Prepare system


The host table must include information about the current host, for example wiki


The hostname should be set up accordingly in /etc/sysconfig/network:



Add the NRPE port to /etc/services:

vi /etc/services

locate "5671" and insert before:

nrpe            5666/tcp                # NRPE


Out of context: You should consider using a fast DNS server. I found that Google DNS is much faster than those of most hosting providers.

vi /etc/resolv.conf

Insert the line


before all other nameserver directives.

Install latest updates

yum update

Install prerequisites

Some of the packages may already have been installed. If during the installation on your particular server you find any other missing packages, please be so kind to add a comment to this post.

yum install bind-utils php ntp xinetd openssl-devel make gcc wget

Make sure that Perl is installed by typing "perl -v". If it's missing, add it by:

yum install perl

Start NTP

It's important that all servers show the correct time:

service ntpd start
chkconfig ntpd on

If the system is running on a virtual machine, NTP may fail with the following error message in /var/log/messages:

cap_set_proc() failed to drop root privileges: Operation not permitted

See here how to handle this problem.


Check if xinetd is running and start it otherwise:

service xinetd status

If not running:

service xinetd start

Add Users and groups

useradd nagios
groupadd nagcmd
usermod -a -G nagcmd nagios


If Apache is installed on the client and you want to have it monitored, make sure that an "index.html" exists:

touch /var/www/html/index.html

Firewall settings

Consider setting up your firewall for dynamic DNS names.

Add the following line to /etc/sysconfig/iptables, replacing the monitoring server name as required:

vi /etc/sysconfig/iptables
-A INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp -s --dport 5666 -j ACCEPT

Restart the firewall:

service iptables restart

Download Nagios and related software

Check at websites below for more recent versions.
cd /tmp
tar -zxf nagios-plugins-2.1.1.tar.gz 
tar -zxf nrpe-2.15.tar.gz


Install Nagios Plugins

cd /tmp/nagios-plugins-*
./configure --with-nagios-user=nagios --with-nagios-group=nagios
make install

Install and setup NRPE

Install NRPE client

cd /tmp/nrpe-*
make all
make install-plugin
make install-daemon
make install-daemon-config
make install-xinetd

Configure xinetd

Restrict access to Nagios server

vi /etc/xinetd.d/nrpe

locate the line starting with "only_from" and append the address(es) of the Nagios monitoring server(s). In this example we are using

IPv4 only:

only_from =

IPv4 and IPv6:

only_from = fe80::21c:42ff:fe93:3ccf

Make sure the nrpe daemon is running under xinetd:

netstat -at | grep nrpe

The output out this command should show something like this:

tcp 0 0 *:nrpe *:* LISTEN

If you don't see this output, try to restart XINETD:

service xinetd restart

If the test still fails, check /var/log/messages.

Set up logging

Make sure that xinetd writes to its own log file, so it doesn't clutter /var/log/messages.

vi /etc/xinetd.conf

locate the line defining "log_type", and replace it by

        log_type        = FILE /var/log/xinetd.log

Test NRPE locally

Next, check to make sure the NRPE daemon is functioning properly. To do this, run the check_nrpe plugin that was installed for testing purposes.

/usr/local/nagios/libexec/check_nrpe -H

You should get a string back that tells you what version of NRPE is installed, like this:

NRPE v2.15

Customize NRPE commands

Add commands to NRPE by editing /usr/local/nagios/etc/nrpe.cfg. Here is an example:

vi /usr/local/nagios/etc/nrpe.cfg

locate the sections listing NRPE commands and add (use whatever mount points you want do monitor):

command[check_root]=/usr/local/nagios/libexec/check_disk -w 20% -c 10% -p /
command[check_home]=/usr/local/nagios/libexec/check_disk -w 20% -c 10% -p /home

Now test the new commands:

/usr/local/nagios/libexec/check_nrpe -H -c check_home

Test NRPE from the Nagios monitoring server

At your Nagios monitoring server (not the one you're installing the NRPE client on!), run the following command, replacing the ip address with the name or address of the actual client:

/usr/local/nagios/libexec/check_nrpe -H -c check_load

If you see an error message indicating that check_nrpe was not found, check that you didn't miss the definition on the command in /usr/local/nagios/etc/objects/commands.cfg; see "1 - Installation - Nagios Server (CentOS 6.4)".

If you see the error message "CHECK_NRPE: Error - Could not complete SSL handshake.", you should check:

  • Went something wrong with the firewall configuration? Try "telnet 5666" from the Nagios server (replace the IP address with the name or address of your NRPE client). Enter "QUIT" do stop the telnet session (there are more correct ways, but this will do).
  • Check all configuration files if you accidentally entered sample data from this How-To.
  • Make sure that you actually testing from the Nagios monitoring server and not from the host you just installed NRPE Client on. Reason is that you didn't allow the client's public IP address in /etc/xinet.d/nrpe, just localhost and the Nagios server.
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