# Host Definition¶

## Description¶

A host definition is used to define a physical server, workstation, device, etc. that resides on your network.

## Definition Format¶

Bold directives are required, while the others are optional.

## Example Definition¶

define host{
host_name                      bogus-router
alias                          Bogus Router #1
parents                        server-backbone
check_command                  check-host-alive
check_interval                 5
retry_interval                 1
max_check_attempts             5
check_period                   24x7
process_perf_data              0
retain_nonstatus_information   0
realm                          Europe
poller_tag                     DMZ
icon_set                       server
}


## Directive Descriptions¶

host_name
This directive is used to define a short name used to identify the host. It is used in host group and service definitions to reference this particular host. Hosts can have multiple services (which are monitored) associated with them. When used properly, the $HOSTNAME$ macro will contain this short name.
alias
This directive is used to define a longer name or description used to identify the host. It is provided in order to allow you to more easily identify a particular host. When used properly, the $HOSTALIAS$ macro will contain this alias/description.

This directive is used to define the address of the host. Normally, this is an IP address, although it could really be anything you want (so long as it can be used to check the status of the host). You can use a FQDN to identify the host instead of an IP address, but if “DNS” services are not available this could cause problems. When used properly, the $HOSTADDRESS$ macro will contain this address.

If you do not specify an address directive in a host definition, the name of the host will be used as its address.

A word of caution about doing this, however - if “DNS” fails, most of your service checks will fail because the plugins will be unable to resolve the host name.

display_name
This directive is used to define an alternate name that should be displayed in the web interface for this host. If not specified, this defaults to the value you specify for the host_name directive.
parents
This directive is used to define a comma-delimited list of short names of the “parent” hosts for this particular host. Parent hosts are typically routers, switches, firewalls, etc. that lie between the monitoring host and a remote hosts. A router, switch, etc. which is closest to the remote host is considered to be that host’s “parent”. Read the “Determining Status and Reachability of Network Hosts” document located here for more information. If this host is on the same network segment as the host doing the monitoring (without any intermediate routers, etc.) the host is considered to be on the local network and will not have a parent host. Leave this value blank if the host does not have a parent host (i.e. it is on the same segment as the Shinken host). The order in which you specify parent hosts has no effect on how things are monitored.
hostgroups
This directive is used to identify the short name(s) of the hostgroup(s) that the host belongs to. Multiple hostgroups should be separated by commas. This directive may be used as an alternative to (or in addition to) using the members directive in hostgroup definitions.
check_command
This directive is used to specify the short name of the command that should be used to check if the host is up or down. Typically, this command would try and ping the host to see if it is “alive”. The command must return a status of OK (0) or Shinken will assume the host is down. If you leave this argument blank, the host will not be actively checked. Thus, Shinken will likely always assume the host is up (it may show up as being in a “PENDING” state in the web interface). This is useful if you are monitoring printers or other devices that are frequently turned off. The maximum amount of time that the notification command can run is controlled by the host_check_timeout option.
initial_state
By default Shinken will assume that all hosts are in UP states when in starts. You can override the initial state for a host by using this directive. Valid options are: o = UP, d = DOWN, and u = UNREACHABLE.
max_check_attempts

This directive is used to define the number of times that Shinken will retry the host check command if it returns any state other than an OK state. Setting this value to 1 will cause Shinken to generate an alert without retrying the host check again.

If you do not want to check the status of the host, you must still set this to a minimum value of 1. To bypass the host check, just leave the “check_command” option blank.

