“Got Nagios? Get rid of it.” –Gartner, Inc.

“The time and effort needed to manage [Nagios] is much better spent buying a simple monitoring tool to get the basics covered for infrastructure health.“

– Jonah Kowall, Gartner, Inc.

Can You Replace Nagios with Watchdog?

Watchdog includes Essential Alerts™ out of the box and takes less than a minute to install, while Nagios takes all day to configure. See how we stack up.

Historical Data
Real Anomaly Detection
Custom Alerts
Predictive Alerts
Quick Install & Setup
Free Support
Maintenance-Free Central Server
Low Overhead
Unlimited Agents / Nodes / Hosts
Zero-Config Alerts
Real-Time Alerts

Watchdog Includes:
Automatic Server Alerts Out of the Box

System admins don’t have time to investigate every little problem. But they need to be aware of issues that lead to downtime. Why spend precious time on something as common as server monitoring?

Monitor All Your Essential Server Metrics & Vitals

Let Watchdog guard your hardware — automatically — by installing our Smart Agent and get proactive alerts on:


Swap space

VM steal time

System load

Hard disks




And more

Expect Better Outcomes by Installing Watchdog

Increase Uptime Now

“Good work, now I have to deal with a problem I didn't know I had.”

–Andrew Hurd, Sr. Software Engineer, ZipBooks

Who is Watchdog Built For?

Small and lightweight, Watchdog can be set up on all your servers in minutes thanks to its 23-second install

Watchdog is easily scalable for:

Startup Engineers

As a startup, you know you need to monitor your servers and apps, but you are also trying to bootstrap and trim costs where possible. Watchdog installs on all your systems for free, giving you zero-config Essential Alerts™ (CPU, memory, swap space, etc.) and Custom Alerts in minutes.

Small Business DevOps Teams

When your business is scaling to meet the demands of your customers, you need to ensure high uptime and availability for retention and loyalty. Watchdog takes only 23 seconds to install, and Custom Alerts are easy to configure on the fly.

Enterprise DevOps Departments

Setting up Watchdog on existing large installations is easy because there is no config required to get Essential Alerts on even hundreds of servers.

Install & Config: How Does Nagios Compare to Watchdog?

Free and Open Source Software that Takes Forever to Configure

22 Steps,
42 Commands,
& 24+ Hours

Summarized from the actual support page for installing Nagios on Debian, courtesy Nagios

PHASE 1: Server Install

STEP 1: Security-Enhanced

(1 command)

dpkg -l selinux*

STEP 2: Prerequisites

(2 commands)

apt-get update

apt-get install -y autoconf gcc libc6 make wget unzip apache2 apache2-utils php5 libgd2-xpm-dev

STEP 3: Downloading the Source

(4 commands)

cd /tmp

wget -O nagioscore.tar.gz https://github.com/NagiosEnterprises/nagioscore/ archive/nagios-4.3.2.tar.gz

tar xzf nagioscore.tar.gz

STEP 4: Compile

(3 commands)

cd /tmp/nagioscore-nagios-4.3.2/

./configure --with-httpd-conf=/etc/apache2/sites-enabled

make all

STEP 5: Create User And Group

(2 commands)

useradd nagios

usermod -a -G nagios www-data

STEP 6: Install Binaries

(1 command)

make install

STEP 7: Install Service / Daemon

(2 commands)

make install-init

systemctl enable nagios.service

STEP 8: Install Command Mode

(1 command)

make install-commandmode

STEP 9: Install Configuration Files

make install-config

STEP 10: Install Apache Config Files

(3 commands)

make install-webconf

a2enmod rewrite

a2enmod cgi

STEP 11: Configure Firewall

(2 commands)

iptables -I INPUT -p tcp --destination-port 80 -j ACCEPT

apt-get install -y iptables-persistent

STEP 12: Create nagiosadmin User Account

(1 command)

htpasswd -c /usr/local/nagios/etc/htpasswd.users nagiosadmin

STEP 13: Start Apache Web Server

(2 commands)

Need to restart it because it is already running.

systemctl restart apache2.service

STEP 14: Start Service / Daemon

(1 command)

systemctl start nagios.service

STEP 15: Test Nagios

Point your web browser to: http://core-013.domain.local/nagios

Enter username and password.


