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Postbix: Monitor Postgres With Zabbix

Documentation relative to Release: 1.1.0 Authors: Andrea Dalle Vacche Referring Site:

Download & Installation Instructions

About Postbix

Product Description

Postbix is a plugin designed to work with Zabbix Enterprise Monitor to provide multi-tiered monitoring, performance and availability reporting and measurement for Postgres Databases, along with server performance metrics.

It provides an effective mechanism to acquire data from numerous Postgres instances, and in turn provides this information for monitoring and performance metrics to your Zabbix server. You can then utilise the reporting capabilities of Zabbix for all data collected, and provide analysis such as graphs and service level agreement metrics for stakeholders.

The current distribution contains a set of pre-defined templates which incorporate alerting and graphing capabilities from initial deployment. However these can be fine tuned to suit your needs and data/monitoring requirements.

What can it monitor?

Below are some examples of what Postbix is capable of monitoring:

  1. Alive
  2. Buffers
  3. Checkpoint
  4. Connections
  5. Tuples
  6. Xact
  7. Locks

Graphs Generated

  1. Alive
  2. Buffers
  3. Checkpoint
  4. Connections
  5. Tuples
  6. Xact
  7. Locks
Postbix Author

Andrea Dalle Vacche:


You can read about the history and evolution of the Postbix plug-in in these threads below Original here: Latest here:


You can find the latest versions of Postbix at the locations listed below: or


To use Postbix, you will require the following on your Zabbix Server:

  • Zabbix 1.8.x Server
  • Java Runtime Environment 6

Current known successfully tested Postgres host platforms:

  • RHEL5.X (CentOS 5.4 & 5.5)
  • Windows 2003 (with Java SE 1.6)
  • HP-UX 11.31
  • AIX 5.3

You do NOT need to install an Postgres client of any kind for Postbix to work. Postbix uses Java objects and connection strings to connect to the Postgres Database, and as such doesn’t require an Postgres client to be installed on your Zabbix Server.


The installation instructions have been created based on instructions for most *nix deployments (i.e. RHEL/CentOS), and is assumed that any alterations required for your specific environment are to be taken into account accordingly.

This guide is based upon there being two (2) Hosts, 1x Zabbix Server and 1x Postgres Server. If you are planning on monitoring an Postgres instance that is running on your Zabbix Server, the steps are the same, with minor adjustments required for your connection information.

The steps also assume you are configuring Postbix to monitor a new installation or setup of Postgres. The installation steps will have you GRANT access for the Zabbix user to all tables, and this will include any USER tables present at the time of execution. If you do not want Zabbix to have access to specific tables or resources within your database, you will need to set a DENY to the Zabbix users access as required. Consult your DBA for details, as this is beyond the scope of these instructions.

Steps for Installation

Download Postbix to your Zabbix Server On your Zabbix server, unzip Postbix to: /opt/postbix Copy file /opt/postbix/init.d/postbix to /etc/init.d/postbix Grant execute permissions to the following files: /etc/init.d/postbix /opt/postbix/ Create a User (ZABBIX) for Postbix to access your Postgres Database. You can use the following script:

CREATE USER zabbix WITH PASSWORD 'passw0rd'; GRANT SELECT ON pg_stat_activity to zabbix; GRANT SELECT ON pg_stat_activity to zabbix; GRANT SELECT ON pg_database to zabbix; GRANT SELECT ON pg_authid to zabbix; GRANT SELECT ON pg_stat_bgwriter to zabbix; GRANT SELECT ON pg_locks to zabbix; GRANT SELECT ON pg_stat_database to zabbix;

For this example on RedHat, run: chkconfig -add postbix

Verify with: chkconfig -list

Create a Host entry in Zabbix for the DB Instance/s you are planning to monitor, and import the templates found at: /opt/postbix/template/

Please note, instructions for step (8) can be found in the Zabbix Manual at With this step (8), ensure the name of your host in Zabbix is the same name of the SID or Postgres instance name.


Now we need to configure your Postbix setup. The tags below are listed as they will appear within the respective configuration files. The first you will need to modify is your config.props file to define your connection properties for Zabbix and Postgres.

The config.props file can be found at /opt/postbix/conf/config.props


comma separed list of Zabbix servers The settings under this tag allow you to configure your Zabbix Server information. Postbix can also be configured to send your Postgres data to multiple Zabbix servers.

This can be beneficial for distributed monitoring scenarios, server migrations or replicating Postbix data to a Disaster Recovery site or server.

Replace with your Zabbix Server info where appropriate:

ZabbixServerList=ZabbixServer1,ZabbixServer2 ZabbixServer1.Address= ZabbixServer1.Port=10051 ZabbixServer2.Address= ZabbixServer2.Port=10051


Entries under this tag allow you to set your Postbix Daemon parameters.

frequency of item's refresh Set how long you want the Daemon to sleep between iterations (loop from one to the next). Default is 120


MaxThreadNumber should be >= than the number of your databases Set the number of threads the Postbix Daemon should have inside his internal pool of DB Jobs. This number should be at least equal to (or more than) then number of databases monitored by Postbix.

e.g. For 50 Databases, we are using 100 threads


pidFile Next you can set the location of the Daemons PID file. Default location is: /opt/postbix/logs


NOTE: Relative path is permitted here

With the features of the Postbix Daemon, it is possible to clone Postbix and use different configurations. As such, it is therefore possible to have one Daemon that checks your TEST databases, another iteration that checks your DEVELOPMENT databases and a third that checks your PRODUCTION databases, each with different timings and check loops!


put here your databases in a comma separated list

This is where you define your database instances. You can specify more than one instance here, separated using a comma.


