ITRS Opsview Cloud Documentation

Event Handlers

Overview Copied

Event Handlers are a feature within Opsview Monitor that moves your monitoring solution away from a detect and alerting system to a more proactive monitoring tool. What does this mean? Well, if Opsview Monitor detects that the web service is not running on a monitored host it can not only alert you, but it can also automatically restart the web service. This means that you will know a problem occurred so you can diagnose and ensure it doesn’t happen again. But at the same time, your users are not impacted as the Web Server is back online within seconds of the outage. This is done via an Event Handler.

For more information about Host and Services, States, Plugins, Notifications and Event Handlers concepts, please see Important Concepts.

Event Handlers are scripts that can be automatically run by Opsview Monitor when it detects that a host or service check has a result in any problem state. It is also executed when the first OK result is returned.


Downtime and Acknowledged Service Checks will still have event handlers run.

Event Handlers sit on the monitoring server and are invoked via Opsview Monitor and will need to be installed on each collector.

Event Handlers

The graphic above shows the relationship between Opsview Monitor, the Infrastructure Agent, and the Event Handler. The Collector runs the Event Handler when the service changes to a non-OK state. At the same time, the ‘retry interval’ will be running, meaning the Collector is likely monitoring the server at a one-minute interval (if the default value is unmodified). This means that once the Event Handler has been run, the Opsview Monitor server should detect that the service is now back ‘up’ and running, and thus the service check state should return to an ‘OK’ state (unless there is a problem stopping the service from restarting, such as misconfiguration, etc).

Event Handlers stages Copied

Service is not running

Service is not running

Restarts the Apache service

Restarts the Apache service

Apache is running

Apache is running

In the example above, we have chosen to run an Event Handler on the ‘Syslog service status’ service check, however, Event Handlers can be run on any host or service check; e.g. you may create an Event Handler that clears /tmp or ‘Recycle Bin’ when the ‘Disk capacity’ check changes to WARNING or CRITICAL. Alternatively, you may wish to create an Event Handler that flashes a series of lights red when a service check monitoring the number of ‘Severity 1 tickets’ changes from zero to one or more, in order to alert your support team quickly.

Creating a New Event Handler Copied

Event Handlers are scripts that can be written in any language executable by the host operating system (Perl, Python, or Bash).

Script location and permissions Copied


The user you are using to call the Event Handler MUST be included in the /etc/sudoers file and have the NOPASSWD option set. If this is not the case, the Event Handler script will stall/hang and await input and therefore not run.

For example:

opsview    ALL=(ALL)       NOPASSWD: ALL

Always ensure you edit the file using the visudo command OR sanity check it using visudo -c. If you use a provisioning programme such as Chef or Puppet that manages this file, ensure the line is added to the provisioned file source.

To install a new event handler, it is recommended that you use the orchestratorimportscripts helper tool. This command line tool will place the script in the correct directory and signal that you need to execute the Apply Changes action in the Opsview Monitor user interface. For example:

/opt/opsview/orchestrator/bin/orchestratorimportscripts eventhandlers /path/to/script

Environment Variables Copied

To get context on the event, certain Environment Variables are available to the script. Event Handlers should use the available macros within the environment to ensure that they only run when required. The main macros are:

$NAGIOS_HOSTATTEMPT (number, starts from 1)
$NAGIOS_SERVICEATTEMPT (number, starts from 1)

Other macros available within Opsview Monitor are:


In the example script below (/opt/opsview/monitoringscripts/eventhandlers/rsyslog_restart), the Syslog service has been restarted on the affected host, as described above.

# Uncomment below to get debug information about the environment variables set
# { date; echo "Called with: $*"; env | sort; echo; } >> /tmp/handler.log
# If Service State is CRITICAL (options are OK, WARNING, CRITICAL and UNKNOWN)
# and Service State Type is HARD (options are HARD and SOFT)
# then execute Event Handler action
set -e
    echo "restarting syslog"
    # insert Event Handler action here...
    /opt/opsview/monitoringscripts/plugins/check_nrpe -H "$NAGIOS_HOSTADDRESS" -c eh_rsyslog_restart >/dev/null 2>&1
    # record event to syslog
    logger "Syslog restarted by Opsview $NAGIOS_HOSTADDRESS"

The first part of this Event Handler will check the service state to ensure it is CRITICAL and also HARD (i.e. in case the service has temporarily stopped; this can be changed easily).

