plugins for SQL server I wanted to try out, I installed a new theme and called it a day.  I’m still currently setting up Nagios but so far I have learned a lot more about Linux than I ever knew before.  This is a great example of why you should never give up on a project just because it doesn’t work at first.