Advice for Beginners

Congrats on choosing to try Nagios! Nagios is quite powerful and flexible, but unfortunately its not very friendly to newbies. Why? Because it takes a lot of work to get it installed and configured properly. That being said, if you stick with it and manage to get it up and running, you'll never want to be without it. :-) Here are some very important things to keep in mind for those of you who are first-time users of Nagios:

  1. Relax - its going to take some time. Don't expect to be able to compile Nagios and start it up right off the bat. Its not that easy. In fact, its pretty difficult. If you don't want to spend time learning how things work and getting things running smoothly, don't bother using this software. Instead, pay someone to monitor your network for you or hire someone to install Nagios for you. :-)

  2. Read the documentation. Nagios is difficult enough to configure when you've got a good grasp of what's going on, and nearly impossible if you don't. Do yourself a favor and read before blindly attempting to install and run Nagios. If you're the type who doesn't want to take the time to read the documentation, you'll probably find that others won't find the time to help you out when you have problems. RTFM.

  3. Use the sample config files. Sample configuration files are provided with Nagios. Look at them, modify them for your particular setup and test them! The sample files are just that - samples. There's a very good chance that they won't work for you without modifications. Sample config files can be found in the sample-config/ subdirectory of the Nagios distribution.

  4. Seek the help of others. If you've read the documentation, reviewed the sample config files, and are still having problems, try sending a descriptive email message describing your problems to the nagios-users mailing list. Due to the amount of work that I have to do for this project, I am unable to answer most of the questions that get sent directly to me, so your best source of help is going to be the mailing list. If you've done some background reading and you provide a good problem description, odds are that someone will give you some pointers on getting things working properly.