I’ve been using FreeNAS for a couple of months now, starting with version 9 and later upgrading to version 11. While the experience so far has been great there are a few glaring omissions. First and foremost “monitoring”. There is just no convenient way to monitor the system externally.
Like many others, I use Nagios to monitor my systems, it is a fairly well known, mature and feature rich monitoring solution. Nagios is a straight forward client/server model. The Nagios server schedules checks, connects to the client server running NRPE. NRPE runs the scheduled check and responds with the result. Nagios also has a wide assortment of plugins available which can be downloaded as needed to monitor just about anything. It is a pretty good solution, except…
FreeNAS has NO, NONE, NADDA, ZILCH, ZERO means to install the NRPE client. Go ahead, search google, I’ll wait. Maybe try their forums or even the r/freenas subreddit. No luck eh? I know the frustration.
Maybe we missed something obvious? Lets check FreeNAS for an available plugin.
Nope, nothing about Nagios or NRPE there. FreeNAS is based on FreeBSD, so perhaps we can install using pkg instead.
[email protected]:~ # pkg search nrpe pkg: Repository local missing. 'pkg update' required pkg: file:///usr/ports/packages/meta.txz: No such file or directory pkg: file:///usr/ports/packages/packagesite.txz: No such file or directory pkg: Repository local cannot be opened. 'pkg update' required
Hrm, okay, that didn’t work. But lets try the pkg update command as suggested.
[email protected]:~ # pkg update Updating local repository catalogue... pkg: file:///usr/ports/packages/meta.txz: No such file or directory repository local has no meta file, using default settings pkg: file:///usr/ports/packages/packagesite.txz: No such file or directory Unable to update repository local
No luck either. It seems they just don’t want anyone using the pkg system. Thats annoying, but fair as they don’t want people messing with the system. I can understand that.
Besides there is another option available to us, we can build from source! And luckily Nagios has some excellent documentation available on doing just that. Lets get started by grabbing the source code.
[email protected]:~ # cd /tmp [email protected]:/tmp # wget --no-check-certificate -O nrpe.tar.gz https://github.com/NagiosEnterprises/nrpe/archive/nrpe-3.2.0.tar.gz --2017-08-06 12:06:05-- https://github.com/NagiosEnterprises/nrpe/archive/nrpe-3.2.0.tar.gz Resolving github.com (github.com)... 18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124 Connecting to github.com (github.com)|126.96.36.199|:443... connected. HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 302 Found Location: https://codeload.github.com/NagiosEnterprises/nrpe/tar.gz/nrpe-3.2.0 [following] --2017-08-06 12:06:06-- https://codeload.github.com/NagiosEnterprises/nrpe/tar.gz/nrpe-3.2.0 Resolving codeload.github.com (codeload.github.com)... 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206 Connecting to codeload.github.com (codeload.github.com)|220.127.116.11|:443... connected. HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK Length: unspecified [application/x-gzip] Saving to: ‘nrpe.tar.gz’ nrpe.tar.gz [ <=> ] 505.64K 1.01MB/s in 0.5s 2017-08-06 12:06:07 (1.01 MB/s) - ‘nrpe.tar.gz’ saved 
Now we can extract it and change into the new directory.
[email protected]:/tmp # tar zxf nrpe.tar.gz [email protected]:/tmp # cd /tmp/nrpe-nrpe-3.2.0/
So far so good, now lets run configure.
[email protected]:/tmp/nrpe-nrpe-3.2.0 # ./configure --enable-command-args checking for a BSD-compatible install... /usr/bin/install -c checking what the operating system is ... bsd checking what the distribution type is ... freebsd checking what init system is being used ... newbsd checking what inetd is being used ... inetd (Not running) checking for which paths to use ... default checking for which init file to use ... newbsd-init checking for which inetd files to use ... default-inetd checking for gcc... no checking for cc... no checking for cl.exe... no configure: error: in '/tmp/nrpe-nrpe-3.2.0': configure: error: no acceptable C compiler found in $PATH See 'config.log' for more details
…and no compiler, no gcc, no cc, nothing. Thanks FreeNAS! At this point we’ve exhausted all available options. Except one.
Building Nagios NRPE in a jail
That’s right, you read that right. To make this work, we’ll use a jail to compile and build Nagios NRPE and the Plugins from source. Then scp the resulting files to the FreeNAS server. It sounds complex, but its not, so lets get started.
Step 1) Create a new jail
Login to the UI of your FreeNAS system. Under Jails, click Add Jail, give it a name and click OK.
Step 2) Connect to your new jail
List the available jails on your FreeNAS system, then connect to the jail you created in step 1.
[email protected]:~ # jls JID IP Address Hostname Path 1 plex /mnt/vol1/jails/plex 2 build /mnt/vol1/jails/build [email protected]:~ # jexec 2 tcsh [email protected]:/ #
Step 3) Update your system
[email protected]:/ # pkg update [email protected]:/ # pkg upgrade [email protected]:/ # pkg install wget
Step 4) Build NRPE
Follow the Nagios build from source instructions documented here: https://support.nagios.com/kb/article.php?id=515#FreeBSD
pkg install -y wget autoconf automake gettext gcc openssl openssl-devel libmcrypt
Downloading the Source
cd ~/ wget --no-check-certificate -O nrpe.tar.gz https://github.com/NagiosEnterprises/nrpe/archive/nrpe-3.2.0.tar.gz tar xzf nrpe.tar.gz
cd ~/nrpe-nrpe-3.2.0/ ./configure --enable-command-args make all
Create User And Group
Install Configuration Files
Install Service / Daemon
Step 5) Build Nagios Plugins
Follow the Nagios Plugins build from source instructions documented here: https://support.nagios.com/kb/article.php?id=569#FreeBSD
Prerequisites - Common
pkg install -y wget autoconf automake gettext gcc openssl-devel net-snmp p5-Net-SNMP-Util
Downloading the Source
cd ~/ wget --no-check-certificate -O nagios-plugins.tar.gz https://github.com/nagios-plugins/nagios-plugins/archive/release-2.2.1.tar.gz tar zxf nagios-plugins.tar.gz
Compile + Install
cd ~/nagios-plugins-release-2.2.1/ ./tools/setup ./configure make make install
Step 6) Package Files
Create Directory Structure
mkdir -p ~/nrpe3-pkg/etc/rc.d mkdir -p ~/nrpe3-pkg/usr/local/nagios/
cp /etc/rc.d/nrpe ~/nrpe3-pkg/etc/rc.d/ cp -R /usr/local/nagios/* ~/nrpe3-pkg/usr/local/nagios/
Package the Files
cd ~/ tar zcvf nrpe3.tar.gz nrpe3-pkg/
Step 7) Copy the nrpe3.tar.gz file to FreeNAS
scp ~/nrpe3.tar.gz [email protected]:~/
Step 8) Install on FreeNAS
ssh -l root freenas cd ~/ tar zxf nrpe3.tar.gz
Download Install Script
Configure and install NRPE files and plugins, with the below install.sh script.
cd ~/nrpe3-pkg wget https://gist.github.com/mikejsutherland/41cccb888a7936c7c0fed95ae7fbfb20/raw/4bce902ea6dde4c8d35bfe8f08e341f8676f4e07/install.sh
chmod 755 install.sh ~/nrpe3-pkg/install.sh
Step 9) Start NRPE
service nrpe start
Step 10) Test it
/usr/local/nagios/libexec/check_nrpe -H 127.0.0.1 NRPE v3.2.0
Step 11) Configure NRPE
Thats it, NRPE should now be running on FreeNAS. Configure as necessary by editing “/usr/local/nagios/etc/nrpe.cfg”.