Provided by: hobbit-client_4.2.0.dfsg-16build1_i386 bug


       Hobbit - introduction to the Hobbit Monitor


       Hobbit  is  a  tool for monitoring the health of your networked servers
       and the applications running on them.  It provides a simple,  intuitive
       way  of  checking the health of your systems from a webbrowser, and can
       also alert you to any problems that arise through  alarms  sent  as  e-
       mail, SMS messages, via a pager or by other means.

       Hobbit is Open Source software, licensed under the GNU GPL.  This means
       that you are free to use Hobbit as much as you like, and you  are  free
       to re-distribute it and change it to suit your specific needs. However,
       if you change it then you must make your changes available to others on
       the  same  terms  that  you  received  Hobbit  originally. See the file
       COPYING in the Hobbit source-archive for details.

       Hobbit initially began life as an enhancement  to  Big  Brother  called
       "bbgen". Over a period of 5 years, Hobbit has evolved from a small add-
       on to a full-fledged monitoring system with capabilities far  exceeding
       what  was  in  the  original  Big  Brother  package.  Hobbit does still
       maintain some compatibility with Big Brother,  so  it  is  possible  to
       migrate from Big Brother to Hobbit without too much trouble.

       Migrating  to Hobbit will give you a significant performance boost, and
       provide you with much more advanced monitoring.  The Hobbit  tools  are
       designed  for  installations  that  need  to  monitor a large number of
       hosts, with very little overhead on the monitoring server.   Monitoring
       of  thousands of hosts with a single Hobbit server is possible - it was
       developed to handle just this task.


       These are some of the core features in Hobbit:

       Monitoring of hosts and networks
              Hobbit collects information about your systems in two ways: From
              querying  network  services (Web, LDAP, DNS, Mail etc.), or from
              scripts that run either on the Hobbit server or on  the  systems
              you  monitor.  The Hobbit package includes a Hobbit client which
              you can install on the servers you  monitor;  it  collects  data
              about  the  CPU-load,  disk-  and  memory-utilisation, logfiles,
              network ports in use, file- and directory-information and  more.
              All  of  the  information  is  stored inside Hobbit, and you can
              define conditions that result  in  alerts,  e.g.  if  a  network
              service stops responding, or a disk fills up.

       Centralized configuration
              All  configuration  of Hobbit is done on the Hobbit server. Even
              when monitoring hundreds or thousands of hosts, you can  control
              their configuration centrally on the Hobbit server - so there is
              no need for you to login to a system just to change  e.g.  which
              processes are monitored.

       Works on all major platforms
              The  Hobbit  server  works  on  all Unix-like systems, including
              Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD,  AIX,  HP-UX  and  others.  The  Hobbit
              client  supports  all  major Unix platforms, and there are other
              Open     Source     projects     -     e.g.      BBWin,      see
      - providing support for Microsoft
              Windows based systems.

       A simple, intuitive web-based front-end
              "Green is good, red is bad". Using the  Hobbit  webpages  is  as
              simple as that. The hosts you monitor can be grouped together in
              a way that makes sense in your organisation and presented  in  a
              tree-structure.   The  webpages  use  many  techniques to convey
              information about the monitored systems,  e.g.  different  icons
              can be used for recently changed statuses; links to subpages can
              be listed in multiple columns; different icons can be  used  for
              dialup-tests  or  reverse-tests; selected columns can be dropped
              or  unconditionally  included  on  the  webpages  to   eliminate
              unwanted  information,  or  always  include certain information;
              user-friendly names can be shown for hosts regardless  of  their
              true  hostname.  You  can  also  have automatic links to on-line
              documentation, so information about  your  critical  systems  is
              just a click away.

       Integrated trend analysis, historical data and SLA reporting
              Hobbit   stores   trend-   and   availability-information  about
              everything it monitors. So if you  need  to  look  at  how  your
              systems  behave over time, Hobbit has all of the information you
              need: Whether is is response times of your webpages during  peak
              hours,  the  CPU  utilisation over the past 4 weeks, or what the
              availability of a site was compared to the SLA - it’s all  there
              inside  Hobbit.  All measurements are tracked and made available
              in time-based graphs.

