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Why is this page still black?

Because it ain't over yet, that's why. It may never be... long as the human race refuses to just grow up and get over itself...

Nisca 3.0 started...!

Yes, I know, I said I'd started 3.0 about, what, seventeen years ago? But now I think I'm actually going through with it. See, over the past year or two, I've done a lot more app development work (to pay for rent, bills, my enormous coffee habit, and gasoline, not in that order), and I've gotten a lot better at it in that time (with all due modesty), so I've decided to just redo most every bit of Nisca from scratch because, looking at it now, I see all these places where I could've done things a LOT better. I've already gotten the installer script going, an interactive command-line PHP script (with menus and prompts and ANSI COLORS!) that does everything for you whether you're installing anew or upgrading from any previous Nisca version. And don't worry; I won't curse you with some huge Flash(tm) application to do report option selections, like I was toying with, because I'd also have to create a non-Flash(tm) version of it no matter what or risk the wrath of geeks the world over. What's the point?

So let's time it, shall we? I started remaking it on August 5th, 2005. I won't be able to work on it all the time, what with all the coffee I go through necessitating doing real work (however infrequent and ill-paying it might be), but I will get it done this time, and it will rock. Promise. To prove it, here's a screenshot of the installer.

Nisca 2.5 is out!

New features: can be told to use 95th-percentile processing on graphs and text reports; that and the bits/bytes thing have been added to stored reports; a few bugfixes here and there; cosmetic things; snmp_collector revamping as usual; it should just work better. I hope.

Updates & Such

(Nisca 2.5 also uses the direct calling of snmp binaries as shown below.)

Now for the primary reason I'm releasing 2.3.x. Versions of ucd-snmp later than 4.2.3 return OID results differently than Nisca 2.2 expected to get them. Basically, quick_print doesn't perform as it used to, and the way it acts changes from release to release. I've analyzed every version of ucd-snmp from 4.2.1 to 4.2.6 in great detail, and the only ones that work right are 4.2.1 and 4.2.3; all the others have different things wrong with them. So if you're not using one of those two versions of ucd-snmp, downgrade or upgrade to 4.2.3 and then just stop... otherwise, Nisca will not work right, even with the patch I made to fix it. Some of the problems, like in 4.2.2 and 4.2.6, are just insurmountable. I had 4.2.2 tell me I had nineteen "gre0" interfaces. 4.2.6... well, whenever a query's value is null or blank, it actually repeats the value from the previous OID instead of just putting nothing. 4.2.4 and 4.2.5 don't even put an "=" sign between the OID and value; they just put a space. You won't, by the way, notice any of this when using the command-line snmp utilities (snmpwalk, snmpget, etc); it's only when the libsnmp API is used to get values that it happens. So I've redone Nisca to not use the libraries. It now uses only the snmpwalk, snmpbulkwalk, and snmpget binaries that come with ucd-snmp. Just about any version should work (though I wouldn't trust 4.2.6 myself; I'd stick with 4.2.3).

Bit of an update here... I'm now using net-snmp 5 myself here, with the new system. The "nisca.conf" file now auto-detects whether you have ucd-snmp or net-snmp and will compose your snmpwalk commands correctly.

To use Nisca 2.5, just install it, run the update script, and use it.

3.0 is taking quite a while, isn't it? In the meantime, and to fix many of the snmp-related problems Nisca was having due to ucd-snmp not working right, I've released 2.3, 2.4, and 2.5. Work on v3.0 is proceeding slowly; Nisca 3 resembles Nisca 2 so little that it deserves a major version change. Some highlights of the future?

You'll be able to graph disk usage, net statistics, temperatures (C or F), CPU loads, system uptimes, anything you can suck out of a data stream. Needless to say, "Network Interface Statistics Collection Agent" is no longer an appropriate name. I am therefore, to avoid the embarassment of having to come up with another, probably very silly, acronym for "NISCA", changing its name to just "Nisca"... which doesn't stand for anything. It's just a word. Perhaps I'll make a cute little mascot for it, too, just you wait.

There's nothing I really wanna distribute yet, but if you dare you can play with whatever's most-recent in the "unstable" source directory. Don't expect frequent updates; there's a lot to do to it still before even an unstable 3.0 is released.

