Archivos de la categoría ‘nagios’

I never liked have to install agents for different tasks like Backups or monitoring. I think that is always enough with SSH. In this post I will introduce some concepts that I am using as an alternative to the NRPE for nagios.

Time ago I explained how to setup SSH for remote monitor servers in Nagios, using the ControlMaster feature to reuse the connection.

In that post I was using runit to keep the connections alive.

But in OpenSSH 5.6 a new feature has been released:

* Added a ControlPersist option to ssh_config(5) that automatically
starts a background ssh(1) multiplex master when connecting. This
connection can stay alive indefinitely, or can be set to
automatically close after a user-specified duration of inactivity.

And this is COOL! We can just use some options in the check_by_ssh plugin to automatically create the session. The options are:

  • -i /etc/nagios/nagiosssh.id_rsa: Private ssh key generated with ssh-keygen.
  • -o ControlMaster=auto: Create the control master socket automatically
  • -o ControlPersist=yes: Enable Control persist. It will spam a ssh process in background that will keep the connection (can be stopped with -O exit)
  • -o ControlPath=/var/run/nagiosssh/$HOSTNAME$: Path to the control socket. We can create a dir in /var/run/nagiosssh.
  • -l nagiosssh -H $HOSTNAME$: User and host were we are connecting.

So, the command definition can be:

define command{
command_name    check_users_ssh
command_line    $USER1$/check_by_ssh \
-o ControlMaster=auto \
-o ControlPath=/var/run/nagios/$HOSTNAME$ \
-o ControlPersist=yes \
-i $USER6$ -H $HOSTADDRESS$ -l $USER5$ \
'check_users -w $ARG1$ -c $ARG2$'

Note: You have to define the USER variables in resources.cfg.

Then we only need to create the proper user in the remote host. To improve the security, you can:

  • Use bash in restricted mode:
    1. Create the user ‘nagiosssh’ with shell=/home/nagiosssh/rbash
    2. Create a script /home/nagiosssh/rbash:
      # Restricted shell for the client.
      # Sets the path to checks
      PATH=/home/icingassh/checks exec /bin/bash --restricted "$@"
    3. Create the directory /home/icingassh/checks  and link here all the desired checks.
  • Restrict the ssh connection setting options in .ssh/authorized_keys. For example:

    no-agent-forwarding,no-port-forwarding,no-pty,no-X11-forwarding,from="" ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1...

Maybe in some days I upload a chef recipe to setup this.


I want to use SSH to remotelly monitor some hosts. The problem with ssh is the overhead related to the creation of new connections.

But we can use the functionality of Control Master from OpenSSH (see Using it, ssh will connect only once reusing the connection.

This is great for monitoring scripts.

To use Control Master, you have to execute something like:

ssh -o "ControlMaster=yes" -o "ControlPath=/somepath/ssh-%r@%h:%p" -N user@host

The idea: create a remote user in each monitored host, stablish persistent ssh connection and use Control Master for the monitoring scripts. To deamonize and control the ssh master connections, I will use runit