bbtest-net - Xymon network test tool
(See the OPTIONS section for a description of the available commandline
bbtest-net(1) handles the network tests of hosts defined in the Xymon
configuration file, bb-hosts. It is normally run at regular intervals
by hobbitlaunch(8) via an entry in the hobbitlaunch.cfg(5) file.
bbtest-net does all of the normal tests of TCP-based network services
(telnet, ftp, ssh, smtp, pop, imap ....) - i.e. all of the services
listed as BBNETSVCS in bbdef.sh. For these tests, a completely new and
very speedy service- checker has been implemented.
bbtest-net has built-in support for testing SSL-enabled protocols, e.g.
imaps, pop3s, nntps, telnets, if SSL-support was enabled when
configuring bbgen. The full list of known tests is found in the bb-
services(5) file in $BBHOME/etc/bb-services.
In addition, it implements the "dns" and "dig" tests for testing DNS
servers. This is done in the same way as bb-network.sh does it.
bbtest-net also implements a check for NTP servers - this test is
called "ntp". If you want to use it, you must define the NTPDATE
environment variable to point at the location of your ntpdate(1)
Note: bbtest-net performs the connectivity test (ping) based on the
hostname, unless the host is tagged with "testip" or the "--dns=ip"
option is used. So the target of the connectivity test can be
determined by your /etc/hosts file or DNS.
Determines the timeout (in seconds) for each service that is
tested. For TCP tests (those from BBNETSVCS), if the connection
to the service does not succeed within N seconds, the service is
reported as being down. For HTTP tests, this is the absolute
limit for the entire request to the webserver (the time needed
to connect to the server, plus the time it takes the server to
respond to the request). Default: 10 seconds
This option is deprecated, and will be ignored. Use the
--timeout option instead.
This option sets a timeout for the external commands used for
testing of NTP and RPC services, and to perform traceroute.
Determines the number of network tests that run in parallel.
Default is operating system dependent, but will usually be 256.
If bbtest-net begins to complain about not being able to get a
"socket", try running bbtest-net with a lower value like 50 or
--dns-timeout=N (default: 30 seconds)
bbtest-net will timeout all DNS lookups after N seconds. Any
pending DNS lookups are regarded as failed, i.e. the network
tests that depend on this DNS lookup will report an error.
Note: If you use the --no-ares option, timeout of DNS lookups
cannot be controlled by bbtest-net.
Same as "--dns-timeout=N". The "--dns-max-all" option is
deprecated and should not be used.
Determines how bbtest-net finds the IP adresses of the hosts to
test. By default (the "standard"), bbtest-net does a DNS lookup
of the hostname to determine the IP address, unless the host has
the "testip" tag, or the DNS lookup fails.
With "--dns=only" bbtest-net will ONLY do the DNS lookup; it it
fails, then all services on that host will be reported as being
With "--dns=ip" bbtest-net will never do a DNS lookup; it will
use the IP adresse specified in bb-hosts for the tests. Thus,
this setting is equivalent to having the "testip" tag on all
hosts. Note that http tests will ignore this setting and still
perform a DNS lookup for the hostname given in the URL; see the
"bbtest-net tags for HTTP tests" section in bb-hosts(5)
Disable the ARES resolver built into bbtest-net. This makes
bbtest-net resolve hostnames using your system resolver
function. You should only use this as a last resort if bbtest-
net cannot resolve the hostnames you use in the normal way (via
DNS or /etc/hosts). One reason for using this would be if you
need to resolve hostnames via NIS/NIS+ (a.k.a. Yellow Pages).
The system resolver function does not provide a mechanism for
controlling timeouts of the hostname lookups, so if your DNS or
NIS server is down, bbtest-net can take a very long time to run.
The --dns-timeout option is effectively disabled when using this
Log failed hostname lookups to the file FILENAME. FILENAME
should be a full pathname.
With this option, bbtest-net will send a status message with
details of how many hosts were processed, how many tests were
generated, any errors that occurred during the run, and some
timing statistics. The default columnname is "bbtest".
When using the BBLOCATION environment variable to test only
hosts on a particular network segment, bbtest-net will ignore
hosts that do not have any "NET:x" tag. So only hosts that have
a NET:$BBLOCATION tag will be tested.
With this option, hosts with no NET: tag are included in the
test, so that all hosts that either have a matching NET: tag, or
no NET: tag at all are tested.
