Zabbix on OpenShift using QuickStart

In this post I’d like to document some information I discovered while creating an OpenShift QuickStart for Zabbix.

It will be a post that will be updated regularly.

An OpenShift QuickStart enables people to setup applications in the cloud very quick and consistent. It’s basically a package of software and scripts to setup an application in the RedHat Cloud, and I may such a package for Zabbix.

Setting up a free Zabbix Server (very handy for website monitoring) in the cloud is now as easy as:

1. Register for free at
2. Setup the cloud client tool “rhc”
3. Run:

rhc app create zabbix php-5 mysql-5 --from-code=

4. Done!

Check out your brand new Zabbix server at http://zabbix-<your_namespace>!

There are plenty of examples of OpenShift QuickStarts available on GitHub, but a  few things weren’t  exactly clear to me so I thought I’d share my thoughts on them.

What’s the difference between OPENSHIFT_DATA_DIR and OPENSHIFT_REPO_DIR?

In many of the QuickStart examples there is data shared between the DATA and REPO directories. What are they for?

OPENSHIFT_DATA_DIR is a persistent location. Data saved in this place will stay there in between deploys, where the data saved in OPENSHIFT_REPO_DIR is replaced every deploy.

How do I use this?

In my QuickStart I need to download the Zabbix source code and compile the Zabbix binaries from iit. This takes a lot of time and resources, while the result is always the same.

It’s a waste of time and resources to do this every deploy.  It would make a lot of sense to download the source code and create the binaries only once. This is where the DATA and REPO directories come in to play.

I download the source code and save the generated binaries in OPENSHIFT_DATA_DIR:


Because the DATA directory keeps it’s data, once the source code is downloaded and compiled it will stay there.  During deploy’s we simply create a simlink from the DATA directory to the REPO directory, saving us a download and compile time.


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