wdijkerman-zabbix version 1.4.0 puppet module released

Puppet LogoZabbix Logo

I just released an new version of the wdijkerman-zabbix puppet module: 1.4.0.

The original idea was using this version to make the puppet module puppet 4 compliant, but I didn’t had any time for this. So there were some issues which needed to be fixed, so I created this release.

The changelog:

  • Adding “apt” as dependency.
  • Adding ‘script_dir’ parameter for userparameters define.
  • Fix documentation: iptables is set to false (not true).
  • Fix illegal comma separated argument list #81 (By pull request: IceBear2k (Thanks!))
  • Fixes #80 setting Hostname and HostnameItem causes a warning on agentd s… #82 (By pull request: f0 (Thanks!))
  • Allow to not purge include dir. #79 (By pull request: altvnk (Thanks!))
  • Correct typo in ‘manage_resources’ documentation. #77 (By pull request: rnelson0 (Thanks!))
  • Added zabbix_hostgroup #87 (By pull request: hkumarmk (Thanks!))

The “#<NUM>” is a reference to an Github issue. The release can now also be found on and downloaded from the forge.

If you find an bug or have an improvement for this Zabbix puppet module, please create pull requests!

Zabbix nodata trigger, really a lifesaver

Zabbix has a lot of triggers you can use for your environment. But when it comes to the most important checks, I’ll update the current trigger and create an “or” statement with the “nodata” trigger.

It happened for me a few times when Zabbix didn’t notify me about some checks that went into PROBLEM while the service/program wasn’t responding. In all of these cases, I had it configures with the “last” trigger. All of them said it was ok, but the latest update was at least 30 minutes ago (Some even longer!). I slept well though, but my start of the day wasn’t really good. 🙂

I did find that most of these kind of checks were items that used scripts which were created by myself or by my colleagues. These were simple scripts in bash or python, which had no proper way of exiting due to an timeout.

So the first and most easy way is to update the trigger with the “nodata” configuration. I use an “default” of 5 minutes, if I don’t have any data the trigger can be fired. An good example is the trigger for the zabbix-agent:

{Template App Zabbix Agent:agent.ping.nodata(5m)}=1

When there is no data retrieved in the last 5 minutes, it will be fired. So I’ve updated the trigger for my Apache template like this:

{Template Apache:apache.run.status[{HOST.NAME},'localhost'].last()}=0 or {Template Apache:apache.run.status[{HOST.NAME},'localhost'].nodata(5m)}=1

If the last value of the item apache.run.status is 0 or there is no data retrieved in the last 5 minutes, then we can assume Apache is down.

But these scripts needs to be able to exit within the TimeOut parameter in the configuration file. So each script should have an timeout and when this timeout occurs, it should print some information which Zabbix can handle. (Not an python stacktrace for example. 🙂 )

I know the “nodata” trigger has an few drawbacks. It do add some extra load on the server for these checks. I believe the “nodata” triggers are checked every 30 seconds, but I try to use the nodata only for those critical (Or Disaster in Zabbix terms 🙂 ) triggers.

Another one, but happens (hopefully) not that much, when the Zabbix-server is in some kind of maintenance or had some problems (Or when you have an Zabbix proxy which doesn’t send the data to the server) a lot of triggers are fired when the times has past. So you just updated the Zabbix-server with the latest (linux/kernel) patches and after say 10 minutes the Zabbix-server is up and running again, all of those nodata triggers are fired. 🙂

But anyways, it is an lifesaver! 🙂

Installing zabbix-agent with Ansible


Not only I have an puppet module for installing Zabbix, I also have some Ansible roles for this. At the moment there are 4 roles:

In this blog item, we talk about the “zabbix-agent” role. The latest version is 0.2.0.


Installing this role is very easy:

ansible-galaxy install dj-wasabi.zabbix-agent

It will be installed in your roles directory. Default is “/etc/ansible/roles” or whatever you have configured in the ansible.cfg file. After installation there is only 1 (or 2 when you make use of active items) parameters needed for making this role work:

agent_server: <IP_-_FQDN_OF_ZABBIX_SERVER>
agent_serveractive: <IP_-_FQDN_OF_ZABBIX_SERVER>

This will need the ip address or the FQDN of the “zabbix-server”.


