.TH XYMON 7 "Version 4.3.19: 30 Mar 2015" "Xymon"
Xymon \- Introduction to Xymon
Xymon is a tool for monitoring the health of your networked servers
and the applications running on them. It provides a simple,
intuitive way of checking the health of your systems from
a web browser, and can also alert you to any problems that
arise through alarms sent as e-mail, SMS messages, via a
pager or by other means.
Xymon is Open Source software, licensed under the GNU GPL.
This means that you are free to use Xymon as much as you like,
and you are free to re-distribute it and change it to suit
your specific needs. However, if you change it then you must make
your changes available to others on the same terms that you
received Xymon originally. See the file COPYING in the Xymon
source-archive for details.
Xymon was called "Hobbit" until November 2008, when it was renamed
to Xymon. This was done because the name "Hobbit" is trademarked.
Xymon initially began life as an enhancement to Big Brother called
"bbgen". Over a period of 5 years, Xymon has evolved from a small
add-on to a full-fledged monitoring system with capabilities far
exceeding what was in the original Big Brother package. Xymon
does still maintain some compatibility with Big Brother, so it
is possible to migrate from Big Brother to Xymon without too
Migrating to Xymon will give you a significant performance boost,
and provide you with much more advanced monitoring. The Xymon tools
are designed for installations that need to monitor a large number
of hosts, with very little overhead on the monitoring server.
Monitoring of thousands of hosts with a single Xymon server is
possible - it was developed to handle just this task.
These are some of the core features in Xymon:
.IP "Monitoring of hosts and networks"
Xymon collects information about your systems in two ways: From
querying network services (Web, LDAP, DNS, Mail etc.), or from
scripts that run either on the Xymon server or on the systems
you monitor. The Xymon package includes a \fbXymon client\fR
which you can install on the servers you monitor; it collects
data about the CPU-load, disk- and memory-utilization, log files,
network ports in use, file- and directory-information and more.
All of the information is stored inside Xymon, and you can define
conditions that result in alerts, e.g. if a network service stops
responding, or a disk fills up.
.IP "Centralized configuration"
All configuration of Xymon is done on the Xymon server. Even when
monitoring hundreds or thousands of hosts, you can control their
configuration centrally on the Xymon server - so there is no need
for you to login to a system just to change e.g. which processes are
.IP "Works on all major platforms"
The Xymon server works on all Unix-like systems, including Linux,
Solaris, FreeBSD, AIX, HP-UX and others. The Xymon client supports
all major Unix platforms, and there are other Open Source projects
- e.g. BBWin, see http://bbwin.sourceforge.net/ - providing support for
Microsoft Windows based systems.
.IP "A simple, intuitive web-based front-end"
"Green is good, red is bad". Using the Xymon web pages is as simple
as that. The hosts you monitor can be grouped together in a way that
makes sense in your organisation and presented in a tree-structure.
The web pages use many techniques to convey information about the monitored
systems, e.g. different icons can be used for recently changed statuses;
links to sub-pages can be listed in multiple columns; different icons
can be used for dial-up-tests or reverse-tests; selected columns
can be dropped or unconditionally included on the web pages to
eliminate unwanted information, or always include certain information;
user-friendly names can be shown for hosts regardless of their true
hostname. You can also have automatic links to on-line documentation,
so information about your critical systems is just a click away.
.IP "Integrated trend analysis, historical data and SLA reporting"
Xymon stores trend- and availability-information about everything
it monitors. So if you need to look at how your systems behave over
time, Xymon has all of the information you need: Whether it is response
times of your web pages during peak hours, the CPU utilization over the
past 4 weeks, or what the availability of a site was compared to the
SLA - it's all there inside Xymon. All measurements are tracked
and made available in time-based graphs.
When you need to drill down into events that have occurred, Xymon
provides a powerful tool for viewing the event history for each
status log, with overviews of when problems have occurred during the
past and easy-to-use zoom-in on the event.
For SLA reporting, You can configure planned downtime, agreed service
availability level, service availability time and have Xymon generate
availability reports directly showing the actual availability measured
against the agreed SLA. Such reports of service availability can be
generated on-the-fly, or pre-generated e.g. for monthly reporting.
