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Nagios Core on Gentoo/Raspberry Pi with Nginx

February 29, 2020 — Jesse Harris

I haven't posted in a while due to a change in my work. I'm currently working in the Server and Storage team at my workplace for a 6 month secondment. The role is much more aligned with my enjoyment of using GNU/Linux.

Note These notes are incomplete, but I'm posting them anyway.

One of the responsibilities I've picked up is maintaining our Nagios monitoring system. While I won't go into too much detail about that here, I thought I'd install it at home to monitor things and get a bit more experience on it.

Thankfully ebuilds exist in Gentoo which means I don't have to compile it myself. Unfortunately, the integrations with web servers doesn't cover nginx.

Nagios-Core will be installed on a Raspberry Pi running NGinx. If your already running Apache, or lighttp, then your in luck, as the ebuilds for Nagios-Core support those out of the box. The setup for the rest of that won't be covered here.

Assumptions This guide will assume you are already serving content from nginx and it won't cover initial setup and install.


The default USE flags and modules built for nginx should cover what is required for nagios, but just to be sure, these will be needed:

    fastcgi scgi


Modern versions of Nagios, use a bit of PHP, so we are going to need php compiled with the following USE flags


FPM is a method of invoking php through a unix socket so as not to have to spawn new child processes every time someone hits a .php file.

Glue packages

We need a spawner and fastcgi wrapper to launch cgi scripts for the nagios site.

    emerge www-misc/fcgiwrap www-servers/spawn-fcgi

Both these applications were hard masked on arm64, but they are running fine for me.

Nagios Core

I didn't use any special use flags for nagis core.

Setting it all up

Getting info

To get this working you need a few bits of info

Where is nagios cgi scripts installed to?

    equery files net-analyzer/nagios-core | grep cgi | head -1

Where are the html files?

    equery files net-analuyer/nagios-core | grep htdocs | head -1

fpm config

When php was compiled with the fpm USE flag we should have an php fpm service file and configuration files. We could make fpm listen on a service or to a unix socket. On my system, everything will be hosted together so using a unix socket will be the most ideal.

Edit the config at /etc/php/fpm-php7.3/fpm.d and set the listen value like so:

    listen = /var/run/php7-fpm.socket

This is the socket file that we will configure nginx to connect to later so that it can run php stuff.

Next skip through the file a bit to find the listen.owner and listen.group settings. Set them both to nginx

Save and close that config file and go edit /etc/php/fpm-php7.3/php.ini Find and uncomment out ;cgi.fix_pathinfo=1 and change it to equal 0.

I'm using systemd, so I ran systemctl enable php-fpm@7.3 --now to start and enable the service at boot. Take a peek in /var/run/

    ls -l /var/run/php7-fpm.socket
    srw-rw---- 1 nginx nginx 0 Jan 27 10:08 /var/run/php7-fpm.socket  

Notice it is owned by nginx.


Fastcgi will be responible for serving cgi bin files for nagios. These are nagios programs written in C. To do so, Nginx talks to a spawner which spawns fcgiwrap which in turn runs the programs.

spawn-fcgi doesn't really have a configuration file from what I can tell. When merged onto my system, it's configuration is handled by the init.d service script reading variables from /etc/conf.d/spawn-fcgi and setting command line options.

To simplify things, I just created a simple systemd service unit and hard coded the options I needed into it. Here is the service file I came up with:

    Description=Simple spawn-fcgi service

    ExecStart=/usr/bin/spawn-fcgi -n -U 999 -G 235 -s /var/run/fcgiwrap.socket /usr/sbin/fcgiwrap


Explanation of parameters:

  • -n don't fork
  • -U 999 set socket user permissions to UID 999 which is Nginx
  • -G 235 set socket group permissions to GID 235 which is Nginx
  • -s /var/run/fcgiwrap.socket create a unix socket at this path
  • /usr/sbin/fcgiwrap spawn this fcgi binary

Start and enable this service with systemctl enable spawn-fcgi --now should produce a socket file similar to the php7 one created earlier. This will be used in our nginx config later.

Nginx Config

My nginx config is all in one file, so adjust my changes as per your needs. The first change we need to make is inside the http declaration. We need to specify the two upstream servers (in this case servers on the local system via sockets). One for php and one for cgi-bin.

Each one will reference the sockets we created earlier.

    upstream php {
        server unix:/var/run/php7-fpm.socket;

    upstream fcgiwrap {
        server unix:/var/run/fcgiwrap.socket;

The default nginx config will have a server declaration for your site. Nested in here you will need the following location declarations. The location declaration /nagios and will result in being able to access nagios by navigating to the website url like so: randomsite.com/nagios

	location ~ /nagios/ {
		alias /usr/share/nagios/htdocs;
		auth_basic "Nagios Restricted Access";
		auth_basic_user_file /etc/nagios/htpasswd.users;

note here the path to htdocs was discovered earlier

		index index.php index.html;
		location ^~ /nagios/cgi-bin {
				alias /usr/lib64/nagios/cgi-bin;
				include /etc/nginx/fastcgi_params;
				fastcgi_param AUTH_USER $remote_user;
				fastcgi_param REMOTE_USER $remote_user;
				fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $request_filename;
				fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/fcgiwrap.socket;
				fastcgi_param PATH_INFO $fastcgi_script_name;
		location ~ .php$ {
				proxy_set_header REMOTE_USER $remote_user;
				include fastcgi_params;
				fastcgi_param AUTH_USER $remote_user;
				fastcgi_param REMOTE_USER $remote_user;
				fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $request_filename;
				fastcgi_param SCRIPT_NAME $fastcgi_script_name;
				fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php7-fpm.socket;
				fastcgi_param PATH_INFO $fastcgi_script_name;

	location /nagios/stylesheets {
			alias /usr/share/nagios/htdocs/stylesheets;

What's happening here:

  • location ~ /nagios/ causes the uri to match /nagios/ as a case sensitive regular expression. Without the ~, an article like this with it's name starting with nagios might also fall into that location
  • location ^~ is a non regular expression match of the uri
  • fastcgi_param directives are passing parameters from the browser to the cgi script.
  • fastcgi_pass passes the request to the socket setup as an upstream server.

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Tags: gentoo, linux, nagios