Used with the bbretest-net.sh(1) bbgen extension. This option
determines how long failed tests remain in the frequent-test
queue. The default is 1800 seconds (30 minutes).
Causes bbtest-net to generate a warning if the run-time of
bbtest-net exceeds N seconds. By default N is set to the value
of BBSLEEP, so a warning triggers if the network tests cannot
complete in the time given for one cycle of the BBNET server.
Apart from the warning, this option has no effect, i.e. it will
not terminate bbtest-net prematurely. So to eliminate any such
warnings, use this option with a very high value of N.
Warn if the response from a TCP test is more than N bytes. If
you see from the bbtest status report that you are transferring
large amounts of data for your tests, you can enable this option
to see which tests have large replies.
Default: 0 (disabled).
Make the test results valid for N minutes before they go purple.
By default test results are valid for 30 minutes; if you run
bbtest-net less often than that, the results will go purple
before the next run of bbtest-net. This option lets you change
how long the status is valid.
OPTIONS FOR TESTS OF THE SIMPLE TCP SERVICES
When testing well-known services (e.g. FTP, SSH, SMTP, POP-2,
POP-3, IMAP, NNTP and rsync), bbtest-net will look for a valid
service-specific "OK" response. If another reponse is seen, this
will cause the test to report a warning (yellow) status. Without
this option, the response from the service is ignored.
The optional color-name is used to select a color other than
yellow for the status message when the response is wrong. E.g.
"--checkresponse=red" will cause a "red" status message to be
sent when the service does not respond as expected.
By default, bbtest-net sends some extra information in the
status messages, called "flags". These are used by bbgen e.g. to
pick different icons for reversed tests when generating the
Xymon webpages. This option makes bbtest-net omit these flags
from the status messages.
By default, TCP tests run roughly in the order that the hosts
are listed in the bb-hosts file. If you have many tests for one
server, this may result in an exceptionally large load when
Xymon is testing it because Xymon will perform a lot of tests at
the same time. To avoid this, the --shuffle option reorders the
sequence of tests so they are spread randomly across all of the
OPTIONS FOR THE PING TEST
Note: bbtest-net uses the program defined by the FPING environment to
execute ping-tests - by default, that is the hobbitping(1) utility. See
hobbitserver.cfg(5) for a description of how to customize this, e.g. if
you need to run it with "sudo" or a similar tool.
--ping Enables bbtest-net’s ping test. The column name used for ping
test results is defined by the PINGCOLUMN environment variable
If not specifed, bbtest-net uses the CONNTEST environment
variable to determine if it should perform the ping test or not.
So if you prefer to use another tool to implement ping checks,
either set the CONNTEST environment variable to false, or run
bbtest-net with the "--noping".
Disable the connectivity test.
Enable/disable the use of traceroute when a ping-test fails.
Performing a traceroute for failed ping tests is a slow
operation, so the default is not to do any traceroute, unless it
is requested on a per-host basis via the "trace" tag in the bb-
hosts(5) entry for each host. The "--trace" option changes this,
so the default becomes to run traceroute on all hosts where the
ping test fails; you can then disable it on specific hosts by
putting a "notrace" tag on the host-entry.
OPTIONS FOR HTTP (WEB) TESTS
Determines the name of the column Xymon displays for content
checks. The default is "content". If you have used the
"cont.sh" or "cont2.sh" scripts earlier, you may want to use
"--content=cont" to report content checks using the same test
name as these scripts do.
OPTIONS FOR SSL CERTIFICATE TESTS
Determines the name of the column Xymon displays for the SSL
certificate checks. The default is "sslcert".
Disables reporting of the SSL certificate check.
Determines the number of days before an SSL certificate expires,
where bbtest-net will generate a warning or alarm status for the
SSL certificate column.
Enables checking that the encryption supported by the SSL
protocol uses an encryption key of at least N bits. E.g. to
trigger an alert if your SSL-enabled website supports less than
128 bits of encryption, use "--sslbits=128". Note: This can be
enabled on a per-host basis using the "sslbits=N" setting in bb-
Don’t send any status updates to the BBDISPLAY server. Instead,
all messages are dumped to stdout.
Causes bbtest-net to collect information about the time spent in
different parts of the program. The information is printed on
stdout just before the program ends. Note that this information
is also included in the status report sent with the "--report"
Dumps a bunch of status about the tests as they progress to
Dumps internal memory structures before and/or after the tests
--help or -?
