This guide is intended to provide you with simple instructions on how to install Nagios from source (code) on Ubuntu and have it monitoring your local machine inside of 20 minutes. No advanced installation options are discussed here - just the basics that will work for 95% of users who want to get started.
These instructions were written based on an Ubuntu 6.10 (desktop) installation. They should work for an Ubuntu 7.10 install as well.
What You'll End Up With
If you follow these instructions, here's what you'll end up with:
Nagios and the plugins will be installed underneath /usr/local/nagios
Nagios will be configured to monitor a few aspects of your local system (CPU load, disk usage, etc.)
The Nagios web interface will be accessible at http://localhost/nagios/
Make sure you've installed the following packages on your Ubuntu installation before continuing.
GCC compiler and development libraries
GD development libraries
You can use apt-get to install these packages by running the following commands:
sudo apt-get install apache2
sudo apt-get install libapache2-mod-php5
sudo apt-get install build-essential
With Ubuntu 6.10, install the gd2 library with this command:
sudo apt-get install libgd2-dev
With Ubuntu 7.10, the gd2 library name has changed, so you'll need to use the following:
sudo apt-get install libgd2-xpm-dev
1) Create Account Information
Become the root user.
Create a new nagios user account and give it a password.
/usr/sbin/useradd -m -s /bin/bash nagios
On older Ubuntu server editions (6.01 and earlier), you will need to also add a nagios group (it's not created by default). You should be able to skip this step on desktop, or newer server editions of Ubuntu.
/usr/sbin/usermod -G nagios nagios
Create a new nagcmd group for allowing external commands to be submitted through the web interface. Add both the nagios user and the apache user to the group.
/usr/sbin/usermod -a -G nagcmd nagios
/usr/sbin/usermod -a -G nagcmd www-data
2) Download Nagios and the Plugins
Create a directory for storing the downloads.
Download the source code tarballs of both Nagios and the Nagios plugins (visit http://www.nagios.org/download/ for links to the latest versions). These directions were tested with Nagios 3.1.1 and Nagios Plugins 1.4.11.
3) Compile and Install Nagios
Extract the Nagios source code tarball.
tar xzf nagios-3.2.3.tar.gz
Run the Nagios configure script, passing the name of the group you created earlier like so:
Compile the Nagios source code.
Install binaries, init script, sample config files and set permissions on the external command directory.
Don't start Nagios yet - there's still more that needs to be done...
4) Customize Configuration
Sample configuration filesa are below, have now been installed in the /usr/local/nagios/etc directory. These sample files should work fine for getting started with Nagios. You'll need to make just one change before you proceed...
Edit the /usr/local/nagios/etc/objects/contacts.cfg config file with your favorite editor and change the email address associated with the nagiosadmin contact definition to the address you'd like to use for receiving alerts.
5) Configure the Web Interface
Install the Nagios web config file in the Apache conf.d directory.
Create a nagiosadmin account for logging into the Nagios web interface. Remember the password you assign to this account - you'll need it later.
htpasswd -c /usr/local/nagios/etc/htpasswd.users nagiosadmin
Restart Apache to make the new settings take effect.
6) Compile and Install the Nagios Plugins
Extract the Nagios plugins source code tarball.
tar xzf nagios-plugins-1.4.11.tar.gz
Compile and install the plugins.
./configure --with-nagios-user=nagios --with-nagios-group=nagios
7) Start Nagios
Configure Nagios to automatically start when the system boots.
ln -s /etc/init.d/nagios /etc/rcS.d/S99nagios
Verify the sample Nagios configuration files.
/usr/local/nagios/bin/nagios -v /usr/local/nagios/etc/nagios.cfg
If there are no errors, start Nagios.
8) Login to the Web Interface
You should now be able to access the Nagios web interface at the URL below. You'll be prompted for the username (nagiosadmin) and password you specified earlier.
Click on the "Service Detail" navbar link to see details of what's being monitored on your local machine. It will take a few minutes for Nagios to check all the services associated with your machine, as the checks are spread out over time.
9) Other Modifications
If you want to receive email notifications for Nagios alerts, you need to install the mailx (Postfix) package.
sudo apt-get install mailx
sudo apt-get install postfix
You'll have to edit the Nagios email notification commands found in /usr/local/nagios/etc/objects/commands.cfg and change any '/bin/mail' references to '/usr/bin/mail'. Once you do that you'll need to restart Nagios to make the configuration changes live.
sudo /etc/init.d/nagios restart
Sample Configuration File
Config File Location
The main configuration file is usually named nagios.cfg and located in the /usr/local/nagios/etc/ directory.
Configuration File Variables
Below you will find descriptions of each main Nagios configuration file option...
This variable specifies where Nagios should create its main log file. This should be the first variable that you define in your configuration file, as Nagios will try to write errors that it finds in the rest of your configuration data to this file. If you have log rotation enabled, this file will automatically be rotated every hour, day, week, or month.
Object Configuration File
This directive is used to specify an object config file containing object definitions that Nagios should use for monitoring. Object configuration files contain definitions for hosts, host groups, contacts, contact groups, services, commands, etc. You can seperate your configuration information into several files and specify multiple cfg_file= statements to have each of them processed.