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Director CLI

Large parts of the Director’s functionality are also available on your CLI.

Manage Objects

Use icingacli director <type> <action> show, create modify or delete Icinga objects of a specific type:

Action Description
create Create a new object
delete Delete a specific object
exists Whether a specific object exists
set Modify an existing objects properties
show Show a specific object

Currently the following object types are available on CLI:

  • command
  • endpoint
  • host
  • hostgroup
  • notification
  • service
  • timeperiod
  • user
  • usergroup
  • zone

Create a new object

Use this command to create a new Icinga object


icingacli director <type> create [<name>] [options]


Option Description
--<key> <value> Provide all properties as single command line options
--json Otherwise provide all options as a JSON string


To create a new host you can provide all of its properties as command line parameters:

icingacli director host create localhost \
    --imports generic-host \
    --address \
    --vars.location 'My datacenter'

It would say:

Host 'localhost' has been created

Providing structured data could become tricky that way. Therefore you are also allowed to provide JSON formatted properties:

icingacli director host create localhost \
    --json '{ "address": "", "vars": { "test": [ "one", "two" ] } }'

Delete a specific object

Use this command to delete a single Icinga object. Just run

icingacli director <type> delete <name>

That’s it. To delete the host created before, this would read

icingacli director host delete localhost

It will tell you whether your command succeeded:

Host 'localhost' has been deleted

Whether a specific object exists

Use this command to find out whether a single Icinga object exists. Just run:

icingacli director <type> exists <name>

So if you run…

icingacli director host exists localhost

…it will either tell you …

Host 'localhost' exists


Host 'localhost' does not exist

When executed from custom scripts you could also just check the exit code, 0 means that the object exists, 1 that it doesn’t.

Modify an existing objects properties

Use this command to modify specific properties of an existing Icinga object.


icingacli director <type> set <name> [options]


Option Description
--<key> <value> Provide all properties as single command line options
--json Otherwise provide all options as a JSON string
--replace Replace all object properties with the given ones
--auto-create Create the object in case it does not exist


icingacli director host set localhost \
    --address \
    --vars.location 'Somewhere else'

It will either tell you

Host 'localhost' has been modified

or, when for example issued immediately a second time:

Host 'localhost' has not been modified

Like create, this also allows you to provide JSON-formatted properties:

icingacli director host set localhost --json '{ "address": "" }'

This command will fail in case the specified object does not exist. This is when the --auto-create parameter comes in handy. Command output will tell you whether an object has either been created or (not) modified.

With set you only set the specified properties and do not touch the other ones. You could also want to completely override an object, purging all other eventually existing and unspecified parameters. Please use --replace if this is the desired behaviour.

Show a specific object

Use this command to show single objects rendered as Icinga 2 config or in JSON format.


icingacli director <type> show <name> [options]


Option Description
--resolved Resolve all inherited properties and show a flat object
--json Use JSON format
--no-pretty JSON is pretty-printed per default (for PHP >= 5.4)
Use this flag to enforce unformatted JSON
--no-defaults Per default JSON output skips null or default values
With this flag you will get all properties

Clone an existing object

Use this command to clone a specific object.


icingacli director <type> clone <name> --from <original> [options]


Option Description
--from <original> The name of the object you want to clone
--<key> <value> Override specific properties while cloning
--replace In case an object already exists replace it
with the clone
--flat Do no keep inherited properties but create a flat
object with all resolved/inherited properties


icingacli director host clone localhost2 --from localhost
icingacli director host clone localhost3 --from localhost --address

Other interesting tasks

Rename objects

There is no rename command, but a simple set can easily accomplish this task:

icingacli director host set localhost --object_name localhost2

Please note that it is usually absolutely no problem to rename objects with the Director. Even renaming something essential as a template like the famous generic-host will not cause any trouble. At least not unless you have other components outside your Director depending on that template.

Disable an object

Objects can be disabled. That way they will still exist in your Director DB, but they will not be part of your next deployment. Toggling the disabled property is all you need:

icingacli director host set localhost --disabled

Valid values for booleans are y, n, 1 and 0. So to re-enable an object you could use:

icingacli director host set localhost --disabled n

Working with booleans

As we learned before, y, n, 1 and 0 are valid values for booleans. But custom variables have no data type. And even if there is such, you could always want to change or override this from CLI. So you usually need to provide booleans in JSON format in case you need them in a custom variable.

