Difference between revisions of "Pandora: QuickGuides EN: General Quick Guide"

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(Adjust my monitoring (threshold, units, others))
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We select the module to configure:
We select the module to configure:
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After that we open the "Avanced Options" tab and we start to configure the wished fields.
After that we open the "Avanced Options" tab and we start to configure the wished fields.

Revision as of 16:56, 28 April 2015

1 Introduction to this guide

The purpose of this guide is to quickly introduce Pandora FMS to someone not familiar with Pandora FMS, but who has a medium/high knowledge of systems and networks. We don't pretend to make a path along all the features of Pandora FMS, but remark the most important of them, so that a user that read the complete guide could make basic administration and operation tasks in record time. It's good to consider that the Pandora FMS official training lasts 40 hours, and the official documentation has more than 1200 pages, so this is just a small bridge to make easier the approach to Pandora FMS.

2 Installation

We'd use the Pandora FMS CD Appliance because it's the quickest and easiest method for intermediate users. There are several alternative ways to install Pandora FMS, but this is the one we recommend. For further information, please read Pandora FMS Installation chapter.

The installation CD is based on Linux CentOS 6.5, and contains pre-installed all the things required to make Pandora FMS work. You should have a machine with a minimum hardware requirements to make Pandora FMS run properly. You must have a minimum of 2GB of RAM and 20GB of disk.


The more systems you want to monitor the more resources (CPU, memory, Disk speed) you'll have to assign to the Pandora FMS server.


2.1 Installing the Appliance CD

Download the CD image from the Download section of our website and record the ISO image in a DVD, or run the system from that file if you are using a virtualized system (XenServer, VMware, VirtualBox, etc). There are CD images of 32 and 64 bit.

The following screen will be displayed at the beginning of the boot. If Nos aparece esta pantalla al inicio del arranque. If you don't press any key it will automatically load the Live CD, instead of that, press any key and select "Installation" option.



The graphic installer will lead you step by step during the whole installing process. This installer is a standard installing process used by CentOS, and it's available in different languages. It's a very easy process and you'll just have to pay special attention when introducing the superuser password (root), and when you'll be asked about the partitioning:

Guiarapida password.png

We choose "root" user password (superuser)

Guiarapida disco.png

We choose the partitioning. Unless you know what it does, use the "Use all space".

2.2 First steps

Once installed, the system should boot and after a few seconds show the desktop that has to be similar to the following:

Guiarapida escritorio.png

The first step should be to know the IP that the system has assigned to us to allow us to connect to the server from outside. For that, we will open a terminal in the Applications menu Applications -> System Tools -> Terminal. In this terminal we will write the command:


Guiarapida ifconfig.png

You can see this example. In this particular case, the system IP is

If the system has booted and and taken an IP from our network it will be shown in the list. If we want to set a fixed IP to this system, we could do it through the CentOS Network Configuration Interface. Click on the right button over the network icon and "Edit connections". The purpose of this guide is not detail the configuration of the base system but allow the minimum work configuration.

Once you know the IP address of Pandora FMS system, you can access to it from outside the virtual machine, which is always more comfortable. You can do it via SSH or via HTTP. Remember that you set the root password (superuser) in the configuration.

Open a browser and write the following address with the IP that you got from your server:


In the last example it would be, but you must get the IP of your system correctly to continue. If everything is correct you must access the welcome screen of Pandora FMS console, similar to the next:

Guiarapida login.png


Use the credentials by default: user admin and password pandora


Once arrived to this point, you have a complete installation of Pandora FMS ready to use.

3 Detecting problems in your network

To start with Pandora FMS, the best option is detect and try to monitor the devices that are around. No matter if they are PCs with Windows, Linux servers or routers/switches because we are doing a very basic monitoring (check if they answer to a ping). After that and once they are detected we could improve the monitoring.

3.1 Create a Recon Task

Let's follow the next steps. In the side menu go to "Manage Servers" -> "Manage Recon Task" as shown in the image below, and click on Create Recon Task button.

Guiarapida recon1.png

Create the task as in the image:

Guiarapida recon2.png

You will have to modify only the network range to explore. In this screenshot is which means that all the hosts of the 192.168.70.xx network will be explored. Use here the appropriate mask to define your network.

