Zabbix server is the central process of Zabbix software.
The server performs the polling and trapping of data, it calculates triggers, sends notifications to users. It is the central component to which Zabbix agents and proxies report data on availability and integrity of systems. The server can itself remotely check networked services (such as web servers and mail servers) using simple service checks.
The server is the central repository in which all configuration, statistical and operational data is stored, and it is the entity in Zabbix that will actively alert administrators when problems arise in any of the monitored systems.
The functioning of a basic Zabbix server is broken into three distinct components; they are: Zabbix server, web frontend and database storage.
All of the configuration information for Zabbix is stored in the database, which both the server and the web frontend interact with. For example, when you create a new item using the web frontend (or API) it is added to the items table in the database. Then, about once a minute Zabbix server will query the items table for a list of the items which are active that is then stored in a cache within the Zabbix server. This is why it can take up to two minutes for any changes made in Zabbix frontend to show up in the latest data section.
Zabbix server runs as a daemon process. The server can be started by executing:
shell> service zabbix-server start
This will work on most of GNU/Linux systems. On other systems you may need to run:
shell> /etc/init.d/zabbix-server start
Similarly, for stopping/restarting/viewing status, use the following commands:
shell> service zabbix-server stop shell> service zabbix-server restart shell> service zabbix-server status
If the above does not work you have to start it manually. Find the path to the zabbix_server binary and execute:
You can use the following command line parameters with Zabbix server:
-c --config <file> path to the configuration file (default is /usr/local/etc/zabbix_server.conf) -R --runtime-control <option> perform administrative functions -h --help give this help -V --version display version number
Examples of running Zabbix server with command line parameters:
shell> zabbix_server -c /usr/local/etc/zabbix_server.conf shell> zabbix_server --help shell> zabbix_server -V
Runtime control options:
|config_cache_reload||Reload configuration cache. Ignored if cache is being currently loaded.|
|housekeeper_execute||Start the housekeeping procedure. Ignored if the housekeeping procedure is currently in progress.|
|log_level_increase[=<target>]||Increase log level, affects all processes if target is not specified.||process type - All processes of specified type (e.g., poller)
See all server process types.
process type,N - Process type and number (e.g., poller,3)
pid - Process identifier (1 to 65535). For larger values specify target as 'process type,N'.
|log_level_decrease[=<target>]||Decrease log level, affects all processes if target is not specified.|
Example of using runtime control to reload the server configuration cache:
shell> zabbix_server -c /usr/local/etc/zabbix_server.conf -R config_cache_reload
Example of using runtime control to trigger execution of housekeeper:
shell> zabbix_server -c /usr/local/etc/zabbix_server.conf -R housekeeper_execute
Examples of using runtime control to change log level:
Increase log level of all processes: shell> zabbix_server -c /usr/local/etc/zabbix_server.conf -R log_level_increase Increase log level of second poller process: shell> zabbix_server -c /usr/local/etc/zabbix_server.conf -R log_level_increase=poller,2 Increase log level of process with PID 1234: shell> zabbix_server -c /usr/local/etc/zabbix_server.conf -R log_level_increase=1234 Decrease log level of all http poller processes: shell> zabbix_server -c /usr/local/etc/zabbix_server.conf -R log_level_decrease="http poller"
Zabbix server is designed to run as a non-root user. It will run as whatever non-root user it is started as. So you can run server as any non-root user without any issues.
If you will try to run it as 'root', it will switch to a hardcoded 'zabbix' user, which must be present on your system. You can only run server as 'root' if you modify the 'AllowRoot' parameter in the server configuration file accordingly.
If Zabbix server and agent are run on the same machine it is recommended to use a different user for running the server than for running the agent. Otherwise, if both are run as the same user, the agent can access the server configuration file and any Admin level user in Zabbix can quite easily retrieve, for example, the database password.
See the configuration file options for details on configuring zabbix_server.
The scripts are used to automatically start/stop Zabbix processes during system's start-up/shutdown. The scripts are located under directory misc/init.d.
alert manager- manager of alerter tasks
alerter- process for sending notifications
configuration syncer- process for managing in-memory cache of configuration data
discoverer- process for discovery of devices
escalator- process for escalation of actions
history syncer- history DB writer
housekeeper- process for removal of old historical data
http poller- web monitoring poller
icmp pinger- poller for icmpping checks
ipmi manager- IPMI poller manager
ipmi poller- poller for IPMI checks
java poller- poller for Java checks
lld manager- manager process of low-level discovery tasks
lld worker- worker process of low-level discovery tasks
poller- normal poller for passive checks
preprocessing manager- manager of preprocessing tasks
preprocessing worker- process for data preprocessing
proxy poller- poller for passive proxies
self-monitoring- process for collecting internal server statistics
snmp trapper- trapper for SNMP traps
task manager- process for remote execution of tasks requested by other components (e.g. close problem, acknowledge problem, check item value now, remote command functionality)
timer- timer for processing maintenances
trapper- trapper for active checks, traps, proxy communication
unreachable poller- poller for unreachable devices
vmware collector- VMware data collector responsible for data gathering from VMware services
The server log file can be used to observe these process types.
Various types of Zabbix server processes can be monitored using the zabbix[process,<type>,<mode>,<state>] internal item.
Due to the security requirements and mission-critical nature of server operation, UNIX is the only operating system that can consistently deliver the necessary performance, fault tolerance and resilience. Zabbix operates on market leading versions.
Zabbix server is tested on the following platforms:
Note that the server requires a UTF-8 locale so that some textual items can be interpreted correctly. Most modern Unix-like systems have a UTF-8 locale as default, however, there are some systems where that may need to be set specifically.