OpsMgr 2012 UNIX/Linux Authoring Templates: Shell Command

Many of the OpsMgr authoring examples for UNIX/Linux monitoring that I have described on this blog are based on the use of the WSMan Invoke modules to execute shell commands. This is a really powerful mechanism to extend the capabilities of Operations Manager monitoring, and the 2012 version of Operations Manager includes a new set of templates allowing the creation of rules, monitors, and tasks using UNIX/Linux shell commands directly from the Authoring pane of the console.

The new templates are:


  • UNIX/Linux Shell Command Three State Monitor
  • UNIX/Linux Shell Command Two State Monitor


  • UNIX/Linux Shell Command (Alert)
  • UNIX/Linux Shell Command (Performance)


  • Run a UNIX/Linux Shell Command

Note: For the OpsMgr 2012 Release Candidate, the Shell Command Template MP needs to be downloaded and imported.  In the final release, it will be imported by default.

Underneath the covers, all of these templates use the ExecuteShellCommand method of the agent’s script provider with the WSMan Invoke module. This method executes the command and outputs StdOut, StdErr, and ReturnCode. The command can be a path to a simple command, a command or script existing on the managed computer, or a “one-liner” script (a shell script condensed to one line with pipes and semi-colons).  The templates also allow you to select whether to run with the nonprivileged action account, or the privileged account (which also supports sudo elevation).

If you’ve done this kind of UNIX/Linux authoring in 2007 R2, you will quickly see how much easier and faster this can be done in 2012.

To show the use of these templates, I have put together an MP authoring walkthrough for monitoring BIND DNS servers on Linux. This entire MP will be created in the Operations Console, with no XML editing!

Walkthrough: Monitoring BIND on Linux

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OpsMgr 2012 UNIX/Linux Authoring Templates: Process Monitoring

In Operations Manager, custom rules and monitors can be used to extensively build on the out-of-the-box Management Pack contents. Unfortunately, this kind of custom authoring for UNIX/Linux monitoring carried a steep learning curve with OpsMgr 2007 R2. However, the 2012 release of Operations Manager has some new features to enable many common UNIX/Linux authoring scenarios using templates, directly from the console.  The first of these new templates I wanted to cover is the new process monitoring template.

UNIX/Linux Process Monitoring Template

Operations Manager 2007 R2 included the Unix Service Monitoring template for custom monitoring of daemons on UNIX and Linux agents.   This template has been replaced in the System Center 2012 release of Operations Manager with the far more capable UNIX/Linux Process Monitoring template.   The new UNIX/Linux Process Monitoring template allows more flexibility in process/daemon monitoring, including the ability to monitor for minimum and maximum process count thresholds, and the ability to filter processes on arguments in addition to the process name. For this example, I will walk through the use the UNIX/Linux Process Monitoring template to monitor a Tomcat daemon.

The UNIX/Linux Process Monitoring template is accessible in the Authoring Pane of the Operations Console.   It can be launched with the “Add Monitoring Wizard” task under the Management Pack Templates view.

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OpsMgr: UNIX/Linux Heartbeat Failures After Applying KB2585542

The OpsMgr UNIX/Linux monitoring team at Microsoft is currently investigating an issue that results in heartbeat failures on Operations Manager UNIX/Linux agents after the security update KB2585542 is applied to a Management Server or Gateway.  This update fixes a vulnerability in SSL/TLS1.0, but appears to cause WS-Management connections to UNIX/Linux agents to fail. 

The vulnerability is described in bulletin MS12-006, and more information can be found in the KB article.  While we continue to investigate options for resolving this issue, there are two viable workarounds (which must be applied to all Mgmt Servers and Gateways that manage UNIX/Linux agents):

  1. Uninstall the update KB2585542 
  2. Make a registry modification to disable the SecureChannel changes implemented in the update

Note: the registry modification described here and in the KB article effectively disables the security fix that the update implements, so the modified system is subject to the same vulnerability as an unpatched system.

Modifying the registry to disable the SecureChannel changes:

  • A “FixIt” package is available in the KB article under the Known Issues section that can be used to disable the security update
  • Alternatively, you can add the 32bit DWORD value:

     SendExtraRecord = 2

These changes take effect immediately and do not require a reboot.