Checks development

In this section we will explain how checks should be developed and how Radar runs them. As stated before checks can be programmed in your favourite language.


Checks are the way Radar monitors any given resource. Radar only cares how you return the output of your checks, it will expect a valid JSON containing one or more of the following fields :

  • status : This field is mandatory. It must be equal to any of the following string values : OK, WARNING, SEVERE or ERROR.
  • details : This is an optional field. You can add details about how your check performed. Radar expects this value to be a string.
  • data : This is an optional field. You can put here any data related to your check. Radar does not expect any particular format for this field.

So, let’s assume you have an uptime check. So the minimum output for this check would be the following JSON :

{"status": "OK"}

Radar is case insensitive when it reads a check’s output so it does not care how you name the fields (as long as you include them Radar won’t complain), so this JSON is also valid :

{"Status": "Ok"}

Any other combination of upper and lower characters is also valid. Now suppose you want to be more verbose on this check, then you might want to add some details :

    "status": "OK",
    "details": "0 days 6 hours 58 minutes"

Details will be stored (along with status and data) in their respective checks on the server side, and all your plugins will have visibility on these fields. Now, let’s assume that your check also returns data to be processed by any of the plugins on the server side, so your JSON might look something like this :

    "status": "OK",
    "data": {
        "uptime": 25092,
        "name": "uptime"
    "details": "0 days 6 hours 58 minutes"

As mentioned before, there is no specific format that you have to comply on the data field, is completely up to you how to lay it out. You can include as much data as you want and in any desired way.


Currently Radar checks are executed sequentially, that is one after the other (this is expected to change on a future release), so some care must be taken when developing them. Here are some tips and advices on how to write good checks :

  • The order of the checks execution is irrelevant. That means that check Y must not depend on previous execution of check X.

  • Checks should check one and only one resource. If you’re checking the load average, then just check that and not other things like free memory or disk usage. For those write 2 other checks.

  • Checks should run as fast as possible or fail quickly. As checks run sequentially if one check lasts 10 seconds to complete, then subsecuent checks will begin executing after 10 seconds.

    Always fail fast if the resource you’re checking is not available for any reason. For example if you’re checking the status of your favourite SQL engine and for whatever reason is not running or does not allow you to get its status, then return an ERROR status explaining the reason and don’t keep retrying to get its status over and over again.

  • Checks should be platform independent. It is nice to just write a check once and then have it running on as many platforms as possible. This promotes reusability.

  • Test your checks ! You’re encouraged to write unit tests on all of your checks. This way you make sure that checks behave and fail as expected.


If you’re looking for some real examples you can take a look at this repository. In there you’ll will find some basic but useful checks (written in Python) that allows you to monitor :

  • Disk usage.
  • Ram usage.
  • Uptime.
  • Process status.

They have been designed to run on as many platforms as possible. They rely on the excellent psutil module.