Installing OpenNMS on FreeBSD

OpenNMS a network monitoring system,and is in some ways a competitor to Nagios. Having been a Nagios user for a while now, I was intrigued to see the alternatives were like. I last tried installing OpenNMS many years ago, and struggled installing it on FreeBSD. Now that it’s had a few more years to develop, I wondered if it was any easier to install, as there’s no port for it. Here are the notes I made to get it installed…

The installation environment was a VMWare environment (using VMWare Fusion on an iMac). The virtual machine was given an 8GB disk and 512MB RAM. In retrospect I should have allocated more RAM, as there was a lot of swapping going on during the build process. I installed packages rather than ports, to minimise the amount of disk space used and time taken.

  1. Install FreeBSD 7.2 (or later in the 7 series – 8 doesn’t have a functioning Java binary yet). I used the amd64 version.
  2. Ensure that the system can resolve its own name, either in DNS or an entry in the hosts file. OpenNMS will not start without this.
  3. Install PostgreSQL server.
    # pkg_add -r postgresql83-server
    This will also install libiconv, gettext and postgresql83-client. We install PostgreSQL 8.3 because 8.4.0 has a bug, and there isn’t a package for 8.4.1 yet.
  4. Edit /etc/rc.conf and add the line postgresql_enable=”YES”
  5. Initialise the database.
    # /usr/local/etc/rc.d/postgresql initdb
  6. Start the database.
    # /usr/local/etc/rc.d/postgresql start
  7. Install some packages needed by Java.
    # pkg_add -r javavmwrapper
    # pkg_add -r xtrans
    # pkg_add -r xproto
    # pkg_add -r xextproto
  8. Go to and download Diablo Caffee JDK 1.6.0-7 for FreeBSD 7 amd64. Then transfer it to the machine you’re building OpenNMS on.
  9. Install the Java package.
    # pkg_add /usr/local/opennms/diablo-jdk-freebsd7.amd64.
    Agree to the license when prompted. You will get some warnings about version mismatches. These warnings can be safely ignored.
  10. Install python 2.5. This is a prerequisite package for jicmp, but is not marked as such, so it won’t be automatically installed by pkg_add.
    # pkg_add -r python25
  11. Install jicmp.
    # pkg_add -r jicmp
    This also installs xcb-proto.
  12. Fetch the OpenNMS source.
    # fetch
  13. Untar the OpenNMS source.
    # tar xfz opennms-source-1.6.7-1.tar.gz
  14. Change to the source directory.
    # cd opennms-1.6.7-1/source
  15. Build OpenNMS, telling it that it will be installed in /usr/local/opennms.
    # ./ -Dopennms.home=/usr/local/opennms install assembly:attached
    This stage may stop with errors about running out of java heap memory. If this happens, simply re-run the command, the build will commence from the error.
  16. Create the /usr/local/opennms directory.
    # mkdir /usr/local/opennms
  17. Change to the /usr/local/opennms directory.
    # cd /usr/local/opennms
  18. Untar the OpenNMS package.
    # tar xfz opennms-1.6.7-1/source/target/opennms-1.6.7.tar.gz
  19. Change the permissions on some files that are incorrectly set by the build.
    # chmod +x bin/*
    # chmod +x contrib/*
    # chmod -x contrib/*.README
    # chmod -x contrib/opennms.mib
  20. Run the runjava command.
    # /usr/local/opennms/bin/runjava -s
    This should find the java binaries you installed earlier.
  21. FreeBSD uses pgsql as the database user, rather than postgres, so edit the file /usr/local/opennms/etc/opennms-datasources.xml and change the database user from postgres to pgsql.
  22. Set up the database.
    # /usr/local/opennms/bin/install -dis
  23. Start OpenNMS.
    # /usr/local/opennms/bin/opennms start

If you want the additional features provided by jrrd, then you can install it by running pkg_add -r jrrd. Note that this installs a lot of other packages (renderproto, kbproto, font-util, encodings, expat, perl, gio-fam-backend, pango, rrdtool, bitstream-vera, cairo, font-bh-ttf, font-misc-ethiopic, font-misc-meltho, font-util, fontconfig, freetype2, gamin, glib, libX11, libXau, libXdmcp, libXft, libXrender, libfontenc, libpthread-stubs, libxcb, libxml2, mkfontdir, mkfontscale, pcre, pixman, pkg-config, png, xcb-util, xorg-fonts-truetype and xtrans).

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