1. Problems#

1.1 I am having problems where do I start?#

NSCP has a built-in “test and debug” mode that you can activate with the following command nscp test

What this does is two things.

  1. it starts the daemon as “usual” with the same configuration and such.
  2. it enables debug logging and logs to the console. This makes it quite easy to see what is going on and why things go wrong.

1.2 MSI or ZIP installation?#

In general never use the ZIP installation unless you have a strong reason for doing so. The MSI is the preferred way to install NSClient++ and will work much better then trying to manually install it.

1.3 Failed to open performance counters#

For details: Microsoft KB: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300956 essentially you need to use the lodctr /R command.

1.4 Bind failed#

Usually this is due to running more then once instance of NSClient++ or possibly running another program that uses the same port.

1.5 EventlogBuffer is too small#

Note

This has been changed in 0.4.3 and is no longer required

This is because you have one or more entries in your event-log which are larger then the “default buffer size of 64k”. The best way to fix this is to increase the buffer used.

[/settings/eventlog]
buffer_size=128000

1.6 System Tray does not work#

Note

System tray was removed in 0.4.0.

1.7 I get #

This information is usually useless to me since the error in Nagios is not related to the problem. This is due to most protocols supported by Nagios does not support reporting errors only status. To see the error do the following:

net stop nscp
nscp test --log trace
... wait for errors to be reported ...
exit
net start nscp

Please check and include this information before you submit questions and/or bug reports.

1.8 High CPU load and check_eventlog#

Some people experience high CPU load when checking the event log this can usually be resolved using the new command line option scan-range setting it to the time region you want to check

check_eventlog ... scan-range=12h ...

1.9 Return code of 139 is out of bounds#

This means something is wrong. To find out what is wrong you need to check the NSClient++ log file. The message means that an plugin returned an invalid exit code and there can be many reasons for this but most likely something is miss configured in NSClient++ or a script your using is not working. So the only way to diagnose this is to check the NSClient++ log.

One simple way to show the log is to run in test mode like so:

net stop nscp
nscp test
... wait for errors to be reported ...
exit
net start nscp

1.10 Enable debug log#

By default the log level is info which means to see debug messages you need to enable debug log:

[/settings/log]
file name = nsclient.log
level = debug

2. Escaping and Strings#

2.1 How do I properly escape spaces in strings#

When you need to put spaces in a string you need to make sure you escape them properly in the Nagios config. As usual you can do it anyway you like but I prefer: check_nrpe ... 'this is a string'

2.2 How do I properly escape $ in strings#

Dollar signs are “strange” in Nagios and has to be escaped using double $$s. Thus in Nagios config you need to put $$.

2.3 How do I properly escape \ in strings#

Backslashes and some other control characters are handled by the shell in Nagios and thus escaped as such.

Location Escape character
Nagios …\…
NSClient++ …\…

2.4 Arguments via NRPE#

For details see external script

2.5 Nasty metacharacters#

If you get illegal metachars or similar errors you are sending characters which are considered harmful through NRPE. This is a security measure inherited from the regular NRPE client.

The following characters are considered harmful: \|`&><’"\[]{} To work around this you have two options.

  1. You can enable it
  2. You can switch most commands to not use nasty characters

To enable this in the NRPE server you can add the following:

[/settings/NRPE/server]
allow nasty characters=true

[/settings/external scripts]
allow nasty characters=true

To not use nasty characters you can replace man y of them in built-in commands:

Expression Replacement
> gt
< lt
str(…)
${..} %(..)

3. Versions#

3.1 I use version 0.3.9 or 0.2.7#

please upgrade to 0.4.2 and then 0.5.0 and see if the error still persist before you ask questions and/or report bugs. In generally do NOT fix issues in several years old versions.