check_interval
This directive is used to define the number of “time units” between regularly scheduled checks of the host. Unless you’ve changed the interval_length directive from the default value of 60, this number will mean minutes. More information on this value can be found in the check scheduling documentation.
retry_interval
This directive is used to define the number of “time units” to wait before scheduling a re-check of the hosts. Hosts are rescheduled at the retry interval when they have changed to a non-UP state. Once the host has been retried max_check_attempts times without a change in its status, it will revert to being scheduled at its “normal” rate as defined by the check_interval value. Unless you’ve changed the interval_length directive from the default value of 60, this number will mean minutes. More information on this value can be found in the check cheduling documentation.
active_checks_enabled
This directive is used to determine whether or not active checks (either regularly scheduled or on-demand) of this host are enabled. Values: 0 = disable active host checks, 1 = enable active host checks.
passive_checks_enabled
This directive is used to determine whether or not passive checks are enabled for this host. Values: 0 = disable passive host checks, 1 = enable passive host checks.
check_period
This directive is used to specify the short name of the time period during which active checks of this host can be made.
obsess_over_host
This directive determines whether or not checks for the host will be “obsessed” over using the ochp_command.
check_freshness
This directive is used to determine whether or not freshness checks are enabled for this host. Values: 0 = disable freshness checks, 1 = enable freshness checks.
freshness_threshold
This directive is used to specify the freshness threshold (in seconds) for this host. If you set this directive to a value of 0, Shinken will determine a freshness threshold to use automatically.
event_handler
This directive is used to specify the short name of the command that should be run whenever a change in the state of the host is detected (i.e. whenever it goes down or recovers). Read the documentation on event handlers for a more detailed explanation of how to write scripts for handling events. The maximum amount of time that the event handler command can run is controlled by the event_handler_timeout option.
event_handler_enabled
This directive is used to determine whether or not the event handler for this host is enabled. Values: 0 = disable host event handler, 1 = enable host event handler.
low_flap_threshold
This directive is used to specify the low state change threshold used in flap detection for this host. More information on flap detection can be found here. If you set this directive to a value of 0, the program-wide value specified by the low_host_flap_threshold directive will be used.
high_flap_threshold
This directive is used to specify the high state change threshold used in flap detection for this host. More information on flap detection can be found here. If you set this directive to a value of 0, the program-wide value specified by the high_host_flap_threshold directive will be used.
flap_detection_enabled
This directive is used to determine whether or not flap detection is enabled for this host. More information on flap detection can be found here. Values: 0 = disable host flap detection, 1 = enable host flap detection.
flap_detection_options
This directive is used to determine what host states the flap detection logic will use for this host. Valid options are a combination of one or more of the following: o = UP states, d = DOWN states, u = UNREACHABLE states.
process_perf_data
This directive is used to determine whether or not the processing of performance data is enabled for this host. Values: 0 = disable performance data processing, 1 = enable performance data processing.
retain_status_information
This directive is used to determine whether or not status-related information about the host is retained across program restarts. This is only useful if you have enabled state retention using the retain_state_information directive. Value: 0 = disable status information retention, 1 = enable status information retention.
retain_nonstatus_information
This directive is used to determine whether or not non-status information about the host is retained across program restarts. This is only useful if you have enabled state retention using the retain_state_information directive. Value: 0 = disable non-status information retention, 1 = enable non-status information retention.
contacts
This is a list of the short names of the contacts that should be notified whenever there are problems (or recoveries) with this host. Multiple contacts should be separated by commas. Useful if you want notifications to go to just a few people and don’t want to configure contact groups. You must specify at least one contact or contact group in each host definition.
contact_groups
This is a list of the short names of the contact groups that should be notified whenever there are problems (or recoveries) with this host. Multiple contact groups should be separated by commas. You must specify at least one contact or contact group in each host definition.
This directive is used to define the number of “time units” to wait before re-notifying a contact that this service is still down or unreachable. Unless you’ve changed the interval_length directive from the default value of 60, this number will mean minutes. If you set this value to 0, Shinken will not re-notify contacts about problems for this host - only one problem notification will be sent out.
This directive is used to define the number of “time units” to wait before sending out the first problem notification when this host enters a non-UP state. Unless you’ve changed the interval_length directive from the default value of 60, this number will mean minutes. If you set this value to 0, Shinken will start sending out notifications immediately.
This directive is used to specify the short name of the time period during which notifications of events for this host can be sent out to contacts. If a host goes down, becomes unreachable, or recoveries during a time which is not covered by the time period, no notifications will be sent out.

This directive is used to determine when notifications for the host should be sent out. Valid options are a combination of one or more of the following: d = send notifications on a DOWN state, u = send notifications on an UNREACHABLE state, r = send notifications on recoveries (OK state), f = send notifications when the host starts and stops flapping, and s = send notifications when scheduled downtime starts and ends. If you specify n (none) as an option, no host notifications will be sent out. If you do not specify any notification options, Shinken will assume that you want notifications to be sent out for all possible states.

