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Class library for writing Nagios (Icinga) plugins

Project description

The nagiosplugin library


nagiosplugin is a Python class library which helps writing Nagios (or Icinga) compatible plugins easily in Python. It cares for much of the boilerplate code and default logic commonly found in Nagios checks, including:

  • Nagios 3 Plugin API compliant parameters and output formatting
  • Full Nagios range syntax support
  • Automatic threshold checking
  • Multiple independend measures
  • Custom status line to communicate the main point quickly
  • Long output and performance data
  • Timeout handling
  • Persistent “cookies” to retain state information between check runs
  • Resume log file processing at the point where the last run left
  • No dependencies beyond the Python standard library (except for Python 2.6).

nagiosplugin runs on POSIX and Windows systems. It is compatible with Python 3.4, Python 3.3, Python 3.2, and Python 2.7.

Feedback and Suggestions

nagiosplugin is primarily written and maintained by Christian Kauhaus <>. Feel free to contact the author for bugs, suggestions and patches.

A public issue tracker can be found at


The nagiosplugin package is released under the Zope Public License 2.1 (ZPL), a BSD-style Open Source license.


Comprehensive documentation is available online. The examples mentioned in the tutorials can also be found in the nagiosplugin/examples directory of the source distribution.


Getting the source

The source can be obtained via mercurial from

hg clone

This package supports installation in a virtualenv using zc.buildout.

Creating a build with zc.buildout

First, create a virtualenv if not already present:

virtualenv -p python3.4 --no-setuptools .

zc.buildout will take care of all required dependencies:

bin/pip3.2 install -U zc.buildout

If you want to use another Python version like 2.7, just the same steps with the Python version substituted:

virtualenv -p python2.7 --no-setuptools .
bin/pip2.7 install -U zc.buildout


When the buildout succeeds, run the unit test by invoking:


Our build server runs test against the trunk on a regular basis.

nagiosplugin also includes support for coverage reports. It aims at 100% test coverage where possible. The preferred way to get a coverate report is to use


to determine test coverage and open the report in a web browser. Alternatively, run

bin/coverage run bin/test

to get a purely text-based coverage report.

You may run the supplied examples with the local interpreter:

bin/py src/nagiosplugin/examples/


The documentation uses Sphinx. Build the documentation (buildout should have been running before to install Sphinx etc.):

make -C doc html

How to release

To make a release, we prefer zest.releaser. To make a release, follow the standard procedure, which usually boils down to:


nagiosplugin tried to obey the semantic version numbering specification published on SemVer but adapts it a little bit to be PEP 386 compliant.


nagiosplugin has become what it is now with the help of many contributors from the community. We want to thank everyone who has invested time and energy to make nagiosplugin better:

Release History

1.2.4 (2016-03-12)

  • Add optional keyword parameter verbose to Runtime.guarded(). This parameter allows to set verbose level in the early execution phase (#13).
  • Allow Context.evaluate() return either a Result or ServiceState object. In case the latter is returned, it gets automatically wrapped in a Result object (#6).

1.2.3 (2015-10-30)

  • Fix bug that caused a UnicodeDecodeError when using non-ASCII characters in fmt_metric (#12).
  • Print perfdata always on a single line (even in multi-line mode) to improve compatibility with various monitoring systems (#11).

1.2.2 (2014-05-27)

  • Mention that nagiosplugin also runs with Python 3.4 (no code changes necessary).
  • Make name prefix in status output optional by allowing to assign None to
  • Accept bare metric as return value from Resource.probe().
  • Fix bug where Context.describe() was not used to obtain metric description (#13162).

1.2.1 (2014-03-19)

  • Fix build failures with LANG=C (#13140).
  • Remove length limitation of perfdata labels (#13214).
  • Fix formatting of large integers as Metric values (#13287).
  • Range: allow simple numerals as argument to Range() (#12658).
  • Cookie: allow for empty state file specification (#12788).

1.2 (2013-11-08)

  • New Summary.empty method is called if there are no results present (#11593).
  • Improve range violation wording (#11597).
  • Ensure that nagiosplugin install correctly with current setuptools (#12660).
  • Behave and do not attach anything to the root logger.
  • Add debugging topic guide. Explain how to disable the timeout when using pdb (#11592).

1.1 (2013-06-19)

  • Identical to 1.1b1.

1.1b1 (2013-05-28)

  • Made compatible with Python 2.6 (#12297).
  • Tutorial #3: check_users (#11539).
  • Minor documentation improvements.

1.0.0 (2013-02-05)

  • LogTail returns lines as byte strings in Python 3 to avoid codec issues (#11564).
  • LogTail gives a line-based iterator instead of a file object (#11564).
  • Basic API docs for the most important classes (#11612).
  • Made compatible with Python 2.7 (#11533).
  • Made compatible with Python 3.3.

1.0.0b1 (2012-10-29)

  • Improve error reporting for missing contexts.
  • Exit with code 3 if no metrics have been generated.
  • Improve default Summary.verbose() to list all threshold violations.
  • Move main source repository to (#11561).

1.0.0a2 (2012-10-26)

  • API docs for the most important classes (#7939).
  • Added two tutorials (#9425).
  • Fix packaging issues.

1.0.0a1 (2012-10-25)

  • Completely reworked API. The new API is not compatible with the old 0.4 API so you must update your plugins.
  • Python 3 support.
  • The Cookie class is now basically a persistent dict and accepts key/value pairs. Cookie are stored as JSON files by default so they can be inspected by the system administrator (#9400).
  • New LogTail class which provides convenient access to constantly growing log files which are eventually rotated.

0.4.5 (2012-06-18)

  • Windows port. nagiosplugin code now runs under pywin32 (#10899).
  • Include examples in egg release (#9901).

0.4.4 (2011-07-18)

Bugfix release to fix issues reported by users.

  • Improve Mac OS X compatibility (#8755).
  • Include examples in distribution (#8555).

0.4.3 (2010-12-17)

  • Change __str__ representation of large numbers to avoid scientific notation.

0.4.2 (2010-10-11)

  • Packaging issues.

0.4.1 (2010-09-21)

  • Fix distribution to install correctly.
  • Documentation: tutorial and topic guides.

0.4 (2010-08-17)

  • Initial public release.

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