The names of the instances must match those you have specified as your HOST name in Zabbix

Configuration of Connection pool From here, you will configure settings that are specific to the connection pool. As the comments in config.props suggest, if you do not specify these values, Postbix will use default values hich have been hard-coded.

Maximum number of active connection inside pool Set the maximum number of connections that can be allocated to this pool at any time, or alternatively set a negative value for no limit.


The maximum number of milliseconds Here you define how long that the pool will wait (when there are no available connections) for a connection to be returned before throwing an exception, or set the value ⇐ 0 to wait indefinitely.


Also under the same section, you can define the maximum number of connections that can remain idle within the connection pool, without being released. Alternatively, you can set a negative value for no limit.


You can specify the Database connection parameters for each database you wish to monitor individually, underneath your Database Connection Parameters. This allows you to customise your connection settings based on the Database constraints I.e one connection pool for your PRODUCTION DB and another for you TEST DB, for example;

DB1.MaxActive=10 DB1.MaxWait=100 DB1.MaxIdle=1

Note that any settings defines this way will override the general settings for your generic connection pool.

Database Connection Parameters

This section sets your connection string to the Postgres Database. This string invokes a Java Database Connector (JDBC) to your Postgres Databases, and as such does not need the Postgres Client to be installed.

Define here your connection string for each database. Here you will define the connection string. These are formatted as: DBName.Url(as specified in your DatabaseList)followed by the jdbc string and your Database Server information. EXAMPLE1.Url=jdbc:postgresql:/ /SERVER1.EXAMPLE.COM:5432/postgresql

Set your Database username and password below. e.g.

EXAMPLE1.User=zabbix EXAMPLE1.Password=zabbix_password

Setting connections to multiple databases is made easy by adding more connection strings, with their corresponding credentials.

Example given below. EXAMPLE2.Url=jdbc:postgresql:/ /SERVER2.EXAMPLE.COM:5432/postgresql EXAMPLE2.User=zabbix EXAMPLE2.Password=zabbix_password EXAMPLE3.Url=jdbc:postgresql:/ /SERVER3.EXAMPLE.COM:5432/postgresql EXAMPLE3.User=zabbix EXAMPLE3.Password=zabbix_password

After these entries, you can set your MaxActive, MaxWait and MaxIdle for the individual database connections if you so wish.

Query List File

This defines where the file containing the Postgres (SQL) queries can be found. This is a customisable file. You can find the query parameter file at:


you can also specify :

<DBNAME>.QueryListFile=./confQueryTest.props This file specify the query file of a database relative path are allowed

This is really useful to use different query file for different databases or to have a pool of query file one for each Postgres Release (if you have different release) and/or to have different query files for Production environment, Test environment, Developement environment etc..

Configuration of query.props file

The query.props file can be modified or added to, so you can supply your own customised queries through Postbix against your Postgres instances/databases. Each query created has an associated 'Item' or item name that Zabbix will use to identify the query.

Item names must be unique.

The configurable items are formatted as follows.


You have to set the query name under the QueryList in the query.props file. Each query name is comma separated. For example:



You must identify the query by the unique item name you specified in the QueryList, followed by '.Query' for Postbix to recognise that this is the query string. Its important to remember NOT to add the semi-colon “;” to the end of your custom query.


Now you can define what you want Postbix to return to your Zabbix Server if no data is found for your query.


In the example above, Postbix would send the string “none” to the Zabbix Server.

Next you can specify a query that will be executed and if return RaceCondiftionValue the query customQueryItemName is executed otherwise is skipped

customQueryItemName.ACTIVE=[true|false] if true query is executed otherwise skipped

archive.Query=select round(A.LOGS*B.AVG/1024/1024/10) FROM ( SELECT COUNT (*) LOGS FROM V$LOG_HISTORY WHERE FIRST_TIME >= (sysdate -10/60/24)) A, ( SELECT Avg(BYTES) AVG, Count(1), Max(BYTES) Max_Bytes,Min(BYTES) Min_Bytes FROM v$log) B

archive.RaceConditionQuery=select value From v$parameter where name='log_archive_start' archive.RaceConditionValue=FALSE

In the example above, Postbix would execute “archive.Query” only if the query “archive.RaceConditionQuery” return the value “archive.RaceConditionValue”. Pratically the “Archive” query is execute only if database is in arhivelogmode (Parameter “log_archive_start” set to TRUE)

How to Use Postbix/FAQ

How do I start the Daemon?

To start the Postbix Daemon, simply run: /etc/init.d/postbix start

How does Logging work?

The Postbix daemon outputs its log file to the default location of /opt/postbix/logs/ Logging properties can be modified by making your required changes to: /opt/postbix/conf/ The property setting responsible for defining the output location is: log4j.appender.Postbix.File=logs/postbix.log

From this properties file, you can modify the location, file name and log format as desired. For additional information, please refer to the official log4j documentation, found at:

What can I modify without restarting the daemon?

The parameters that are dynamically read at each iteration of “PostbixDaemon.Sleep” are as follows;

Any Query added to query.props

Modifications to config.props Available Upcoming Release; To be advised Database List

Currently, the only known items that don't dynamically update are the ZabbixDaemon.MaxThreadNumber, and changes to Connection Pool info.

LICENCE Information

Postbix is released under and according to the GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE Version 3, 29 June 2007

howto/monitor/db/posgresql.txt · Last modified: 2011/01/20 12:58 by dalle
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