              When you need to drill down  into  events  that  have  occurred,
              Hobbit  provides  a  powerful tool for viewing the event history
              for  each  statuslog,  with  overviews  of  when  problems  have
              occurred during the past and easy-to-use zoom-in on the event.

              For  SLA  reporting,  You can configure planned downtime, agreed
              service availability level, service availability time  and  have
              Hobbit generate availability reports directly showing the actual
              availability measured against the agreed SLA.  Such  reports  of
              service  availability  can  be  generated  on-the-fly,  or  pre-
              generated e.g. for monthly reporting.

       Role-based views
              You can have multiple different views  of  the  same  hosts  for
              different  parts  of  the  organisation,  e.g.  one view for the
              hardware group, and another view for the  webmasters  -  all  of
              them fed by the same test tools.

              If  you  have  a  dedicated  Network  Operations Centre, you can
              configure precisely which alerts will appear on their monitors -
              e.g.  a  simple anomaly in the system logfile need not trigger a
              call to 3rd-level support at 2 AM, but if the on-line shop  goes
              down you do want someone to respond immediately.  So you put the
              webcheck for the on-line shop on the NOC monitor page, and leave
              out the log-file check.

       Also for the techies
              The  Hobbit  user-interface  is  simple, but engineers will also
              find lots of relevant information. E.g. the  data  that  clients
              report  to Hobbit contain the raw output from a number of system
              commands.  That information is available directly in Hobbit,  so
              an  administrator no longer needs to login to a server to get an
              overview of how it is behaving - the very  commands  they  would
              normally run have alredy been performed, and the results are on-
              line in Hobbit.

       Easy to adapt to your needs
              Hobbit includes a lot of tests in the core  package,  but  there
              will  always  be something specific to your setup that you would
              like to watch. Hobbit allows you to write test scripts  in  your
              favourite  scripting  language  and  have the results show up as
              regular status columns in Hobbit. You can  trigger  alerts  from
              these,  and  even  track  trends  in  graphs  just  by  a simple
              configuration setting.

       Real network service tests
              The network test tool knows  how  to  test  most  commonly  used
              protocols,  including  HTTP, SMTP (e-mail), DNS, LDAP (directory
              services), and many more. When checking websites, it is possible
              to  not  only  check  that the webserver is responding, but also
              that the response looks correct by matching the response against
              a  pre-defined  pattern  or  a  checksum. So you can test that a
              network service is really working and  supplying  the  data  you
              expect - not just that the service is running.

              Protocols  that  use  SSL  encryption such as https-websites are
              fully supported, and while checking such  services  the  network
              tester will automatically run a check of the validity of the SSL
              server certificate, and warn about certificates that  are  about
              to expire.

       Highly configurable alerts
              You  want  to  know when something breaks. But you don’t want to
              get flooded with alerts all the time.  Hobbit  lets  you  define
              several  criteria for when to send out an alert, so you only get
              alerts when there is really something that needs your  attention
              right  away.  While  you  are handling an incident, you can tell
              Hobbit about it so it stops sending more  alerts,  and  so  that
              everyone else can check with Hobbit and know that the problem is
              being taken care of.

       Combined super-tests and test interdependencies
              If a single test is not enough, combination tests can be defined
              that  combine  the  result  of several tests to a single status-
              report.  So if you need to monitor that at  least  3  out  of  5
              servers  are running at any time, Hobbit can do that for you and
              generate the necessary availability report.

              Tests can also be configured to depend on each  other,  so  that
              when  a  critical  router goes down you will get alerts only for
              the router - and not from the 200 hosts behind the router.


       All of the Hobbit server tools run under an unprivileged user  account.
       A single program - the hobbitping(1) network connectivity tester - must
       be installed setuid-root, but has been written so  that  it  drops  all
       root   privileges  immediately  after  performing  the  operation  that
       requires root privileges.

       It is recommended that you setup a dedicated account for Hobbit.