Once the Event Handler is satisfied the above criteria are met, it will echo restarting syslog and then run the command eh_rsyslog_restart on the host in question via nrpe (Infrastructure Agent), piping the output of the command to /dev/null (hiding the output). Finally, it will log that it has restarted the script.


In this example it is assumed that the Infrastructure Agent running on the host has been configured to support the eh_rsyslog_restart and this command will run a script that will restart syslog (see Infrastructure Agent Configuration).

In the Opsview Monitor user interface, the Event Handler can be configured either on a global basis for the service check, for example, “if this service check changes to a CRITICAL state on any host, run this Event Handler”, or on an individual basis, “if this service check changes to a CRITICAL state on just this host”. This allows for bespoke Event Handlers that are customized for individual hosts.

Variables Copied

In addition to the Environment Variables described above, Opsview Variables can also be passed to event handlers. Much like Service Checks, the values of these variables will first look at the values stored on the host, if they exist, before defaulting to the global value for the variable.

For example, the following event handler definition would be filled out when set off by a service check/host to run the reset_jenkins script with the values of the JENKINS_AUTHENTICATION variable.


It is important to note that sensitive information is often stored in these variables, so care should be taken to not pass these important values anywhere they’re not needed.

Applying an Event Handler to a Service Check Copied

This applies the event handler to all Hosts that use the modified service check.

Go to Configuration > Service Checks and edit the service check to which you want to apply the Event Handler. In our example it will be ‘Syslog active sessions’.

On the Service Check edit window, go to the ‘Details’ tab and click on the Advanced section:

Event Handler Advanced section

Once you have clicked ‘Submit Changes’, any host that has the ‘Syslog active sessions’ service check applied will have the Event Handler enabled for its service check.

Applying an Event Handler to a Host Copied

This applies the event handler to the one Host for which you modify the service check.

Go to Configuration > Hosts and edit the host to which you want to apply the Event Handler.

On the Host edit window, click on the Service Checks tab, and navigate to the service you want to add the Event Handler to using the tree panel on the left hand side.


Ensure the service check is checked in the left hand panel; if the service check is not checked then the ‘Exceptions’ drawer will not be enabled.

Apache active sessions

Once ‘within’ the service check, click on the ‘Exceptions’ drawer and check the ‘Event Handler’ checkbox as shown above.

Finally, enter the name of the Event Handler and click ‘submit changes’; this will now enable the ‘restart_syslog’ service check just for this service check on the host ‘Opsview’.

Debugging Event Handlers Copied

Here are a few helpful tips that can assist you in debugging Event Handlers that are not working.

Permissions Copied

Check that the permissions of the event handler are set correctly (as detailed above).

Testing during development Copied

You can test the Event Handler by manually passing the environment variables through to the script to simulate a check execution. This can be done using a command such as:


Running this against our syslog_restart script, we can see the script execute successfully.

restarting syslog

Checking the log Copied

If the script appears to be working when manually executed but is failing to run when an event triggers it, looking at the Opsview syslog is a good way to identify the cause of the issue. Switching the Executor component into debug mode will get it to log the individual executions of all scripts, including event handlers. See Component DEBUG logs.

The following log extracts are caused by common issues.

2019-10-21 09:55:50,781 ERR [opsview.executor.executorworker] Executor-2 Failed to execute JobRef=u'hid-5_sid-1129_oid-159' Error=[Errno 13] Permission denied: u'/opt/opsview/monitoringscripts/eventhandlers/syslog_restart'

As the log states, the permissions on the event handler script are incorrect. This means that the script is not executable by the Opsview user, either because the permission numbers are wrong or the owner or group of the file is not the opsview user. This should not occur if you installed the event handler with the helper tool as described under the Script location and permissions section.

2019-10-21 09:55:18,707 ERR [opsview.executor.executorworker] Executor-2 Failed to execute JobRef=u'hid-5_sid-1129_oid-159' Error=[Errno 2] No such file or directory: u'/opt/opsview/monitoringscripts/eventhandlers/syslog_restart'

Again as the log states, the event handler script is not in the expected location. This might be that the script has the wrong filename or that the event handler command specified in the UI is referring to the script by the wrong name.

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