Provide a summary of available commandline options.
Prints the version number of bbtest-net
Dump the list of defined TCP services bbtest-net knows how to
test. Do not run any tests.
USING COOKIES IN WEB TESTS
If the file $BBHOME/etc/cookies exist, cookies will be read from this
file and sent along with the HTTP requests when checking websites. This
file is in the Netscape Cookie format, see
http://www.netscape.com/newsref/std/cookie_spec.html for details on
this format. The curl(1) utility can output a file in this format if
run with the "--cookie-jar FILENAME" option.
ABOUT SSL CERTIFICATE CHECKS
When bbtest-net tests services that use SSL- or TLS-based protocols, it
will check that the server certificate has not expired. This check
happens automatically for https (secure web), pop3s, imaps, nntps and
all other SSL-enabled services (except ldap, see LDAP TESTS below).
All certificates found for a host are reported in one status message.
Note: On most systems, the end-date of the certificate is limited to
Jan 19th, 2038. If your certificate is valid after this date, bbtest-
net will report it as valid only until Jan 19, 2038. This is due to
limitations in your operating system C library.
ldap testing can be done in two ways. If you just put an "ldap" or
"ldaps" tag in bb-hosts, a simple test is performed that just verifies
that it is possible to establish a connection to the port running the
ldap service (389 for ldap, 636 for ldaps).
Instead you can put an LDAP URI in bb-hosts. This will cause bbtest-net
to initiate a full-blown LDAP session with the server, and do an LDAP
search for the objects defined by the URI. This requires that bbtest-
net was built with LDAP support, and relies on an existing LDAP library
to be installed. It has been tested with OpenLDAP 2.0.26 (from Red Hat
9) and 2.1.22. The Solaris 8 system ldap library has also been
confirmed to work for un-encrypted (plain ldap) access.
The format of LDAP URI’s is defined in RFC 2255. LDAP URLs look like
hostport is a host name with an optional ":portnumber"
dn is the search base
attrs is a comma separated list of attributes to request
scope is one of these three strings:
base one sub (default=base)
filter is filter
exts are recognized set of LDAP and/or API extensions.
All "bind" operations to LDAP servers use simple authentication.
Kerberos and SASL are not supported. If your LDAP server requires a
username/password, use the "ldaplogin" tag to specify this, cf. bb-
hosts(5) If no username/password information is provided, an anonymous
bind will be attempted.
SSL support requires both a client library and an LDAP server that
support LDAPv3; it uses the LDAP "STARTTLS" protocol request after
establishing a connection to the standard (non-encrypted) LDAP port
(usually port 389). It has only been tested with OpenSSL 2.x, and
probably will not work with any other LDAP library.
The older LDAPv2 experimental method of tunnelling normal LDAP traffic
through an SSL connection - ldaps, running on port 636 - is not
supported, unless someone can explain how to get the OpenLDAP library
to support it. This method was never formally described in an RFC, and
implementations of it are non-standard.
For a discussion of the various ways of running encrypted ldap, see
When testing LDAP URI’s, all of the communications are handled by the
ldap library. Therefore, it is not possible to obtain the SSL
certificate used by the LDAP server, and it will not show up in the
USING MULTIPLE NETWORK TEST SYSTEMS
If you have more than one system running network tests - e.g. if your
network is separated by firewalls - then is is problematic to maintain
multiple bb-hosts files for each of the systems. bbtest-net supports
the NET:location tag in bb-hosts(5) to distinguish between hosts that
should be tested from different network locations. If you set the
environment variable BBLOCATION e.g. to "dmz" before running bbtest-
net, then it will only test hosts that have a "NET:dmz" tag in bb-
hosts. This allows you to keep all of your hosts in the same bb-hosts
file, but test different sets of hosts by different BBNET systems.
bbtest-net first reads the bb-services file to see which network tests
are defined. It then scans the bb-hosts file, and collects information
about the TCP service tests that need to be tested. It picks out only
the tests that were listed in the bb-services file, plus the "dns",
"dig" and "ntp" tests - those tests that bb-network.sh would normally
use the "bbnet" tool to test.
It then runs two tasks in parallel: First, a separate process is
started to run the "hobbitping" tool for the connectivity tests. While
hobbitping is busy doing the "ping" checks, bbtest-net runs all of the
TCP-based network tests.
