Nagios - nrpe

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NRPE Documentation
Copyright (c) 1999-2007 Ethan Galstad
Last Updated: May 1, 2007

CONTENTS
Section
1. Introduction ...........................................................................................
a) Purpose ............................................................................................
b) Design Overview...............................................................................

Page
2
2
2

2. Example Uses ....................................................................................... 3
a) Direct Checks .................................................................................... 3
b) Indirect Checks ................................................................................. 3
3. Installation............................................................................................
a) Prerequisites ....................................................................................
b) Remote Host Setup ..........................................................................
c) Monitoring Host Setup ......................................................................

4
4
5
9

4. Customizing YourConfiguration ........................................................... 13
5. Upgrading ............................................................................................. 15
6. Troubleshooting .................................................................................... 17

NRPE Documentation
NRPE

1. INTRODUCTION
1.
a) Purpose
The NRPE addon is designed to allow youto execute Nagios plugins on remote Linux/Unix machines. The main
reason for doing this is to allow Nagios to monitor "local" resources (like CPU load, memory usage, etc.) on
remote machines. Since these public resources are not usually exposed to external machines, an agent like
NRPE must be installed on the remote Linux/Unix machines.
Note: It is possible to execute Nagios plugins on remoteLinux/Unix machines through SSH. There is a
check_by_ssh plugin that allows you to do this. Using SSH is more secure than the NRPE addon, but it also
imposes a larger (CPU) overhead on both the monitoring and remote machines. This can become an issue when
you start monitoring hundreds or thousands of machines. Many Nagios admins opt for using using the NRPE
addon because of the lower load itimposes.

b) Design Overview

The NRPE addon consists of two pieces:



The check_nrpe plugin, which resides on the local monitoring machine
The NRPE daemon, which runs on the remote Linux/Unix machine

When Nagios needs to monitor a resource of service from a remote Linux/Unix machine:





Nagios will execute the check_nrpe plugin and tell it what service needs to bechecked
The check_nrpe plugin contacts the NRPE daemon on the remote host over an (optionally) SSL-protected
connection
The NRPE daemon runs the appropriate Nagios plugin to check the service or resource
The results from the service check are passed from the NRPE daemon back to the check_nrpe plugin, which
then returns the check results to the Nagios process.

Note: The NRPE daemon requires thatNagios plugins be installed on the remote Linux/Unix host. Without these,
the daemon wouldn't be able to monitor anything.

Last Updated: May 1, 2007

Page 2 of 18

Copyright (c) 1999-2007 Ethan Galstad

NRPE Documentation
NRPE

2. EXAMPLE USES
2.
a) Direct Checks
The most straight forward use of the NRPE addon is to monitor "local" or "private" resources on a remote
Linux/UnixMachine. This includes things like CPU load, memory usage, swap usage, current users, disk usage,
process states, etc.

b) Indirect Checks
You can also use the NRPE addon to indirectly check "public" services and resources of remote servers that might
not be reachable directly from the monitoring host. For instance, if the remote host that the NRPE daemon and
plugins are installed on can...
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