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v0.2.0 · public · Published over 3 years ago

Asset Definition
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Sensu Bonsai Asset
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Sensu Processes Check

Table of Contents


The Sensu Processes Check is a Sensu Check that searches for certain
running processes (or other strings in a command line). It can search for
multiple processes and, on a per-string basis, set the number of processes
expected, severity if the number of processes is not met, and whether not
to search the full command line for the requested string.


Asset registration

Sensu Assets are the best way to make use of this plugin. If you're not using an asset, please
consider doing so! If you're using sensuctl 5.13 with Sensu Backend 5.13 or later, you can use the
following command to add the asset:

sensuctl asset add sensu/sensu-processes-check

If you're using an earlier version of sensuctl, you can find the asset on the [Bonsai Asset Index][].

Check definition

type: CheckConfig
api_version: core/v2
  name: sensu-processes-check
  namespace: default
  command: >
    '[{"search_string": "sshd"}]'
  - system
  - sensu/sensu-processes-check

Usage examples

Help output

Sensu Processes Check

  sensu-processes-check [flags]
  sensu-processes-check [command]

Available Commands:
  help        Help about any command
  version     Print the version number of this plugin

  -h, --help                 help for sensu-processes-check
  -s, --search string        An array of JSON search criteria, fields are "search_string", "severity", "number", "comparison", and "full_cmdline"
  -S, --suppress-ok-output   Aside from overal status, only output failures

Use "sensu-processes-check [command] --help" for more information about a command.

Search string details

The search string is JSON array of processes to search for. Each JSON object
in the array is made up of the following attributes:

Attribute Default Explanation
search_string N/A The string to search for
number 1 The number of occurrences to compare against
comparison >= The comparison between matches found and number above
severity 2 The severity should the string not be found
full_cmdline false Boolean as to whether or not to include full command line (path to command plus all args) in the search

Process name caveat

By default (when full_cmdline is false) the search string is matched against
the process name only, without any pathing. You need to understand the impact
this may have on your searches.

For example, if you use the following search string to make sure that sshd
is running on a Linux server, the following output may be produced:

sensu-processes-check -s '[{"search_string": "sshd"}]'
OK       | 3 >= 1 (found >= required) evaluated true for "sshd"
Status - OK

If you compare the output of ps -e and ps -ef you will see the 3 matches it

ps -e | grep sshd
   1174 ?        00:00:00 sshd
1361376 ?        00:00:00 sshd
1361385 ?        00:00:00 sshd

ps -ef | grep sshd
root        1174       1  0 Oct29 ?        00:00:00 /usr/sbin/sshd -D -o [...extraneous output deleted]
root     1361376    1174  0 Nov02 ?        00:00:00 sshd: todd [priv]
todd     1361385 1361376  0 Nov02 ?        00:00:00 sshd: todd@pts/0

But maybe what you are really wanting is to make sure the parent listening
process is running. The best bet would be to set full_cmdline to true
and set search_string to /usr/sbin/sshd.

sensu-processes-check -s '[{"search_string": "/usr/sbin/sshd", "full_cmdline": true}]'
OK       | 1 >= 1 (found >= required) evaluated true for "/usr/sbin/sshd"
Status - OK

Supported comparisons

When comparing the number of matches found with the requested number, the
following comparisons are supported:

  • ==
  • >=
  • <=
  • >
  • <

The comparison is always evaluated as number of matching processes found
operator number specified in the search criteria.


Search criteria:

  • At least 1 process named ssh-agent and report critical (2) if not found (defaults for number, comparison, severity, and full_cmdline)
  • At least 2 processes named webapp1 and report warning (1) if not found (defaults for comparison and full_cmdline)
  • Only 1 process with eventmonitor as part of the command line and report warning (1) if not found (defaults for number)
sensu-processes-check -s '[{"search_string": "ssh-agent"}, {"number": 2, "severity": 1, "search_string": "webapp1"}, {"full_cmdline": true, "comparison": "==", "severity": 1, "search_string": "eventmonitor"}]'
OK       | 1 >= 1 (found >= required) evaluated true for "ssh-agent"
OK       | 3 >= 2 (found >= required) evaluated true for "webapp1"
OK       | 1 == 1 (found == required) evaluated true for "eventmonitor"
Status - OK

Exit severity

The process will exit with the highest severity encountered across all searches.
Given the same search criteria as the example above, if zero (0) instances of
"ssh-agent" were found, and only one (1) instance of "webapp1" were found, the
output would like similar to the below and the exit status would be 2

sensu-processes-check -s '[{"search_string": "ssh-agent"}, {"number": 2, "severity": 1, "search_string": "webapp1"}, {"full_cmdline": true, "comparison": "==", "severity": 1, "search_string": "eventmonitor"}]'
CRITICAL | 0 >= 1 (found >= required) evaluated false for "ssh-agent"
WARNING  | 1 >= 2 (found >= required) evaluated false for "webapp1"
OK       | 1 == 1 (found == required) evaluated true for "eventmonitor"


The arguments for this check are tunable on a per entity basis. The annotations
keyspace for this check is
Here is how you would set the search string for an entity to override the
existing check definition:

type: Entity
api_version: core/v2
  annotations: '[{"search_string":"qmgr"},{"search_string":"pickup"},{"search_string":"chronyd"}]'
[...remaining lines deleted]

It should be noted that annotations completely override the existing argument.
Should you want to use check token substitution with an annotation, you
will need to use a different annotation key. Also, when using check token
substitution it becomes necessary to escape the JSON that makes up the
argument to the --search option both for the command definition and in the
annotation itself. The examples below show the necessary changes.

Here is the relevant portion of the check definition:

type: Check
api_version: core/v2
  name: processes-check
  namespace: default
  check_hooks: null
  command: |
    sensu-processes-check --search "{{ .annotations.sensu_processes_check_search | default `[{\"search_string\": \"qmgr\"}, {\"search_string\": \"pickup\"}]` }}"
[...remaining lines deleted]

And here is the relevant portion of the entity annotation:

type: Entity
api_version: core/v2
    sensu_processes_check_search: '[{\"search_string\":\"qmgr\"},{\"search_string\":\"pickup\"},{\"search_string\":\"gssproxy\"}]'
[...remaining lines deleted]

Installation from source

The preferred way of installing and deploying this plugin is to use it as an Asset. If you would
like to compile and install the plugin from source or contribute to it, download the latest version
or create an executable script from this source.

From the local path of the sensu-processes-check repository:

go build


For more information about contributing to this plugin, see Contributing.

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Download Source

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