Getting Started

To quickly get started with ZMON, use the preconfigured Vagrant box featured on the main ZMON repository. Make sure you’ve installed Vagrant (at least 1.7.4) and a Vagrant provider like VirtualBox on your machine. Clone the repository with Git:

$ git clone
$ cd zmon/

From within the cloned repository, run:

$ vagrant up

Bootstrapping the image for the first time will take a bit of time. You might want to grab some coffee while you wait. :)

When it’s finally up, Vagrant will report on how to reach the ZMON web interface:

==> default: ZMON installation is done!
==> default: Goto: https://localhost:8443
==> default: Login with your GitHub credentials

Creating Your First Alert

Log In

Open your web browser and navigate to the URL reported by Vagrant: e.g. https://localhost:8443/. Click on Sign In. This will redirect you to Github where you sign in and authorize the ZMON app. Then it takes you back and you are logged in.


For your own deployment create your own app in Github with your redirect URL. In ZMON you can then limit users allowed access to your Github organization.

Checks and Alerts

An alert shown on ZMON’s dashboard typically consists of two parts: the check-definition, which is responsible for fetching the underlying data; and the alert-definition, which defines the condition under which the alert will trigger. Multiple alerts with different alert conditions can operate on the same check, fetching data only once.

Let’s explore this concept now by creating a simple check and defining some alerts on it.

Create a new Check

One way to create a new check from scratch is via the Using the CLI. A more convenient way, however, is to use the “Trial Run” feature. It enables you to develop checks and alerts, execute them immediately, and inspect the result. Once you are happy with your check command and filter, you can save it from the Trial Run directly. Some users prefer to download the YAML definition from there to store and maintain it in Git.

Create an Alert

In the top navigation of ZMON’s web interface, select Check defs from the list and click on Website HTTP status. Then click “Add New Alert Definition” to create a new alert for this particular check. Fill out the form (see example values below), and hit “Save”:

Name Oops … website is gone!
Description Website was not reachable.
Priority Priority 1 (red)
Alert Condition value != 200
Team Team 1
Responsible Team Team 1

After you hit save, it will take a few seconds until it is picked up and executed.

View Dashboard

If the alerts condition evaluates to anything but False the alert will appear on the dashboard. This means not only for True, but also e.g. in case of exceptions triggered, e.g. due to timeouts or failure to connect. Currently there’s only one dashboard, and it is configured to show all present alerts. To view the dashboard, select Dashboards from the main menu and click on Example Dashboard.

To see the alert, you must simulate the error condition; try modifying its condition or the check-definition to return an error code). You do this, set the URL in the check command to (The number in the URL represents the HTTP error code you will get.)

To see the actual error code in the alert, you might want to create/modify it like this:

Name Website gone with status {code}
Description Website was not reachable.
Priority Priority 1 (red)
Alert Condition capture(code=value)!=200
Team Team 1
Responsible Team Team 1

Using the CLI

The ZMON Vagrant box comes preinstalled with zmon-cli. To use the CLI, log in to the running Vagrant box with:

$ vagrant ssh

The Vagrant box also contains some sample yaml files for creating entities, checks and alerts. You can find these in /vagrant/examples.

As an example of using ZMON’s CLI, let’s create a check to verify that is reachable. cd to /vagrant/examples/check-definitions and, using zmon-cli, create a new check-definition:

$ cd /vagrant/examples/check-definitions
$ zmon check-definitions init website-availability.yaml
$ vim website-availability.yaml

Edit the newly created website-availability.yaml to contain the following code. (type i for insert-mode)

name: "Website HTTP status"
owning_team: "Team 1"
command: http("", timeout=5).code()
description: "Returns current http status code for Website"
interval: 60
 - type: GLOBAL
status: ACTIVE

Type ESC :wq RETURN to save the file.

To push the updated check definition to ZMON, run:

$ zmon check-definitions update website-availability.yaml
Updating check definition... http://localhost:8080/#/check-definitions/view/2

Find more detailed information here: Command Line Client.