Fixing Nagios Errors: Return code of x is out of bounds

Fixing Nagios Errors: Return code of x is out of bounds

Table of Contents


In the realm of IT infrastructure monitoring, Nagios has long been a popular choice due to its robust feature set. However, even reliable systems can encounter issues, and one recurring problem that Nagios users might encounter is the "Return code of x is out of bounds" error. In this blog post, we'll dive into the details of this error, what causes it, and how it can impact your monitoring efforts. Additionally, we'll contrast Nagios with MetricFire's simplified monitoring solution to showcase an alternative that addresses such issues more seamlessly.


Understanding the Nagios "Return code of x is out of bounds" Error

Nagios operates on a simple principle: plugins run checks on hosts and services and return a status code indicating the result. Status codes include values like 0 for OK, 1 for WARNING, 2 for CRITICAL, and 3 for UNKNOWN. The "Return code of x is out of bounds" error typically occurs when a plugin returns a status code that doesn't fit within this standard range (0 to 3). This can be a baffling issue for Nagios users, as it may lead to inaccurate alerts, misinterpretation of issues, and disruptions in monitoring workflows.


Causes of the Error

There are several potential causes behind the "Return code out of bounds" error in Nagios:

  1. Custom Plugins: If you're using custom plugins, errors in their coding or logic can lead to unexpected return codes, triggering the error.

  2. Plugin Misconfiguration: Incorrect configuration of plugins or incorrect parsing of their output can also lead to improper status code handling.

  3. Third-party Plugin Issues: Some third-party plugins may not adhere to Nagios's status code conventions, causing conflicts and generating this error.

  4. Nagios Bugs: In some cases, the error might be due to bugs within Nagios itself, although this is less common.


Introducing MetricFire's Simplified Monitoring Solution

While Nagios has been a reliable monitoring tool for many years, its complexity and the potential for errors like "Return code out of bounds" have prompted the emergence of more streamlined alternatives. One such alternative is MetricFire's monitoring solution, which offers several advantages:

  1. Agent-based Monitoring: MetricFire employs lightweight agents that collect and send data to the platform, simplifying the monitoring process and reducing the likelihood of complex errors.

  2. Pre-built Integrations: MetricFire comes with a wide range of pre-built integrations for popular services and applications. This minimizes the need for custom plugins and reduces the risk of coding errors causing unexpected return codes.

  3. Unified Dashboard: MetricFire provides a user-friendly dashboard that consolidates data from different sources, allowing for a quick overview of your infrastructure's health without needing to navigate through multiple interfaces.

  4. Advanced Alerting: MetricFire's alerting system is designed to be intuitive, helping you set up thresholds and notifications with ease, minimizing the chances of misconfigured alerts.



While Nagios has served the IT community well for monitoring needs, errors like "Return code of x is out of bounds" underline the complexities that can arise with its usage. MetricFire's modern monitoring solution presents a compelling alternative, simplifying the monitoring process, reducing the risk of errors, and providing a more intuitive experience overall. As IT environments continue to evolve, exploring such streamlined options can lead to more effective and efficient monitoring practices.

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