Common interface for sensors/health monitoring

Julian Elischer julian at
Sat Aug 22 07:04:17 UTC 2009

Aurélien Méré wrote:
> Hi,
> I've been using FreeBSD for years in all my servers, but I'm facing a big 
> problem today. All servers are under monitoring using a couple of 
> applications and scripts. Monitored items for each server especially are 
> CPU/mobo/UPS/HDD temperatures, CPU load, memory use, fans speed, PSU/UPS 
> voltages, HDD/RAID status&usage, network connectivity, UPS load, battery 
> status & runtime, ...
> My concern today, excepted that there is no way to gather all the data 
> through a unique interface and that consequently we have to change the 
> scripts depending on hardware, is that some information are no longer 
> available at all, especially concerning the MB IC, ie. temperatures, 
> voltages & fan speed. Actually, some SMBus controllers (like from 2006 or 
> so) are not supported by any driver and I didn't find any port updated to 
> access the IC directly (if even possible). Currently, I sometimes have to 
> use mbmon with direct I/O, sometimes mbmon with SMBus, sometimes healthd and 
> sometimes nothing works (PR 137668 or 136762 as examples in my case).
> Besides that, I was quite surprised that these information are available in 
> OpenBSD through a very simple and unique sysctl interface, with up-to-date 
> drivers, working on all my servers with a generic install. I know that below 
> this presentation layer, this may be much less perfect, and by digging in, I 
> found that a 2007 GSoC project for porting the OpenBSD sensor framework was 
> realised and planned to be put in HEAD. I also read hundreds of mails 
> concerning this project, and why finally it was not commited.
> As developer, I fully understand some of the concerns in these threads and
> that there are probably lots of things to change and work on, integrate it
> in a cleaner repository like snmp or whatever; and I'd be glad to help in 
> any
> possible way to improve this. But in the meantime, as netadmin, this kind of
> information can be very important to prevent or diagnose major problems; so
> I'd like to know what is being planned/done on this subject, as I didn't 
> find any
> more information related to this than a discussion during bsdcan 2008.

The purists won out in that one by shouting loudly and screaming about 
socialized healthware. Consequently we have 47 million unsupported 

> Thanks for your help and time,
> Aurélien
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