The NEMS Linux Vision

The goal with NEMS Linux is to provide a free, full-featured, up to date drop in Nagios Enterprise Monitoring Server for Raspberry Pi and other SBCs. It has all the bells and whistles while being optimized for solid stability and fast performance.

The original NEMS Linux release was based (with big thanks to Ryan Siegel) on NagiosPi, with many of the settings reflective of the NagiosPi Wheezy distro.

Here is what Ryan Siegel, the creator of NagiosPi has to say about NEMS Linux: "I'd love to upgrade NagiosPi, but I don’t have the ability to make a GUI that can beat that of NEMS. I strongly feel that it has always been a necessary addition to NagiosPi and NEMS was able to deliver what is essentially an updated and improved version of NagiosPi. No reason not to start using NEMS for the time being. Nice work Robbie!"

NEMS Linux has since become a popular drop-in Nagios distro for the Raspberry Pi and other SBCs, with a major release at least once per year.

NEMS Linux is created and maintained by Robbie Ferguson — also known as "Bald Nerd". Robbie is the host and founder of Category5 Technology TV, a popular webcast that has been on-air since 2007. Robbie is a firm lover of Linux and open source, and an advocate of freedom, respect and equality among all people.

What Is Nagios Core?

Nagios® Core™ is an Open Source system and network monitoring application. It watches hosts and services that you specify, alerting you when things go bad and when they get better.

Some of the many features of Nagios Core include:

  • Monitoring of network services (SMTP, POP3, HTTP, NNTP, PING, etc.)
  • Monitoring of host resources (processor load, disk usage, etc.)
  • Simple plugin design that allows users to easily develop their own service checks
  • Parallelized service checks
  • Ability to define network host hierarchy using “parent” hosts, allowing detection of and distinction between hosts that are down and those that are unreachable
  • Contact notifications when service or host problems occur and get resolved (via email, pager, or user-defined method)
  • Ability to define event handlers to be run during service or host events for proactive problem resolution
  • Automatic log file rotation
  • Support for implementing redundant monitoring hosts
  • Optional web interface for viewing current network status, notification and problem history, log file, etc.

NEMS Linux is on the Nagios Exchange—the officially-endorsed Nagios Enterprises community web index.

Why NEMS Linux?

Nagios doesn't need a big fancy supercomputer to offer exceptional enterprise monitoring of network assets and resources, so our temptation is to re-purpose older servers to perform this reasonably lightweight task.

If you ask me, that’s not only overkill, but the attempt to save money by reusing older hardware will actually cost more due to higher electricity usage vs. say, a tiny Raspberry Pi Microcomputer... which ironically may in fact have more modern system specifications than that old beast of a server you've been using.

It can be a daunting task to setup a Nagios server from scratch. NEMS Linux brings years of Nagios server tweaks and improvements and gets you up and running quickly, with a custom set of tools to help you manage your enterprise monitoring infrastructure.

This project uses freely available applications such as Debian Linux, Nagios Core and a variety of other goodies, and I too release a fully ready-to-use image for you to use within yours or your customers' network environments.