* * * Release notes for Xymon 4.3.1 * * *
Changes for 4.3.1
This is a SECURITY BUG FIX release, resolving a number of
potential cross-site scripting vulnerabilities in the Xymon
Thanks to David Ferrest who reported these to me.
Changes for 4.3.0
IMPORTANT: Most files and internals in Xymon have been renamed
with the 4.3.0-beta3 release. If you are upgrading from a
version prior to 4.3.0-beta3, you MUST read the file
docs/upgrade-to-430.txt and make sure you follow the steps
outlined here. That also applies if you are upgrading from
Xymon 4.3.0 is the first release with new features after
the 4.2.0 release. Several large changes have been made
throughout the entire codebase. Some highlights (see
the Changes file for a longer list):
* Data going into graphs can now be used to alter a status,
e.g. to trigger an alert from the response time of a network
* Tasks in xymonlaunch can be be configured to run at specific
time of day using a cron-style syntax for when they must run.
* Worker modules (RRD, client-data parsers etc) can operate on
remote hosts from the xymond daemon, for load-sharing.
* Support for defining holidays as non-working days in alerts and
* Hosts which appear on multiple pages in the web display can
use any page they are on in the alerting rules and elsewhere.
* Various new network tests: SOAP-over-HTTP, HTTP tests with
session cookies, SSL minimum encryption strength test.
* New "compact" status display can group multiple statuses into
one on the webpage display.
* Configurable periods for graphs on the trends page.
* RRD files can be configured to maintain more data and/or
different data (e.g. MAX/MIN values)
* SLA calculations now include the number of outages in addition
to the down-time.
* Solaris client now uses "swap -l" to determine swap-space
usage, which gives very different results from the previous
"swap -s" data. So your Solaris hosts will appear to change
swap-utilisation when the Xymon client is upgraded.
TRACKMAX feature removed
For users of the TRACKMAX feature present in 4.2.2 and
later 4.2.x releases: This feature has been dropped. Instead,
you should add a definition for the tests that you want to track
max-values for to the rrddefinitions.cfg file. E.g. to
track max-values for the "mytest" status column:
Changed behaviour of http testing via proxy
The Big Brother behaviour of allowing you to specify an http
(web) proxy as part of the URL in a test has been disabled
by default, since it interferes with URL's that contain
another URL as part of the URL path. If you need the Big Brother
behaviour, add "--bb-proxy-syntax" to your invocations of
BBGHOSTS setting removed
Setting BBGHOSTS in the xymonserver.cfg file no longer has any
effect. Instead, you must use the "--ghosts" option for hobbitd.
The default ghost handling has also been changed from "ignore"
xymonproxy: Alert support for Big Brother servers removed
The xymonproxy tool no longer supports forwarding "page"
messages. This means that if you are forwarding messages
from an old Big Brother client to a Big Brother server
that is sending out alerts, then these alerts will be
dropped. Status updates will be forwarded, only alerts
triggered from the Big Brother server are affected.
Webpage menu: New menu code
with a menu based on CSS/HTML4. This means that any menu
customization will have to be manually transferred to the
new menu definition file, ~xymon/server/etc/xymonmenu.cfg.
The new menu-system is known NOT to work with Internet
Explorer 6 (IE 7 and newer are fine). If you must have a
menu system that works with the ancient browsers, then the
old Tigra menu can be downloaded from
together with instructions for using it with Xymon 4.3.0.
Changes from 4.2.2 -> 4.2.3
See the "Changes" file for a list of the changes in 4.2.3.
The 4.2.3 release primarily touches the network test module,
where a number of DNS bugs were fixed - these could cause
network tests (especially tests of DNS servers) to crash
This release also marks the beginning of a series of
releases leading up the the 5.0 release. New features
will be added in coming 4.3 / 4.4 etc. versions releases
Changes from 4.2.0 -> 4.2.2
The 4.2.2 release is an interim release. It contains the
original 4.2.0 release plus the following changes:
*) Due to the Hobbit project being renamed to Xymon (for
legal reasons), the documentation has been updated to
refer to this as the name of the project. Note that the
4.2.2 release does not change any filenames for
configuration files or programs.
