Enable Snmp On Centos 7

admin14 April 2024Last Update :

Understanding SNMP and Its Importance in Network Management

Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is a widely used protocol for monitoring the health and welfare of network equipment, computer equipment, and even devices like UPSs. It allows network administrators to manage network performance, find and solve network problems, and plan for network growth. An understanding of SNMP and its operational mechanisms is crucial for effective network management.

What is SNMP?

SNMP stands for Simple Network Management Protocol. It is an application-layer protocol designed to facilitate the exchange of management information between network devices. It is part of the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) protocol suite. SNMP enables network administrators to manage network performance, discover and solve network problems, and plan for network growth.

Key Components of SNMP

  • Managed device: A network node that contains an SNMP agent and resides on a managed network.
  • SNMP agent: Software which runs on managed devices and reports information via SNMP to the manager.
  • Network management system (NMS): Executes applications that monitor and control managed devices.
  • Management Information Base (MIB): A collection of information organized hierarchically. These are accessed using a network-management protocol such as SNMP.

Installing and Configuring SNMP on CentOS 7

Installation of SNMP Packages

To enable SNMP on a CentOS 7 system, you must first install the necessary packages. The primary package required is net-snmp, which can be installed using the YUM package manager.

yum install net-snmp net-snmp-utils

After installing these packages, the SNMP service will be available on your CentOS system, but it requires configuration before it can be used effectively.

Configuring SNMP Service

The main configuration file for SNMP is /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf. This file needs to be edited to set up community strings, which act as passwords to control access to the SNMP information.

# Example of setting a read-only community string in snmpd.conf
rocommunity public

Replace “public” with a more secure community string of your choice. It’s recommended to change the default community string to prevent unauthorized access.

Enabling and Starting SNMP Service

Once the configuration is complete, you need to enable and start the SNMP service so that it persists across reboots and is currently running.

systemctl enable snmpd.service
systemctl start snmpd.service

Securing SNMP on CentOS 7

Setting Up SNMPv3 for Enhanced Security

SNMPv3 provides enhanced security features, including authentication and encryption. To configure SNMPv3, additional steps are required compared to the simpler community string setup of SNMPv1 and SNMPv2c.

# Commands to create an SNMPv3 user with authentication and encryption
snmpusm -v3 -u myUser -l authPriv -a SHA -A 'authpass' -x AES -X 'privpass' localhost create myUser

In this example, replace ‘myUser’, ‘authpass’, and ‘privpass’ with your chosen username and secure passwords.

Restricting SNMP Access by IP Address

For additional security, you can restrict which IP addresses are allowed to query your SNMP daemon. This is done within the /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf file.

# Example of restricting SNMP access to a specific IP address
com2sec mynetwork public

Replace “” with the IP address of the network management system that will be querying your SNMP server.

Monitoring and Managing CentOS 7 Using SNMP

Utilizing SNMPwalk for Testing

SNMPwalk is a tool that allows you to retrieve a tree of information from a network entity. It is useful for testing and debugging your SNMP configuration.

snmpwalk -v2c -c public localhost

This command will output all the OID values accessible through the community string “public” on the local machine.

Integrating with Network Management Systems (NMS)

With SNMP enabled and configured on your CentOS 7 system, you can now integrate it with various NMS tools like Nagios, Zabbix, or PRTG. These tools use SNMP to collect data and provide a graphical interface for monitoring network performance.

Troubleshooting Common SNMP Issues on CentOS 7

Dealing with Firewalls and SELinux

CentOS 7 comes with firewalls and SELinux enabled by default, which can block SNMP traffic if not configured correctly. Ensure that the appropriate ports (usually 161/UDP) are open and that SELinux policies allow SNMP traffic.

# Command to add a firewall rule for SNMP
firewall-cmd --permanent --add-port=161/udp
firewall-cmd --reload

Resolving Configuration Errors

If SNMP is not functioning as expected, review the /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf file for any syntax errors or misconfigurations. Pay special attention to community strings and access control settings.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I check if SNMP is running on CentOS 7?

You can check the status of the SNMP service using the following command:

systemctl status snmpd.service

Can SNMPv3 be used without encryption?

Yes, SNMPv3 can be configured with authentication only, without enabling privacy (encryption). However, for maximum security, both authentication and encryption are recommended.

Is it safe to use the default community string ‘public’?

No, it is not safe. The default community string ‘public’ is well-known and should be changed to a unique, complex string to prevent unauthorized access.

What ports need to be open for SNMP to work?

By default, SNMP uses UDP port 161 for general commands and UDP port 162 for trap messages. These ports need to be open in the firewall for SNMP to function properly.

How can I view the MIB tree on a CentOS 7 system?

You can use the snmptranslate utility to view the entire MIB tree or specific branches. For example:

snmptranslate -Tp -IR

This command displays the MIB tree structure in a human-readable format.


  • Net-SNMP Official Documentation: http://www.net-snmp.org/docs/
  • CentOS Project: https://www.centos.org/
  • RFC 3411 – An Architecture for Describing Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) Management Frameworks: https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3411
  • SNMP Version 3: Advanced Message Security: https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3414
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