Monitoring Linux devices via SNMP


TODO: draw a by snmp diag

Instructions below assume that you’ve installed Shinken according to the 10 Minutes Installation Guide. The sample configuration entries below reference objects that are defined in the sample config files (‘’commands.cfg’‘, ‘’templates.cfg’‘, etc.) installed if you followed this quickstart.


Here are the steps you will need to follow in order to monitor a new GNU/Linux device:
  • Install/configure SNMPd on the GNU/Linux device
  • Create new host definition for monitoring this device
  • Restart the Shinken daemon

What’s Already Been Done For You

To make your life a bit easier, a few configuration tasks have already been done for you:

  • A selection of check_snmp_ command definitions has been added to the “commands.cfg” file.
  • A Linux host template (called “linux”) has already been created in the “templates.cfg” file. This allows you to add new host definitions with a simple keyword.

The above-mentioned configuration files can be found in the ///etc/shinken///packs/os/linux directory (or c:shinkenetcpacksoslinux under windows). You can modify the definitions in these and other configuration packs to suit your needs better. However, it is recommended to wait until you’re more familiar with Shinken before doing so. For the time being, just follow the directions outlined below and you’ll be securely monitoring your Linux boxes in no time.


In the example, the linux device being monitored is named srv-lin-1. To re-use the example, make sure to update the hostname to that of your server.

Installing/setup snmpd on srv-lin-1

First connect as root under srv-lin-1 with SSH (or putty/SecureCRT under windows).


Todo: check if can do this, or with a deploy command?

RedHat like:

yum install snmpd

Debian like:

apt-get install snmpd

Edit the /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf and comment the line:

agentAddress  udp:

and uncomment the line:

agentAddress udp:161,udp6:[::1]:161

You can change the SNMP community (password) for your host in the line by changing the default value “public” by what you prefer:

rocommunity public

Restart the snmpd daemon:

sudo /etc/init.d/snmpd restart

Test the connection

To see if the keys are working, just launch from your Shinken server. Change the “public” community value with your one:

check_snmp -H srv-lin-1 -o .  -C public

It should give you the uptime of the srv-lin-1 server.

Declare your new host in Shinken

If the SNMP community value is a global one you are using on all your hosts, you can configure it in the file /etc/shinken/resource.cfg (or c:shinkenresource.cfg under windows) in the line:


Now it’s time to define some object definitions in your Shinken configuration files in order to monitor the new Linux device.

You can add the new host definition in an existing configuration file, but it’s a good idea to have one file per host, it will be easier to manage in the future. So create a file with the name of your server.

Under Linux:

linux:~ # vi /etc/shinken/hosts/srv-lin-1.cfg

Or Windows:

c:\ wordpad   c:\shinken\etc\hosts\srv-lin-1.cfg

You need to add a new host definition for the GNU/Linux device that you’re going to monitor. Just copy/paste the above definition Change the host_name and address fields to appropriate values for this device.

define host{
    use             linux
    host_name       srv-lin-1

* The use linux is the "template" line. It mean that this host will **inherits** properties from the linux template.
* the host_name is the object name of your host. It must be **unique**.
* the address is ... the network address of your linux server :)

If you are using a specific SNMP community for this host, you can configure it in the SNMPCOMUNITY host macro like this:

define host{
    use             linux
    host_name       srv-lin-1
    _SNMPCOMMUNITY  password

What is checked with a linux template ?

At this point, you configure your host to be checked with a linux template. What does it means? It means that you got some checks already configured for you:

  • host check each 5 minutes: check with a ping that the server is UP
  • check disk spaces
  • check load average
  • check the CPU usage
  • check physical memory and swap usage
  • check network interface activities

Restarting Shinken

You’re done with modifying the Shinken configuration, so you’ll need to verify your configuration files and restart Shinken.

If the verification process produces any error messages, fix your configuration file before continuing. Make sure that you don’t (re)start Shinken until the verification process completes without any errors!

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