.IP "Role-based views"
You can have multiple different views of the same hosts for different
parts of the organisation, e.g. one view for the hardware group,
and another view for the webmasters - all of them fed by the same
If you have a dedicated Network Operations Center, you can configure
precisely which alerts will appear on their monitors - e.g. a simple
anomaly in the system log file need not trigger a call to 3rd-level
support at 2 AM, but if the on-line shop goes down you do want someone
to respond immediately. So you put the web-check for the on-line shop
on the NOC monitor page, and leave out the log-file check.
.IP "Also for the techies"
The Xymon user-interface is simple, but engineers will also find
lots of relevant information. E.g. the data that clients report to Xymon
contain the raw output from a number of system commands. That information
is available directly in Xymon, so an administrator no longer needs to
login to a server to get an overview of how it is behaving - the very
commands they would normally run have already been performed, and the
results are on-line in Xymon.
.IP "Easy to adapt to your needs"
Xymon includes a lot of tests in the core package, but there will
always be something specific to your setup that you would like to
watch. Xymon allows you to write test scripts in your favorite
scripting language and have the results show up as regular status
columns in Xymon. You can trigger alerts from these, and even track
trends in graphs just by a simple configuration setting.
.IP "Real network service tests"
The network test tool knows how to test most commonly used protocols,
including HTTP, SMTP (e-mail), DNS, LDAP (directory services), and
many more. When checking websites, it is possible to not only check
that the web server is responding, but also that the response looks
correct by matching the response against a pre-defined pattern or a
check-sum. So you can test that a network service is really working
and supplying the data you expect - not just that the service is
Protocols that use SSL encryption such as https web sites are fully supported,
and while checking such services the network tester will automatically run a
check of the validity of the SSL server certificate, and warn about
certificates that are about to expire.
.IP "Highly configurable alerts"
You want to know when something breaks. But you don't want to get flooded
with alerts all the time. Xymon lets you define several criteria for
when to send out an alert, so you only get alerts when there is really
something that needs your attention right away. While you are handling
an incident, you can tell Xymon about it so it stops sending more alerts,
and so that everyone else can check with Xymon and know that the problem
is being taken care of.
.IP "Combined super-tests and test inter-dependencies"
If a single test is not enough, combination tests can be defined
that combine the result of several tests to a single status-report.
So if you need to monitor that at least 3 out of 5 servers are
running at any time, Xymon can do that for you and generate
the necessary availability report.
Tests can also be configured to depend on each other, so that
when a critical router goes down you will get alerts only for
the router - and not from the 200 hosts behind the router.
All of the Xymon server tools run under an unprivileged user account.
A single program - the
network connectivity tester - must be installed setuid-root, but has
been written so that it drops all root privileges immediately after
performing the operation that requires root privileges.
It is recommended that you setup a dedicated account for Xymon.
Communications between the Xymon server and Xymon clients use the
Big Brother TCP port 1984. If the Xymon server is located behind
a firewall, it must allow for inbound connections to the Xymon
server on tcp port 1984. Normally, Xymon clients - i.e. the servers
you are monitoring - must be permitted to connect to the Xymon server
on this port. However, if that is not possible due to firewall
policies, then Xymon includes the
tools to allows for a pull-style way of collecting data, where it
is the Xymon server that initiates connections to the clients.
The Xymon web pages are dynamically generated through CGI programs.
Access to the Xymon web pages is controlled through your web server
access controls, e.g. you can require a login through some form of
.SH DEMONSTRATION SITE
A site running this software can be seen at http://www.xymon.com/
.SH PREREQUISITES AND INSTALLATION
You will need a Unix-like system (Linux, Solaris, HP-UX, AIX,
FreeBSD, Mac OS X or similar) with a web server installed. You
will also need a C compiler and some additional libraries, but
many systems come with the required development tools and
libraries pre-installed. The required libraries are:
This library is used to store and present trend-data. It is required.
This library is used for advanced pattern-matching of text strings
in configuration files. This library is required.
This library is used for communication with SSL-enabled network services.
Although optional, it is recommended that you install this for Xymon
since many network tests do use SSL.
This library is used for testing LDAP servers. Use of this is optional.
For more detailed information about Xymon system requirements and
how to install Xymon, refer to the on-line documentation "Installing
Xymon" available from the Xymon web server (via the "Help" menu),
or from the "docs/install.html" file in the Xymon source archive.
.SH "SUPPORT and MAILING LISTS"
firstname.lastname@example.org is an open mailing list for discussions about Xymon.