3.2 I use version 0.4.0 or 0.4.1#

  1. good idea to upgrade to 0.5.0 and see if the issue has been resolved but please report this anyway so I can (if possible) fir it for 0.4.1

4. Network#

4.1 Rejected connection from: your IP address here#

This is due to invalid configuration. One important thing you ‘’‘NEED’‘’ to configure is which hosts are allowed to connect. If this configuration is missing or invalid you will get the following error:

2013-04-02 16:34:07: e:D:\source\nscp\trunk\include\check_nt/server/protocol.hpp:65: Rejected connection from: ::ffff:10.83.14.251

To resolve this please update your configuration:

[/settings/default]

; ALLOWED HOSTS - A coma separated list of hosts which are allowed to connect. You can use netmasks (/ syntax) or * to create ranges.
allowed hosts = 10.11.12.0/24

4.2 Timeout issues#

Configuring timeouts can some times be a problem and cause strange errors. It is important to understand that timeouts are cascading this means if you have all timeouts set to 60 seconds they will all miss fire.

The Nagios server timeout will fire after exactly 60 seconds but the script timeouts will be started maybe 1 second after the Nagios service check timeout this means once we reach 60 seconds the Nagios service timeout will fire first and 1 second after the script will timeout. This you always have to set each timeout slightly less to accommodate this drift.

If your command takes 60 seconds you need to set the timeouts like this:

1. Script timeout: 60s#

[/settings/external scripts/wrappings]
vbs = cscript.exe //T:120 //NoLogo scripts\\lib\\wrapper.vbs %SCRIPT% %ARGS%

2. External script timeout: 65 seconds#

[/settings/external scripts]
timeout = 65

3. NRPE/server timeout: 70s#

[settings/NPRE/server]
timeout = 70

4. check_nrpe timeout: 75s#

check_nrpe -t 75

5. Nagios service check timeout: 80s#

service_check_timeout=80

5. General#

5.1 Rotate log files#

[/settings/log]
date setting = %Y.%m.%d %H:%M:%S
file name = nsclient.log
level = info

[/settings/log/file]
max size = 2048000

5.2 What’s the difference between CheckFoo and check_foo#

In older version of NSClient++ (pre 0.4.1) there were only CheckFoo type commands so they where called CheckCPU CheckMem CheckProcess etc etc… In 0.4.2 we introduced a new set of commands which were more generic and similar and they are called check_cpu check_memory check_process etc etc.. The previous ones are only for compatibility and will eventually be removed from NSClient++. Currently they are about 90% compatible which means some things will not work as before and some commands are not even present anymore.

  1. personally think that the benefit of using the new commands makes the effort required to convert it worth it but if you have a specific command using the old syntax which no longer work please do let me know and I will see about adding support for it.
  2. check_nt

5.3 I use check_nt and…#

Check_nt is NOT a good protocol and is considered abandon-ware as noone updates the check_nt command any longer. NSClient++ supports it only for legacy reasons. There is generally no reason to use check_nt as check_nrpe and check_nscp can achieve the same thing.

5.4 MEMUSE reports the wrong value#

No it does not :) MEMUSE reports physical+page (normally called committed bytes). This is the amount of memory the system has promised to various applications. Thus it will be “more” than your RAM if you want to check physical memory please use check_nrpe and check_memory instead.

6. Event-log#

6.1 Can I check “modern” event-logs from Windows 2008 and above?#

Yes, but it requires NSClient++ 0.4.2 and later.

6.2 I use severity but still don’t get errors (or get non error messages).#

This is a “feature” of the Windows Event-log API. They have something called severity which most programs do not use as severity. instead please try using level which is more accurate. This is less relevant in “modern Windows” where severity has been removed.

7. NRPE#

7.1 What is insecure mode#

The NRPE protocol is broken it is using some strange encryption protocols which are (to our knowledge) rather insecure. To work around this in 0.4.x we introduced real SSL support as well as certificate based authentication. This became the default in 0.4.3.

To allow old “legacy” check_nrpe connect to NSClient++ you need to enable insecure mode which can be done in multiple ways.

  1. In the MSI installer there is an option to select insecure mode
  2. From command line you can run the nscp nrpe install --insecure
  3. You can manually set the option in your config file

All these options will result in the following configuration:

[/settings/NRPE/server]
certificate key =
certificate = ${certificate-path}/certificate.pem
ssl options =
allowed ciphers = ADH
ssl = true
insecure = true

If you instead opt to use the more secure standard SSL approach used in NSClient++ you can easily install NSClient++ on a Linux system as well.

8. My question is not here?#

Please ask in the forums and I will try to answer your question.