"Basic monitoring" network template which covers uniquely the latency and network availability checks has been selected. Group "Network" that will be used to contain the detected devices has been selected. From know and on we will call "agents" (in a generic way) to the devices managed or monitored by Pandora FMS.

Once created it will show us the entry, and we must click on the lens icon to see the task details, as shown in the screenshot below:

Guiarapida viewrecon.png

By clicking on the lens icon, it will show the current status os the task, which should be the task execution. In this screenshot you could see how advanced is the progress bar, and in that moment the system is searching systems in the network to add the monitoring.

Guiarapida reconexec.png

3.2 Review the detected systems

At this point, is recommended to wait till all the network has been detected. Click on Refresh tab Refreshtab.png. When you are finished, go to Agent Detail view to see all the systems detected. Menu "Monitoring" -> "Agent detail", as in the image:

Guiarapida monitoringagentdetail.png

Here we could see severial systems that have been properly detected by Pandora FMS. Sometimes the name of the system would have been solved (if possible by DNS), and in other cases the OS would have been detected. When clicking on the name of the system (in this case the first of the screenshot), we'll go to Agent Detail view that will display all the information of that system.

Guiarapida agentdetailedview.png

4 Add the remote check over an already monitored system

Now that we have our systems detected, we are going to add some monitoring modules. Let's add the following monitoring:

  • Network traffic on an interface.
  • Packet loss in the network.
  • Check if a service is answering by the network trough a TCP port.
  • Check a website.

4.1 Network traffic on the interface

For that is essential that the SNMP is configured in the remote device. This usually needs to be activated and a minimum configuration that allows us to consult data. The SNMP devices allows to configure the IP that can make queries, and with which community, what is a kind of password.

First of all we have to locate the agent from where we want to get the network traffic, in our case it's Following the same process (Monitoring -> Agent Detail View) we'll go to the Main View of the agent we want to configure and we will click on the last tab on the right, which will take us to the edit view of that agent.

Guiarapida agentedit.png

Now we will go to the Agent edit main view. We'll have to show the configuration wizard submenu for this agent, we'll choose the SNMP Interface wizard, as you can see in the next screen:

Guiarapida snmpinterfacewizard.png

At this point, we must provide the "SNMP community" that we have configured in the machine, and make sure that the device supports SNMP queries enabled in the IP shown on the screen. We can change the IP address and the SNMP community by default, which is public (in our case is different, is 'artica06'). Once filled, we must click on the "SNMP Walk" button. If everything goes right, it will shoe the interfaces and the data that we can get from them.

Guiarapida snmpinterfacewizard2.png

With CONTROL-Click (or CMD-Click in Mac) we can select more than one element in both boxes such us in the following screenshot. We recommend to always monitor the outgoing traffic (ifOutOctets), the incoming traffic (ifInOctets) and the status of the interface (ifOperStatus) per each interface. In this particular case, eth1, eth2 y eth3.

We click on "Create modules" button and a screen should inform us about the modules that have been created.

We must consider that the network traffic modules are incremental type, ie its value is the difference between the sample of information that we've just taken and the above, ie, it shows us a "rate" (in this case bytes/sec) so it takes time (between 5 and 10 minutes) before showing anything.

Guiarapida opermode.png

He have to click on "View" tab to return to the Agent View, and wait 5 minutes to have traffic data, refreshing or clicking on the "View" tab. After a while, we must have a screen similar to that, where we have data of the traffic modules (incoming and outcoming separated), and a new section in the agent, that shows information about the interfaces with a direct access to an aggregate graph with the outcoming and incoming traffic overlay (click on the title "Interface information (SNMP)").

Guiarapida interfaceinfo.png

If we don't want to wait or we don't want to force the execution of the network modules, we can use the force remote check icon (it wont work with local modules, or with modules collected in local by a software agent). Depending on the load of our server it could last between 2 and 15 seconds in executing the network test.

Guiarapida forcenet.png

The information of the traffic modules will be displayed like this, and the graphs per each metric. Clicking on the graph icon Chart curve.png it will show a window with the graph of this monitor, and when we click on the data icon Binary.png it will show a table with data.

