Koboli, an email interaction gateway for Nagios/Icinga

If you’ve followed my projects previously, you know that while I love Nagios, and its stepbrother Icinga, it’s often a nuisance and the butt of lots of jokes (see: Jordan Sissel’s PuppetConf 2012 talk on Logstash). A big part of my work over the last several months has focused on how to make interacting with it more productive. Nagios is totally happy to blast you with alerts, but doesn’t give you a way to, say, turn them off on some false positive when you’re on vacation in the middle of the mountains, miles away from Internet service reliable enough to run a VPN connection and a web browser.

I wasn’t happy with the state of email interaction with it, so I went ahead and wrote Koboli, a seriously extensible mail processor for Nagios and Icinga. Koboli is written in Python, and named after a mail sorter from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. It works out of the box with alerts in Nagios’s default format, but is easy enough to set up to extract fields from emails in whatever format you’ve decided to send them.

The basic idea of Koboli is that it gives you a simple #command syntax that allows you to interact easily with your monitoring system without leaving your email client. If you’ve ever worked with systems like Spiceworks, you’ve already got the basic idea down.

This is useful enough when you’re just interacting with your monitoring system, but you can extend it to do lots of other cool things too. For example, this initial release can also create issues in JIRA:

With a one-line command, the alert is now in our incident database where we can track and remediate it appropriately.

This project is just in the beginning stages, and I hope some people find it useful — it was quite a bit more work than I thought.

Koboli on GitHub


  1. OMFG. This looks really, really awesome. I’ve been thinking of doing something with icli commands run from Mutt, but this looks very cool. Thanks so much for sharing this!

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