This role works on several operating systems/families:

  • RedHat
  • Debian
  • Ubuntu
  • OpenSuse

If you have an operating system/family which isn’t in the list above, you can create an issue at the Github page and please fill in the request. I can’t make any guarantee that it will come, but I can try it. Or if you do have some Ansible skills, please create an Pull request and I would be happy to accept it. 🙂


So, how does the playbook looks like? Like this:

- hosts: all
  sudo: yes
   - role: dj-wasabi.zabbix-agent
     agent_server: <IP_-_FQDN_OF_ZABBIX_SERVER>
     agent_serveractive: <IP_-_FQDN_OF_ZABBIX_SERVER>

As you see it is very basic and does the job very good. This only installs the agent on the specific server and configures the configuration file. But we really want to automate everything right?


Few weeks ago I found this pull requests for the “ansible-modules-extra” repository. This pull requests had an few ansible modules which made sure that you can use the Zabbix API to create or update hosts configuration. In the pull requests there were something like 5 modules, but this Ansible role only use 3 of them. With this role, you can create the following:

  • host groups
  • Host itself.
  • Macros for the host

For now, when the host is created, it will only create the “zabbix interface”. Maybe with the next release I’ll make sure you can also create SNMP, JMX and IPMI interfaces.

How do we have to configure it? Something like this. You will have to change it to your environment.

- hosts: wdserver00
     - role: zabbix-agent
       zabbix_url: http://zabbix.example.com
       zabbix_api_use: true
       zabbix_api_user: Admin
       zabbix_api_pass: Zabbix
       zabbix_create_host: present
         - Linux servers
         - Template OS Linux
         - macro_key: apache_type
           macro_value: reverse_proxy

I’ll skip the first 2 parameters, as these are described earlier on this page.

zabbix_url: The url on which the Zabbix web interface is available.
zabbix_api_user: The username which will connect to the API.
zabbix_api_pass: The password for the “zabbix_api_user” user.
zabbix_create_host: present if we want to create the host, absent if we want to delete it.
zabbix_host_groups: List of hostgroup where this host belongs to.
zabbix_link_templates: List of templates which will be linked to the host.
zabbix_macros: key, value pair of macros that will be used by the host. 

When we run Ansible, we will see at the end of the run:

.. <skip> ..
TASK: [zabbix-agent | Create hostgroups] **************************************
ok: [wdserver00 ->]

TASK: [zabbix-agent | Create a new host or update an existing host's info] ****
changed: [wdserver00 ->]

TASK: [zabbix-agent | Updating host configuration with macros] ****************
changed: [wdserver00 ->] => (item={'macro_key': 'apache_type', 'macro_value': 'reverse_proxy'})

Nice! If you check the Web interface, you’ll see that the host is created with the correct host groups and templates. If not, you’ll see some error messages in the Ansible output which will say what went wrong.

This role isn’t perfect, so if you encounter an bug or found/have and enhancement, please create an Pull request at Github and I’ll accept it. We can all make this role beter. 🙂

Side note:

There are more parameters which can be overridden, please check the “defaults/main.yml” file or the README.

Zabbix agent installation and configuration with puppet exported resources

puppet zabbix_logo

Who doesn’t like to automate tasks when this is easy and can save a lot of time/troubles. When you are just starting with Zabbix, it seems that the only thing you can automate is installing the components with rpm/deb packages on the servers/clients. After installation of the packages, you’ll still need to create the host in the web interface which takes some time (And boring to if you have a lot of hosts to configure..). There is an possibility to use (auto) discovery rules, but this requires some configuration in the web interface and this only works once when the host isn’t configured in the web interface (Initial setup only).

Luckily, the Zabbix has an API which can be used for some tasks that can be automated, like creating hosts! The wdijkerman-zabbix module can use this API for the following tasks:

  • Create host
  • Update host with Templates

There is an requirement when you want to do this: Puppet Master needs the PuppetDB configured. If you want to configure an PuppetDB, please use Google for this as I won’t discuss this here.