*) All patches from the "all-in-one" patch have been applied
*) Patches from Debian and Mandriva source archives and
elsewhere have been merged, fixing:
- The "Critical Systems" configuration report would crash
when hosts were in NKview.cfg, but no NK tags were in
bb-hosts (from Mandriva)
- SSL certificates with 4-digit expiration years would
crash the network tester (from Debian)
- Newer OpenLDAP versions have a different API, so
the LDAP test code would not build correctly (from
- Old Big Brother clients report disk output with no
header line (from Debian)
- The bb-hosts syntax for HTTP testing via a proxy
could not support https target-URL's (from Debian)
- Certain SuSE versions would not be identified by
the Linux client as such (only affected OS name
displayed in the "info" status).
- hobbitping could loop indefinitely in case of
- Installing on newer Darwin versions failed because
"nireport" was used to find user-info. Changed to
- Alert-scripts might fail because of size limitations
on how large environment variables could be passed.
- 64-bit systems might put odd numbers into the
- Fixed display of alert duration on the "info" page.
- NetBSD systems with >2 GB RAM would report strange
*) Support for sending custom graph data in a "trends"
data message (from
*) Split-NCV and TRACKMAX support for custom graphs (from
*) Support for the "BBWin" client http://bbwin.sf.net/
in centralized (server-side) configuration mode.
Based on BBWin v. 0.12.
*) Support for the "hobbit-perl-client" add-on
Based on perl-http-client v1.15
*) Support for the "Devmon" SNMP data collector
http://devmon.sf.net/ based on Devmon 0.3.0.
A detailed changelog can be found in the Changes
Note: There was never an official 4.2.1 release.
Below are the release notes for the 4.2.0 version
* * * * *
This release contains several new programs, enhanced functionality
and changes to the configuration files.
New Critical Systems View - "NK" tags now deprecated
The "Critical Systems" view is now built dynamically by a new
CGI tool, hobbit-nkview. It uses a new configuration file
separate from the bb-hosts file, which is maintained by the
*** The "NK" tags in bb-hosts are being deprecated ***
The NK tags in the bb-hosts file will only be handled in
Xymon 4.x. It is recommended that you begin to move your
critical systems view to the new hobbit-nkview configuration.
Modem-bank testing ("dialup" host definition) does not work
Previous versions of Xymon supported the Big Brother "dialup"
host definition for pinging a range of IP-adresses, e.g. a
modem-bank or a pool of IP-adresses handed out by a DHCP server.
This feature is not supported in Xymon 4.2, but may re-appear
in a different form in a later version.
(Note: This has nothing to do with the "dialup" directive
which can be applied to individual hosts, to make them go
clear when they are offline instead of red or purple).
Follow the normal procedure for building and installing Xymon,
i.e. "./configure; make; make install". Note that Xymon
now installs hobbitping suid-root, so root privileges are
needed for a server installation.
Xymon 4.2 uses one more IPC communication channel than the
previous release (for a total of 8 shared memory segments totalling
2336 KB of shared memory, and 8 semaphore sets of 3 semaphores each).
If your system has a limited number of IPC shared-memory segments
and/or semaphores, you may need to increase this. See the installation
document at docs/install.html for some information about this, or
refer to your operating system documentation on System V IPC.
If you have a multi-host setup using the bbproxy utility, then
you must upgrade bbproxy for the new Xymon clients to be fully
Configuration file changes
If you are upgrading from a previous version of Xymon, you will
need to merge several new configuration items into your Xymon
configuration files, in order to make full use of these enhance-
ments. These notes describe what changes to perform.
Several new status columns are being reported by the Xymon client,
and these have associated graphs. In order for them to show up
correctly, you must change the two graph-settings:
- TEST2RRD: Add ",files,procs=processes,ports,clock,lines" to
the current setting.
- GRAPHS: Add ",files,processes,ports,ifstat,clock,lines" to
the current setting.
Xymon now includes a ping utility, which is faster than "fping"
which was used in previous Xymon versions. To use this utility,
change the FPING setting to FPING="hobbitping". However, the
hobbitping utility is still somewhat experimental, so if you
run into problems with the connectivity tests, it is advised that
you use fping instead.
The following settings in xymonserver.cfg are no longer used
and may be deleted: BBPAGE, BBPAGERS, USEHOBBITD, PAGELEVELS,
PURPLEDELAY, BBREL, BBRELDATE, CLIENTSVCS.
