Nagios is available for OpenSolaris; did we get it right?

Nagios is an open source system monitoring software package; we thought it important to get the Nagios community supported on OpenSolaris so Sun's ISV Engineering department spent some time on the task.  You can check out our results by going to the OpenSolaris "pending" repository and installing these packages:
  1. nagios
  2. nagios-plugins
  3. nrpe
If you want to see what I did to test these packages after installation, look at this review page and you'll see my comments from October 17.

If you don't know how to install packages from the OpenSolaris "pending" repository, then the main thing you need to learn is how to add repositories to your Package Manager application.  Do these two steps from a shell on your OpenSolaris installation:
  1. type "pfexec pkg set-authority -O jucr-pending"
  2. type "pfexec pkg refresh"
After that, the next time you launch the Package Manager application, look on the right side of the application and you can choose "jucr-pending" from the pop-up menu.  Do that, and after a moment you'll see a list of all the packages in the "pending" repository.  Nagios, nagios-plugins, and nrpe will be there.

Check 'em out, and leave comments to let us know what you think.  If they look fine, we'll promote them to the main third-party applications repository, the "contrib" repo.

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How timely. I was going to set up Nagios on a T6320 over the next few days, and was curious about Solaris functionality. I'm running Solaris 10 (U8). Will the Nagios management components run on Solaris 10? Or, perhaps, should I create an LDOM with OpenSolaris to run the management server. My preference is to use Solaris 10, but if necessary will resort to OpenSolaris.


Posted by Mark Travis on October 19, 2009 at 01:05 PM PDT #

I was curious, the same way Mark Travis was curious... any way to load Nagios under Solaris 10?

Are the crypto engines on the T1, T2, and T2+ processors are supported for SSH as well as SNMPv3

Any idea why engineering was sent Nagios instead of OpenNMS?
Is OpenNMS on the horizon?

Posted by David on October 19, 2009 at 11:43 PM PDT #

Gentlemen, Bill Aiken is the guy who nicely did the packaging work for OpenSolaris and I've asked him to guest-comment to reply to your questions about both Solaris 10 & Nagios, and the other questions David asked. You should be hearing from him today.

Posted by George Drapeau on October 19, 2009 at 11:57 PM PDT #

Mark and David,

I have compiled and run Nagios on Solaris 10. If you're asking if the OpenSolaris packages can be installed on Solaris 10, I believe the answer is no, since OpenSolaris packages use IPS format versus svr format for S10.

A Nagios OpenSolaris port was requested by multiple groups in the Solaris organization. They also requested ganglia and cacti (other network monitoring open source tools) which have also been ported and are in the pending or contrib repository. We haven't heard of OpenNMS.

I will forward your question about crypto on Niagra chips to a colleague who specializes in that area.

Please send Nagios questions/comments to me at and I can help you out. Nagios is not hard to build on Solaris 10, but setting up Nagios to monitor parameters and system characteristics does require a bit of work. After installation, you have to customize the Nagios config files with specifics like IP addresses, tests to be run, warning and critical thresholds for each test, etc.

Posted by Bill Aiken on October 20, 2009 at 08:41 AM PDT #

Hi Bill,

If you are curious about OpenNMS - it is a very nice network management tool, for networks as well as servers.

OpenNMS integrates directly into Postgres (which is supported under Solaris 10), offers a very nice interface, in conjunction with a high-capacity ICMP poller, the ability to scale to multiple polling servers, code to integrate back into SMARTS, offer JMX management, offers, MS-Win management, graphical mapping, and has no per-node pricing.

Don't miss "collectd" - it is a small package, but incredibly powerful for performance management. Larger Network Management systems often plug into it.

Most of the decent ICMP polling engines use "fping" for a portion of Fault Management, so you probably don't want to miss this, either.

In the area of crypto, on all of these network management platforms, Sun could have a TREMENDOUS hand-up on alternative OS's and hardware if the CoolThreads crypto engines could be leveraged under Solaris and if tuning guidelines were submitted back to the vendors again, for 32, 64, 128, or 256 system threads on T1, T2, and T2+ systems.

Sun SPARC CoolThreads should have OWNED network management for the past 3 years, due to the highly threaded nature of the network management workload and the need for crypto in these highly threaded workloads. Sun needs to toot their own horn, though, since the other network management software vendors are not going to do it when they prefer Linux under Intel.

The code should also be checked to see if it can choose which interface to originate traffic from - this is very important on larger Sun boxes (a challenge which does not really affect smaller Linux boxes.) This is especially important for "fping" and "collect" - which the other tools are based upon or have plugins which can leverage them.

The SSH, SSL, or SNMPv3 really need to be tuned for CoolThreads crypto engines on all these management systems.

Thanks - DavidHalko
P.S. if the OpenSPARC development team could add compression algorithms to the CoolThreads crypto cores, so CoolThreads web servers could easily out-perform regular web servers by compressing data in real time from their disks prior sending to the client over the WAN, reducing WAN bandwidth by a few hundred percent, at no CPU cost. With benchmarks or real life, the benefits drive reoccurring revenue, and can really show a tremendous cost/benefit analysis, making CoolThreads servers free after a number of months.

Posted by DavidHalko on October 20, 2009 at 03:25 PM PDT #

Thank you, Bill. I had forgotten that I posted this until a colleague embarked on an install for Nagios on Solaris 10, so I checked back here.

Especially thank you very much for your offer of support!

Mark Travis

Posted by Mark Travis on November 10, 2009 at 01:27 PM PST #

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