// Tutorial //

How To Create Nagios Plugins With Python On Ubuntu 12.10

Published on April 29, 2013
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By Bulat Khamitov
Developer and author at DigitalOcean.
How To Create Nagios Plugins With Python On Ubuntu 12.10


Python is a popular command processor available on Linux by default.

We have previously covered how to install Nagios monitoring server on Ubuntu 12.10 x64.

This time, we will expand on this idea and create Nagios plugins using Python.

These plugins will be running on client VPS, and be executed via NRPE.

Step 1 - Install NRPE on client VPS

apt-get install -y python nagios-nrpe-server
useradd nrpe && update-rc.d nagios-nrpe-server defaults

Step 2 - Create your Python Script

It would be a good idea to keep your plugins in same directory as other Nagios plugins (/usr/lib/nagios/plugins/ for example).

For our example, we will create a script that checks current disk usage by calling "df" from shell, and throw an alert if it is over 85% used:

import os, sys
used_space=os.popen("df -h / | grep -v Filesystem | awk '{print $5}'").readline().strip()

if used_space < "85%":
        print "OK - %s of disk space used." % used_space
elif used_space == "85%":
        print "WARNING - %s of disk space used." % used_space
elif used_space > "85%":
        print "CRITICAL - %s of disk space used." % used_space
        print "UKNOWN - %s of disk space used." % used_space

We will save this script in /usr/lib/nagios/plugins/usedspace.py and make it executable:

chmod +x /usr/lib/nagios/plugins/usedspace.py

The entire Nagios NRPE plugin boils down to using exit codes to trigger alerts.

You introduce your level of logic to the script, and if you want to trigger an alert (whether it is OK, WARNING, CRITICAL, or UNKNOWN) - you specify an exit code.

Refer to the following Nagios Exit Codes:

Nagios Exit Codes

Exit Code Status
0 OK

Step 3 - Add Your Script to NRPE configuration on client host

Delete original /etc/nagios/nrpe.cfg and add the following lines to it:



Where is our monitoring server from previous articles. Change these to your own values.

Make sure to restart Nagios NRPE service:

service nagios-nrpe-server restart

Step 4 - Add Your New Command to Nagios Checks on Nagios Monitoring Server

Define new command in /etc/nagios/objects/commands.cfg

define command{
        command_name    usedspace_python
        command_line    $USER1$/check_nrpe -H $HOSTADDRESS$ -c usedspace_python

As you can see, it uses NRPE to make TCP connections to port 5666 and run command 'usedspace_python', which we defined in /etc/nagios/nrpe.cfg on that remote host.

Add this check to your Nagios configuration file for client VPS.

For our example, we will monitor a server called UbuntuDroplet and edit /etc/nagios/servers/UbuntuDroplet.cfg

define service {
        use                             generic-service
        host_name                       UbuntuDroplet
        service_description             Custom Disk Checker In Python
        check_command                   usedspace_python

Restart Nagios:

service nagios restart

Verify that the new check is working:

And you are all done!

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Developer and author at DigitalOcean.

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@groepeen: In /etc/nagios/objects/commands.cfg we defined a command that will be run:

<pre> check_nrpe -H $HOSTADDRESS$ -c usedspace_python </pre>

So “dont_blame_nrpe=1” is need to pass the arguments.

Nice tutorial. But why “dont_blame_nrpe=1”? You don’t even use command line arguments in this tutorial. This setting should only be enabled, if really needed.