The bb-ack.cgi tool has a new option, "--no-pin", which allows
you to acknowledge alerts without having to bother with the
acknowledgment code. To use this, add the "--no-pin" option to the
Five new CGI programs have been added in Xymon 4.2. To ensure
they are invoked correctly, add these lines to your hobbitcgi.cfg file:
# hobbitgraph.cgi options
# hobbit-nkview.cgi options
# hobbit-nkedit.cgi options
# hobbit-ackinfo.cgi options
(Replace "/home/hobbit" with the top-level directory of your
Xymon server installation).
Several new graphs require additions to the hobbitgraph.cfg
file. If you haven't added any custom graphs, it is recommended
that you install the new version of the file located in the
hobbit-4.2/hobbitd/etcfiles/ directory. If you have added custom
graphs, copy the following sections from the 4.2 version of the
file to your hobbitgraph.cfg file: apache3-multi, conn-multi,
ifstat, files, processes, ports, clock, lines.
The path for the [bbcombotest] module was incorrect. To use the
bbcombotest feature, make sure that it has
A new Xymon module has been implemented, which saves a snapshot
of the client data reported by a Xymon client prior to a status
going into a critical or warning state. This aids in diagnosing
problems where the critical status appearing in Xymon is only
a symptom of the real problem, and you need to look at other types
of data to determine the root cause. To enable this module, two
changes are needed:
* The [hobbitd] command must have the option "--store-clientlogs=!msgs"
added. See the hobbitd(8) man-page for further information.
* A new [hostdata] section must be added:
# "hostdata" stores the Xymon client messages on disk when some status for a host
# changes. This lets you access a lot of data collected from a host around the time
# when a problem occurred. However, it may use a significant amount of disk space
# if you have lots of Xymon clients.
# Note: The --store-clientlogs option for the [hobbitd] provides control over
# which status-changes will cause a client message to be stored.
CMD hobbitd_channel --channel=clichg --log=$BBSERVERLOGS/hostdata.log hobbitd_hostdata
If you want to use the new "hobbitfetch" utility to collect data from
clients, you must add a [hobbitfetch] section to run the data collector.
Add this to your hobbitlaunch.cfg file:
# "hobbitfetch" is used when you have clients that cannot connect to your Xymon server,
# but the Xymon server can connect to the client. Normally the clients will initiate
# a connection to the Xymon server to deliver the data they collect, but this is
# forbidden in some firewall setups. By enabling the hobbitfetch task, hosts that have
# the "pulldata" tag in the bb-hosts file will be polled by hobbitfetch for their data.
# NOTE: On the clients you must enable the "msgcache" task, since this is what
# hobbitfetch is talking to.
CMD $BBHOME/bin/hobbitfetch --server=YOUR.HOBBIT.SERVER.IP --no-daemon --pidfile=$BBSERVERLOGS/hobbitfetch.pid
Two new menu items have been added, and the "NK view" has been replaced by
the new "Critical systems" view. To make this visible, change this:
- Replace the "NK view" section with
['Critical systems', '/hobbit-cgi/hobbit-nkview.sh'],
Note that this requires you to migrate your current "NK" tags in
the bb-hosts file to the new Critical Systems configuration file.
See the "Critical Systems" menu item in the "Help" menu.
- In the "Reports" menu, after the "Config report" line, add
['Metrics Report', '/hobbit-cgi/hobbit-hostgraphs.sh'],
['Ghost Clients', '/hobbit-cgi/hobbit-ghosts.sh'],
- In the "Administration" menu, after the "Enable/Disable" line, add
['Edit critical systems', '/hobbit-seccgi/hobbit-nkedit.sh'],
- In the "Help" menu, after the "Tips and Tricks" line, add
['Custom graphs', '/hobbit/help/howtograph.html'],
- In the "Help" menu, after the "Configuring Alerts" line, add
['Critical systems', '/hobbit/help/criticalsystems.html'],
['Custom graphs', '/hobbit/help/howtograph.html'],
The "/hobbit-cgi" part of the URL may be different, depending on your setup.
The width of menu items need to be increased slightly. Change line 25
of this file from "'width': 150" to "'width': 160".
The [spamd] definition had an erroneous "expect" string. It should
be changed to
A "cupsd" definition has been added to test the CUPS printing system.
# CUPS print server. It answers to HTTP requests.
send "GET /printers\r\n"
expect "HTTP/1.1 200 OK"
And an "AJP13" definition has been added for the Apache JServer
protocol version 1.3.
# AJP (Apache JServ Protocol) 1.3 - sends an AJP "ping" request.
# Ref: http://tomcat.apache.org/connectors-doc/common/ajpv13a.html
# From Charles Goyard