All of the TCP-based service checks are handled by a connection tester
written specifically for this purpose. It uses only standard Unix-style
network programming, but relies on the Unix "select(2)" system-call to
handle many simultaneous connections happening in parallel. Exactly how
many parallel connections are being used depends on your operating
system - the default is FD_SETSIZE/4, which amounts to 256 on many Unix
You can choose the number of concurrent connections with the
"--concurrency=N" option to bbtest-net.
Connection attempts timeout after 10 seconds - this can be changed with
the "--timeout=N" option.
Both of these settings play a part in deciding how long the testing
takes. A conservative estimate for doing N TCP tests is:
(1 + (N / concurrency)) * timeout
In real life it will probably be less, as the above formula is for
every test to require a timeout. Since the most normal use of BB is to
check for services that are active, you should have a lot less
The "ntp" and "rpcinfo" checks rely on external programs to do each
test. Thus, they perform only marginally better than the standard bb-
Defines the network segment where bbtest-net is currently
running. This is used to filter out only the entries in the bb-
hosts(5) file that have a matching "NET:LOCATION" tag, and
execute the tests for only those hosts.
Defines the maximum number of status messages that can be sent
in one combo message. Default is 0 - no limit.
In practice, the maximum size of a single Xymon message sets a
limit - the default value for the maximum message size is 32 KB,
but that will easily accomodate 100 status messages per
transmission. So if you want to experiment with this setting, I
suggest starting with a value of 10.
Defines a a delay (in microseconds) after each message is
transmitted to the BBDISPLAY server. The default is 0, i.e.
send the messages as fast as possible. This gives your
BBDISPLAY server some time to process the message before the
next message comes in. Depending on the speed of your BBDISPLAY
server, it may be necessary to set this value to half a second
or even 1 or 2 seconds. Note that the value is specified in
MICROseconds, so to define a delay of half a second, this must
be set to the value "500000"; a delay of 1 second is achieved by
setting this to "1000000" (one million).
FPING Command used to run the hobbitping(1) utility. Used by bbtest-
net for connectivity (ping) testing. See hobbitserver.cfg(5)
for more information about how to customize the program that is
executed to do ping tests.
Location of the traceroute(8) utility, or an equivalent tool
e.g. mtr(8). Optionally used when a connectivity test fails to
pinpoint the network location that is causing the failure.
Location of the ntpdate(1) utility. Used by bbtest-net when
checking the "ntp" service.
Location of the rpcinfo(8) utility. Used by bbtest-net for the
"rpc" service checks.
This file contains definitions of TCP services that bbtest-net
can test. Definitions for a default set of common services is
built into bbtest-net, but these can be overridden or
supplemented by defining services in the bb-services file. See
bb-services(5) for details on this file.
$BBHOME/etc/netrc - authentication data for password-protected webs
If you have password-protected sites, you can put the usernames
and passwords for these here. They will then get picked up
automatically when running your network tests. This works for
web-sites that use the "Basic" authentication scheme in HTTP.
See ftp(1) for details - a sample entry would look like this
machine www.acme.com login fred password Wilma1
Note that the machine-name must be the name you use in the
http://machinename/ URL setting - it need not be the one you use
for the system-name in Xymon.
This file may contain website cookies, in the Netscape HTTP
Cookie format. If a website requires a static cookie to be
present in order for the check to complete, then you can add
this cookie to this file, and it will be sent along with the
HTTP request. To get the cookies into this file, you can use the
"curl --cookie-jar FILE" to request the URL that sets the
$BBTMP/*.status - test status summary
Each time bbtest-net runs, if any tests fail (i.e. they result
in a red status) then they will be listed in a file name
TESTNAME.[LOCATION].status. The LOCATION part may be null. This
file is used to determine how long the failure has lasted, which
in turn decides if this test should be included in the tests
done by bbretest-net.sh(1)
It is also used internally by bbtest-net when determining the
color for tests that use the "badconn" or "badTESTNAME" tags.
This file contains the hostnames of those hosts that should be
retested by the bbretest-net.sh(1) test tool. It is updated only
by bbtest-net during the normal runs, and read by bbretest-
bb-hosts(5), bb-services(5), hobbitserver.cfg(5), hobbitping(1),
curl(1), ftp(1), fping(1), ntpdate(1), rpcinfo(8)