1. What are reports?
A report in Checkmk is intended to provide an overview of the data, content, and state in Checkmk in a printable form. It is a compilation of various elements (views, availability tables, graphs, body text, logos) into a printable PDF document.
Reports in Checkmk are easy to use:
No external tools such as Jasper, DB or similar are needed.
The PDF file is cleanly created, including vector graphics.
Reports can be managed using templates and inheritance.
Use the report scheduler to define reports to be sent periodically.
Instant reports can be generated via Export > This view as PDF.
2. Checkmk’s built-in reports
The Checkmk commercial editions provide some built-in reports as standard. You can either use these as predefined to get reports from Checkmk, or use them as templates for customizing own reports as required.
Just like views and dashboards, reports supplied in Checkmk cannot be modified. But you can clone/copy any existing reports as many times as you like, then modify each to suit your needs. The procedure for creating simple as well as complex reports is described below.
An overview of all reports in Checkmk, built-in and custom, can be found at Customize > Business reporting > Reports (you may need to click show more first):
On the left side at each line, the following icons are available for the editing functions:
Open report scheduler
3. Launching reports
Reports can be launched from various points in Checkmk, depending on their context and purpose. For example, the appropriate reports can be called from the navigation bar in the Monitor menu.
Contextually, you can find the reports in the Export menu of the various views:
There are three buttons in this snap-in:
Change the time range for instant reports
Open the list of existing reports
3.1. Context for reports
There are a number of options for giving reports a context, i.e. to fill them with the data from specific hosts and services. As a result, reports have to be called in different ways in order to contain meaningful information. If the context is missing, i.e. specifying which hosts and services should be included in the report, instead of the correct output you will receive only error messages highlighted in red:
The difference is where the context is specified:
Context specified (via report properties): The report can be called from anywhere and it will always be filled with the correct information.
Context not given: Call made via the Export menu in the various views, context is provided by the (filtered) view.
Now think again about the Reporting snap-in mentioned above: this takes you directly to the rendered reports without any further preselection / restriction etc. — so only those reports that have a built-in context actually make sense here. Reports whose context is only created via (filtered) views can therefore be safely excluded from the Monitor menu as well as the snap-in via the Hide this report in the monitor menu option.
4. Creating a first custom report
Based on the existing reports and report templates, you can create your first custom report relatively quickly and easily. We will explain how to do this in a moment. More in-depth information around more complex reports will follow below in the text.
The fastest way to create a report is to copy an existing report and then customize it.
For example, if you want to create an overview of the availability of services on a specific host, the host named
mycmkserver, do the following.
First, open the report overview with Customize > Business reporting > Reports:
Clicking (clone) in front of the report service_availability will take you to the basic settings for your new report based on the existing report:
Enter the desired texts for Unique ID and Title. We won’t deal with the other options in this box, as well as the Report Properties, until we get to the more complex reports.
For now, it’s enough to scroll down to the Context / Search Filters box. For Host, select Hostname. Next click Add filter, to select the appropriate host from the list of host names:
Click to save your new report and to return to the reports overview page. In the section Customized you can now directly access your new report by clicking on its title:
4.1. Editing functions
You can use the following functions to edit your own reports:
Clone (copy) report
Edit report settings
Edit report contents
Schedule regular report
A description of the various available options follows in the subsequent sections.
4.2. Creating a new report without a template
Things get a little more complex now if you want to create a completely new report instead of a copy of an existing report. As an example, below you will create a simple overview of all problematic services on your site, i.e. all services with a WARN, CRIT or UNKNOWN status. This overview will be titled ‘critical_services‘.
You create a new report on the Edit Reports page via Reports > Add report.
In the first step, leave the filter Select specific object type on the No restrictions to specific objects selection and go directly to the next selection page with Continue.
As with copying an existing report, first specify a Unique ID and Title:
In the Context / Search Filters section, under Service now select the Service states, then with a click on Add filter you can set the desired states:
With Save & go to list the new report will be added to the Customized section of the reports overview list.
If you now call up this report in joyful anticipation, the result is sobering. The report page has an initial layout and also a heading, but is otherwise empty. Not exactly the result to impress your boss with …
So now you need to define the design of the content for the report. The will take you to the page for defining the content to be included in the report. The selection of report elements is done in three stages, each with a click on Continue in between.
Start by clicking Add content. For this example in Step 1 select the element type Availability table. Set Step 2 to All services and Step 3 to No restrictions to specific objects. Leave the other options on the following page unchanged for the moment. Instead, click directly on Save. Now view the preview of your report:
On the left you can see the preview, here for the report of critical_services. To the right, the elements of the report are displayed in a list. These elements can be edited, copied, deleted and reordered.
