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       smokeping_upgrade - Notes on upgrading Smokeping


       This document tries to list incompatible or otherwise user-visible
       changes in Smokeping versions, with instructions on how to fix any
       possible problems. It also sporadically mentions new features and the

       The document currently starts with changes from 1.34 to 1.37. If you
       run into problems with upgrading from earlier versions, please send a
       description of the problems, preferably with notes on how to fix them,
       to the "smokeping-users" mailing list, so they can be added to this
       document.  The same applies to any problems you find with current
       versions that are not documented here, of course. Patch submissions
       against the POD source of this file are most appreciated.

       If a version is not listed, there are no known problems in upgrading to
       it from the previous release.

       An official list of changes with each release can be found in the
       CHANGES file in the Smokeping distribution. This document tries to
       complement that with upgrading instructions etc.

2.3.3 to 2.3.4

       The communication protocol between master and slave has been made more
       secure. This requires that BOTH master and slave are upgraded to
       continue working.

2.2.x to 2.3.x

       2.3.0 is mainly about new features. Check out the reference
       documentation on hierarchies and the target properties parents, hidden
       and nomasterpoll.

       The only thing you have to take a look at, is the file
       basepage.html.dist which got some new css properties. Without them the
       results of the new filter function will look quite bad.

2.1.x to 2.2.0

   LWP Dependency
       The new master/slave functionality needs the LWP::UserAgent module from
       CPAN. Currently the dependency is not optional; you’ll need the module
       even if you are only running one Smokeping instance.

2.0.9 to 2.1.0

   Echoping 6 support
       This is the first Smokeping version that fully supports echoping 6.
       Earlier versions of the EchoPingHttp probes don’t work with echoping 6
       because of a command line incompatibility. (Echoping 5 is still
       supported, of course.)

       This version also introduces three new probes using the new echoping
       plugin interface introduced in version 6:

       ·   EchoPingDNS

       ·   EchoPingLDAP

       ·   EchoPingWhois

       See the smokeping_examples document for simple examples of using these

   New method in (if you write your own probes)
       The module defines the method ProbeUnit. Override this if your
       Probe does not return ’Seconds’. See the for

2.0.8 to 2.0.9

       The ’timeout’ variable removed in 2.0.5 has been brought back.  It is
       used to give the "fping" command the "-t" parameter, which apparently
       affects the timeout of the last ping in the counting ("-C") mode used
       by Smokeping.

2.0.5 to 2.0.6

   CGI self-referring links (again)
       The way Smokeping creates the self-referring links was changed once
       more.  See the section under ’2.0.4 to 2.0.5’ for a description of the
       previous change.

       The behaviour is now customizable via the "linkstyle" variable in the
       "General" section of the configuration file. The default is now
       "relative", creating links like <a href="?foo=bar">. I hope this works
       for everybody, but if it doesn’t, see smokeping_config for the

2.0.4 to 2.0.5

       The ’timeout’ variable has been removed.  It was used to give the
       "fping" command the "-t" parameter, but as this parameter is only
       effective in "fping"’s default mode, while Smokeping uses the counting
       mode ("-c"), it never actually did anything.

   CGI self-referring links
       The way Smokeping creates the self-referring links was changed. The old
       behaviour used the script name but not the host part, resulting in
       links like <a href="/path/smokeping.cgi?foo=bar">. The new behaviour
       uses the "cgiurl" variable: the links are always absolute like
       <a href="">.

2.0.1 to 2.0.2

   Edge-triggered alerts
       The alert notifications can now optionally be sent only when the state
       of the alert changes. This means that only the first match of the alert
       generates a notification, subsequent matches don’t. When the alert is
       cleared, ie. there’s no match anymore, another notification is sent.

       This behaviour is enabled by the "edgetrigger" variable in the "Alerts"
       section. The old behaviour (which sends a notification on each match)
       is the default.

1.40 to 2.0

       The biggest change with the 2.0 release is that the configuration file
       is now parsed much more strictly. This should result in (hopefully
       understandable) error messages making the configuration less of the
       trial-and-error variety than it used to be. It also automates the
       generation of the configuration documentation from the source code, so
       the docs are now more accurate.

       A smaller change worth mentioning is the inclusion of the tSmoke script
       (contributed by Dan McGinn-Combs) for sending summary emails on daily
       and weekly system status. Note that it needs the new ’tmail’ variable
       to be defined in the config file.

       The configuration syntax has stayed mostly the same, except for the
       issues below.

           The PROBE_CONF subsections have been deprecated. All the target-
           specific variables are now configured in the same section as the
           target is. Just deleting the

           ++ PROBE_CONF

           lines should fix this (for any number of ’+’, obviously.)

           The existence of a PROBE_CONF section makes smokeping exit with an
           error message at parse time.

           Note for distributors: these lines could easily be removed
           automatically during upgrade.

       Variable order
           The "probe" variable must now be set before any variables that
           depend on the selected probe. This is because setting "probe"
           modifies the grammar of the rest of the section dynamically at
           parse time.

           Additionally, "probe" must now precede "host", for reasons that
           have to do with the current implementation of mandatory variable

           Both of these errors are recognized at parse time and produce error
           messages accordingly.

           Note for distributors: the "smokeping" command now has a new
           ’--check’ option that can be used to verify the syntax of the
           configuration file. It might be a good idea to do this on upgrade
           and give the user an explanatory note if the verification fails.