Guiarapida moduledata.png

4.2 Packet loss in the network

We want to add a remote plugin preconfigured in Pandora FMS. Remote plugins are checks defined by the user that use a script or a software deployed in the Pandora FMS server, so that it could be used for monitoring, increasing the number of things that it could do.

Let's use a serial plugin, for that we must go to the Agent edit View, and after to the Module configuration tab.

Guiarapida moduleeditor1.png

We will choose a module type plugin and we'll click on "Create" button, which will lead us to the interface of configuration of "plugin remote" type modules.

Guiarapida moduleeditor2.png

We'll choose the "Packet loss" using the drop down, and finally we'll introduce the IP address on which we want to launch the checks. We leave the rest of fields as they are.

Guiarapida moduleeditor3.png

We'll click on the "Create" button and return the Operation View, as in the case described above. We'll refresh a couple of times till the new module appears in the list:

Guiarapida packetloss.png

This is a very interesting plugin that used with the basic connectivity one (ping) and the latency time, help us to determine the quality of our network, because it indicates us the percentage of packet loss taking samples every 5 minutes.

4.3 Monitor a TCP network service

In this particular case we are going to add a monitoring to verify that a SMTP services (mail) is active in a machine. Although it can be a very complex check (simulating that we send an email, or user and password credentials, etc) we'll simplify it checking only that the port is open and answers.

For that we'll repeat the same initial steps of the previous example, but this time we will pick "network Module".

Guiarapida networkmodule.png

After that we'll use the drop down controls to find our check (Check SMTP Server) and we'll click to create the module.

Guiarapida networkmodule2.png

Finally, we'll repeat the steps (go to the Operation View, and refresh till the monitor appears) so that the final result will be something similar to the following:

Guiarapida networkmodule3.png

4.4 Check a website

In Pandora FMS Enterprise version is possible to do synthetic WEB checks, ie sending data, keeping the session, and verifying step by step, that a sequence of logical steps is happening, something required to validate a complete transaction.

In this case we are going to do something easier, possible in Pandora FMS Open Source version. We're going to connect to a WEB and verify if it returns a specific code. Now we're going to connect to the Pandora FMS module library website (http://pandorafms.com/Library/repository/en) and verify if the text string "Main categories" is returned at the output (see image):

Guiarapida webmonitor2.png

For that, we'll create a network check, similar to the previous example. In this case, we'll use the "Check HTTP" generic template and we'll modify some advanced fields, as you can see in the following screenshot:

Guiarapida webmonitor.png

^M characters has to be written just as it is and they represent a carriage return. For HTTP protocol it's necessary to do 2 carriage returns after the petition.

Final result must be a check that returns OK, as these one:

Guiarapida webmonitor3.png

5 Add an alert (email sending) when a problem occurs

In Pandora FMS, the most basic way of alerts is assign an alert to a specific module. It's possible to do more advanced things (event alerts, correlation, etc), but they are not written in this guide. Our first alert will consist just in send an email when a monitored machine (with the Host alive module) is down.

Alerts in Pandora FMS are composed of three elements: Command, Action and Template. In this particular case we are going to use a predefined command (email sending). We're going to modify an action that already exists (Mail to XXX) and we'll use a template already existing to, the Critical condition template, that will execute the alert when the module in question will appear in critical status.

5.1 Server configuration

For the correct performing of the email command, we must set up in the pandora_server.conf file a mail server that allows to do relay. In the example, the mail server placed at has this function enabled. We must introduce the IP address of your local mail server or one on the Internet (configuring the Authentication fore it). To modify the configuration file of the server, we must access to it through a shell or terminal that we can open from:

Guiarapida mailconf01.png

Once the shell is open, we need to open the configuration file placed at /etc/pandora/pandora_server.conf as root user, so we should do root with sudo su before doing it:

Guiarapida mailconf02.png

We look for the lines we can see in the screenshot above and we configure them as in the screen. In this case, we have to consider that the mail server is placed at If we don't have a mail server, we can use a gmail account, for example. We can see a quick guide about how to configure the Pandora FMS server to make it work as a gmail account in this link: http://wiki.pandorafms.com/index.php?title=Pandora:Configuration_emails_alerts

Lines beginning with the # character are comments and they are not taken into account by the server.