       Communications between the Hobbit server and Hobbit clients use the Big
       Brother  TCP  port  1984.  If  the  Hobbit  server  is located behind a
       firewall, it must allow for inbound connections to the Hobbit server on
       tcp  port  1984.  Normally,  Hobbit  clients - i.e. the servers you are
       monitoring - must be permitted to connect to the Hobbit server on  this
       port.  However,  if that is not possible due to firewall policies, then
       Hobbit includes the hobbitfetch(8) and msgcache(8) tools to allows  for
       a pull-style way of collecting data, where it is the Hobbit server that
       initiates connections to the clients.

       The Hobbit webpages are dynamically generated through CGI programs.

       Access to the Hobbit webpages  is  controlled  through  your  webserver
       access controls, e.g. you can require a login through some form of HTTP


       A site running this software can be seen at


       You will need a Unix-like system (Linux, Solaris, HP-UX, AIX,  FreeBSD,
       Mac OS X or similar) with a webserver installed. You will also need a C
       compiler and som additional libraries, but many systems come  with  the
       required  development  tools  and libraries pre-installed. The required
       libraries are:

       RRDtool This library is used to store and  present  trend-data.  It  is

       libpcre  This  library  is  used  for advanced pattern-matching of text
       strings in configuration files. This library is required.

       OpenSSL This library is used for communication with SSL-enabled network
       services.   Although  optional, it is recommended that you install this
       for Hobbit since many network tests do use SSL.

       OpenLDAP This library is used for testing LDAP servers. Use of this  is

       For  more detailed information about Hobbit system requirements and how
       to install  Hobbit,  refer  to  the  online  documentation  "Installing
       Hobbit"  available  from the Hobbit webserver (via the "Help" menu), or
       from the "docs/install.html" file in the Hobbit source archive.

SUPPORT and MAILING LISTS is an open mailing list for  discussions  about  Hobbit.
       If   you   would  like  to  participate,  send  an  e-mail  to  hobbit- to join the list.

       An    archive    of    the    mailing    list    is    available     at

       If  you  just  want  to  be  notified of new releases of Hobbit, please
       subscribe to the hobbit-announce mailing  list.  This  is  a  moderated
       list,  used only for announcing new Hobbit releases. To be added to the
       list, send an e-mail to


       These tools implement the core functionality of the Hobbit server:

       hobbitd(8) is the core daemon  that  collects  all  reports  about  the
       status  of  your hosts. It uses a number of helper modules to implement
       certain tasks  such  as  updating  logfiles  and  sending  out  alerts:
       hobbitd_client,  hobbitd_history,  hobbitd_alert and hobbitd_rrd. There
       is also a hobbitd_filestore module for compatibility with Big  Brother.

       hobbitd_channel(8)  Implements  the  communication  between  the Hobbit
       daemon and the other Hobbit server modules.

       hobbitd_history(8) Stores historical data about the things that  Hobbit

       hobbitd_rrd(8)  Stores  trend data, which is used to generate graphs of
       the data monitored by Hobbit.

       hobbitd_alert(8) handles alerts. When a status changes  to  a  critical
       state, this module decides if an alert should be sent out, and to whom.

       hobbitd_client(8)  handles  data  collected  by  the  Hobbit   clients,
       analyzes  the  data  and feeds back several status updates to Hobbit to
       build the view of the client status.

       hobbitd_hostdata(8)  stores  historical  client  data  when   something
       breaks. E.g. when a webpage stops responding hobbitd_hostdata will save
       the latest client data, so that you can use this to view a snapshot  of
       how the system state was just prior to it failing.


       These tools are used on servers that execute tests of network services.

       hobbitping(1) performs network connectivity (ping) tests.

       bbtest-net(1) runs the network service tests. is an extension script for re-doing  failed  network
       tests  with  a  higher  frequency  than  the normal network tests. This
       allows Hobbit to pick up the recovery of a network service as  soon  as
       it happens, resulting in less downtime being recorded.