The idea is that when an installation is done via the “zabbix::agent” class on the agent, it send some information via puppet to the PuppetDB. This is some basic information like ipaddress, name of the host and the hostgroups for this host. When the puppet agent on the “zabbix-server” runs, it will retrieve the information from the PuppetDB and will create via the Zabbix API the host(s). With this setup, everything is automated and you don’t have to worry for forgetting something.
So, how do you have to configure the zabbix module?
class { 'zabbix':
  zabbix_url       => 'zabbix.example.com',
  manage_resources => true,

This is an very basic configuration method mentioned above which will automatically configure the hosts in the web interface when a new “zabbix-agent” is installed. You don’t have to do anything else (yes ok, you’ll have to run some puppet runs on several machines. :-).)

This assumes that the password for the “Admin” user is still “zabbix”. You can override this of course, just like the database credentials which are default set to “zabbix-server”. (Don’t forget to change it to something non default 😉 )


There is an other nice feature in the “wdijkerman-zabbix” module which uses the Zabbix API. The “zabbix::userparameters” define can make use of the API. The goal for this define is installing an UserParameters file in the zabbix-agent includedir. This file consists of 1 or more UserParameter entries which explains what commands needs to be executed for an key.

An example:

zabbix::userparameters { 'Exim':
 content => 'UserParameter=exim.mailq,sudo /usr/sbin/exim -bpc',

There is an item in a template which executes the “sudo /usr/sbin/exim -pbc” command with the “exim.mailq” key. When the above 3 lines are in the exim puppet module and this module installs the UserParameter file, you still need to update the host in the web interface to make sure the “Template Exim” is assigned.

But stop, we can use it like the following now:

zabbix::userparameters { 'Exim':
 content  => 'UserParameter=exim.mailq,sudo /usr/sbin/exim -bpc',
 template => 'Template Exim',

We also supply the name of the Zabbix Template in this “user::parameters” define. When configured we first have to execute an puppet run on the agent, so it sends some data to the PuppetDB.

When the Puppet Agent runs on the “zabbix-server”, it first checks if the hosts exits and then it will assign the template “Template Exim” to the host automatically. Off course when the template does not exists, the Puppet run will fail.

Woot! 🙂

wdijkerman-zabbix puppet module now on release 1.2.0


Almost a month ago, the wdijkerman-zabbix version 1.1.0 was released. I didn’t do much myself since this release 1.1.0 till now, but I did receive some pull requests. So I figured it is time to create a new release: 1.2.0.

Whats in this release? (I’m lazy, so this is copied from the CHANGELOG.md 🙂 )

  • Support for RedHat/CentOS/OracleLinux 7
  • Fixed bug with listenip & add lxc interface #46 (By pull request: meganuke19 (Thanks!))
  • Bad syntax in manifests/proxy.pp #50 (By pull request: fredprod (Thanks!))
  • Fix agent listenip #52 (By pull request: JvdW (Thanks!))
  • Fix in params.pp with default parameter of zabbix proxy for ubuntu #56 (By pull request: fredprod (Thanks!))
  • notify zabbix-agent service when userparameters change #57 (By pull request: rleemorlang (Thanks!))
  • Fix for: “Cannot Load Such File — zabbixapi” despite installation #54
  • Fix for correct order, so 1 puppet run installs the proxy again

The “#<NUM>” is a reference to an github issue. The release can now also be found on and downloaded from the forge.

If you find an bug or have an improvement for this zabbix puppet module, please create pull requests!

wdijkerman-zabbix what do you want to see in this puppet module?

So, the wdijkerman-zabbix puppet module is going strong. Almost 7100 downloads since the beginning of april last year and this amount still grows! The number one puppet module for Zabbix installations and also the only module which is puppet approved! This is really nice!

The module can be found on the forge, but also on github. But I don’t think this module is “done”. There are probably a lot of improvements needed, or new functionality that can be added. So please tell me what you want to see in the module.

What kind of improvements can be done, is it some better code, fixing some (nasty) bugs you encounter or some updates to the documentation. Is the documentation clear enough or do you want some howto’s for configuring the module to do some specific stuff, or do you want to use Nginx instead of Apache as frontend?

