Monitoring pf(4) using snmpd(8), Telegraf and Grafana

I regularly check my pf(4) activity using pfctl(8) and pflogd(8). I already monitored pf using collectd(1) and rrdtool. This time, I wanted to use my already configured InfluxDB/Grafana system. The thing is, Telegraf is not (yet) available in OpenBSD 6.3. So I used a Telegraf container to remotely poll OpenBSD using the native SNMP OPENBSD-PF-MIB.

Enable SNMP for PF

This is really straight forward:

# rcctl enable snmpd
# rcctl start snmpd
# snmpwalk -v 2c -c public localhost OPENBSD-PF-MIB:pfInfo
OPENBSD-PF-MIB::pfRunning.0 = INTEGER: true(1)
OPENBSD-PF-MIB::pfRuntime.0 = Timeticks: (112916400) 13 days, 1:39:24.00 1/100th of a Second
OPENBSD-PF-MIB::pfDebug.0 = INTEGER: err(3)

This was easy. If pf(4) is not enabled, you will see it.

Install MIBs on the polling system

If you don’t want to deal with OIDs, you’ll have to make the OpenBSD MIBs available from the polling system ; in my case, the Telegraf container. From the OpenBSD server, transfer the files in /usr/share/snmp/mibs/ to the poller host.

# scp /usr/share/snmp/mibs/*txt user@telegraf:~/.snmp/mibs/

Not sure why, but the container didn’t use my MIBs auto-magically. On the Telegraf host, I had to configure the snmp client :

# cat ~user/.snmp/snmp.conf

From here, snmp client is able to resolve my OIDs.

Collect the statistics

The Telegraf container will poll the snmpd(8) every minutes and stored the statistics and information in an InfluxDB instance – running on OpenBSD 6.3 :)

The configuration section looks like this :

  agents = [ "" ]
  timeout = "5s"
  retries = 3
  version = 2
  community = "public"

  # pf(4) statistics
  name = "snmp_pf"

    name = "sysName"
    oid = "RFC1213-MIB::sysName.0"
    is_tag = true

This defines the SNMP section using host IP and community. I’m using a specific measurement in InfluxDB to only store pf data. And I’m using the snmp sysName as a tag to refer to my hosts.

Then I configure the various sections I’m looking for.

# pfInfo
  name = "pfRunning"
  oid = "OPENBSD-PF-MIB::pfRunning.0"
  name = "pfRuntime"
  oid = "OPENBSD-PF-MIB::pfRuntime.0"
  conversion = "float"
  name = "pfDebug"
  oid = "OPENBSD-PF-MIB::pfDebug.0"
  conversion = "int"
  name = "pfHostid"
  oid = "OPENBSD-PF-MIB::pfHostid.0"
  name = "pfStateCount"
  oid = "OPENBSD-PF-MIB::pfStateCount.0"
  name = "pfStateSearches"
  oid = "OPENBSD-PF-MIB::pfStateSearches.0"
  name = "pfStateInserts"
  oid = "OPENBSD-PF-MIB::pfStateInserts.0"
  name = "pfStateRemovals"
  oid = "OPENBSD-PF-MIB::pfStateRemovals.0"
  name = "snmp_pfInterfaces"
  oid = "OPENBSD-PF-MIB::pfIfTable"
  inherit_tags = [ "sysName" ]
    oid = "OPENBSD-PF-MIB::pfIfDescr"
    is_tag = true
    oid = "OPENBSD-PF-MIB::pfIfType"
    is_tag = true

Those are some relevant examples from various cases (format conversion, tables…) Just choose the ones you require reading the MIB file.

Access and render the statistics

From here, the referenced statistics should be populated into the back-end storage. In my case, an InfluxDB system. I really love Grafana. So this is what I use to render PF stats.

I wanted to check that my stuff was collecting and rendering properly. So I also installed, gathered and rendered using the pfstat(8) utility from ports. Really easy to install and configure.

Luckily, the statistics were coherent!

Author: Joel Carnat

@work Technical Architect and SysAdmin ; @home OpenBSD and FOSS, Karate, Kobudō, Jōdō, Bodyweight workout, Photography & Music

4 thoughts on “Monitoring pf(4) using snmpd(8), Telegraf and Grafana”

  1. Hi, Thanks for sharing your work, I have dashboards working with two of our firewalls now but the dashboards are a bit empty and I guess that’s because I haven’t added anything other that the telegraf / mib parts that you gave in your example above. Is there any chance you could share more of your telegraf configuration ?

    1. Hi,
      There’s a lot in my config file. Tests, password, etc that I’d rather not share. All that’s written above should be enough to grab the data. To add more, simply read the MIB and add the OID as described above.
      If you don’t get any data, maybe your forgot to configure the “output” part ?

        urls = [""]
        database = "telegraf-metrics"
        retention_policy = ""
        timeout = "5s"
        user_agent = "telegraf"
        content_encoding = "gzip"

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