If you specify d,r in this field, notifications will only be sent out when the host goes DOWN and when it recovers from a DOWN state.

This directive is used to determine whether or not notifications for this host are enabled. Values: 0 = disable host notifications, 1 = enable host notifications.
stalking_options
This directive determines which host states “stalking” is enabled for. Valid options are a combination of one or more of the following: o = stalk on UP states, d = stalk on DOWN states, and u = stalk on UNREACHABLE states. More information on state stalking can be found here.
notes
This directive is used to define an optional string of notes pertaining to the host. If you specify a note here, you will see the it in the extended information CGI (when you are viewing information about the specified host).
notes_url
This variable is used to define an optional URL that can be used to provide more information about the host. If you specify an URL, you will see a red folder icon in the CGIs (when you are viewing host information) that links to the URL you specify here. Any valid URL can be used. If you plan on using relative paths, the base path will the the same as what is used to access the CGIs (i.e. ///cgi-bin/shinken///). This can be very useful if you want to make detailed information on the host, emergency contact methods, etc. available to other support staff.
action_url
This directive is used to define one or more optional URL that can be used to provide more actions to be performed on the host. If you specify an URL, you will see a red “splat” icon in the CGIs (when you are viewing host information) that links to the URL you specify here. Any valid URL can be used. If you plan on using relative paths, the base path will the the same as what is used to access the CGIs (i.e. /cgi-bin/shinken/). Configure multiple action_urls.
icon_image
This variable is used to define the name of a GIF, PNG, or JPG image that should be associated with this host. This image will be displayed in the various places in the CGIs. The image will look best if it is 40x40 pixels in size. Images for hosts are assumed to be in the logos/ subdirectory in your HTML images directory.
icon_image_alt
This variable is used to define an optional string that is used in the ALT tag of the image specified by the <icon_image> argument.
vrml_image
This variable is used to define the name of a GIF, PNG, or JPG image that should be associated with this host. This image will be used as the texture map for the specified host in the statuswrl CGI. Unlike the image you use for the <icon_image> variable, this one should probably not have any transparency. If it does, the host object will look a bit weird. Images for hosts are assumed to be in the logos/ subdirectory in your HTML images directory.
statusmap_image
This variable is used to define the name of an image that should be associated with this host in the statusmap CGI. You can specify a JPEG, PNG, and GIF image if you want, although I would strongly suggest using a GD2 format image, as other image formats will result in a lot of wasted CPU time when the statusmap image is generated. GD2 images can be created from PNG images by using the pngtogd2 utility supplied with Thomas Boutell’s gd library. The GD2 images should be created in uncompressed format in order to minimize CPU load when the statusmap CGI is generating the network map image. The image will look best if it is 40x40 pixels in size. You can leave these option blank if you are not using the statusmap CGI. Images for hosts are assumed to be in the logos/ subdirectory in your HTML images directory.
2d_coords

This variable is used to define coordinates to use when drawing the host in the statusmap CGI. Coordinates should be given in positive integers, as they correspond to physical pixels in the generated image. The origin for drawing (0,0) is in the upper left hand corner of the image and extends in the positive x direction (to the right) along the top of the image and in the positive y direction (down) along the left hand side of the image. For reference, the size of the icons drawn is usually about 40x40 pixels (text takes a little extra space). The coordinates you specify here are for the upper left hand corner of the host icon that is drawn.

Don’t worry about what the maximum x and y coordinates that you can use are. The CGI will automatically calculate the maximum dimensions of the image it creates based on the largest x and y coordinates you specify.

3d_coords
This variable is used to define coordinates to use when drawing the host in the statuswrl CGI. Coordinates can be positive or negative real numbers. The origin for drawing is (0.0,0.0,0.0). For reference, the size of the host cubes drawn is 0.5 units on each side (text takes a little more space). The coordinates you specify here are used as the center of the host cube.
realm
This variable is used to define the realm where the host will be put. By putting the host in a realm, it will be manage by one of the scheduler of this realm.
poller_tag

This variable is used to define the poller_tag of the host. All checks of this hosts will only take by pollers that have this value in their poller_tags parameter.

