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FAQ Database : Plugins : Monitoring Specific Devices, Operating Systems and Services

Title:How do I monitor services on remote hosts?
FAQ ID:F0059
Submitted By:Ethan Galstad 
Last Updated:12/16/2002


User would like to monitor "private" services on remote hosts. "Private" services are things like disk space, processor load, etc. that are not normally publicly available from the host. "Public" services running on remote hosts (like HTTP, FTP, POP, etc.) can easily be checked without using any special software.



There are a variety of ways you can monitor "local" or "private" services which are not normally exposed publicly. Some addons and tools you can use to accomplish this are listed below. Note that these generally apply only to services running on *NIX boxes. Monitoring private services on other OSes (Windows, Novell, etc.) require different methods (see related faqs for more info).

  • Use the check_by_ssh "plugin" to execute a plugin on a remote host. The check_by_ssh plugin is basically a wrapper for executing a plugin on a remote host using SSH. You must have SSH installed and configured properly in order to use this. In addition, any plugin you want to execute on the remote host must be installed on the remote host beforehand.
  • Use the nrpe addon to accomplish this. The nrpe daemon runs on the remote host and listens for request from the check_nrpe plugin (included with the nrpe package). The check_nrpe plugin sends a request to the nrpe daemon to execute a plugin on the remote host and then passes the results back to the Nagios process. Any plugins that you want to execute on the remote host must be installed on the remote host beforehand. The nrpe addon is available for download from
  • Use the nrpep or nagios_statd addons. These addons work in a similiar manner to the nrpe daemon. They are available for download from
  • If you are running SNMP services on the remote host, you could use the check_snmp plugin to check the value of various OIDs that you're interested in.

Please note that any scripts or plugins that are executed remotely by either the nrpe daemon or check_by_ssh plugin should adhere to the plugin developer guidelines published at


Related FAQs:
F0031How do I monitor Novell Netware servers?
F0032How can I monitor Windows NT / 2000 Servers?
Keywords:remote check_by_ssh check_nrpe nrpe nrpep