Check E-Trust Antivirus Definitions

Following on from my Symantec AV check I have written a first version of a similar check for E-Trust virus definitions. The format and structure to the check is the same as this check but it should return the relevant information for Computer Assoicates E-Trust Antivirus product.

For details on installation and configuration please check out the previous post. For the source code please check out the details below. If you wish to download this from Monitoring Exchange please use this link.

Publishing scripts to Monitoring Exchange

As I start to write/modify more checks and scripts for monitoring applications in Nagios/Opsview I have decided to share these as much as possible with the community so they can enjoy, and if necessary, improve the scripts I have written. I have decided to use the website to host my scripts (as well as detailing them on this blog) as I have found a number of good scripts here that do what I wanted them to.

All the scripts should appear as projects under my profile (wibble) with a link back to the same script on the blog here.  I will also endeavour to post the link to Monitoring Exchange in the bottom of the blog post.

Nagios/Opsview: Check Symantec AV Definitions

This morning whilst deploying a modified version of the Symantec Anti-Virus check from I noticed that on my 64-bit hosts that the check was not returning the correct data and instead of the expected output I was receiving the following error code:

Initially I thought this could be a change due to the new installs being Symantec Endpoint Protection compared to the previous times I had implemented this using Symantec Anti-Virus 10.x but the SEP installs on the 32-bit systems were working fine however the 64-bit versions were not.

A quick look in the registry showed me that the value that is read by the script is not there on the 64-bit version and has been moved to another location (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREWow6432NodeSymantecSharedDefsDefWatch). I sat down with the script and quickly wrote in some extra code that would allow me to change the search path depending on the Operating System Architecture. I also added in some more error checking so if the key didnt exist then rather than exiting with an OK status it returns an UNKNOWN status and a relevant error message.

As I use NSClient++ to enable me to monitor my Windows servers I simply save the script to the NSClient++scripts folder and add the following line into my NSCI.ini under [NRPE Handlers]

Then from within Nagios or Opsview define the command for check_nrpe

check_nrpe -H $HOSTADDRESS$ -c check_av -a 2 3

The full script is listed below and is also available on Monitoring Exchange (link):

ESXi enabling SNMP

Last night I wrote an article about how to monitor the health of an ESXi server (link here) and I wanted to explain a bit more about my findings with SNMP on an ESXi host.

My goal with the monitoring was to use the check_dell and check_hp commands I have found for Nagios/Opsview to monitor the hardware that ESX is running on. The ESXi installs I am working with are using the Dell and HP management agents installed so I thought that everything would work out of the box and enabling SNMP would let me query the different aspects of the hardware.

The official line from VMWare was that SNMP is not enabled on ESXi and with no console cant be enabled. I knew however, having read a recent post on the TechHead blog (link here) that you could see the snmp.xml file and this shows that it is not enabled which made me think it must be possible to enable it. I was right.

A quick google came up with this article and I had a look and this was a fairly simple process to run:

First you need to enter the “unsupported” console on your ESXi server. To do this press Ctrl+Alt+F1 at your ESX console, now type the word unsupported (N.B. you will not see the text on your screen) and press Enter. If all goes well you should see a password prompt, enter your root password here and you should get a warning you are entering a mode that should only be enabled with VMWare support and be presented with a console.

type the following command to enter the VI text editor and start to modify the snmp.xml file:

You should see a single line of text at the top of the screen which is the contents of the xml file. Press i to enter Insert mode and change


Then scroll across and add the community name you want the SNMP agent to respond on and place this between the following tags

so it should look like

I wasnt interested in setting up SNMP traps so left this blank and quit the VI editor by press Esc to exit insert mode and then :wq to write the file and quit the editor.

Finally we need to restart the services on the esx host which can be done with the following command

Great, SNMP is now enabled so I should be able to get the information from the HP/Dell management agents that I want. Wrong. My snmpwalk of the host provided little to no useful information about what I was trying to unlock.

My thoughts now are simple. SNMP is not enabled in ESXi for the reason that there is not much there to query and you can use the CIM queries that I mentioned in the previous post to look at this instead.

Monitoring ESXi Server health using Nagios/Opsview

As part of a project I am currently working on I have a requirement to check that my clients’ infrastructure is working to the best of its ability. Whilst we perform regular checks to ensure the sites are running as expected we don’t currently have an easy way to check the health of the ESX hosts that the virtual servers run on. Until now.

