tags: Nagios

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config (1), Debian (1), options (1), computer programs (1), tracking (1), bug (1), report (1),

On providing software feedback

I've been using Nagios at work to monitor services across the network. Yesterday's upgrade failed. After fixing that i had some wishes for Nagios that i wanted to pass on. So my question for everyone is do i as (let's pretend i'm) a beginner speak to Debian where i got the software, or directly to Nagios?

On a philosophical note, i've thought about this a bit. I get my software directly from Debian. And Debian gets it from upstream, say Mozilla. Now as an experienced Debian user, i know which bugs are application bug and which ones are packaging bugs. But does the beginner or novice know this? Should they know this? I don't think so. Keeping it simple for the software user would be having a central location where they can provide feedback on software. And it makes sense that this is the place where the they got the software.

Unfortunately this line of thinking implies more work for packagers, namely reading more submissions, evaluating them, and passing some or most of them upstream. In this light, Debian becomes a virtual user of the upstream software. Debian forwards bugs on behalf of the user to upstream.

I'm curious to know if this sort of forwarding communication is built into the Debian structure. I guess not since software providers have various bug reporting interfaces. It would be cool if there Debian could forward bugs to any Bugzilla repository.

Options and Parameters, Control Panel and Managers

What's the difference between command line options and parameters? What's the difference between a control panel and a manager? And should hosts.cfg be located in /etc/nagios/ ?

Options change the behavior of a program. For example display number of bytes or a human readable format. Parameters are the objects that a program acts upon. For example in "mv File_1 File_2", the files are parameters.

A control panel is a where you can set options. For example your screen can be set to one of several resolutions. A manager is a where you modify data. Cupsys and Swat are managers since they manage which printers you print to and which directories you share.

/etc/ is the place to put configuration information for programs. /var/ is the place to put the data that the programs work one. Therefore hosts.cfg, the file that lists the hosts Nagios should monitor, should be located in /var/lib/nagios/. nagios.cfg is located properly in /etc/nagios/.