Things I already have planned can be found here. If anyone has any ideas, about anything, write to me here (or here if the other one bounces) and let me know. Or just write to say "Hi, I use Nisca." I have absolutely no idea how many people out there are using and/or liking it, you see. None whatsoever. And I have to admit I'm damn curious. Is it just the prettier graphs you like? Is it having your data unmangled by aggregation? Is it the ease of configuration? Some combination? Something I can't even imagine because I'm not you? Tell me. :)

To use the "nisca_kill" feature, which you might need if your Nisca SNMP collector just stops collecting now and then, you need only install Nisca 2.5. It's all in there.


NISCA is a replacement for MRTG, in case you're wondering why you're here. It stands for "Network Interface Statistics Collection Agent".

It isn't for everybody; typically, only network administrators are interested in the traffic statistics on the network interfaces on their various routers and switches and whatnot. However, part of the reason for writing it was so there would be a traffic analyzer in existence somewhere, anywhere, that didn't require SNMP to do its job, and thus could be used by Joe Q. User to see how the ethernet interface on his home machine is doing. See the README file for full details of what it does and how to use it.

NISCA can even run on a Windows(tm) server as long as you have PHP and MySQL for Win32 installed; it will require quite a few modifications though (most notably, there's no "crypt" function, so you have to either store passwords as plain text in the database or use a crypt wrapper using Perl for Windows). I'd also recommend using Apache for Win32 as well, but it should work with any web server with PHP installed in it. If you look on the PHP downloads page, you'll see two Win32 binary releases; one large, one smaller. The large one contains SNMP, MySQL, and GD library modules; it's the one you want. I doubt, however, the pre-made windows SNMP library supports SNMPv2 (thus, no 64-bit counters). I'll look into it.

There is now a mailing list for general NISCA-related issues! Isn't that fabulous? Visit this link to subscribe to it.

SourceForge Logo Thank you, Source Forge.
And you too, Open Source Directory.

Stable Version

Version 2.5

There are a few bug fixes and major feature changes in version 2.5. See the CHANGELOG file for a full list of all the changes.


See the demo of v2.5 here. Whatever version I'm working on currently can be found here, but you can't get into the admin section on it. At least, you better not be able to, or I haven't done my job properly.

For your comparison reference, the demo is running on Linux 2.4.24 using ext3fs, Apache 1.3.31, PHP 4.3.8 (with the Zend Optimizer), and MySQL 3.23.58 on a 2.2 GHz AMD Athlon XP 3200+ with a gig of PC3200 RAM... your mileage will probably vary. Mine's certainly varied since I upgraded the system. Nisca just screams now; it should make the demo site a lot more fun to use. :)

Online Documentation for v2.5.

Source Code
Would you like it as a gzipped tar?193,250 bytes.
How about a bzipped tar?148,866 bytes.
Or even a plain old ZIP?243,823 bytes.


If you're still with me through all the nastiness and non-working SNMP support, thanks... :) There is a special place reserved for you in Sto-Vo-Kor.


Just in case anyone's curious, NISCA has been downloaded at least once by people in countless countries. I don't have the energy right now to update the list, but here's what it was like about two years ago...

Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Brazil, Canada, China, The Cayman Islands, Christmas Island, Czecholosovakia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, New Caledonia, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, The Ukraine, The United States, Uruguay, and Yugoslavia.

Contact Info

So there you have it.

Please do all bug reporting here.

Questions? Comments? Abuse? Job Offers?

I am, by the way, looking for a job. Just another victim of corporate downsizing because some rich man was worried about not being rich enough. "Streamlining of its non-billable functions" indeed... that's just CorporateSpeak for "we don't think our IT department is very important." Anyway, I was most recently developing something else for work, something that will be open-sourced if it's ever finished. An ISP business operations system; stored server configs, email control, GUI web pages for admin and such, radius control, everything an ISP needs to do, all stored in SQL. It'll be called Boss whenever it's ready; look for it.

If anyone knows of any positions available for a PHP/perl/SQL/Apache guru with a CCNA and 8 years of experience developing CGI applications, please let me know... my resume is visible here.