Nagios Enabling External Command on Debian based Distributions

While debugging my check disk problem after the 15.10 upgrade, I saw that I forgot to enable external commands. That is handy, when you want to re-schedule a check to see, if your changes took effect. Again, something that is easily activated. So if you see something like this, then you might want to make some changes:

Error: Could not stat() command file ‘/var/lib/nagios3/rw/nagios.cmd’!

The external command file may be missing, Nagios may not be running, and/or Nagios may not be checking external commands. An error occurred while attempting to commit your command for processing.

First stop the Nagios service with systemctl, service or with the init script. Whatever your distribution prefers. Then edit as root the configuration file /etc/nagios3/nagios.cfg and check if the variable check_external_commands is set to 1:


Afterwards update the rights to the external command with the following:

dpkg-statoverride --update --add nagios www-data 2710 /var/lib/nagios3/rw
dpkg-statoverride --update --add nagios nagios 751 /var/lib/nagios3

And then start Nagios again. Et voila, you can call external commands.

Nagios check_disk Foo on Ubuntu 15.10

Another day another foo, this time done to the check_disk plugin for Nagios on Ubuntu. After updating to 15.10 my disk space check all of a sudden failed with this one here:

DISK CRITICAL - /sys/kernel/debug/tracing is not accessible: Permission denied

It seemed a little odd, especially when I could access that file normally before. So something has changed and the workaround is actually fairly easy. As root edit the file /etc/nagios-plugins/config/disk.cfg and change the command for check_all_disks. You need to add -A -i ‘/sys’ to the command line. So your command for check_all_disks will look like this:

# 'check_all_disks' command definition
define command{
command_name check_all_disks
command_line /usr/lib/nagios/plugins/check_disk -w '$ARG1$' -c '$ARG2$' -e -A -i '/sys'

Restart Nagios and all is good. After I fixed it this way I found, that it is actually filed as a bug 1516451 in Ubuntu’s Launchpad here

Happy monitoring.