Alignak backend importation

alignak_backend_import is an utility tool that can import a monitoring configuration stored in Nagios-like flat files and send this configuration to Alignak backend. It allows importing an existing configuration from Nagios or Shinken.


The alignak_backend_import script receives some command line parameters to define its behavior:

  • main configuration file
  • destination backend
  • backend elements types

The default behavior is to update an existing Alignak backend running on

The backend content is not deleted by default. This to avoid deleting data by error ;) Furthermore, the results of a configuration update may be unpredictable and break the data integrity because no global configuration check is done when data are imported.

Note: As of it, beware of configuration updates if you do not really know the previous backend data!

The most common usage is to delete all the backend content to import a brand new configuration. It is also the safest usage …

To import a new backend from scratch, specify --delete (or -d) on the command line. The alignak_backend_import script deletes all the existing data in the backend except for some default and mandatory data (eg. default timeperiods, default groups, …).

The configuration to be imported is specified with an entry point filename that must include all the configuration elements: hosts, services, contacts, … it is a common Alignak, Shinken or Nagios main configuration file that includes directives like cfg_dir, cfg_file, …

The alignak_backend_import script uses the Alignak configuration process to load the configuration to be sure of the configuration validity … Then each object type is parsed, converted and imported in the Alignak backend. All the relations existing between the objects are created in the backend. As example, an host is linked to some timeperiods (eg. check period), commands (eg. check command), … and those relations are created.

As an example of configuration importation:

alignak_backend_import -d /etc/shinken/shinken.cfg

Some specific features:

  • define the default host GPS location (–gps or -g)
  • import the hosts, services templates (–model or -m)
  • allow duplicate objects (–duplicate or -i)
  • update existing objects (–update or -e)

The –gps option allows to define the default GPS coordinates to be used for hosts which position is not yet defined in the configuration files.

The –duplicate option will try to find each imported object in the Alignak backend and will not import the object if it still exists. Thus, this option is very heavy because the scripts makes two request for each object … but this option is very useful if you are wish to import the configuration of multiple servers into the same backend.

The –update option will try to find each imported object in the Alignak backend and will update the object if it still exists. This option is very interesting if you made small changes or only some fine tuning in an imported configuration because it will avoid deleting all the backend data; especially interesting to keep some checks results in the live state.

The –check option do not change anything in the Alignak backend. This option is very interesting if you simply want to check what will be done for an imported configuration.

Note: The –model option has been deprecated. All the existing hosts, services or users templates are imported in the backend. The Alignak Web UI uses the templates to ease the creation of new hosts, services or users.

Command line interface