ipdevpoll is the main SNMP collection engine of NAV. Its work is divided into jobs, which runs a series of collection plugins for each IP device at set intervals. These jobs are fully user-configurable.


usage: ipdevpolld [-h] [--version] [-f] [-s] [-j] [-p] [-J JOBNAME]
                  [-n NETBOX] [-m [WORKERS]] [-M JOBS] [-P] [--capture-vars]
                  [-c] [--threadpoolsize COUNT] [--worker]

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  --version             show program's version number and exit
  -f, --foreground      run in foreground instead of daemonizing
  -s, --log-stderr      log to stderr instead of log file
  -j, --list-jobs       print a list of configured jobs and exit
  -p, --list-plugins    load and print a list of configured plugins
  -J JOBNAME            run only JOBNAME jobs in this process
  -n NETBOX, --netbox NETBOX
                        Run JOBNAME once for NETBOX. Also implies -f and -s
  -m [WORKERS], --multiprocess [WORKERS]
                        Run ipdevpoll in a multiprocess setup. If WORKERS is
                        not set it will default to number of cpus in the
  -M JOBS, --max-jobs-per-worker JOBS
                        Restart worker processes after completing JOBS jobs.
                        (Default: Don't restart)
  -P, --pidlog          Include process ID in every log line
  --capture-vars        Capture and print locals and globals in tracebacks
                        when debug logging
  -c, --clean           cleans/purges old job log entries from the database
                        and then exits
  --threadpoolsize COUNT
                        the number of database worker threads, and thus db
                        connections, to use in this process
  --worker              Used internally when lauching worker processes

This program runs SNMP polling jobs for IP devices monitored by NAV

Manually running a job for a given netbox

Unscheduled runs of jobs can be run against any NAV-monitored device from the command line. To run the inventory job for the switch some-sw.example.org, type:

ipdevpolld -J inventory -n some-sw

The -n argument can be given as a prefix of a device’s sysname, or as an IP address (the device still needs to be registered in NAV).

Configuring ipdevpoll

ipdevpoll is configured in ipdevpoll.conf. This is an “ini”-style configuration file with multiple sections.

Section [ipdevpoll]

Where to put log messages. If this starts with / or . it will be interpreted literally. Otherwise, the file will be created in the NAV log directory.
The maximum number of concurrent jobs within a single ipdevpoll process. It may be necessary to adjust this if you keep running out of available file descriptors

Section [snmp]

This section is used to change the SNMP polling parameters from their defaults.

The initial timeout value for a request, given as a number of seconds. All requests will be retried up to three times, with an exponential increase in the timeout value. The default is 1.5 seconds.
How many values to ask for in each SNMP GETBULK request, 10 being the default.

Section [plugins]

Used to list all the plugins to load into an ipdevpoll process, and assign them short aliases. Plugins are loaded from the built-in nav.ipdevpoll.plugins package unless a fully qualified class name is supplied as a value. To load your homebrew plugin class Foo from the homebrew.foo module, add:

foo = homebrew.foo.Foo

To load the built-in snmpcheck plugin from the nav.ipdevpoll.plugins package, all that is needed is:


Section [prefix]

A list of IPv4 and/or IPv6 prefixes that should never be inserted into the database, even if they are collected from a device’s interfaces.

Section [linkstate]


Selects a filter for generating linkState alerts when link state changes are detected on interfaces. The default value is topology, indicating that alerts should only be generated for interfaces that have been detected as an uplink or downlink.

The value any will generate alerts for all link state changes, but this is not recommended for performance reasons.

Job sections

Any section whose name starts with the job_ prefix defines a new job configuration. The following settings can be configured for jobs:

How often the job should be scheduled for each device. Values can be given a unit suffix of s, m or h to indicate seconds, minutes or hours.
A sequence of plugins to run in this job. Given as a space-separated list of names as configured in the global [plugins] section.
An internal per-process limit on how many concurrent jobs of this type can run at any given time.

Multiprocess mode

ipdevpoll runs all polling tasks asynchronously in a single thread. Threads are reserved for synchronous communication with the PostgreSQL database backend. Even on a multi-core server, this means all of ipdevpoll’s work is limited to a single core. Once ipdevpoll’s workload grows beyond what a single core can handle, ipdevpoll can optionally run in a multiprocess mode, using the --multiprocess option.

In multiprocess mode, ipdevpoll spawns a number of worker processes, while the master process becomes a simple job scheduler, distributing the actual jobs to the individual workers.


ipdevpoll’s default number of workers processes and threads aren’t necessarily sane for multiprocess usage. Unless a number of workers is supplied to the --multiprocess option, it will spawn a number of workers corresponding to the number of cores it detects on your system. The default number of database threads in ipdevpoll’s threadpool is 10 per process, which means each worker process will create 10 individual connections to PostgreSQL.

These numbers multiply fast, and can end up easily saturating PostgreSQL’s default pool of 100 available connections, causing other NAV processes to be unable to connect to the database. When enabling multiprocess mode, you should really tune down the threadpool size by adding the --threadpoolsize option.

Another good thing about the multiprocess mode is that you can limit the number of jobs any worker process will run before it is killed and respawned. This may provide additional protection against unintended resource leaks. See the --max-jobs-per-worker option.

You can make sure ipdevpoll always runs in multiprocess mode by altering the command option in the ipdevpoll entry of the configuration file daemons.yml.