For now I have 2 things that I really would like to see, but due to limited resources (Knowledge and time) it is something that I can’t do in the near future:

  • Using Puppet on Windows. Like installing the zabbix-agent on Windows computers.
  • Sending Puppet Reports to zabbix-server for monitoring puppet runs.

Please send your suggestions via e-mail (which can be found in the module) or create issues on github. Or even better, fix or create some code and create an pull request! You’ll will be put in the list of fame. 😉

Thanks! 🙂

One node vs multi node setup zabbix module zabbix-proxy


With the previous post I showed you how you can use the zabbix-server on one or multiple machines with my wdijkerman-zabbix puppet module. At the end I said that you could also do this with the zabbix-proxy. So this blog item is showing how to setup the zabbix-proxy on 1 or 2 nodes. I don’t know if people are using it like this, but when I was busy for the zabbix-server, I thought that I also had to do this for the zabbix-proxy. 🙂

So sit back and watch the show. 🙂

Single node


So, we first show you have to do this with the PostgreSQL as backend.

node 'proxy.example.com'
 class { 'postgresql::server': }

 class { 'zabbix::proxy':
   zabbix_server_host => '',
   zabbix_server_port => '10051',

As you see in this manifests file, we have configured to use the postgresql-server class and the zabbix-proxy class. This zabbix-proxy class needs 1 parameter: ‘zabbix_server_host’. This is the ip address or fqdn of the zabbix-server host. The parameter ‘zabbix_server_port’ is optional, you only have to use this parameter when the zabbix-server is running on a different port than 10051.


Okay, so you want to use MySQL as database backend? No worries, take a look at this:

node 'proxy.example.com'
 class { 'mysql::server': }

 class { 'zabbix::proxy':
   zabbix_server_host => '',
   zabbix_server_port => '10051',
   database_type      => 'mysql',

Like the zabbix-server, the zabbix-proxy uses the PostgreSQL as default database. So we have to use the ‘database_type’ parameter for specifying mysql.

Multi node

With the following example, we have 2 servers:

  • server11.example.com, which will be running the zabbix-proxy.
  • server12.example.com, which will be running the database.


Lets start the manifests file again with the MySQL as ‘database_type’:

node 'server11.example.com' {
# My ip:
  class { 'mysql::client': }
  class { 'zabbix::proxy':
    zabbix_server_host => '',
    manage_database    => false,
    database_host      => 'server12.example.com',
    database_type      => 'mysql',

node 'server12.example.com' {
# My ip:
  class { 'mysql::server':
    override_options => {
      'mysqld'       => {
        'bind_address' => '',
  class { 'zabbix::database':
    database_type     => 'mysql',
    zabbix_type       => 'proxy',
    zabbix_proxy      => 'server11.example.com',
    database_name     => 'zabbix-proxy',
    database_user     => 'zabbix-proxy',
    database_password => 'zabbix-proxy',

On the node of the zabbix-proxy, we had to add a new parameter: ‘manage_database’. We had to set it to false, the proxy class isn’t responsible for creating the database and loading the files. Thats what the ‘zabbix::database’ will do on the 2nd host.


Now with the PostgreSQL as ‘database_type’:

node 'server11.example.com' {
# My ip:
  class { 'postgresql::client': }
  class { 'zabbix::proxy':
    zabbix_server_host => '',
    manage_database    => false,
    database_host      => 'server12.example.com',

node 'server12.example.com' {
# My ip:
  class { 'postgresql::server':
    listen_addresses => ''
  class { 'zabbix::database':
    zabbix_type       => 'proxy',
    zabbix_proxy_ip   => '',
    database_name     => 'zabbix-proxy',
    database_user     => 'zabbix-proxy',
    database_password => 'zabbix-proxy',

With the above setup for both MySQL as PostgreSQL as ‘database_type’, we had to use the ‘database_name’ and ‘database_password’ parameters. The default values for the ‘zabbix::database’ class is for both parameters ‘zabbix-server’. Which is a kind of strange for the proxy. 🙂


With the default installation on both the single as the multi node setup, the password for the database is ‘zabbix-server’. I would strongly recommend that you use the parameter: ‘database_password’ and give it a nice password.