Nagios is one of those Open Source projects that I’ve had a love-hate relationship with over the years. On one hand, it’s a powerful, popular tool. On the other it’s one where you are supposed to “just” grab the source, compile it, and install.
The the complication is the quotation marks around the word “just”. Despite the fact that I’m a reasonably accomplished software engineer, my experience over the years with “just” doing that has been less than stellar… to the point where unless it’s for hobby purposes, I tend to avoid those projects. They bring to mind the Shrek line “The Princess will be up the stairs in the highest room in the tallest tower.” At those points in time, I’m usually not in a position to slay the dragon and climb those stairs by troubleshooting other people’s code.
I ran into a situation where Nagios really would be very beneficial, so I decided to give it another chance. It is a popular active project and as such, is always improving. After perusing the web sites, reading the requirements, and finding a Fedora Quickstart page, I reached for my default tool of CentOS inside a virtual machine.
Quite frankly I was pleasantly surprised that there were zero problems following the instructions. Everything compiled, installed, and ran without complaint save one minor point. I say to the Nagios team, “Thank you.”
The minor point was SELinux. The instructions say to disable it, but give a couple of commands if you wish to keep it active. Those commands didn’t work as-is so I just disabled it for the time being. (Yes, yes, I know, I know… but that’s a discussion for another time.)