By default the pollerag value is ‘None’, so all untagged pollers can take it because None is set by default for them.

reactionner_tag

This variable is used to define the reactionner_tag of notifications_commands from this service. All of theses notifications will be taken by reactionners that have this value in their reactionner_tags parameter.

By default there is no reactionner_tag, so all untaggued reactionners can take it.

This variable is used to set the importance we gave to this host for the business from the less important (0 = nearly nobody will see if it’s in error) to the maximum (5 = you lost your job if it fail). The default value is 2.
resultmodulations
This variable is used to link with resultmodulations objects. It will allow such modulation to apply, like change a warning in critical for this host.
escalations
This variable is used to link with escalations objects. It will allow such escalations rules to appy. Look at escalations objects for more details.
This variable is used to link with business_impact_modulations objects. It will allow such modulation to apply (for example if the host is a payd server, it will be important only in a specific timeperiod: near the payd day). Look at business_impact_modulations objects for more details.
icon_set
This variable is used to set the icon in the Shinken Webui. For now, values are only : database, disk, network_service, server
maintenance_period
Shinken-specific variable to specify a recurring downtime period. This works like a scheduled downtime, so unlike a check_period with exclusions, checks will still be made (no “blackout” times). announcement
service_overrides
This variable may be used to override services directives for a specific host. This is especially useful when services are inherited (for instance from packs), because it allows to have a host attached service set one of its directives a specific value. For example, on a set of web servers, HTTP service (inherited from http pack) on production servers should have notifications enabled 24x7, and staging server should only notify during workhours. To do so, staging server should be set the following directive: service_overrides HTTP,notification_period workhours. Several overrides may be specified, each override should be written on a single line. Caution, service_overrides may be inherited (through the use directive), but specifying an override on a host overloads all values inherited from parent hosts, it does not append it (as of any single valued attribute). See inheritance description for more details.
service_excludes
This variable may be used to exclude a service from a host. It addresses the situations where a set of serices is inherited from a pack or attached from a hostgroup, and an identified host should NOT have one (or more, comma separated) services defined. This allows to manage exceptions in the service asignment without having to define intermediary templates/hostgroups. See inheritance description for more details. This will be ignored if there is service_includes
service_includes
This variable may be used to include only a service from a host. It addresses the situations where a set of serices is inherited from a pack or attached from a hostgroup, and an identified host should have only one (or more, comma separated) services defined. This allows to manage exceptions in the service asignment without having to define intermediary templates/hostgroups. See inheritance description for more details. This variable is considered before service_excludes
labels
This variable may be used to place arbitrary labels (separated by comma character). Those labels may be used in other configuration objects such as business rules grouping expressions.
Classic host check output is managed by the underlying plugin (the check output is the plugin stdout). For business rules, as there’s no real plugin behind, the output may be controlled by a template string defined in business_rule_output_template directive.
This variable may be used to activate smart notifications on business rules. This allows to stop sending notification if all underlying problems have been acknowledged.
By default, downtimes are not taken into account by business rules smart notifications processing. This variable allows to extend smart notifications to underlying hosts or service checks under downtime (they are treated as if they were acknowledged).
This option allows to enforce business rules underlying hosts notification options to easily compose a consolidated meta check. This is especially useful for business rules relying on grouping expansion.
This option allows to enforce business rules underlying services notification options to easily compose a consolidated meta check. This is especially useful for business rules relying on grouping expansion.
snapshot_enabled
This option allows to enable snapshots snapshots on this element.
snapshot_command
Command to launch when a snapshot launch occurs
snapshot_period
Timeperiod when the snapshot call is allowed
snapshot_criteria
List of states that enable the snapshot launch. Mainly bad states.
snapshot_interval
Minimum interval between two launch of snapshots to not hammering the host, in interval_length units (by default 60s) :)
trigger_name
This options define the trigger that will be executed after a check result (passive or active). This file trigger_name.trig has to exist in the trigger directory or sub-directories.
trigger_broker_raise_enabled
This option define the behavior of the defined trigger (Default 0). If set to 1, this means the trigger will modify the output / return code of the check. If 0, this means the code executed by the trigger does nothing to the check (compute something elsewhere ?) Basically, if you use one of the predefined function (trigger_functions.py) set it to 1
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