I had spent a lot of time trying to “hack” SNMP to be enabled on the ESXi boxes which involved editing the snmp.xml file in the “unsupported” console on the host but after enabling this found that it didnt give me the data I was looking for to run my checks against. Looking a bit further I found a python script which queries the CIM service on the ESX host to find out whether the hardware is working as expected. The script uses the CIM service to check the ESX Health Status and report back to your monitoring platform what the current status of the host is.

Installation is fairly straightforward. The following details are for an Opsview install running on Ubuntu 8.04LTS server but should be easily adaptable to any installation if needs be.

First login to your server as normal and download the latest version of the pywbem module (

Once you have downloaded the module extract and run the python installer as root

Next you need to download the script ( and place it in your libexec folder

You can test this from the command line using the following command

In the case above I received the following output but if everything is working as expected the script should return “OK”

Now we have confirmed the script is running we need to add it to Opsview. The first step here is to reload Opsview to pickup the new plugin. Once complete goto Configuration -> Service Checks and Create New Service Check. Setup your check in a similar way to the image below (remember to substitute “root” and “Password” with a valid username and password to login to your ESX host

Save this service check and then apply this to your ESX hosts. If you have multiple ESX hosts that have different username and passwords then you don’t need to create multiple Service Checks as the later versions of Opsview let you specify exceptions when you configure the check for a host

Once you have configured this reload Opsview and wait for Opsview to start checking the ESX server(s). Below is the screenshot from my server with its disconnected PSU

This should now allow you  to keep an eye on your ESX hosts alongside the rest of your network monitoring system.

HOWTO: Build an open source monitoring solution – Part1 Build the Server


No matter what size of network you are responsible for you should always know what is happening with it to make sure any issues are rectified as soon as possible and hopefully with minimal disruption to your users. Obviously the needs of a small company are different to those of a large corporation and in part this guide is not aimed at people who have a single server, single switch and a few PCs but more at the sys admin who needs to keep an eye on a handful of servers and managed switches (although you can still keep an eye on that single server with this setup).

I have split the guide up into a number of sections which, for me at least, is a logical way to install the different components. All the technologies used in this guide are free to setup and if you have an old server lying around the cost to set this up is simply your time.

OK. Enough with the intro let’s start with building the server.

Part 1 – Build the Server

What you need:

  • Server to run this off – a decent PC will suffice for small setups. I am building this as a virtual host on an ESX server
  • Ubuntu 8.04 Server (Download it here) Make sure its Server Edition and also not 8.10 or this won’t work. N.B. you can use other Linux distributions but this is based around Ubuntu 8.04 server

Installation process:

I tried to insert pictures at each step of the installation process but it made the post look untidy so I have created a list of steps that you will complete along the way as you setup your server. If you want to have a look at the screenshots check out the image gallery at the bottom of the post.

