Sending Alerts from Munin

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As of Munin 1.2 there is a generic interface for sending warnings and errors from Munin. If a Munin plugin discovers that a plugin has a data source breaching its defined limits, Munin is able to alert the administrator either through simple command line invocations or through a monitoring system like Nagios.

Note that if the receiving system can cope with only a limited number of messages at the time, the configuration directive may be useful.

When sending alerts, you might find good use in the variables available from Munin.

Alerts not working?

For some versions 1.4 and less, note that having more than one contact defined can cause munin-limits to hang. See

Alerts through Nagios

How to set up Nagios and Munin to communicate has been thoroughly described in HowToContactNagios.

Alerts without external systems

Email Alert

To send email alerts directly from Munin use a command such as this: mail -s "Munin-notification for ${var:group} :: ${var:host}"

For an example with explanation please look at:

Syslog Alert

To send syslog message with priority use a command such as this:

contact.syslog.command logger -p user.crit -t "Munin-Alert"

Alerts to or through external scripts

To run a script (in this example, 'script') from Munin use a command such as this in your munin.conf. Make sure that:

  1. There is NO space between the '>' and the first 'script'
  2. 'script' is listed twice and
  3. The munin user can find the script -- by either using an absolute path or putting the script somewhere on the PATH -- and has permission to execute the script.
contact.person.command >script script

This syntax also will work (this time, it doesn't matter if there is a space between '|' and the first 'script' ... otherwise, all the above recommendations apply):

contact.person.command | script script

Either of the above will pipe all of Munin's warning/critical output to the specified script. Below is an example script to handle this input and write it to a file:

#!/usr/bin/env ruby'/tmp/munin_alerts.log', 'a') do |f| #append
   for line in $stdin
      f.puts line

The alerts getting piped into your script will look something like this:

localhost :: localdomain :: Inode table usage
        CRITICALs: open inodes is 32046.00 (outside range [:6]).

Syntax of warning and critical

The plugin.warning and plugin.critical values supplied by a plugin are define as mentioned in munin-man

Note that the warning/critical is raised only if the value is outside the defined value. Ie foo.warning 100:200 will raise a warning only if the value is outside the range of 100 to 200.

Reformatting the output message

You can redefine the format of the output message with the use of the munin.conf setting contact.something.text from [munin.conf#Globaldirectives] and the use of variables from MuninAlertVariables.

Something like:

contact.pipevia.command | /path/to/script /path/to/script \
   --cmdlineargs="${var:group} ${var:host} ${var:graph_category} '${var:graph_title}'"

contact.pipevia.always_send warning critical

contact.pipevia.text  <munin group="${var:group}" host="${var:host}"\
  graph_category="${var:graph_category}" graph_title="${var:graph_title}" >\
  ${loop< >:wfields <warning label="${var:label}" value="${var:value}"\
    w="${var:wrange}" c="${var:crange}" extra="${var:extinfo}" /> }\
  ${loop< >:cfields <critical label="${var:label}" value="${var:value}"\
    w="${var:wrange}" c="${var:crange}" extra="${var:extinfo}" /> }\
  ${loop< >:ufields <unknown label="${var:label}" value="${var:value}"\
    w="${var:wrange}" c="${var:crange}" extra="${var:extinfo}" /> }\

Calls the script with the command line arguments (as a python list):

['/path/to/script','/path/to/script','--cmdlineargs="', '', 'disk', 'Disk usage in percent', '']

and the input sent to the script is (whitespace added to break long line):

'<munin group="" host="" graph_category="disk" graph_title="Disk usage in percent" >
  <critical label="/home" value="98.41" w=":92" c=":98" extra="" />
</munin> '

(need for the second /path/to/script may vary, but this document says it is required)

If something goes wrong:

  • check the Alerts not working? section above
  • check the log file for munin-limits.log.
  • remember this script will run as the same user as the cron job that starts munin-cron.
Last modified at 2014-10-26T16:50:54+01:00 Last modified on 2014-10-26T16:50:54+01:00