Guiarapida mailconf03.png

Once the changes are finished we press Ctrl+X to exit and we confirm to save the changes:

Guiarapida mailconf04.png

After save changes we restart pandora_server:

service pandora_server restart

5.2 Alert configuration

As we comment previously, Pandora FMS alerts are composed of three parts: Command, Action and Template. we could find these options in Manage Alerts section.

Guiarapida mailconf8.png

To configure this alert we only need to modify the action. The action we will use is Mail to XXX. In this case, if we have to change the email address we want to use ([email protected]), we could modify "Mail to XXX" to "Mail to [email protected]" so that we can identify which action we are executing.

We will modify the field 1 and insert the destination email address.

In field 2, we leave the text that is shown in the screenshot. Here are using 2 macros that will replace in time execution the agent name and the module that has generated the alert.

Guiarapida mailconf13.png

We select the Mail to XXX action and we edit the email address ([email protected]).

Guiarapida mailconf1.png

5.3 Assign an alert to a module

We navigate to the edition of the agent where we have the defined module and we click on the alert tab:

Guiarapida mailconf5.png

Now we add the module (Host Alive), the template (Critical Condition) adn the action (Mail to XXX). We add the alert.

Guiarapida mailconf4.png

Once added, we could observe it in the Agent View checking whether is running or not, watching the color of its status:

Guiarapida mailconf6.png

We can wait (or force) till the host is down to see if the alert works, or we can "force the alert" to see if it actually reaches the mail. We'll click on the Force icon (see image):

Guiarapida forcealert.png

Finally, the mail with the alert should be in our inbox. As a "forced" alert it puts N/A in the field data. In a real case it'll put the real value of the module.

Guiarapida mail.png

Pandora FMS alerts are extremely flexible, so that in many occasions are difficult to use. There is a specific chapter in the official documentation for them: Alerts in Pandora FMS

6 Monitor a Windows Server with a software agent

In Pandora FMS there are 2 types of monitoring: remote (from the Pandora FMS server to different devices) and local (installed in a software agent in every machine to monitor, in charge of extract the information and send it to the Pandora Server).

At this point, we are going to explain the installation of a software agent in a Windows machine and the basic monitoring of it:

6.1 Agent Installation

First of all we need to download the Windows agent. We can get it from:


In this link we can choose between the 32 and 64 bits agent.

Once the agent is downloaded we execute it by clicking twice over it, and it will show a language selection screen:

Pandora agent 3.0 RC3 install windows 01.png

It's a standard Windows installer that will ask to follow the steps, we accept the license and move through the different screens of the installer. We select the root where we want the Pandora FMS agent to be installed (by default it's installed at C:/Program Files/pandora_agent). We can change it pressing Browse and after entering the new one we press Next:

Pandora agent 3.0 RC3 install windows 04.png

We wait the files to be copied.

We configure the IP address (or name) of the Pandora FMS server, that will receive the agent data and the group we want to associate the agent to.

Pandora agent 3.0 RC3 install windows 07.png

In the following screen we can see the option to enable the remote configuration. It's important to have it activated through a 1 if we want to have a copy of the agent of the Pandora FMS server, and from there can add, edit and delete local modules directly from the agent.

Pandora agent config remoto.png

We decide if we want to start the the agent service at the end of the Pandora FMS agent installation. Otherwise we'll have to do it manually, or it will start when Windows is restarted again.

Pandora agent 3.0 RC3 install windows 08.png

Once this process is finished, the Windows agent is installed and running on the machine.

6.2 Checking the information returned by the agent

Once the Windows agent is launched after its installation, it's time to check what this agent is reporting. For that, we should know the name that the agent is going to use to report. By default the agent is created with the name host. We could see the name of the Windows host by executing the hostna,e command on a cmd.exe.

Guia rapida windows1.png

Now we know the name of the agent, the next step is check if it's created in Pandora FMS. For that we have several option. The first one is search in the Agent Details, in the group where the agent has been created, in the example the "Servers" group.

Guia rapida windows2.png

Faster and more efficient way to find the agent is by searching directly through the Pandora FMS search bar indicating the name of the agent.

Guia rapida windows3.png

Here we'll find the agent and clicking on it we get into the information that it's reporting.

