[collectd] Proposal to implement the control protocol for collectd!

Florian Forster octo at collectd.org
Wed Mar 6 08:49:06 CET 2013

Hi Benjamin,

On Wed, Mar 06, 2013 at 03:36:28AM +0000, Benjamin Wang (gendwang) wrote:
> I am not sure whether this is a right place to discuss the development
> proposal. If I am wrong, please help me to forward this mail to the
> right place.

thanks for your work in this direction; you've come to the right place.
I believe that a majority of the people subscribed to this list find it
easier to read plain-text documents than .docx binary files, though (and
I wouldn't be surprised if quite a few would react with "eek, malware on
a mailing list" …). For convenience, I've uploaded this to Google Docs
[0], but in the future it'd be great if you could just use or convert
such documents to an ASCII file.

> To integrate with some other management system flexibly, a control
> protocol can be implemented. Based on this control protocol, the
> management system can query or change the configuration.

Querying the configuration should be rather straight forward to
implement. Changing the config will be a tough task, though. Currently,
quite some plugins depend on the "all config is done before read
callbacks are called" semantic. Sebastian and I were thinking and
talking about hardening the plugins in this respect to make a SIGHUP
handler / reload config mechanism possible. We didn't do any work in
this direction yet, though.

> Attached please find a draft protocol which can be implemented to
> support the above requirements.

Regarding the protocol itself, I'd much rather use an ASCII based
protocol than a binary protocol. I have a development branch called
"ff/netcmd" that exposes the commands available via the "unixsock"
plugin over the network -- I think integrating it there would be the
best approach. See the description of the "Plain text protocol" [1] for
more information on that protocol.

Best regards,

[0] <https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tJIoQkV3JHqWhBhKruTVscqckgMaC_BSYaS6J3pXi6M/edit>
[1] <https://collectd.org/wiki/index.php/Plain_text_protocol>
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