(This section is literally word-for-word from Nagios’ support page)

Currently you have only installed the Nagios Core engine. You'll notice some errors under the hosts and services along the lines of:

(No output on stdout)

stderr: execvp(/usr/local/nagios/libexec/ check_load, ...) failed. errno is 2: No such file or directory

These errors will be resolved once you install the Nagios Plugins, which is covered in the next step.

STEP 16: Installing the Nagios Plugins — Prerequisites

(1 command)

apt-get install -y autoconf gcc libc6 libmcrypt-dev make libssl-dev wget bc gawk dc build-essential snmp libnet-snmp-perl gettext

STEP 17: Downloading The Source

(2 commands)

cd /tmp

wget --no-check-certificate -O nagios-plugins.tar.gz https://github.com/nagios-plugins/ nagios-plugins/archive/release-2.2.1.tar.gz

tar zxf nagios-plugins.tar.gz

STEP 18: Compile + Install

(5 commands)

cd /tmp/nagios-plugins-release-2.2.1/




make install

STEP 19: Test Plugins

Point your web browser to: http://core-013.domain.local/nagios

Go to a host or service object and "Re-schedule the next check" under the Commands menu. The error you previously saw should now disappear and the correct output will be shown on the screen.

STEP 20:Service / Daemon Commands

(4 commands)

systemctl start nagios.service

systemctl stop nagios.service

systemctl restart nagios.service

systemctl status nagios.service

PHASE 2: Client Install

STEP 21: Install the Agent

(5 commands)

cd /tmp

wget https://assets.nagios.com/downloads/ nagiosxi/agents/linux-nrpe-agent.tar.gz

tar xzf linux-nrpe-agent.tar.gz

cd linux-nrpe-agent


Typical Nagios Fee Structure


Annual Support & Maintenance

5 Call Packs $995

Phone Support Packs

Nagios is offered for “free” with its Core edition, which gets you a basic web interface and limited alerting capabilities.

There’s zero support. If you find yourself in over your head, you’ll likely need the Standard or Enterprise editions instead.

Add on inevitable support contracts, a developer salary to maintain your configuration, and paid courses to learn it, and you can see why Nagios starts to charge “phone support packs,” “maintenance fees,” and “annual support” licenses — not to mention licenses for additional server installs.

Our simple, single command-line install is all you need on Linux

(and Watchdog works on Windows, too, with a simple, downloadable package installer).

3 Steps,
1 Command,
& 23 Seconds


Create a free Blue Matador account

You can get started by creating your account here


Install the Blue Matador Smart Agent, which is automatically configured with Watchdog alerts.

(1 command)

On Linux, just enter:

curl -L -s "https://app.bluematador.com/install?os=linux" | sudo ACCOUNT="a67acd6e68f872b807a1c9afe3a2453564e67877" API_KEY="f80d0ca101e967b50b730ddf8e8aca0de85e8df6" AGENT_TAGS="env:prod" bash


Receive Essential Alerts™ on your servers without any config on your part. Set up Custom Alerts for any arbitrary alert you need for your setup.

Typical Watchdog Fee Structure

$0 - Free Forever

We aren’t kidding when we say it’s free.

We get the frustration of fighting fires all the time, always balancing the need to fix production, add more monitoring, and do more of the real DevOps work you were hired to do.

Watchdog is free forever because we want to help system admins get ahead of the firefighting curve. Our founders spent years doing on-call DevOps monitoring, day and night.

“I gotta say, Watchdog is pretty cool for a free offering.”

–Aaron Mefford, VP of Technology & Development, DMG

No Contract

You can download and install Watchdog on your own just by creating a Blue Matador account instantly. There’s no waiting around for permission or approval.

No Hidden Fees (or even visible fees)

Watchdog really is free. Not convinced? Use our pricing calculator below to doublecheck.

No Limitations

Watchdog is fully featured for as many servers as you want. There are no user limitations, feature paywalls, data restrictions, update restraints, or alert throttling.

Estimate your monthly Watchdog budget



Your monthly bill would be


Did you think we were kidding?

Watchdog really is free forever.


Built for Cloud, On-Premise, Distributed, or Monolithic IT Infrastructures

Watchdog Works in Any Architecture & Under Any Scenario

Watchdog runs entirely on your server. In fact, after installing the Blue Matador Smart Agent, your server detects hardware anomalies and generates the report metrics itself. And it does this with the amazingly low overhead that our Smart Agent provides (<2% CPU overhead, <2% memory usage, and 90% gzip compression).

Watchdog Runs On

Start Monitoring In Seconds