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README

***********
NSCA README
***********

General
-------
This version of NSCA has been forked and modified for usage with Icinga.
License and Copyright has been kept. 2010-02-22

For docs please refer to http://docs.icinga.org

Purpose
-------
The purpose of this addon is to allow you to send service check
results to a central monitoring server running Icinga in a secure
manner.


Contents
--------

There are two pieces to this addon:

  1) nsca

	This program runs as a daemon on the central server that runs Icinga.
	It listens for host and service check results from remote machines
	(sent using the send_nsca program described below).  Upon receiving
	data from a remote client, the daemon will make a *very* basic attempt
	at validating the data it has received from the client.  This is done
	by decrypting the data with the password stored in the nsca.cfg file.
	If the decrypted data looks okay (i.e. it was originally encrypted by
	the send_ncsa program using the same password), the daemon will make
	entries in the Icinga external command file telling Icinga to process
	the host or service check result.

	Notes: The nsca daemon must have sufficient rights to open the Icinga
	command file for writing.  Furthermore, Icinga will only process passive
	service check results that it finds in the external command file if the
	service has been defined in the host config file (i.e. hosts.cfg) and
	it is being monitored.
	Newer versions of this software will allow you to enable writing to the
	checkresult spool directory instead of the command pipe.


  2) send_nsca
	This is the client program that is used to send service check information
	from a remote machine to the nsca daemon on the central machine that runs
	Icinga. Service check information is read from the standard input in
	tab-delimited format as follows:

		<host_name>[tab]<svc_description>[tab]<return_code>[tab]<plugin_output>[newline]

	where:
		<host_name>=short name of host that the service is associated with
		<svc_description>=description of the service
		<return_code>=numeric return code
		<plugin_output>=output from service check

	Host check information is submitted in a similiar fashion - just leave out
	the service description:

		<host_name>[tab]<return_code>[tab]<plugin_output>[newline]


Compiling
---------

Most users should be able to compile the daemon and client piece with the following
commands...

./configure
make all

The binaries will be located in the src/ directory after you
run 'make all' and will have to be installed manually.



Installing
----------

The send_nsca program and associate config file (nsca.cfg) should
be placed on remote machines that you want to have communicate
with the nsca daemon.  This means that you may have to compile the
send_nsca program on the remote machine, if its not the same
OS/architecture as that of the central server.

The nsca daemon and the configuration file (nsca.cfg) should
be placed somewhere on the central server running Icinga.

NOTES:  Make sure that you specify and use the same password in
        both the nsca.cfg and send_nsca.cfg files!  If you use a
        different password to encrypt the data than you do to
	decrypt it, the nsca daemon will reject the data you send
        it.



Security
--------

There are some security implications with allowing remote clients
to provide service check results to Icinga.  Because of this, you
have the option of encrypting the packets that the NSCA client sends
to the NSCA daemon.  Read the SECURITY file for more information on
the security risks of running NSCA, along with an explanation of what
kind of protection the encryption provides you.



Running Under INETD or XINETD
-----------------------------

If you plan on running nsca under inetd or xinetd and making use
of TCP wrappers, you need to do the following things:



1) Add a line to your /etc/services file as follows (modify the port
   number as you see fit)

	nsca            5667/tcp	# NSCA



2) Add entries for the NSCA daemon to either your inetd or xinetd
   configuration files.  Which one your use will depend on which
   superserver is installed on your system.  Both methods are described
   below.  NOTE: If you run nsca under inetd or xinetd, the server_port
   and allowed_hosts variables in the nrpe configuration file are
   ignored.


   ***** INETD *****
   If your system uses the inetd superserver WITH tcpwrappers, add an
   entry to /etc/inetd.conf as follows:

	nsca    stream  tcp     nowait  <user> /usr/sbin/tcpd <nscabin> -c <nscacfg> --inetd

   If your system uses the inetd superserver WITHOUT tcpwrappers, add an
   entry to /etc/inetd.conf as follows:

	nsca 	stream 	tcp 	nowait 	<user> <nscabin> -c <nscacfg> --inetd


   - Replace <user> with the name of the user that nsca server should run as.
	Example: icinga
   - Replace <nscabin> with the path to the nsca binary on your system.
	Example: /usr/local/icinga/bin/nsca
   - Replace <nscacfg> with the path to the nsca config file on your system.
	Example: /usr/local/icinga/etc/nsca.cfg


   ***** XINETD *****
   If your system uses xinetd instead of inetd, you'll probably
   want to create a file called 'nsca' in your /etc/xinetd.d
   directory that contains the following entries (a sample config
   file called nsca.xinetd should be created in the root folder of
   the distribution after you run the configure script):


	# default: on
	# description: NSCA
	service nsca
	{
        	flags           = REUSE
	        socket_type     = stream
        	wait            = no
	        user            = <user>
		group		= <group>
        	server          = <nscabin>
	        server_args     = -c <nscacfg> --inetd
        	log_on_failure  += USERID
	        disable         = no
		only_from       = <ipaddress1> <ipaddress2> ...
	}


   - Replace <user> with the name of the user that the nsca server should run as.
   - Replace <group> with the name of the group that the nsca server should run as.
   - Replace <nscabin> with the path to the nsca binary on your system.
   - Replace <nscacfg> with the path to the nsca config file on your system.
   - Replace the <ipaddress> fields with the IP addresses of hosts which
     are allowed to connect to the NSCA daemon.  This only works if xinetd was
     compiled with support for tcpwrappers.



3) Restart inetd or xinetd will the following command (pick the
   one that is appropriate for your system:

	/etc/rc.d/init.d/inet restart

	/etc/rc.d/init.d/xinetd restart



4) Add entries to your /etc/hosts.allow and /etc/hosts.deny
   file to enable TCP wrapper protection for the nsca service.
   This is optional, although highly recommended.




Questions?
----------

If you have questions about this addon, or problems getting things
working, send an email to one of the Icinga mailing lists, visit the
portal or get on IRC.

http://www.icinga.org/support