You can now flexibly customize this simple, self-created report with additional elements as required (see below) and call it up at any time, e.g. from the sidebar.
5. Building complex reports
In the previous sections you have seen how to create initial reports with little effort, either as a copy of an existing report or completely new. These are great ways to achieve initial success. Most of the time, however, it doesn’t stop at such simply structured reports. More complex presentations, a mixture of different content, a custom layout, etc. are the next logical steps.
The many possibilities can best be shown with an example:
5.1. Defining the basic settings
In almost every step of the report creation there is the possibility to adjust the content to suit your needs.
In the first step, at the start you can set a filter and limit the report to a specific host or data source, such as network interfaces, BI aggregations, sensors, and so on:
Next, again enter the Unique ID and the Title.
For the title you can also use the provided macros (= text modules).
Next, choose a Icon with which the report should be visible in the menus.
By setting the Make this report available for other users option to the contact group, in the example
you give the associated group members the ability to independently access the report at any time and get information on their own.
In the Context / Search Filters box, as usual extensive filtering options are available, from specific hosts to individual Docker containers to values from Oracle monitoring.
For this example, the host selection is limited to one folder and additionally to specified host issues. This restriction speeds up data retrieval, especially in more complex environments.
With Save & go to list you get to the report overview. The next step is to define the report’s content.
5.2. Defining report content
Using the you get to the report content:
Open report content editing with Reports > Add content. Use this to add tables, graphs, tables of contents, or text (also via macros or HTTP) to the report, for example. These contents appear one after the other and thus also determine the final length of the report.
In Step 1, select the element you want, for this example Multiple graphs. This will give you, depending on your other settings, multiple graphs of the same type arranged one below the other. For example, you can map a direct comparison between the states of multiple hosts.
Continue with Continue. As the data source for the graphics, for this example, in step 2 select All services, i.e. all services running on the hosts:
Continue with Continue. In step 3 you could now limit the volume of data to be displayed. This option is not needed for the current example. Again, switch to the next selection with Continue.
For the sample report, under Graph layout, in the Properties box, specify that you want provide a title for each of the graphs, consisting of the graph’s title, host name, and service description. In addition, set the displayed time range to four hours under Graph time range.
In the Context / Search Filters box, you limit the report to specified host or service characteristics. Here you select the CPU utilization for the Service in this example.
By clicking Save you have completed the first report element.
For the second graph in this exercise, start again with Reports > Add content and in Step 1 select Metrics graph of a single service. Switch to Step 2 with Continue and restrict the search filters to host name and service description:
By clicking Save the second report element will now also be ready.
The third element to be created is an overview of the current alerts. The procedure remains the same:
Call Reports > Add content
Step 1: Select the Availability table element
Step 2: Data source Alert Statistics
Step 3: Restrict to a single host
No further options in the following step
With a click on Save this report element is also finished.
To make the display clearer, add headings:
Open Reports > Add content to edit the report content. In Step 1 select Heading as element type. Switch to Step 2 with Continue. Optionally, specify a hierarchy level for the heading. Enter the heading at The text.
Click Save to return to the overview. However, the new heading will now be positioned below the graphics in the list. So, in the list of content items, use the icon to drag the heading to the desired position in the list.
Tip: In the preview, you may see red lines and error messages instead of real data — because in these places the report in the editor lacks context, here, for example, the specification of a host that would only be revealed by calling the report from an appropriate view. If you want to see a usable preview, simply filter for a specific host in the report settings in the Context / Search Filters area in the meantime. This makes designing the report much easier.
5.3. Visual design of a report
There are complementary design elements available for structuring the appearance of the report, such as horizontal line, image, page frame and a single line of text. You can display these building blocks on all or specific pages in your report.
For the example report, insert a frame around the report. Again, the definition is done step by step, each continued by clicking . Start with Reports > Add page element.
Since the frame should be visible on all pages, the next step requires no changes:
The new page frame is now displayed in the overview, both in the preview on the left and in the static page elements table on the right.
Tip: You can also use the macros (=text modules) available in Checkmk, for example, to create another footer with page numbers and the name of the report. To do this, select the page element One line of text and in the second step specify the position at the bottom of the page as well as the text including the desired macros:
5.4. Customizing the layout
Right away reports look more appealing with a higher-quality appearance, for example, with the company logo added.
Open the report settings with Reports > Edit properties:
In the second box, you will find the Report Properties. This is where you configure values for font, page format, time and date settings, report layout, and file name for downloads.
Copy your company logo to the
~/local/share/check_mk/reporting/images/ directory and save it as
From now on this logo will be displayed on all reports.
