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In the original Men in Black comics, an agent named Ecks went rogue and wanted to eliminate the MiB. This little Python library has a similar aim...

Ecks provides a simple way to get data out of a remote machine using SNMP without having to deal with a single MIB or OID.

Ecks is made up of a core class that will collect data via SNMP, and a set of plugins that contain the OID and the code needed to transform the results from nested OID's to usable data.

For far too long people have been abusing their servers by connecting to them using SSH and then scraping the output of processes like df, free, uptime and netstat to find out what their machines are up to. They do this because it's easier than using SNMP. Ecks now makes the right way the easy way...


The easiest way to install Ecks is:

pip install ecks

You can also clone the repository and run python install


The python requirements to use the library are:

Some of the OID's used by the standard plugins shipped with Ecks are not enabled by default on some Linux distributions.

The following snmpd.conf file should get you enough access to test with:

com2sec notConfigUser  default       my-secret-community
group   notConfigGroup v2c           notConfigUser
view    systemview     included      .1
access  notConfigGroup ""            any       noauth    exact  systemview none none

If you are worried about other people being able to just read your data then I suggest you restrict the IP address(es) that can access the host as well.


>>> import ecks
>>> e = ecks.Ecks()
>>> e.get_data('', 'public', 'disk')
[(2, 'Physical memory', 8589934592, 5169360896), (3, 'Swap space', 134213632, 45056), (4, '/', 290984034304, 243201781760)]
>>> e.get_data('', 'public', 'cpu')
(21, 9, 68)
>>> e.get_data('', 'public', 'uptime')
>>> e.get_uptime('', 'public')

Note that the last two method calls are interchangable.

This shows how easy it is to get the data out of the system. What you do with it then is up to you...

I currently use this library to feed our internal time series monitoring system and send email alerts when certain thresholds are crossed.


All the hard work is done by the plugins. Currently I have working plugins for:

  • CPU Utilization
  • Disk Utilization (think df -k)
  • Load average (think uptime)
  • Memory Utilization (think free)
  • Network Interface Counters (think ifconfig)
  • Process Tree (think ps -ef)
  • TCP Connections (think netstat -an -p tcp)
  • Uptime (you guessed it - think uptime)
  • TCP Stack Statistics
  • OS Identification

More plugins coming soon (and more info on how to create your own)...


All base plugins have been tested to work with the default SNMP agent for:

  • Solaris
  • Ubuntu
  • RedHat Enterprise Linux
  • OSX
  • Windows Server

Note: For the windows systems, the load average has no meaning and so does not work. The way CPU and Memory are reported are different, so use wincpu and winmemory instead of cpu and memory


Copyright (c) 2011-2015 Chris Read. See LICENSE for details.


An easy way to get data out of SNMP without having to deal with the MIB







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