       These  tools  take  care  of generating and updating the various Hobbit

       bbgen(1) takes care of updating the Hobbit webpages.

       hobbitsvc.cgi(1) This CGI program generates an HTML view  of  a  single
       status log.  It is used to present the Hobbit status-logs.

       hobbitgraph.cgi(1)  This CGI program generates graphs of the trend-data
       collected by Hobbit.

       hobbit-hostgraphs.cgi(1) When you want to combine multiple graphs  into
       one,  this CGI lets you combine graphs so you can e.g. compare the load
       on all of the nodes in your server farm.

       hobbit-nkview.cgi(1) Generates the Critical Systems view, based on  the
       currently  critical  systems  and the configuration of what systems and
       services you want to monitor when.

       bb-hist.cgi(1) This CGI program  generates  a  webpage  with  the  most
       recent history of a particular host+service combination.

       bb-eventlog.cgi(1)  This  CGI  lets  you view a log of events that have
       happened over a period of time, for a  single  host  or  test,  or  for
       multiple systems.

       bb-ack.cgi(1) This CGI program allows a user to acknowledge an alert he
       received from Hobbit  about  a  host  that  is  in  a  critical  state.
       Acknowledging an alert serves two purposes: First, it stops more alerts
       from being sent so the technicians are not bothered  wit  more  alerts,
       and  secondly  it  provides  feedback  to  those  looking at the Hobbit
       webpages that the problem is being handled.

       hobbit-mailack(8) is a tool for processing acknowledgements sent via e-
       mail, e.g. as a response to an e-mail alert.

       hobbit-enadis.cgi(8)  is a CGI program to disable or re-enable hosts or
       individual tests.  When disabling a host or test, you stop alarms  from
       being  sent and also any outages do not affect the SLA calculations. So
       this  tool  is  useful  when  systems  are  being  brought   down   for

       bb-findhost.cgi(1)  is  a  CGI  program  that finds a given host in the
       Hobbit webpages. As your  Hobbit  installation  grows,  it  can  become
       difficult  to remember exactly which page a host is on; this CGI script
       lets you find hosts easily.

       bb-rep.cgi(1) This  CGI  program  triggers  the  generation  of  Hobbit
       availability  reports, using bbgen(1) as the reporting back-end engine.

       bb-replog.cgi(1) This CGI program generates the  detailed  availability
       report for a particular host+service combination.

       bb-snapshot.cgi(1)  is  a CGI program to build the Hobbit webpages in a
       "snapshot" mode, showing the look of the webpages at a particular point
       in time. It uses bbgen(1) as the back-end engine.

       hobbit-statusreport.cgi(1)  is a CGI program reporting test results for
       a single status but for several hosts. It is used to e.g. see which SSL
       certificates are about to expire, across all of the Hobbit webpages.

       bb-csvinfo.cgi(1) is a CGI program to present information about a host.
       The information is pulled from a CSV  (Comma  Separated  Values)  file,
       which is easily exported from any spreadsheet or database program.


       logfetch(1)  is  a  utility  used  by the Hobbit Unix client to collect
       information from logfiles on the client. It can  also  monitor  various
       other file-related data, e.g. file metadata or directory sizes.

       clientupdate(1)  Is used on Hobbit clients, to automatically update the
       client software with new versions. Through this tool,  updates  of  the
       client  software can happen without an administrator having to logon to
       the server.

       msgcache(8) This tool acts as a mini Hobbit server to  the  client.  It
       stores  client  data internally, so that the hobbitfetch(8) utility can
       pick it up later and send it to the Hobbit server. It is typically used
       on hosts that cannot contact the Hobbit server directly due to network-
       or firewall-restrictions.


       These tools are used for communications between the Hobbit  server  and
       the Hobbit clients. If there are no firewalls then they are not needed,
       but it may be necessary due to network or firewall issues to  make  use
       of them.

       bbproxy(8)  is  a  proxy-server  that  forwards Hobbit messages between
       clients and the Hobbit server. The clients must be able to talk to  the
       proxy, and the proxy must be able to talk to the Hobbit server.

       hobbitfetch(8)  is  used  when  the client is not able to make outbound
       connections to neither bbproxy nor the Hobbit  server  (typically,  for
       clients  located  in a DMZ network zone). Together with the msgcache(8)
       utility running on the  client,  the  Hobbit  server  can  contact  the
       clients and pick up their data.


       hobbitlaunch(8)  is a program scheduler for Hobbit. It acts as a master
       program for running all of the Hobbit tools on a system. On the  Hobbit
       server,  it  controls  running  all  of  the  server tasks. On a Hobbit
       client, it periodically launches the client to collect  data  and  send
       them to the Hobbit server.

