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NagiosCheck is a simple and efficient tool for building custom probes for the Nagios monitoring system. It alleviates the pain of parsing command line options, writing and formatting the check results according to the Nagios plugin API.


gem install nagios_check


  • Provide a simple to use DSL for building your own probes.
  • Parse command line options.
  • Report status data to Nagios (handles exceptions as UNKNOWN status).
  • Provide a Nagios like range description format for the WARNING and CRITICAL states.
  • Provide a simple timeout functionality to be more Nagios friendly.
  • Report performance data to Nagios.

Usage and documentation

NagiosCheck is a module. To use it, simply include it in a class and declare how the check should behave:

require "nagios_check"

class SimpleCheck
  include NagiosCheck

  on "--host HOST", "-H HOST", :mandatory
  on "--port PORT", "-P PORT", Integer, default: 8080


  def check
    time = do_some_check(, options.port)
    store_value :duration, time
    store_message "The check took #{time} seconds"

The command can then be used by Nagios:

  ruby simple_check.rb -H my_host -P my_port -w 4 -c 8 -t 10

If the number passed to store_value is between 0 and 4 inclusive the result is OK. If it is greater than 4 and less than 8 inclusive the result is WARNING. If it is greater than 8 the result is CRITICAL. See Nagios Developer Guidelines for more details on how the arguments of -w and -c are interpreted.

If store_value is called multiple times, the value from the first call is used to determine the result. Multiple store_value calls can be used to include additional performance data in the output.

If the check method lasts more than 10 seconds, it times out and the returned value is UNKNOWN.

Calling store_message is optional. However, the text passed to store_message will be displayed next to the check status in the Nagios web interface and can be included in notification mails to provide some context in a human readable format.

If the only metric we are interested is the time it takes to execute the check, an alternative shorter way of writting the above would be:

def check
  time(value_name: 'duration') do
    do_some_check(, options.port)

This check will execute do_some_check measure the time it takes to execute it and return both status and performance data labeled duration.


Released under the MIT License. See the MIT-LICENSE file for further details.

Copyright 2011-2016 Dominique Broeglin