Using munin plugins

Default Installation

The default directory for plugin scripts is /usr/share/munin/plugins/. A plugin is activated when a symbolic link is created in the servicedir (usually /etc/munin/plugins/ for a package installation of Munin) and munin-node is restarted.

The utility munin-node-configure is used by the Munin installation procedure to check which plugins are suitable for your node and create the links automatically. It can be called everytime when a system configuration changes (services, hardware, etc) on the node and it will adjust the collection of plugins accordingly.

To have munin-node-configure remove plugins for software that may no longer be installed, use the option ‘–remove-also’.

Installing Third Party Plugins

To use a Munin plugin being delivered from a 3rd-Party, place it in directory /usr/local/munin/lib/plugins (or any other directory), make it executable, and create the service link. It it also possible to place the plugin directly into the servicedir, but this is not recommended for the following reasons: * it undermines the utility munin-node-configure * it is not appropriate for wildcard plugins * it interferes with SELinux

It is also possible to put 3rd-Party plugins in the official plugin directory (usually /usr/share/munin/plugins), but this runs the risk of having said plugins overitten by distribution updates.


/etc/munin/plugin-conf.d (sometimes /etc/opt/munin/plugin-conf.d) is where plugin configuration files are stored.

To make sure that plugin configurations are updated with software updates admins should not change the file munin-node which is delivered with the munin package. Instead place customized configuration in a file called zzz-myconf. As the config files are read in alphabetical order, this file is read last and will override configuration data found in the other files.

The file should consist of one or more sections, one section for each (group of) plugin(s) that should run with different privileges and/or environment variables.

Start a plugins configuration section with the plugins name in square brackets:

The following lines are for <plugin-name>. May include one wildcard (‘*’) at the start or end of the plugin-name, but not both, and not in the middle.

After that each section can set attributes in the following format, where all attributes are optional.

user <username|userid>

Run plugin as this user

Default: munin

group <groupname|groupid>[, <groupname|groupid>] [...]

Run plugin as this group. If group is inside parentheses, the plugin will continue if the group doesn’t exist.

What does comma separated groups do? See $EFFECTIVE_GROUP_ID in the manual page for perlvar

Default: munin

env.var <variable content>

Will cause the environment variable <var> to be set to <contents> when running the plugin. More than one env line may exist. See the individual plugins to find out which variables they care about.

There is no need to quote the variable content.

host_name <host-name>
Forces the plugin to be associated with the given host, overriding anything that “plugin config” may say.
timeout <seconds>
Maximum number of seconds before the plugin script should be killed when fetching values. The default is 10 seconds, but some plugins may require more time.
command <command>
Run <command> instead of plugin. %c will be expanded to what would otherwise have been run. E.g. command sudo -u root %c.


When configuring a munin plugin, add the least amount of extra privileges needed to run the plugin. For instance, do not run a plugin with “user root” to read syslogs, when it may be sufficient to set “group adm” instead.


user root
env.mysqlopts --defaults-extra-file=/etc/mysql/debian.cnf

group mail, (Debian-exim)

group mail, adm

env.binddn cn=munin,dc=foo,dc=bar
env.bindpw secret

[snmp_*] SecretSNMPCommunityString

[smart_*]               # The following configuration affects
                        # every plugin called by a service-link starting with smart_
                        # Examples: smart_hda, smart_hdb, smart_sda, smart_sdb
user root
group disk

Plugin configuration is optional.


To test if the plugin works when executed by munin, you can use the munin-run command.

# munin-run myplugin config

# munin-run myplugin

# munin-run -d myplugin


# munin-run df_abs config
graph_title Filesystem usage (in bytes)
graph_args --base 1024 --lower-limit 0
graph_vlabel bytes
graph_category disk
graph_total Total
_dev_mapper_vg_demo_lv_root__.label /
_dev_mapper_vg_demo_lv_root__.cdef _dev_mapper_vg_demo_lv_root__,1024,*
tmpfs__dev_shm.label /dev/shm
tmpfs__dev_shm.cdef tmpfs__dev_shm,1024,*
_dev_vda1__boot.label /boot
_dev_vda1__boot.cdef _dev_vda1__boot,1024,*
_dev_mapper_vg_demo_lv_tmp__tmp.label /tmp
_dev_mapper_vg_demo_lv_tmp__tmp.cdef _dev_mapper_vg_demo_lv_tmp__tmp,1024,*
_dev_mapper_vg_demo_lv_var__var.label /var
_dev_mapper_vg_demo_lv_var__var.cdef _dev_mapper_vg_demo_lv_var__var,1024,*

# munin-run -d df_abs
# Processing plugin configuration from /etc/munin/plugin-conf.d/df
# Processing plugin configuration from /etc/munin/plugin-conf.d/fw_
# Processing plugin configuration from /etc/munin/plugin-conf.d/hddtemp_smartctl
# Processing plugin configuration from /etc/munin/plugin-conf.d/munin-node
# Processing plugin configuration from /etc/munin/plugin-conf.d/postfix
# Processing plugin configuration from /etc/munin/plugin-conf.d/sendmail
# Setting /rgid/ruid/ to /99/99/
# Setting /egid/euid/ to /99 99/99/
# Setting up environment
# Environment exclude = none unknown iso9660 squashfs udf romfs ramfs debugfs binfmt_misc rpc_pipefs fuse.gvfs-fuse-daemon
# About to run '/etc/munin/plugins/df_abs'
_dev_mapper_vg_demo_lv_root__.value 1314076
tmpfs__dev_shm.value 0
_dev_vda1__boot.value 160647
_dev_mapper_vg_demo_lv_tmp__tmp.value 34100
_dev_mapper_vg_demo_lv_var__var.value 897644