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Normally smokeping probes run their tests from the host where smokeping runs to some target host and monitor the latency of the connection between the two.

The Master/Slave concept enables all smokeping probes to run remotely. The use case for this is, to measure the overall connectivity in a network. If you are interested in checking that your central DNS server or your file server works for everyone, you could setup several smokeping instances checking up on on the two servers from multiple locations within your network. With the Master/Slave smokeping configuration this process becomes much simpler, as one smokeping master server can control multiple slaves.

All monitoring data is stored and presented on the server, but colleted by the slaves. The slaves will also get their configuration information from the master, so that you just have to maintain the master server configuration file and the rest is taken care of automatically.



The slaves communicate with the master smokeping server via the normal smokeping web interface. On initial startup each slave connects to the master server and asks for its assignements. When the slave has done a round of probing it connects to the master again to deliver the results.

If the assignemt for a slave change, the master will tell the slave after the slave has delivered its results.

The master and slaves sign their messages by supplying an md5 hash of the message appended with a shared secret. Optionally the whole communication can run over ssl.

    [slave 1]     [slave 2]      [slave 3]
        |             |              |
        +-------+     |     +--------+
                |     |     |
                v     v     v
              |    master     |

The slave is a normal smokeping instance setup where the configuration comes from the master instead of a local configuration file. The slave tries to contact the master server after every round of probing, supplying its results. If the master server can not be reached, the results will be sent to the server together with the next round of results. Results will be stored in a perl storable so that they survive a restart of the smokeping instance.

Master Configuration

To configure a master/slave setup, add a slaves section to your smokeping configuration file. Each slave has a section in the slaves part of the master configuration file. The section name must match the hostname of the slave. If some configuration parameter must be set to a special value for the slave, use an override section to configure this.

 *** slaves ****
 Probes.FPing.binary = /usr/bin/fping

Then in the targets section you can define slaves at every lvel. Again the settings get inherited by lower order targets and can be overwritten anywhere in the tree.

A slave will then get the appropriate configuration assigned by the server.

 *** targets ***
 slaves = slave1 slave2
 slaves =
 slaves = slave1

The data from the slaves will be stored in TargetName~SlaveName.rrd. So the example above would create the following files:


Slave Configuration

A smokeping slave setup has no configuration file. It just needs to know that it runs in slave-mode and its secret. The secet is stored in a file for optimal protection. By default the persitant data cache will be located in /tmp/smokeping.$USER.cache.

 ./smokeping --master-url=http://smokeping/smokeping.cgi \
             --cache-dir=/var/smokeping/cache.file \


Copyright (c) 2007 by Tobias Oetiker, OETIKER+PARTNER AG. All right reserved.


This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


Tobias Oetiker <>

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