Argus - The All Seeing, System and Network Monitoring Software

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Frequently Asked Questions (with Answers)

Common Problems

1. I downloaded argus, but I think it is corrupt. I try to unzip it, but I just get an error Error reading header. Zip file corrupt.

It is not a zip file. It is a tgz file.
And, to save a step, read the next question also.


2. Can I use Argus with MicroSoft Windows?



3. I try to use argus, and all I get is

    ERROR    unable to connect to server
             checking cache...
             unable to locate cached data


  • argusd is not running. start it.
  • argusd is running. check your web server error_log for additional details on why it cannot connect.


4. I try to access argus, and my browser just displays an error similar to, but not exactly like, the one above.

Check your web server error_log for additional details.


5. I get all sort of permission denied errors from the cgi program, how should I have permission set on the various items in the datadir?

The datadir and auth file and control socket need to be writable by the www user (or whatever user/group your web server runs as).
The log, user and html/* files need to be readable by the www user and writable by the argus user (or whatever user argusd runs as).
The notno, notify/*, and stats/* need to be writable by the argus user.
There is, of course, more than one way to do this, but one way:

		ls -lF $datadir
		drwxr-xr-x  6 www          512 Oct 19 12:32 ./
		-rw-r--r--  1 www        32768 Oct 20 11:37 auth
		drwxr-xr-x  2 argus	   512 Sep 20 13:18 config/
		srw-rw-rw-  1 argus	     0 Oct 19 12:31 control=
		drwxr-xr-x  2 argus	  4608 Oct 20 11:37 html/
		-rw-r--r--  1 argus	151033 Oct 19 12:31 log
		drwxr-xr-x  2 argus	 18944 Oct 20 11:30 notify/
		-rw-r--r--  1 argus	     5 Oct 20 11:30 notno
		drwxr-xr-x  2 argus	 52224 Oct  3 11:10 stats/
		-rw-r--r--  1 argus	   134 Sep 20 15:25 users

Or, the short answer:
in your argus config, add

		chmod_control:	777
and, do the following
		prompt % cd $datadir
		prompt % chmod -R a+rw .
replacing $datadir with the actual directory. wait for argusd to reload the config file, and try again.


6. I see an error similar to Error: cannot load argus javascript

make sure you copy the file misc/argus.js to your htdocs directory and configure a javascript: /correct/url/argus.js in your argus config.


7. I see an error similar to Error: cannot load argus style_sheet

make sure you copy the file misc/argus.css to your htdocs directory and configure a style_sheet: /correct/url/argus.css in your argus config.


8. How can I monitor HTTP on a particular host on port 80/tcp and also HTTP on the same host on port 8080/tcp?
Argus does not like you if you add:

		Host "" {
			Service TCP/HTTP
			Service TCP/HTTP {
				port: 8080

It doesn't work because Argus requires objects to have unique names, so it can tell them apart. In the above example both objects will have the name
You can override the default name Argus uses to identify objects:

		Host "" {
			Service TCP/HTTP {
				uname: HTTP-PRIMARY
			Service TCP/HTTP {
				port:  8080


9. I want argus to notify me about DOWN events, but not about UP events. Is there some syntax I can use to do this?

If you set the messageup or messagedn parameter to the empty string, then that message will not be sent.

		Service Ping {


10. Instead of the 'Oodles of stuff just came up' or 'Tons of stuff just went down' emails, can I get an email that lists exactly what happened?

Normally, Argus tries to conserve your sanity, and not blast you with thousands of email messages. But, you can control this.
If you set nolotsmsgs: yes you will receive one email listing each thing that went up or down.
If you set qtime: 0 every message will sent separately, nothing will be summarized.


11. How can I change the subject lines of emails argus send me?

Add to your config:

	Method "mail" {
		command:	sendmail -t
		send:		To: %R\nFrom:%F\nSubject: Argus %E\n\n%M\n
edit as desired. see notification documentation for more details.


12. I am trying to monitor a djbdns server using UDP/DNS and it always shows as down. It appears to work when I test it manually. What to do?

The UDP/DNS test sends a DNS 'status' query, which is ignored by djbdns. Use the UDP/DNSQ test or a UDP/Domain test instead.


13. How can I monitor my DHCP server?

The DHCP protocol is a real bugger. Currently, Argus cannot monitor it directly. Some Argus users have had success setting Argus up to run the program 'dhcping':
DHCP Ping Freshmeat Page
This program does require being installed setuid root and has some limitations, so it may not work in all environments.


14. I am trying to use the UDP/RADIUS test to check my radius server, but it always shows as down. What can I do?

Argus uses the RADIUS server-status extension for testing, this is not supported by all radius servers. It is known to work with:

	merit radius
	cistron radius 1.6.5 and later
	free radius 0.8 and later (set server_status = yes in the config)
	gnu radius Sep/2003 and later


15. If I modify a config file, what is the best way to let argus know it needs to reload it?

Argus checks all of the config files every several minutes, and will automatically reload if one changes.

If you are impatient, you can run argusctl hup


16. What is the best way to shut argus down? Should I just kill it?

The preferred method would be to run rc.argusd stop or to run argusctl shutdown


17. I have a particular server which is down at the same time every day for maintenance. I do not want to be notified about this. Is there a way I can handle this?

In version 3.7 and later, you can use the following in your config file:

	Service TCP/HTTP {
                Schedule checking {
                        * 0400 - 1000 => no


18. I keep seeing: Sep 11 06:18:26 sendmail[2665]: NOQUEUE: [] did not issue MAIL/EXPN/VRFY/ETRN during connection to MTA in my sendmail log. What is this?

New versions of sendmail log every connection that does not issue valid mail transfer commands. The author recommends that you ignore the message.
If you to issue a valid MAIL command, you would still get entries in your log file (but different messages).
If the message really bothers you, and you don't mind breaking the protocol, the author has noticed that sendmail does not log syntax errors:

			Service TCP/SMTP {
				send:	MAIL\r\n
silly, silly, sendmail developers...


19. Can I get on a mailing list to learn about new versions of the software

Yes, see the link to the left.

Or, you can configure freshmeat to notify you of updates, by subscribing to the Argus Freshmeat Project. Read the freshmeat instructions to learn how.


20. Another monitoring application includes a feature that lets me get a random quotation by clicking a button, such as:

		"It was as true as taxes is. And nothing's truer than them." 
		Charles Dickens (1812-1870)
How can I get argus to do this?

Why on earth do you want a monitoring application to provide random quotations?


21. Argus appears to be working correctly, but when I run ps I see 2 argus daemons running. Is this normal?

Yes. One does all of the monitoring, etc. The other exists to monitor the other one and restart the first one if/when it exits.

If you have graphing enabled, there will be an additional process to save graphing data. If you have database testing enabled, there may be additional processes communicating with the databases.


22. I use qmail. How can I get argus to send me email?

The program "sendmail" that comes with qmail is fully compatible with argus. Make sure argus discovers the correct path during Configure (you can edit the Makefile if needed). (typically, it is installed in '/var/qmail/bin/'). It will just work.


23. I have argus monitoring all of my stuff, but I worry that by monitoring from inside my own network, I will not be able to detect problems outside of my network that could cause problems. What can I do?

Monitoring from several different locations is a highly recommended part of a well balanced monitoring archetecture.

There are a number of companies that can augment your internal monitoring by monitoring your systems from outside of your network, such as: