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3 Installation and Upgrade Notes

3.1 Installation

See the installation_from_source section for full details.

3.2 Version compatibility

Older agents from Zabbix 1.0, Zabbix 1.1.x, Zabbix 1.4.x and Zabbix 1.6.x can be used with Zabbix 1.8. It does not require any configuration changes on agent side.

Older Zabbix proxies of version 1.6.x can't be used with Zabbix 1.8, they should be upgraded.

3.3 Important notes

3.3.1 For version 1.8
  • All hosts now are required to belong to at least one group.
  • CPU index for system.cpu.util key on Linux now starts with 0.
  • Key vfs.fs.size returns data in bytes for all operating systems now.
  • Key vfs.fs.size now takes into account reserved diskspace for root user.
  • Comment at the end of a configuration file line is not allowed anymore (this worked for numeric parameters only before).
3.3.2 For version 1.8.3
  • Parameter service.ntp for item keys net.tcp.service and net.tcp.service.perf renamed to ntp. Old syntax is still supported.
  • Trying to run IPv6-enabled daemon on a system without IPv6 support fail:
Listener failed with error: socket() for [[(null)]:10051] failed with error 97: Address family not supported by protocol.
3.3.3 For version 1.8.5
  • The method of external command invocation for Zabbix daemons has been changed to allow terminating runaway processes. Instead of using standard popen method as before, Zabbix now explicitly calls /bin/sh to execute desired command.
  • Trying to run a Zabbix daemon, compiled on Linux kernel 2.6.27 or later on a system with kernel 2.6.26 or older will fail:socket() for [[-]:10050] failed with error 22: Invalid argument
3.3.4 For version 1.8.6
  • Zabbix daemons now refuse to start up if configuration file contains incorrect parameters. If old parameters have accumulated in the configuration files, this will result in inoperable daemons after the upgrade until the parameters are fixed.
3.3.5 For version 1.8.8
  • In some cases hosts and proxies with identical name might have appeared in the Zabbix database. In 1.8.8, Zabbix server will shut down if it detects such a situation. This check was removed in 1.8.9.
3.3.6 For version 1.8.9

The shutdown upon detection of duplicate hosts, introduced in 1.8.8, has been removed.

3.3.7 For version 1.8.16

Accepted data limit of 128MB was introduced when using Zabbix protocol. Any other data (including older Zabbix protocols) stays limited at 16MB.

3.3.8 For version 1.8.18

Zabbix server now correctly enables SSL host verification when using Ez Texting service to send alerts.

3.3.9 For version 1.8.20

If Zabbix is logging to syslog then after an upgrade to Zabbix 1.8.20 you will see changes in the application names appearing in syslog:

   Zabbix Agent  → zabbix_agent
          Zabbix Agent  → zabbix_agentd
          Zabbix Proxy  → zabbix_proxy
          Zabbix Server → zabbix_server
          Zabbix Get    → zabbix_get
          Zabbix Sender → zabbix_sender

The old, incorrect names (on the left) contained a space which is not allowed by RFC 5424 for APP-NAME. If you are using regular expressions in monitoring of syslog you may want to adjust them for the new application names.

3.4 System requirement changes

Additional or increased system requirements:

  • Support for PHP 4 dropped.
  • Maximal PHP memory size should be at least 128MB (option memory_limit).
  • Maximal PHP POST size should be at least 16MB (option post_max_size).

Also see requirement changes for versions 1.8.2, 1.8.3 and 1.8.9.

3.5 Known problems

Zabbix frontend in 1.8 does not work with SQLite backend. Please, use one of the other supported databases.

3.5.1 For version 1.8
  • PHP mbstring check may fail with PHP < 5.2 in Zabbix 1.8. To avoid this issue, copy zabbix.conf.php.example file to zabbix.conf.php and modify parameters, including database access parameters.
  • For IPMI support you need a recent OpenIPMI version - 2.0.14 and later is known to work.
  • Sorting in frontend is not performed for entities with positional variables (like item names with $1 etc).
  • XML export includes SNMP and other information for all items.
  • Hostnames with spaces do not work when sending data from a file with zabbix_sender (fixed in 1.8.2).
  • Uploading of images for network maps may fail if database is not configured properly. Make sure database, tables and fields are set to UTF-8 encoding.
  • Precompiled binaries (agent, sender, get) might not work on 64bit systems with glibc versions older than 2.5. Common symptom is failing to start with the error message: Floating point exception. Use older versions, or compile from the scratch on the target system.
3.5.2 For version 1.8.2

Because of frontend changes, some installations might see incorrect older data appear in frontend. These include:

  • Incorrect trigger appearing, with name **ERROR**, usually in Monitoring → Triggers section, when showing all hosts from all groups. This trigger can be deleted by clicking on it, choosing Configuration of triggers, then clicking on Delete in the trigger editing form and confirming the deletion.

You might have to remove groupid=&hostid=& part from the URL when attempting to delete the trigger.

  • Depending on the installation time of your Zabbix server, default graphs might have incorrect configuration. This only affects you if those graphs are being used. Opening such a graph usually will swap working time and trigger showing with percentile values. If that is the case, simply fixing and saving the graph will solve the problem.

3.6 Upgrade procedure

The following steps have to be performed for successful upgrade from Zabbix 1.6.x to 1.8. The whole upgrade procedure may take several hours depending on size of Zabbix database.

3.6.1 Stop Zabbix server

Stop Zabbix server to make sure that no new data is inserted into database.

3.6.2 Backup existing Zabbix database

This is very important step. Make sure that you have backup of your database. It will help if upgrade procedure fails (lack of disk space, power off, any unexpected problem).

3.6.3 Backup configuration files, PHP files and Zabbix binaries

Make a backup copy of Zabbix binaries, configuration files and PHP files.

3.6.4 Install new server binaries

You may use pre-compiled binaries or compile your own.

3.6.5 Review Server configuration parameters

Some parameters of zabbix_server.conf were changed in 1.8, new parameters added. You may want to review them.

  • Configuration option StartDBSyncers has been removed from Zabbix server and proxy configuration files.
3.6.6 Upgrade database

Database upgrade is a required step when upgrading from one major Zabbix version to another, such as from 1.6 to 1.8. It is not required for minor upgrades, such as from 1.8.x to 1.8.x, unless specifically stated so in the release notes of the version.

Before running upgrade scripts drop the following indexes:


alter table dhosts drop index dhosts_1;
       alter table dservices drop index dservices_1;
       alter table httptest drop index httptest_2;
       alter table httptest drop index httptest_3;
       alter table history_log drop index history_log_2;
       alter table history_text drop index history_text_2;
       alter table actions drop index actions_1;
       alter table escalations drop index escalations_2;
       alter table graphs_items drop index graphs_items_1;
       alter table graphs_items drop index graphs_items_2;
       alter table services drop index services_1; 

Oracle or PostgreSQL

drop index dhosts_1;
       drop index dservices_1;
       drop index httptest_2;
       drop index httptest_3;
       drop index history_log_2;
       drop index history_text_2;
       drop index actions_1;
       drop index escalations_2;
       drop index graphs_items_1;
       drop index graphs_items_2;
       drop index services_1; 

Ignore any warning messages about non-existent indexes!

Database upgrade scripts are located in directory upgrades/dbpatches/1.8/<db engine>:

  • MySQL: upgrades/dbpatches/1.8/mysql/patch.sql
  • Oracle: upgrades/dbpatches/1.8/oracle/patch.sql
  • PostgreSQL: upgrades/dbpatches/1.8/postgresql/patch.sql

Database upgrade should take around 10-15 minutes, for PostgreSQL it may take several hours or more because of conversion of existing historical data. It is recommended to test the upgrade procedure in a non-production environment.

If you are converting the database to UTF-8, it can take many hours.

Make sure that you have enough permissions (create table, drop table, create index, drop index). Also make sure that you have enough free disk space.

These scripts are for upgrade from Zabbix 1.6.x to 1.8 only! For upgrade from earlier versions use also upgrade scripts from Zabbix 1.6.x.

3.6.7 Install new Zabbix GUI

Follow installation instructions.

3.6.8 Start new Zabbix binaries

Start new binaries. Check log files to see if the binaries have started successfully.