Guia rapida windows4.png

By default the Windows agent comes with several local modules pre charged, of basic monitoring, such us CPU load, % of free RAM (FreeMemory), free space in MB in the disks, DHCP status (DHCP Enabled) and number of processes (Number processes).

Guia rapida windows5.png

If we need to add new modules to this agent we can check the advanced documentation here: monitoring with software agents.

We can see graphs generated with the historical data of the module and a chart with the historical of the ones from this view clicking on the icons remarked in the following screen:

Guia rapida windows6.png

7 Create a Visual Screen with details of my monitoring

One of the different options that Pandora FMS offers us is the possibility to create Visual Consoles. The Visual Console allows to represent the information about the monitoring, on realtime, customized by the user in a totally graphic way. In this example of the Visual Console we are going to create a network distributed all over the world, and if we press in the node that appears in Spain we can see other elements of the installation of Spain network.

The power of the maps allows to "summarize" the status of a son map in the visualization of the father map, i.e if one of the elements displayed in the map of Spain is on critical status, the icon that represents Spain will turn into red. That allows to set very customized hierarchies at the time of showing the information. Maps can contain information about the status of groups, agents, modules,etc. They can also include graphs and data (numerical or tex), and text tags and icons.

7.1 Creating Map 1 (Father)

In this first map we are going to add the status of several agents distributed on a world map. We can do it manually, one by one, or through the Wizard. To make this task easier and for the example we will use the Wizard:

The first thing we have to do is create a new map that we will call World Map.

Guia rapida consvisual1.png

Guia rapida consvisual2.png

Once created we click on the elements Wizard:

Guia rapida consvisual3.png

In the Wizard we select the kind of element, in this example Static Graph, the image we want to use, if we want to use an item per agent or module, in our case per agent, and we select in the list the agents we are going to add.

Guia rapida consvisual4.png

We click on the Add button and it will show all the elements created on the map, as we can see in the next screenshot

Guia rapida consvisual5.png

We move all the elements as we wish to placed them on the map, clicking and dragging on it.

Guia rapida consvisual6.png

7.2 Creating Map 2 (Son Map)

In the second map we will find an element that indicates us the status of the main agents. We will see also a graph of the FreeRAM module of the same agent.

The first thing is to create the new map as we did in the previous case:

Guia rapida spain1.png

Once created we add the element that shows us the agent status in Static Graph section, as it appears in the following screen:

Guia rapida spain2.png

We also create the graph with the configuration attached, by clicking on the graphs icon, adding the agent and the module about we want to see the graphic.

Guia rapida spain3.png

We have created the main element of the map, so now we are going to create a new element per each of the modules existing in the agent. For that we will use the Wizard, doing the configuration as shown in the screenshot. We select Static Graph, of the agent and of the modules indicated. We put the name of the module as tag and configure the parent to an Item created in the Visual Map. In this case the previous element that we added.

Guia rapida spain4.png

After creating all those elements they will appear attached to the mail element, and we could move them dragging them with the mouse to the position wished.

Guia rapida spain5.png

7.3 Link both maps

We create the 2 maps in the previous steps. In this step we are going to indicate that when we press in the element placed over Spain in the "World Map" directly opens the "Spain Map".

For that we open the "World Map", in edition mode, doing doble-click on the element. It will show the element edition. We click on advanced options and on the Map Linked option. We select the Spain Map. We update the element.

Guia rapida link1.png

When we return to the World Map view, we click on a element placed over Spain and it will directly open the map of Spain. If in the map of Spain would be only an element in red, the icon that represents Spain in the father map will appear in red.

Guia rapida link2.png

Guia rapida spain5.png

8 Adjust my monitoring (threshold, units, others)

In this chapter we'll see how to configure some of the advanced options of a module.

We navigate to the Agent Modules View.


We select the module to configure:


After that we open the "Avanced Options" tab and we start to configure the wished fields.


In the next chapters we'll see how to configure "Unit" and "Interval" fields, and the thresholds "Warning Status" and "Critical Status".

8.1 Configuration of the module units

It allows to define the units of the data obtained from a module. This unit will be included in graphs and reports, so that is easier to manage the data shown to the user.

In the example, we want the IOWaitCPU module to have "ticks/sec" as unit. We place into the field "Unit" and write the wished unit.