Note: Currently, you customize the existing report template to suit your needs. Alternatively, you can create a complete, new report template according to your company specifications, to reflect the company’s corporate design (CI/CD), for example.
Inserting an additional image
Images that you want to use as design elements in your reports must have been previously stored in the
Click the Add page element button in the report creation.
In the following Step 1, select Embedded image as type and continue with Continue.
The following dialog is used to specify more detailed settings such as position, file name and size.
When you are done with all settings, save with Save. After that the report overview will be displayed and will see the image inserted into the report.
6. Scheduling a report
You can use the report scheduler to have existing reports created and sent automatically. You can reach the scheduler on the Edit Reports page via Reports > Scheduler.
6.1. Sending a report on a regular basis
Open a new schedule using Scheduled reports > Add schedule, then select the report and click Continue.
In the General Options box, you specify basic settings such as title, creation time, reporting period, and so on:
Under Context / Search Filters you will find the usual filter options, depending on the selected report. Then save the schedule to return to the list of your scheduled reports.
In the list you will also find information about the last time the report was generated/sent, if there was an error, when it will be generated/sent the next time and some more information (shown slightly abbreviated here):
Entries in the list are managed using the five icons at the beginning of an entry:
Edit report settings
Copy report settings
Delete scheduled report
Note: Reports that have been sent are not stored on the site.
6.2. Storing a report locally on a regular basis
Instead of sending the report, you can also store it locally. To do this, select Action - Store locally:
Next specify a file name and optionally a report title. To be able to build a history of reports — Checkmk provides various macros (= text modules) instead of overwriting the previous report version every time the report is newly created.
The overview of all locally stored reports can be accessed in the Edit Reports window via the Reports > Stored reports menu item:
7. Global defaults for reports
Some basic settings for reports can be defined globally, for example to create and manage a corporate design (CI/CD) centrally. Settings for an individual report then only specify any deviations from the corporate design. The global settings for reports can be configured via Setup > General > Global settings > Reporting.
8. Creating your own report template
Checkmk provides a built-in, clear report template that you can add to and use as you wish, as described above. However, especially reports that are passed on to management look even better if they correspond to your own company layout. For this purpose, there is an option to create your own report template.
By default, the Default template for all reports is used for all reports in Checkmk:
To create your own report template, copy the default template using . First, give the new template a Unique ID and Title.
To mark this report template as such, in the Report Properties box check This is a front matter Template:
Following the first save, you will find this new template in the custom report templates list:
Now you can customize this template according to the above descriptions, just like any other report. Change the page layout, font, line colors, etc. Also set the content elements at the same time. Exclusively for report templates there is also the report element Table of Contents:
To create one of your reports now with the new template, change the settings in the report’s Report Properties one more time. Set the Use settings and page layout from option to the name of your new template:
Once this template has been saved, future reports will always be based on it.
9. Supplementary information
9.1. Content elements
Content elements are listed when you select Reports > Add content when editing a report.
Complex view on definable topic
List of availability states
Selection of data source and further restrictions of data possible
Graphs based on multiple data series
Use of a template, selection of data source and various layout settings possible
Individually created graphs
Standard layout options
Size can be specified. The position of this image is dynamic, relative to surrounding content elements.
Specify hosts, services and time periods to be considered
All graphs in a collection
Default layout options
Heading in headers of different hierarchies possible
Status reports for multiple hosts
Definition of sub-reports to be included including structuring
Metrics of a single service as graph
Standard layout options
Collection of multiple graphs on a single topic
Selection of data source, different design features of the graphs
The position of this text is dynamic, relative to surrounding content elements.
Service report collection for multiple services
Default of sub-reports to be included, different design features of individual reports
Overview of all available macros
Name and current output of the macros are displayed
Table of contents
Only active in report templates
Height as well as behavior at the top of a page can be defined
9.2. Page elements
Page elements are listed when you select Reports > Add page element when editing a report.
Frame around the entire page
Optionally around all or specific pages
Optionally on one or on specific pages. Position and size can be specified. This image does not move with the report content.
Optionally on all or specific pages. Position, color and thickness can be specified.
Static line of text
Optionally on all or specific pages. Position and font properties can be specified.
9.3. Available macros
Report start time
Report end time
Start time of the report in Unix time
Current time in Unix time
End time of the report in Unix time
Current Checkmk version
Start date of the report
End date of the report
Report start date and time
Current date and time
End date and time of the report
Number of pages
Title of the report
Time period of the report
Name of the site
Name of the report
10. Files and directories
These files store the customized and newly created reports of the respective Owner of the reports.
Directory for storing custom images to be used in reports.