There is however one exception from this rule. CLI parameters without a given value are handled as boolean flags by the Icinga Web 2 CLI. That explains why the example disabling an object worked without passing y or 1. You could use this also to set a custom variable to boolean true:

icingacli director host set localhost --vars.some_boolean

Want to change it to false? No chance this way, you need to pass JSON:

icingacli director host set localhost --json '{ "vars.some_boolean": false }'

This example shows the dot-notation to set a specific custom variable. If we have had used { "vars": { "some_boolean": false } }, all other custom vars on this object would have been removed.

Change object types

The Icinga Director distincts between the following object types:

Type Description
object The default object type. A host, a command and similar
template An Icinga template
apply An apply rule. This allows for assign rules
external_object An external object. Can be referenced and used, will not be

Example for creating a host template:

icingacli director host create 'Some template' \
    --object_type template \
    --check_command hostalive

Please take a lot of care when modifying object types, you should not do so for a good reason. The CLI allows you to issue operations that are not allowed in the web frontend. Do not use this unless you really understand its implications. And remember, with great power comes great responsibility.

Kickstart and schema handling

The kickstart and the migration command are handled in the automation section, so they are skipped here.

Configuration handling

Render your configuration

The Director distincts between rendering and deploying your configuration. Rendering means that Icinga 2 config will be pre-rendered and stored to the Director DB. Nothing bad happens if you decide to render the current config thousands of times in a loop. In case a config with the same checksum already exists, it will store - nothing.

You can trigger config rendering by running

icingacli director config render

In case a new config has been created, it will tell you so:

New config with checksum b330febd0820493fb12921ad8f5ea42102a5c871 has been generated

Run it once again, and you’ll see that the output changes:

Config with checksum b330febd0820493fb12921ad8f5ea42102a5c871 already exists

Config deployment

You do not need to explicitely render your config before deploying it to your Icinga 2 master node. Just trigger a deployment, it will re-render the current config:

icingacli director config deploy 

The output tells you which config has been shipped:

Config 'b330febd0820493fb12921ad8f5ea42102a5c871' has been deployed

Director tries to avoid needless deployments, so in case you immediately deploy again, the output changes:

Config matches active stage, nothing to do

You can override this by adding the --force parameter. It will then tell you:

Config matches active stage, deploying anyway

In case you want to do not want deploy to waste time to re-render your config or in case you decide to re-deploy a specific, eventually older config version the deploy command allows you to provide a specific checksum:

icingacli director config deploy --checksum b330febd0820493fb12921ad8f5ea42102a5c871

Cronjob usage

You could decide to pre-render your config in the background quite often. As of this writing this has one nice advantage. It allows the GUI to find out whether a bunch of changes still results into the very same config. only one

Run sync and import jobs

The jobs command runs pending Import and Sync jobs. Please note that we have planned a scheduler configurable through the Icinga Director web interface, but this is not available yes.

So the only option you have right now is to trigger all jobs at once:

icingacli director jobs run

The output could look as follows:

Import "Puppet DB (PE 2015)" provides changes, triggering run... SUCCEEDED
Sync rule "Hosts from PE2015" provides changes, triggering sync... SUCCEEDED

Database housekeeping

Your database may grow over time and ask for various housekeeping tasks. You can usually store a lot of data in your Director DB before you would even notice a performance impact.

Still, we started to prepare some tasks that assist with removing useless garbage from your DB. You can show available tasks with:

icingacli director housekeeping tasks

The output might look as follows:

 Housekeeping task (name)                                  | Count
 Undeployed configurations (oldUndeployedConfigs)          |     3
 Unused rendered files (unusedFiles)                       |     0
 Unlinked imported row sets (unlinkedImportedRowSets)      |     0
 Unlinked imported rows (unlinkedImportedRows)             |     0
 Unlinked imported properties (unlinkedImportedProperties) |     0

You could run a specific task with

icingacli director housekeeping run <taskName>

…like in:

icingacli director housekeeping run unlinkedImportedRows

Or you could also run all of them, that’s the preferred way of doing this:

icingacli director housekeeping run ALL

Please note that some tasks once issued create work for other tasks, as lost imported rows might appear once you remove lost row sets. So ALL is usually the best choice as it runs all of them in the best order.