  1. Download the ISO from your nearest mirror and burn to a CD (if you are building a virtual machine you can skip burning this to a cd). Stick the CD into your server and power it on
  2. The first thing you will see is a prompt to select your language. Select your preference from here with the arrow keys and press enter – I am going to choose English (screenshot)
  3. You will next be asked what you want to do. This should be fairly self-explanatory what each option does. We want to “Install Ubuntu Server” (screenshot)
  4. The installer will load the Kernel off the CD and you will be presented with a blue/grey screen asking which language you want to use (Yes you are asked twice). Once again use the arrow keys to select the option you want and press Enter. Again I am selecting English here. (screenshot)
  5. Your next prompt asks you which type of English you would like. I am going to choose your localisation. I am choosing United Kingdom.
  6. The next prompt asks you to select your keyboard layout. If you know what keyboard you have connected then select No and you will be asked to select it on the next screens otherwise choose Yes and you will be asked to press keys on the keyboard and the installer will work out what you are using. (screenshot1 screenshot2)
  7. After this has completed the installer will look to load some more components for the setup and try to acquire an IP address of a DHCP server on your network. This is fine as we will be setting this statically later in the guide. (screenshot)
  8. After it has an IP address you need to set your hostname. If you have a naming convention for your site then follow this (e.g. ACME-SVR-MON1) it’s better than just leaving the default as ubuntu. (screenshot)
  9. Once this has done the installer will now ask how you want to partition your disk off. I am going to go with the simplest option “Guided – use entire disk” to give me a nice big partition over the whole drive to work with. If you are confident with how to partition a disk then you can choose manual but that is outside the scope of this guide. (screenshot)
  10. Having chosen the option you need to choose the disk you want to partition. If there is only one disk in the server then you should only see one option here. Select the relevant disk and press Enter. You will be asked one more time to confirm the changes that will be made so review the page and select Yes to proceed.(screenshot)
  11. Ubuntu will now partition the hard drive and start to install the basic OS. This will take a few minutes so go and brew a cuppa. (screenshot)
  12. Enjoyed your drink? Good. Now back to the setup process. You need to setup the user account that you will access the system. First enter your full name, then your username and finally choose a password. (screenshot1 screenshot2)
  13. The next step is to install the relevant core packages you need. Before doing this you will be asked if there is an HTTP proxy between the monitoring server and the Internet. If there is then enter the address here otherwise leave it blank and choose Continue (screenshot)
  14. In this example we are selecting a LAMP (Linux, Apache MySQL, PHP) to provide a web interface and database functionality, Open SSH to give us remote access and Mail to enable our monitoring server to notify us when there are issues. (screenshot)
  15. You next need to enter the password for your root MySQL account and confirm it. Please dont leave this blank as its a big security hole if you do. (screenshot1 screenshot2)
  16. After this you will be prompted for how you want to configure your email. I recommend you choose the Satellite System option as this will allow you to push all email generated by the server to your mail server for delivery. After selecting this option you need to choose the system name (what appears after the @ sign) and then the smart host you are going to relay all your mail through (screenshot1 screenshot2 screenshot3)
  17. Once this is done – go away and make yourself another drink as this next step takes another 5-10 minutes to complete depending on the speed of your server. When you come back however the install is complete. Remove the CD and press Enter to reboot your server. (screenshot)

Initial Login and basic configuration

Now that the installation is complete and your server rebooted you should see a screen similar to the one below. This is your login screen, enter the username and password you setup in step 12 and login to the server.

Base Ubuntu install
Base Ubuntu install

Now you are logged in we need to set the IP address so that it is static and check that the correct DNS servers are listed. Because of the changes we are making we need to run the next few commands as the root account on the server. Your user account has permissions to run commands as root you just need to tell the server that you want to carry out the changes – a bit like UAC in Windows Vista.

To access the shell as the root user type the following command at the console and press enter.

Enter your password that you logged in with and press enter. Your command line should change from


Anything you enter now will be run as the root user.

To set the IP address to be static we need to edit the network interfaces configuration file. This is a plain text file that tells the server what IP address, Subnet mask, gateway etc to assign to the different interfaces on your server. There are a number of text editors available but I find nano to be a simple and easy to use editor. Type the following command and press enter to open the config file:

The file will show you the following default configuration for your server:

This needs to be changed so that the primary network interface (eth0) will not look to the DHCP server but will instead be a static address. The code below shows a customised interfaces file. add in the relevant lines and substitute in the correct values for your network. (N.B. don’t use the number pad to enter the values here as it can cause issues as nano doesnt seem to register that NumLock is turned on)

Once this has been done press Ctrl+X to exit nano. You will be asked if you want to save the file – press Y to confirm and exit. Your configuration will be saved and you will return to the root command line however your IP address will not have changed yet as we need to restart the networking service for this to take effect. Type the following command and press enter:

If this is successful you should see the following:

If you do not see this you have made a mistake in the config file. Open it up and check that each line is correct and then try to restart the networking services again. to confirm your server is now listening on the correct IP address we use the ifconfig command – this is very similar to the ipconfig command in Windows and gives an output similar to this:

There is one thing left to check and that is that your DNS servers have been successfully added to the server. If your DHCP setup process was successful we shouldnt need to change anything but its good to make sure its all working. Type the following command and you should see a number of lines saying “nameserver” with the IP address of your DNS server listed next to them:

running this on my server gave me

If you want to test DNS resolution then try to ping and you should get a reply (N.B. Unlike Windows PING this will run until you stop it. Once you are happy you are getting replies press Ctrl+C to stop the ping).

When you are happy this is working press Ctrl+D to log out of the root command line and back to your normal account.

Congratulations. You have now setup your basic server. In Part 2 of this guide I will go through installing the applications you will use as well as show you the basics of configuring them.

Screenshots from the Installation Process