About Services

This page outlines how to configure a New Nagios monitored service.

A service configuration is a combination of a service template and a service definition. A service is generic until it has been applied to a specific host. A host, when fully implemented, has a host template, a unique host definition, and services.

hosts and services


  • Once a service has been assigned to a host(s), it becomes a stable copy separate from the original generic service definition. If you modify the generic service definition and want to have the changes reflected in the host-service copies of the service, the service changes will need to be pushed to the assigned host(s). If you want to manage existing services go Configuration > Nagios Monitoring > Services > Services and select a service. The tabs are the same as for configuring services and are outline below.
  • If you want to manage host services (services previously applied to a specific host) see Managing Host Services.
  • If you would like to create a new service based on an existing service use Clone service vs. New service.
  • If you make any changes, click Save before proceeding to another tab.
  • Service component configurations are applied to the selected hosts in the last tab, Apply Hosts.
  • After all configuration changes you need to perform a commit operation.
  • Hovering over the symbol displays a description of each service directive.

Configuring a New Service

In GroundWork Monitor, a Nagios monitored service is defined within six pages; New Service, Service Detail, Service Check, Service Dependencies, Service Profiles, Service Externals, and Apply Hosts. Each of these are referenced in the sections below. GroundWork Monitor comes loaded with many of the commonly used services already pre-configured.

New Service

host definition is used to define a physical server, workstation, device, etc. that resides on your network, and a service is the actual service that runs on the host (POP, SMTP, HTTP, etc.) or some other type of metric associated with the host (response to a ping, number of logged in users, free disk space, etc.). A service definition is used to identify a service and store the service name along with a required service template and optional service object directives.

  1. To create a new service, go to Configuration > Nagios Monitoring > Services > New service (or use Clone service), then enter a service name and select a service template. 
    • When naming a service, it is recommended to use a standard naming convention to make it easier to tell what is going on later. GroundWork Monitor does not support back-slashes in host and service names.
    • Service templates store common object properties used to define multiple services. Templates are used to reduce the number of repetitive entries when defining objects. GroundWork Monitor provides the gdma and generic-service service templates, or you can copy or create new templates.
  2. Click Add.
    new service

Service Detail

The first tab, Service Detail, includes the Service name, the applied service template, and specified service object directives. A checked Inherit box indicates the directive is inherited from the service template. To override a particular template value, first uncheck the check box, then provide a custom value. This changes this host service only.

For help with Nagios notification escalations see Nagios Notifications and Scheduled Downtime.

If you have changes, click to Save and continue with the next tab Service Check.

manage service - service detail

Service Check

In this second tab Service Check, if you are satisfied with the check as inherited from the template, do nothing on this page. Otherwise uncheck the inherit checkbox and make the necessary changes. 


  • If there are arguments, e.g., ARG1!ARG2!ARG3the command line should be filled in to reflect the arguments to pass to the plugin.
  • If you want to use some of the other options on the plugins, you'll need to create new commands that set those options, and use them to create your services. For example, in the icmp_ping_alive service in the image below, the command definition is set at -w 3000,80% -c 5000.0,100% -n -1, you could create a new command to use instead for this service.

You can then Test the service against any host from within this service check screen, bear in mind the check command is run under the web servers account, so there may be issues with certain checks.

Service externals macro arguments are optional.

Don't forget to Save the service check with the new service and continue with the next tab Service Dependencies.

manage service - service check

Service Dependencies

The Service Dependencies tab allows you to edit, add, or remove service dependencies.

The Dependency field is service dependency template that defines a master service relationship on this host. Select from the list a host where the Master service resides.

Continue with the next tab Service Profiles.

manage service - service dependencies

Service Profiles

Host and service profiles aid in the design and management of hosts and services. Service profiles are made up of multiple service definitions, and host profiles can incorporate service profiles.Here you can add or remove service profiles that are using this service.

Adding or removing a service profile here has no effect on the service profile's member host until the Apply Hosts tab is use on the service profile (or host profile), or the profile is applied on the individual hosts.

If you have changes, click to Save and continue with the next tab Service Externals.

manage service - service profiles

Service Externals

Externals are used to create configuration files for external applications, such as the GroundWork Distributed Monitoring Agent (GDMA). A service external provides the detail relevant to a particular service, that will end up in such a file.

The service externals you manage in this tab originate as generic service externals, established under Configuration > Nagios Monitoring > Services > Service externals. Once you apply a service external to a particular host service, that copy becomes independently modifiable. You can choose to manage changes to the copies from the generic service external, or modify the individual copies and manage them separately.

This screen allows an administrator to add externals to this service to be applied to the selected hosts in the Apply Hosts tab.

Continue with the next tab Apply Hosts.

manage service - service externals

Apply Hosts

This step is used when managing services that have been assigned to hosts. Services can be assigned to host(s) while defining a new host (Configuration > Nagios Monitoring Hosts > Host wizard), or cloning an existing host Configuration > Nagios Monitoring Hosts > Clone host), or when modifying existing hosts (Configuration > Nagios Monitoring Hosts > Hosts), and also while modifying a new service if the service is associated with a host(s).

Once a service has been assigned to a host(s), it becomes a stable copy separate from the original generic service definition. If you modify the generic service definition (under Configuration Nagios Monitoring Services) and want to have those changes reflected in the host-service copies of the service, the service changes will need to be pushed to these assigned host(s).

By selecting an existing service name in Configuration > Nagios Monitoring > Services you have access to manage the service detail, service check, dependencies, and profiles. After making any service changes you will need to use the Apply Hosts tab to indicate the Service properties action(s) and Host services action to be taken. The Hosts drop-down box in the Apply Host tab lists all hosts that have this service. The checked service properties actions will be applied to the host-service on all of these hosts.

Make sure to double check your service changes, the set of hosts that are assigned this service, the service properties you have checked to apply, and how you want to modify the existing host-services.

When you're ready, select Apply.

Any Nagios monitoring configuration changes in GroundWork Monitor must be committed to the system for the change to take place. To commit a configuration change go to Configuration > Nagios Monitoring > Control > Pre flight test > then Commit.

manage service - apply hosts

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