Smokeping with NGINX

My humble little webserver (which hosts used to host this site) is using NGINX. It works exceptionally well for my needs. I also have a Smokeping running on it all the time to monitor my ISP connectivity.

As link quality has deteriorated recently I wanted to review relevant graphs. It turns out that Smokeping is still using CGI in 2020 (d’oh). NGINX does not support it so the idea was to spin up CGI to FastCGI bridge and serve the content via fastcgi_pass. To have it working on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS you need to add following lines to your virtual host definition in /etc/nginx/sites-enabled:

location /smokeping {
        alias /usr/share/smokeping/www;
        try_files $uri $uri/ =404;

        location /smokeping/smokeping.cgi {
                fastcgi_pass  localhost:9999;

                fastcgi_param QUERY_STRING    $query_string;
                fastcgi_param REQUEST_METHOD  $request_method;
                fastcgi_param CONTENT_TYPE    $content_type;
                fastcgi_param CONTENT_LENGTH  $content_length;

        deny all;

Please note it also limits access to your LAN only (assuming it is Then install libfcgi-bin

apt update && apt install libfcgi-bin

And spin up the bridge from the unprivileged user that has write access to /var/lib/smokeping/:

sudo -u smokeping -- /usr/bin/cgi-fcgi -start -connect /usr/share/smokeping/smokeping.cgi

And that’s all. I use the web frontend rarely so I spin it manually. You can make it persistent using /etc/rc.local or systemd if you need it more often.

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