Dear reader

We are pleased that you have found your way to Checkmk.

As a monitoring software, Checkmk offers comprehensive and specialized solutions for dealing with the very diverse environments of IT infrastructures. This inevitably requires a very comprehensive documentation which goes beyond the mere description of the obvious. Our User Guide will help you as much as possible to better understand Checkmk, use Checkmk to implement your requirements, as well as helping you to discover new ways of solving problems.

To make the handling of Checkmk as easy as possible, the articles in this User Guide follow rather unusual approaches in many places. It is almost never a matter of simply copying a prefabricated sequence of individual steps. Rather, it is intended to give you, the reader, a deeper understanding of a feature in Checkmk.

To briefly summarize, our most important premise is that the User Guide should be helpful. And it is most helpful when you can implement our description as a solution for your own problem.

For this reason, among others, the User Guide is divided into several chapters which flow smoothly into each other. With this subdivision we want to make it easier to find the contents you are looking for more quickly. The following topics can be found in the User Guide’s chapters.

Beginner’s Guide

There’s a first time for everything, even with Checkmk. Since you are presented with a large number of options and functions, sometimes it can be difficult to find your way through the first steps. We therefore want to make it easy for you to enter the world of Checkmk by supporting you step by step in the installation of your first Checkmk site and by introducing the most important concepts.

This part of the User Guide is therefore very well suited for being read through from start to finish in a linear fashion. If you are reading this User Guide for the first time you can also start directly with the first article from the Beginner’s Guide, and if necessary, later return to the descriptions in the more advanced chapters.

Tasks for administrators and users

The main parts from chapter 3 to 10 explain the functions and their use in Checkmk when you are planning to install Checkmk for the first time, have questions about its configurations or want to know how to display the data in an efficient, understandable and useful way.

For this reason, these chapters are less suited to reading through from start to finish. Rather, they are organized thematically and devoted to the various aspects of a given task. Within the chapters you will then find important, introductory or otherwise prioritized articles, always at the beginning of the chapters.

Automation and development

Checkmk can be managed not only using a web interface, but also via APIs. In addition, Checkmk’s modular software architecture also allows for an extensive range of enhancement options.

With the articles in this chapter we will gradually introduce tips, hints and entry points for adapting Checkmk to your own infrastructure or automating its configuration.


This chapter is still quite new — even though the articles it contains have been in the User Guide for a long time already. If you want to learn more about how Checkmk actually works, without following a direct requirement or task, then you are in the right place here.

The Checkmk appliance

All topics concerning the setup and use of the appliance can be found in the last chapter of the User Guide. The appliance chapter is actually a separate manual. However, since the concepts of Checkmk also apply for the appliance, readers of this chapter should always refer to the other articles in the User Guide as well.