       bb(1)  is  the  tool used to communicate with the Hobbit server.  It is
       used to send status reports to the Hobbit server,  through  the  custom
       Hobbit/BB  protocol,  or via HTTP. It can be used to query the state of
       tests on the central Hobbit server and  retrieve  Hobbit  configuration
       files. The server-side script bbmessage.cgi(1) used to receive messages
       sent via HTTP is also included.

       bbcmd(1) is a wrapper for the other Hobbit tools which sets up  all  of
       the environment variables used by Hobbit tools.

       bbhostgrep(1)  is  a  utility  for  use by Hobbit extension scripts. It
       allows an extension script to  easily  pick  out  the  hosts  that  are
       relevant  to  a  script, so it need not parse a huge bb-hosts file with
       lots of unwanted test-specifications.

       bbhostshow(1) is a utility to dump the full bb-hosts(5) file  following
       any "include" statements.

       bbdigest(1)  is  a  utility to compute message digest values for use in
       content checks that use digests.

       bbcombotest(1) is an extension script for the Hobbit  server,  allowing
       you  to  build complicated tests from simpler Hobbit test results. E.g.
       you can  define  a  test  that  uses  the  results  from  testing  your
       webserver, database server and router to have a single test showing the
       availability of your enterprise web application.

       trimhistory(8) is a tool to trim  the  Hobbit  history  logs.  It  will
       remove  all  log entries and optionally also the individual status-logs
       for events that happened before a given time.


       Version 1 of bbgen was relased in  November  2002,  and  optimized  the
       webpage generation on Big Brother servers.

       Version  2  of  bbgen  was released in April 2003, and added a tool for
       performing network tests.

       Version 3 of bbgen was released in September 2004, and  eliminated  the
       use  of  several  external  libraries for network tests, resulting in a
       significant performance improvement.

       With version 4.0 released on March 30 2005, the project was  de-coupled
       from  Big Brother, and the name changed to Hobbit. This version was the
       first full implementation of the Hobbit server, but it still  used  the
       data collected by Big Brother clients for monitoring host metrics.

       Version  4.1  was released in July 2005 included a simple Hobbit client
       for Unix. Logfile monitoring was not implemented.

       Version 4.2 was released in July 2006, and includes a fully  functional
       Hobbit client for Unix.


       Hobbit is
         Copyright (C) 2002-2006, Henrik Storner <>
       Parts  of  the  Hobbit  sources  are from public-domain or other freely
       available sources. These are the the Red-Black tree implementation, and
       the  MD5-,  SHA1- and RIPEMD160-implementations. Details of the license
       for these is in the README file included with the Hobbit sources.   All
       other  files  are released under the GNU General Public License version
       2, with the additional exemption that compiling, linking, and/or  using
       OpenSSL is allowed.  See the file COPYING for details.


       hobbitd(8),   hobbitd_channel(8),  hobbitd_history(8),  hobbitd_rrd(8),
       hobbitd_alert(8),        hobbitd_client(8),        hobbitd_hostdata(8),
       hobbitping(1),     bbtest-net(1),,     bbgen(1),
       hobbitsvc.cgi(1), hobbitgraph.cgi(1), hobbit-hostgraphs.cgi(1), hobbit-
       nkview.cgi(1),   bb-hist.cgi(1),   bb-eventlog.cgi(1),   bb-ack.cgi(1),
       hobbit-mailack(8),   hobbit-enadis.cgi(8),   bb-findhost.cgi(1),    bb-
       rep.cgi(1),      bb-replog.cgi(1),      bb-snapshot.cgi(1),     hobbit-
       statusreport.cgi(1), bb-csvinfo.cgi(1),  logfetch(1),  clientupdate(1),
       msgcache(8),   bbproxy(8),   hobbitfetch(8),   hobbitlaunch(8),  bb(1),
       bbmessage.cgi(1), bbcmd(1), bbhostgrep(1), bbhostshow(1),  bbdigest(1),
       bbcombotest(1),   trimhistory(8),   bb-hosts(5),   hobbitlaunch.cfg(5),
       hobbitserver.cfg(5),    hobbit-alerts.cfg(5),    hobbit-clients.cfg(5),