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FAQ(1)					       mrtg					   FAQ(1)

       help - How to get help if you have problems with MRTG

       MRTG seems to raise a lot of questions. There are a number of resources apart from the
       documentation where you can find help for mrtg.

       Alex van den Bogaerdt <alex@ergens.op.Het.Net> maintains the MRTG FAQ website on


       In the following sections you find some additonal Frequently Asked Questions, with

       Why is there no "@#$%" (my native language) version of MRTG

       Nobody has contributed a @#$%.pmd file yet. Go into the mrtg-2.9.17/translate directory
       and create your own translation file.  When you are happy with it send it to me for inclu-
       sion with the next mrtg release.

       I need a script to make mrtg work with my xyz device.

       Probably this has already been done. Check the stuff in the mrtg-2.9.17/contrib directory.
       There is a file called 00INDEX in that directory which tells what you can find in there.

       How does this SNMP thing work

       There are many resources on the net, explaining about SNMP.  Take a look at this article
       from the Linux Journal by David Guerrero:


       And at this rather long document from CISCO


       The Images created by MRTG look very strange.

       Remove the *-{week,day,month,year}.png files and start MRTG again.  Using MRTG for the
       first time, you might have to do this twice. This will also help, when you introduce new
       routers into the cfg file.

       What is my Community Name?

       Ask the person in charge of your Router or try 'public', as this is the default Community

       My graphs show a flat line during an outage. Why ?

       Well, the short answer is that when an SNMP query goes out and a response doesn't come
       back, MRTG has to assume something to put in the graph, and by default it assumes that the
       last answer we got back is probably closer to the truth than zero.  This assumption is not
       perfect (as you have noticed), it's a trade-off that happens to fail during a total out-

       If this is an unacceptable trade-off,use the unknaszero option.

       You may want to know what you're trading off, so in the spirit of trade-offs, here's the
       long answer:

       The problem is that MRTG doesn't know *why* the data didn't come back, all it knows is
       that it didn't come back.  It has to do something, and it assumes it's a stray lost packet
       rather than an outage.

       Why don't we always assume the circuit is down, and use zero, which will (we think) be
       more nearly right?  Well, it turns out that you may be taking advantage of MRTG's "assume
       last" behaviour without being aware of it.

       MRTG uses SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) to collect data, and SNMP uses UDP
       (User Datagram Protocol) to ship packets around.  UDP is connectionless (not guaranteed) -
       unlike TCP where packets are tracked and acknowledged and, if needed, re-transmitted, UDP
       just throws packets at the network and hopes they arrive. Sometimes they don't.

       One likely cause of lost SNMP data is congestion, another is busy routers.  Other possi-
       bilities include transient telecommunications problems, router buffer overflows (which may
       or may not be congestion-related), "dirty lines" (links with high error rates), and acts
       of God.	These things happen all the time, we just don't notice because many interactive
       services are TCP-based and the lost packets get retransmitted automatically.

       In the above cases where some SNMP packets are lost but traffic is flowing, assuming zero
       is the wrong thing to do - you end up with a graph that looks like it's missing teeth
       whenever the link fills up.  MRTG interpolates the lost data to produce a smoother graph
       which is more accurate in cases of intermittent packet loss.  But with V2.8.4 and above,
       you can use the "unknaszero" option to produce whichever graph is best under the condi-
       tions typical of your network.

       Tobias Oetiker <oetiker@ee.ethz.ch>

3rd Berkeley Distribution		      2.9.17					   FAQ(1)
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