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I see both terms used, local check and plugin, and to me it seems that they both accomplish the same thing, they extend Nagios to perform other checks. Is there any difference between them? If I want to implement a custom check should I write a plugin or a local check?

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  • what do you have in mind exactly? Some checks can be executed from the nagios server directly, others are executed by the remote (monitored) hosts and their results are sent back to the nagios server (using nrpe, the nagios remote executor protocol). Yet other checks are passive and are sent to the nagios server only if something happens (using ncsa, for instance). So it all depends on what you require. I have not used nagios core in a long time, but it used to have quite thorough documentation – natxo asenjo Nov 27 '15 at 14:38
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    I've not heard/seen "local check" in 10 years of using Nagios. If you want to write a plugin, first search to see if someone else has already written it. Often, it's been done. – Keith Nov 28 '15 at 5:15
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A local check is done by a plugin. A remote check is also done by a plugin, mostly over NRPE. Here http://sites.box293.com/nagios/guides/nrpe/installing-nrpe-client-agent/unix-linux can you find some documentation about how to install and use NRPE agents on both Linux and Windows. if you want to implement a custom check, you need to write a plugin, that you can use locally by just executing the plugin or remotely by executing it over NRPE from the Nagios server with check_nrpe.

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