Custom Context Menu Actions

Please note: This document still contains valid information, however today, since version 1.7.6, it is possible to configure custom actions in the main configuration.


NagVis 1.4 introduces a powerful new feature called context menus. The context menus basically are right-click menus on the status icons. You can customize these menus by simply editing some template files. The template files are simple html files including some macros which are replaced during render time in NagVis.

The context menus give you the ability to improve your administrative workflow with the monitoring information dramatically. Imagine you have a NagVis map as the primary user interface to gather status information about your systems and even as a base to control your systems. Imagine you can view status information from NagVis and simply connect to the problematic systems by ssh or via terminal session by just two clicks. It is also possible to store some default recover jobs in scripts or anything else.

Take a look at this guide to get some ideas of the power of this new feature.


Quick how-to

This is a quick how-to to add a "connect by ssh" option to the NagVis hosts context menu. Most of the changes have to be made on the client browsers to get it handle ssh connections. In this guide I am using the firefox on Ubuntu. It is no problem to get this work on other systems like Windows.

1. Read basics about context templates

The basics about the context templates are described here. Read it before proceeding.

2. Create custom context template

Just copy the default context template:
cd /usr/local/nagvis
cp share/userfiles/templates/default.context.html share/userfiles/templates/default-ssh.context.html
Now add a line to the host specific macro section like follows
<li><a href="ssh://[address]">[lang_connect_by_ssh]</a></li>
The template is finished.

3. Configure host to use the new template

Set the option to use the new template called default-ssh:
You can set this option in the global section of a map, in a host object or even a template which is used in a host object.

4. Configure your client to handle ssh:// uris

In this case I configure firefox (< 3.5) on Ubuntu Linux. This may differ on your system. Open about:config in your firefox. Add some new options:
Type: String
Value: /usr/local/bin/ssh-connect-handler
Name: network.protocol-handler.expose.ssh
Type: Boolean
Value: true
Name: network.protocol-handler.external.ssh
Type: Boolean
Value: true
Name: network.protocol-handler.warn-external.ssh
Type: Boolean
Value: false

4a. Firefox > 3.5

If you are using Firefox 3.5 or above you only need to set the following options:

String: = /usr/local/bin/ssh-connect-handler
network.protocol-handler.expose.ssh = false

5. Create a handler script

Create the script at the given script path. In my case it is /usr/local/bin/ssh-connect-handler.
xterm -e ssh ${1#ssh:\/\/*}
You need to make this script executable.
chmod +x /usr/local/bin/ssh-connect-handler

5a. gnome-terminal + root-login

If you need explicit root login and like to use root login this might be a better script for you:

# /usr/local/bin/ssh-connect-handler

gnome-terminal --geometry=78x10 -e "ssh root@${1#ssh:\/\/*}"

6. Test handler script

Just enter ssh://<test-host> in your browser address bar and press enter. If an xterm with the ssh session opens everything is ok here.

7. Test context links

Now open the map you configured the new context template usage. Then right-click the host you configured and hit the menu entry "Connect by ssh". A terminal window should open now.


With this knowledge you are ready to configure NagVis to be the core of your daily administrative and monitoring tasks. Be creative now!

We like you to give us some feedback on this feature and how you use it.