Finally we click on the "Update" button and we check if our unit is properly showed in the Modules View.


8.2 Configuring the interval of a module

Configuring/modifying the module interval we'll define how often we want this module to be executed. This is applied to remote modules (not local), because the local modules are configured in a more complex way. The more frequently we monitor a remote system the more charge will be generated in the system.


We click on the "Update" button and we'll have the module configured.

8.3 Configuration of the module threshold

In this section, we'll configure the "Warning" and "Critical" threshold for a module, which defines what values has to have a module to be in Critical, Warning or Normal status. The easiest way to understand it is through an example:

In our case we have a module of the CPU that we want to add thresholds to. This module will always be in "Normal" status (green) when the value is between 0% and 100%. If we want to see this module in "Critical" or "Warning" status when the CPU reaches a determined %, we must configure it setting the thresholds of "Warning Status" and "Critical Status" wished. In this example we'll configure it to turn the module into "Warning Status" when the CPU reaches the 60% of the module usage, and into "Critical Status" when it exceeds the 80%.


After setting the thresholds, we only have to press the "Update" button and we'll have our thresholds properly configured. The next received data will interpret those thresholds.

8.3.1 Advanced Parameters of the Thresholds

The "inverse interval" box is used to defined non contiguous ranks. In this example, the module will turn into the Critical status if the value is under 20 and/or over 80.

Quickguide inverse1.PNG

In text string type modules, the threshold is defined as a substring. Likewise, it's possible to invert it to make the module turn into Critical if it doesn't have the substring as a parameter:

Quickguide inverse2.PNG

8.3.2 Other Advanced Parameters

The configuration of a module is very flexible, with docens of possibilities. Explore the Pandora FMS official documentation to find out all of them.

9 Problem solving. Where to look, who to ask

9.1 Configuration files and sources of diagnosis information

The main configuration files that you could need to review are the following:

  • /etc/pandora/pandora_server.conf. Main configuration file of the Pandora FMS server.
  • /etc/pandora/pandora_agent.conf. Main configuration file of the Pandora FMS software agent in Unix. If we touch anything there we'll have to restart the Pandora FMS agent.
  • %PROGRAM_FILES%\pandora_agent\pandora_agent.conf. Main configuration file of the Pandora FMS software agent in Windows. If we touch anything there we'll have to restart the service agent of Pandora FMS.
  • /etc/my.cnf. Main configuration file of MySQL.
  • /var/www/html/pandora_console/include/config.php. Main configuration file of the Pandora FMS console. During the installation it is autoconfigured, but if we have change any parameter of environment (path, IP, user/password of MySQL, host of MySQL) we'll have to modify it manually.

Sources of information (logs) where we can find more information, errors, etc:

  • /var/log/pandora/pandora_server.log. Log file of the server, it contains very important clues. If we want more details we have to modify the "verbosity" parameter of the configuration file of the server to show more details.
  • /var/log/pandora/pandora_server.error. Log file of errors not captured of the server, contains traces of errors not handled by the server, usually nasty things.
  • /var/log/pandora/pandora_agent.log. Log file of Unix agent.
  • %PROGRAM_FILES%\pandora_agent\pandora_agent.log. Log file of Windows agent.
  • /var/www/html/pandora_console/pandora_console.log. Log file of the Pandora FMS console.
  • /var/log/httpd/error_log. Log file of errors of the Apache server (httpd).
  • /var/log/messages, Log file of the system.
  • dmesg. Command that shows warns of Kernel.
  • /var/log/pandora/pandora_snmptrap.log. Traps SNMP logs. If there is any error in the SNMP traps console boot it can show error traces there.
  • /var/log/mysqld.log, Mysqld log.

Also is interesting to know some things about the permissions of some directories:

  • /var/spool/pandora/data_in/ Should be of pandora:apache with permissions 755.
  • /var/log/pandora/ Should be of pandora:root with permissions 755.
  • /var/www/html/pandora_console/include/config.php Should be of apache:apache with permissions 600.

9.2 Support

Our community forum is opened to everybody, create an account and ask freely!

You have also a FAQ (Frequently Answered Questions) that can help you to find a tip or solve a problem:

And of course, you can have official training. There are several levels of certification on Pandora FMS, read more at: