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I've got several servers serving some websites.

I've got Munin set up so I can track things like memory consumption, disk usage, etc.

What I'd like to have now would be a way to get emails if something goes "wrong". Let me be more specific:

  • I'd like to get an email if any of my websites is down (timeouts)
  • I'd like to get an email if my postfix mail is not responding (Not from the same mail server, of course) This can be accomplished by a telnet command, I'm told.

From what I've read, Munin isn't quite the tool for this. It can send you emails, but the conditions it detects seem to be only of type "xxx exceeds the threshold" - i.e. "memory is 95% full".

Am I correct about Munin? If yes, what is the easiest way of accomplishing this? Maybe Nagios?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

For a local install everone seems to recommend Nagios, and we use it, too.

Since you also want to check on your email server, I recommend to sign up for some external monitoring service. There are many good ones. We use AlertFox PRO (paid), but they have a free account option, too. Other options are AlertSite, Pingdom,...

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I'll accept this since it got answered slightly faster. Thanks. – egarcia Sep 29 '10 at 13:32

I'll second the above suggestions for NAGIOS. Lke vIM, it has a bit of a learning curve, but it's entirely worth it when you get over the hump.

You'll excuse my lack of knowledge regarding Munin, but the concept of a metric and a website state can't be that hard. Surely there's a data timeout/data read plugin, and you can set a reasonable expectation for when you should get a response for the webserver, and if it's longer than somewhere in the range of 5-10 seconds, you send an e-mail.

This can be done rudimentarily done for mail servers too. You should expect something to be returned on the POP3/IMAP and SMTP ports within a reasonable amount of time. And if you don't have any content then you should send an e-mail.

Aside from all of that, I really really suggest NAGIOS if Munin proves to be too difficult in implementing this. The nagios-plugins package ships a check_http and check_(imap|pop|smtp) script. All you have to do is hook the command line arguments (time thresholds, predominately), and you're done.

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I'm accepting the other answer, but only because it is essencially the same answer. Yours is more complete (I specially like that you included plugin names so I can google them ;) ) but it arrived a bit later, so I'll grant the answer to MFauser. But +1 for you! – egarcia Sep 29 '10 at 13:34
IMO, the fastest answer is not necessarily the accepted answer, the best answer is the accepted answer. If someone came to this post 1 year later and laid out everything I said but more detailed, with links, and implementation (configuration) strings and all, I'd switch to accept that answer instead. This is not a speed service, it's a completeness service. – VxJasonxV Sep 30 '10 at 21:13
Now, don't think I'm complaining, or ungrateful. I am grateful for you continuing to review this Question after having accepted the answer (or more specifically, coming back to maintain it in the first place), I'm just pointing out what I feel is the theory behind the site. – VxJasonxV Sep 30 '10 at 21:14

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