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Checkmk 1.6 has arrived! Learn more about it here!

The user interface

Checkmk Manual
Last updated: May 12 2016

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1. Introduction

Checkmk's web-based, graphic user interface (GUI) has two functions:

  • It displays the current status of all hosts, services and events.
  • It is used to configure Checkmk. The relevant module is known as WATO.

A feature of Checkmk's interface is that it can simultaneously display and configure multiple monitoring instances, and then act like a large system. The following screenshot shows a Checkmk start screen directly after logging in:

Here you can see the following elements:

Layout von Quicksearchabschnitt repariert

1 Your Checkmk installation's version. Clicking on the version number opens a summary of updates for this version.
2 The Tactical Overview with the number of monitored hosts and services, the current problems and the number of those that are unacknowledged. You can click on these numbers and receive a summary for each. Problems from services whose host is DOWN, will not be included here!
3 An interactive field for searching for hosts and services. More about this later below ...
4 Views offers access to various displays of hosts, services and other information from the current monitoring.
5 On the sidebar's lower edge there are three buttons: takes you to a selection of the elements available for the sidebar, to your personal settings, and with you can log out of the Checkmk interface.
6 In every page's header you will find the name of the logged in user, their role and the timestamp for the page's last refresh.
7 Host Statistics shows the count of hosts in the various states - by number and in a spatially true-to-scale graphic.
8 Service Statistics shows the services, as above for hosts
9 A list of all host problems that are currently unacknowledged. Clicking on the box's title opens an enlarged view.
10 As for the unacknowledged service problems
11 Monitoring events recorded over the last four hours
12 Button to edit the dashboard

The dashboard on the right side can be customised. You can find our more in the article on dashboards.

2. The sidebar

The section on the left side - the sidebar - offers quick access to all of the functions in Checkmk. Some elements - e.g. the Tactical Overview - also show current status information so that you can continously monitor it. If the sidebar doesn't fit completely in your screen's area you can scale it with the mousewheel or by clicking on and dragging the dark area of an element up or down.

In addition, as a user you can easily customise the sidebar's content. Elements can be...

  • ...opened and closed with a click on the title bar,
  • ...repositioned by clicking and dragging on the title bar,
  • ...removed by clicking on the corner cross.

With the button you can access a selection of elements that are not currently in your sidebar, but which can be added with a simple click:


Bookmarks are an easy option in Checkmk for faster access to regularly used pages. In the sidebar element Bookmarks, every page you can see on the right side can be saved as a bookmark. If you are on the desired paged or a filtered view that you would like to save, then click on Add Bookmark. The new bookmark will be stored in the My Bookmarks field. This field can be opened by clicking on the small arrow symbol.

3.1. Editing bookmarks

Checkmk manages bookmarks in lists. In addition, every bookmark has a Topic. In the dLayout von Quicksearchabschnitt repariertisplay all bookmarks with the same topic are under one rubric where each can be expanded and collapsed. Why so complicated? So that you can make a list of bookmarks visible to other users. In this way, for your company you can build a navigations structure to specific views and even to external pages. Every user can nonetheless still manage their own bookmarks.

The EDIT button accesses the bookmarks manager:

You can either edit existing lists with or with New create a completely new list. The Title for a list in the General Properties is not important - it is only used for management. Via Make available for all users you can make the bookmark visible to all users. This requires an authority however, which by default is held only by the Administrator role. This principle of visibility is used by Checkmk in many locations, and is explained in more detail in the views article.

Where the bookmarks are sorted is decided by the Default topic in the list or respectively by an individual bookmark's Topic - if this has been set. By the way, you can give bookmarks their own icons.

4. Quicksearch

You can use the Quicksearch snapin to search freely for hosts and services using simple keywords or regular expressions. However, you can also address hosts, services and host and service groups directly: h: myhost s: myservice would, for example, find the service myservice on the host myhost. Multiple search parameters are therefore linked with „AND“.

Host and service groups are addressed accordingly via hg: myhostgroup sg: myservicegroup. If you type only one space after the abbreviations, all available hosts, services or groups will be listed.

5. Themes

Since version 1.5.0b9, the GUI is available with two different themes: The theme Modern is activated by default, here in the picture.

However, you can switch to the old theme Classic, whose screenshots you will encounter in many external articles and also in this manual.

To change the theme globally, open WATO ➳ Global Settings, scroll to the User Interface area and click the button Modern next to the option User interface theme. In the following dialog you can then select the desired theme.

Of course, you can also define themes individually for each user via WATO ➳ Users. The option can be found respectively under Personal Settings ➳ User Interface Theme. Users can also change themes themselves in their Personal Settings.