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I am having trouble getting monitoring software to work on the Mac. There's a ton of great monitoring software out there, and much of it is cross-platform.

I'm not scared of the compiler, and have tried to compile a few of these tools. Most of them rely on RRDTool, and now that is uses Cairo, there are a whole lot of GTK and Gnome dependancies. [Handily, it looks like you can download all the dependancies here.] Others, while also cross-platform, don't compile cleanly or run properly. Even being a programmer, as a busy sysadmin, it is hard to take the time to track down and successfully build all the needed dependancies, or to try to debug a project, and it makes the thought of building updates unappealing.

This is where I miss Linux -- just invoke your package manager and you have the software you want. I know that pkgsrc, MacPorts, Fink, and Gentoo for OS X address this problem, but they tend to be silos unto themselves, building up a system from scratch (including rebuilding Python and Perl, and possibly a lot more underlying fundamental unix tools), which, in my mind, is a huge disincentive in deploying software made by them, especially as I'd also like to monitor client machines.

So, what do you do? Find installable binaries? Do you have any recommendations of things that build cleanly and play well with the Mac? Also, did you have a prefered place to build things to (ex. /usr/local, /Library/Monitor)?

As for building packages, I'm using JAMF Composer, which will monitor the filesystem and let me tweak the files to be included in the .pkg or .dmg it will produce. Still, tips on packaging such software might still be valuable.

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2 Answers 2

If you want to try Zenoss, it seems their stack installer runs right on OS X. I haven't tried it on that platform myself, but we use Zenoss on openSUSE, and the stack installer includes all the dependencies.

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+1 for Zenoss. The freebie version has some rough edges, but with a little spit-shine, it gets the job done. –  Avery Payne Jun 19 '09 at 8:31

One creates a VM with an OS that has all the stuff one needs already-packaged and ready to install.

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