       Target-specific variables in the Probes section
           This is not an incompatible change, but it is mentioned here
           nevertheless.  Target-specific variables can now be specified in
           the Probes section as well, and the values given become defaults
           for all the targets.

           The "timeout" variable in the Probes section is now the maximum
           time expected for one ping to take. Previously it was the maximum
           time allowed for all the pings to one target.  This is an
           incompatible change, but the code now works in the way it was
           documented to work even in 1.38.

           Those probes offering a target-specific "timeout" variable will get
           a default for it from the Probes section, as noted in the previous
           item.  This should ensure that probes that enforce the ping timeout
           themselves (most do) will not get killed due to timeout before they
           have a chance to do it.

           The matcher modules have been renamed to start with a capital
           letter, to differentiate the actual modules from the base classes.
           You have to capitalize the matcher name in the pattern definition

       Minimum number of pings
           The "pings" variable now has an enforced minimum value of 3, as the
           whole design of Smokeping is based on the idea of sending several
           probes and measuring and visualizing the variation between them.

       RRD parameter checking
           Smokeping now checks at startup that the parameters of any existing
           RRD files match those specified in the configuration file. If there
           is a discrepancy, it will try to fix the situation and refuse to
           start if it can’t.

           This situation is most likely to happen if you have modified the
           "pings" variable in your configuration file. You’ll then have to
           delete the old RRD file or somehow convert it to use the new
           parameters.  The "rrdtune" command might be helpful here.

       Configurable location for DYNAMIC-related files
           There is now a new configuration variable, "dyndir", that can be
           used to specify the location of the DYNAMIC-related files (.adr and
           .snmp).  These files used to be kept under "datadir" along with the
           RRD files, but since they need to be writable by the web server, it
           may be useful to separate these.

           If "dyndir" is not specified, Smokeping will use the "datadir"
           value as the default. This should ensure that no existing setups
           will break.

       In addition to this, some probes have had minor incompatible changes to
       their configuration.

           The "rbinary" variable is now mandatory. This is a side effect from
           a bigger change: the probe is now derived from the FPing probe and
           supports all the variables FPing does.

           This probe is also now derived from FPing and supports all the
           variables FPing does.

           The URL that will be used is now specified with the variable
           "urlformat" instead of "url". The new variable can (and usually
           should) include a placeholder for the "host" variable of each
           target as "%host%", eg. "urlformat = http://%host%/".  The new
           variable is mandatory.

           The change was made to fix the confusing situation where the "host"
           variable was required for each actual target, but it didn’t
           actually have any effect (as the server to be probed came from the
           "url" variable.)

           Timeouts are now recognized properly by looking at the curl exit
           code.  The default timeout of this probe has been raised to 10

           The command line is now executed without an intervening /bin/sh,
           and so quotes are not needed anymore around the User-Agent string
           (the "agent" parameter).  Smokeping will complain if it notices
           quotes around the string.

           Any extra arguments for "curl" can now be specified in the
           "extraargs" variable.

           The default timeout of this probe has been raised to 10 seconds.

           The default timeout of this probe has been raised to 10 seconds.

           The "url" variable is now mandatory, as the old default "/" didn’t
           make sense because it’s relative rather than absolute.

           The "filter" variable is now mandatory, as Net::LDAP bails out
           without it.

           The "sleeptime" variable was changed to "mininterval" and its
           semantics were changed accordingly (it’s now the minimum time
           between two queries rather than the time slept between the end of
           one and the start of the another.)

           The "sleeptime" variable was changed to "mininterval" and its
           semantics were changed accordingly. See the LDAP explanation above.

           The "sleeptime" variable was changed to "mininterval" and its
           semantics were changed accordingly. See the LDAP explanation above.
           Additionally, the time is now specified in seconds rather than

           The "sleeptime" variable was changed to "mininterval" and its
           semantics were changed accordingly. See the LDAP explanation above.
           Additionally, the time is now specified in seconds rather than

           The name of this probe was changed: it now starts with a capital
           letter like all the others do.

           The "target" variable was removed. The target should now be
           specified in the "host" variable, like it is with all the other

   CGI::Carp module version
       The recommended version for CGI::Carp is now at least 1.24, included in and the Perl standard distribution starting from 5.8.1.
       See the smokeping_install document.

1.38 to 1.40

       The new navigation feature
           The big visible difference between 1.38 and 1.40 is the new browser
           navigation feature: when clicking on the graphs in detail view you
           can select different time ranges for the graph. The creation of
           this feature has been sponsored by

1.34 to 1.37

       The RemoteFPing probe
           The configuration of this probe was moved from the Targets section
           to the Probes section, as all the variables are really probe-
           specific. The moved variables were "rhost", "rbinary" and "rhost".

       Logging changes
           The "smokeping" daemon now warns at startup if syslog support is
           not turned on in the config file. This is because many diagnostic
           messages will otherwise get lost.

       Concurrent probes
           Each probe now runs in its own process, instead of them all running
           sequentially in one process. This makes it possible to specify
           different step lengths for different probes. You can get the old
           behaviour back by setting ’concurrentprobes = no’.


       Copyright 2005 by Niko Tyni.


       This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
       under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the
       Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your
       option) any later version.

       This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but
       WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
       General Public License for more details.

       You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along
       with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc.,
       675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


       Niko Tyni <>


       The other Smokeping documents, especially smokeping_config.