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I've recently been introduced to WMI, and find it really cool.

Maybe my brain's just not in gear, but what similar tools exist for *nix like WMI?

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You brain's not in gear by thinking WMI is cool.... jk ;) – squillman Mar 3 '10 at 19:24
up vote 5 down vote accepted
  • SNMP for getting data (you can script data gathering and attach it to an OID)
  • for hosts in foo bar baz; do ssh root@$host some-script; done
  • puppet, bcfg, cfengine, etc... (many of these include components for getting data about systems, as well)
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Agreed. SNMP or SSH-based scripts for getting data, puppet/cfengine for control. And puppet/cfengine go way beyond the problems handled by WMI. – Jason Antman Mar 3 '10 at 22:58

SNMP is the most common protocol for this kind of work. Net-SNMP is the "reference" implementation:

They have an excellent wiki with tutorials, examples, documentation, and programming resources:

It's open source (GPL) and supports all the major platforms, including most every Linux distro, the *BSD UNIXes, Mac OSX, and Windows. The project site hosts MSI installers for Windows, but you probably want to use the disto-specific packages for other platforms.

But SNMP has some significant differences from WMI, and there are a lot of WMI features that SNMP doesn't support. There is a newer alternative called WBEM (web-based enterprise management). (Coincidentally, WMI is actually the MS implementation of WBEM for Windows.)

The OpenPegasus project is an open-source WBEM implementation:

It runs on Linux, at least, but I don't know about any other platforms. I know there are good OpenPegasus packages for Fedora and RHEL/CentOS, but I don't know about other distros.

Currently, SNMP is far more common than WBEM, at least on Linux and UNIX. Also, most managed networking equipment (routers, switches, load balancers, etc.) support SNMP exclusively. SNMP has been the Linux/UNIX/Cisco standard for more than a decade, and it isn't going to disappear anytime, soon.

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openpegasus is an open source implementation DMTF CIM and WBEM standards (which WMI is a superset of). Most commercial Unixes have a WBEM implementation. SNMP is to WMI what a bicycle is to a car. SNMP is set up for monitoring information from a device, WMI is deisnged to allow you to manage a device as well as monitor it, E.G. SNMP has no concept of events and subscribers.

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WMI is based on WBEM (web-based enterprise management), which a quick Google (for wbem unix) reveals exists in at least HP-UX, with some vague rumblings of it being more generally available.

squillman is right though, it's not that great, although it can come in handy for some quick 'n' dirty reporting.

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