If you would like to participate, send an e-mail to \fBxymonemail@example.com\fR
to join the list, or visit http://lists.xymon.com/mailman/listinfo/xymon .
An archive of the mailing list is available at http://lists.xymon.com/archive/
If you just want to be notified of new releases of Xymon, please
subscribe to the xymon-announce mailing list. This is a moderated list,
used only for announcing new Xymon releases. To be added to the list, send
an e-mail to \fBxymonfirstname.lastname@example.org\fR or visit
.SH XYMON SERVER TOOLS
These tools implement the core functionality of the Xymon server:
is the core daemon that collects all reports about the status of
your hosts. It uses a number of helper modules to
implement certain tasks such as updating log files and sending
out alerts: xymond_client, xymond_history, xymond_alert
and xymond_rrd. There is also a xymond_filestore module for
compatibility with Big Brother.
Implements the communication between the Xymon daemon and the
other Xymon server modules.
Stores historical data about the things that Xymon monitors.
Stores trend data, which is used to generate graphs of the data
monitored by Xymon.
handles alerts. When a status changes to a critical state, this
module decides if an alert should be sent out, and to whom.
handles data collected by the Xymon clients, analyzes the data
and feeds back several status updates to Xymon to build the
view of the client status.
stores historical client data when something breaks. E.g. when a
web page stops responding xymond_hostdata will save the latest
client data, so that you can use this to view a snapshot of how
the system state was just prior to it failing.
.SH XYMON NETWORK TEST TOOLS
These tools are used on servers that execute tests of network services.
performs network connectivity (ping) tests.
runs the network service tests.
is an extension script for re-doing failed network tests with a higher
frequency than the normal network tests. This allows Xymon to pick up
the recovery of a network service as soon as it happens, resulting in
less downtime being recorded.
.SH XYMON TOOLS HANDLING THE WEB USER-INTERFACE
These tools take care of generating and updating the various
takes care of updating the Xymon web pages.
This CGI program generates an HTML view of a single status log.
It is used to present the Xymon status-logs.
This CGI program generates graphs of the trend-data collected
When you want to combine multiple graphs into one, this CGI lets
you combine graphs so you can e.g. compare the load on all of the
nodes in your server farm.
Generates the Critical Systems view, based on the currently critical
systems and the configuration of what systems and services you want to
This CGI program generates a web page with the most recent history
of a particular host+service combination.
This CGI lets you view a log of events that have happened over a period
of time, for a single host or test, or for multiple systems.
This CGI program allows a user to acknowledge an alert he received
from Xymon about a host that is in a critical state. Acknowledging
an alert serves two purposes: First, it stops more alerts from being
sent so the technicians are not bothered wit more alerts, and secondly
it provides feedback to those looking at the Xymon web pages that the
problem is being handled.
is a tool for processing acknowledgments sent via e-mail, e.g. as a
response to an e-mail alert.
is a CGI program to disable or re-enable hosts or individual tests.
When disabling a host or test, you stop alarms from being sent and
also any outages do not affect the SLA calculations. So this tool
is useful when systems are being brought down for maintenance.
is a CGI program that finds a given host in the Xymon
web pages. As your Xymon installation grows, it can become
difficult to remember exactly which page a host is on; this CGI
script lets you find hosts easily.
This CGI program triggers the generation of Xymon availability
as the reporting back-end engine.
This CGI program generates the detailed availability report for a
particular host+service combination.
is a CGI program to build the Xymon web pages in a "snapshot"
mode, showing the look of the web pages at a particular point
in time. It uses
as the back-end engine.
is a CGI program reporting test results for a single status but
for several hosts. It is used to e.g. see which SSL certificates
are about to expire, across all of the Xymon web pages.
is a CGI program to present information about a host. The
information is pulled from a CSV (Comma Separated Values)
file, which is easily exported from any spreadsheet or
.SH CLIENT-SIDE TOOLS
is a utility used by the Xymon Unix client to collect
information from log files on the client. It can also monitor various
other file-related data, e.g. file meta-data or directory sizes.
Is used on Xymon clients, to automatically update the client software
with new versions. Through this tool, updates of the client software
can happen without an administrator having to logon to the server.
