Joachim Breitner

nagstamon forklet necessary

Published 2010-06-24 in sections English, Digital World.

A while ago, I discovered nagstamon, a very useful piece of software by Henri Wahl. This program sits in the notification area of your desktop and alerts you when your nagios-monitored services have problems. Using nagstamon allows me to keep my servers under close surveillance, and it also adds another channel besides e-mail alerts, which will be helpful in case my mail server has problems.

The wish

I am not a full time sysadmin, I only monitor very few hosts and the services rarely have problems. Therefore, I do not want nagstamon to constantly sit in the notification area but only use it when there is something, well, to notify me about. It turned out that nagstamon did not support this mode of operation, so I created a ticket and asked whether this feature could be added. The author raised two points, one being that then the user would not know when nagios crashed and the other being that you would not be able to configure nagstamon because you do not see it. He also indicated that he does not have the resources to work on it and asked if I could find the time.

The patch

Since I really liked nagstamon, but really want to keep my panel uncluttered, I found the time: I created a series of self-containing patches, adding an option for the feature, adding code to prevent more than one instance of nagstamon running in parallel and adding a "nagstamon --settings" flag that would signal the running instance to show the settings – similar to how mail-notification is been behaving. The author then raised the valid point that some people run more than one instances in parallel, with different configuration options. I then extended the patch to cater for that.

The rebuff

The author remained reserved, did not answer my last commend on the ticket and then, six weeks later, closed the bug without explanation and turned off the possibility to add comments. I can understand when people are reluctant to add contributed features to their code, I often feel the same way. But completely blocking more comments is not a nice way of communicating with possible contributors.

The fork(let)

So I’m left with no option but patching each released version with my changes and building my own package. As I have to do this work anyways, I’d like to share it. You can find my branch in my git repository. If you happen to want this feature as well and are using a Debian-based distribution, please let me know: I am building modified Debian packages anyways and can publish them as well. As I don’t want to maintain this fork of nagstamon I don’t plan to diverge any more from Henri’s code, so if you have other feature requests, please talk to him first.

Comments

Definitely interested in debs for this.
#1 Ross Reedstrom am 2010-06-24
You can fetch them from http://people.debian.org/~nomeata/nagstamon/. It’s not yet apt-get’able, I might do that eventually.
#2 Joachim Breitner (Homepage) am 2010-06-25
Hi Joachim,

Being the Nagstamon Debian package maintainer, I have to reply :)

Henri Wahl, the developer of Nagstamon, is really responsive to any issue I have been reporting to him until now. It's a real pleasure to work with him.

I read your feature wish on Sourceforge and I think Henri has been rather clear about several times he was not personnaly really interested in seeing it in Nagstamon, fearing Nagstamon instances could die silently. He also had some concerns about another big issue he had at the same time. At the end, it's his call.

But if I'm correct the status of your feature wish has just evolved :)

Bye,
Carl Chenet

Blog: http://carlchenet.wordpress.com
Identi.ca: http://identi.ca/carlchenet
#3 Carl Chenet (Homepage) am 2010-06-25
Maybe I should add that I also found him to be quite responsive at first and I hold no grudge against him or his decisions – only the silent bug closing upset me, and that has indeed been reverted.
#4 Joachim Breitner (Homepage) am 2010-06-25

Have something to say? You can post a comment by sending an e-Mail to me at <mail@joachim-breitner.de>, and I will include it here.