This tool acts as a mini Xymon server to the client. It stores client
data internally, so that the
utility can pick it up later and send it to the Xymon server. It
is typically used on hosts that cannot contact the Xymon server
directly due to network- or firewall-restrictions.
.SH XYMON COMMUNICATION TOOLS
These tools are used for communications between the Xymon server
and the Xymon clients. If there are no firewalls then they are not
needed, but it may be necessary due to network or firewall issues
to make use of them.
is a proxy-server that forwards Xymon messages between
clients and the Xymon server. The clients must be able to talk
to the proxy, and the proxy must be able to talk to the Xymon
is used when the client is not able to make outbound connections
to neither xymonproxy nor the Xymon server (typically, for clients
located in a DMZ network zone). Together with the
utility running on the client, the Xymon server can contact the
clients and pick up their data.
.SH OTHER TOOLS
is a program scheduler for Xymon. It acts as a master program
for running all of the Xymon tools on a system. On the Xymon
server, it controls running all of the server tasks. On a Xymon
client, it periodically launches the client to collect data
and send them to the Xymon server.
is the tool used to communicate with the Xymon server.
It is used to send status reports to the Xymon server,
through the custom Xymon/BB protocol, or via HTTP. It
can be used to query the state of tests on the central Xymon
server and retrieve Xymon configuration files. The server-side
used to receive messages sent via HTTP is also included.
is a wrapper for the other Xymon tools which sets up all
of the environment variables used by Xymon tools.
is a utility for use by Xymon extension scripts. It
allows an extension script to easily pick out the hosts that
are relevant to a script, so it need not parse a huge
hosts.cfg file with lots of unwanted test-specifications.
is a utility to dump the full
file following any "include" statements.
is a utility to compute message digest values for use in
content checks that use digests.
is an extension script for the Xymon server,
allowing you to build complicated tests from simpler
Xymon test results. E.g. you can define a test that uses the results
from testing your web server, database server and router to have a
single test showing the availability of your enterprise web
is a tool to trim the Xymon history logs. It will remove all
log entries and optionally also the individual status-logs for
events that happened before a given time.
Version 1 of bbgen was released in November 2002, and optimized the
web page generation on Big Brother servers.
Version 2 of bbgen was released in April 2003, and added a tool
for performing network tests.
Version 3 of bbgen was released in September 2004, and eliminated the
use of several external libraries for network tests, resulting in a
significant performance improvement.
With version 4.0 released on March 30 2005, the project was de-coupled
from Big Brother, and the name changed to Hobbit. This version was the
first full implementation of the Hobbit server, but it still used the
data collected by Big Brother clients for monitoring host metrics.
Version 4.1 was released in July 2005 included a simple client
for Unix. Log file monitoring was not implemented.
Version 4.2 was released in July 2006, and includes a fully functional
client for Unix.
Version 4.3 was released in November 2010, and implemented the renaming
of the project to Xymon. This name was already introduced in 2008 with
a patch version of 4.2, but with version 4.3.0 this change of names
was fully implemented.
Copyright (C) 2002-2011 Henrik Storner <email@example.com>
Parts of the Xymon sources are from public-domain or other freely
available sources. These are the the Red-Black tree implementation, and
the MD5-, SHA1- and RIPEMD160-implementations. Details of the license for
these is in the README file included with the Xymon sources.
All other files are released under the GNU General Public License version 2,
with the additional exemption that compiling, linking, and/or using OpenSSL
is allowed. See the file COPYING for details.
.SH "SEE ALSO"
xymond(8), xymond_channel(8), xymond_history(8), xymond_rrd(8), xymond_alert(8),
xymonping(1), xymonnet(1), xymonnet-again.sh(1),
xymongen(1), svcstatus.cgi(1), showgraph.cgi(1), hostgraphs.cgi(1), criticalview.cgi(1),
ack.cgi(1), xymon-mailack(8), enadis.cgi(8), findhost.cgi(1),
report.cgi(1), reportlog.cgi(1), snapshot.cgi(1), statusreport.cgi(1), csvinfo.cgi(1),
logfetch(1), clientupdate(1), msgcache(8),
xymonlaunch(8), xymon(1), xymoncgimsg.cgi(1), xymoncmd(1), xymongrep(1), xymoncfg(1),
xymondigest(1), combostatus(1), trimhistory(8),
hosts.cfg(5), tasks.cfg(5), xymonserver.cfg(5),