What is the SNMP trap daemon?

snmptrapd is a NAV backend service program, designed to receive SNMP trap messages sent to the NAV server. It hands trap messages off to trap handler plugins, which will process them, and typically translate them into NAV events as they see fit. Anyone with some knowledge of Python and SNMP should be able to write a new trap handler plugin.

snmptrapd uses the pynetsnmp-2 library (via NAV’s own nav.Snmp adapter module), but is loosely based on this example from the PySNMP library:


snmptrapd can be started and stopped using the regular nav start and nav stop commands. The program can also be run in the foreground on the command line, logging all its activites to the standard output instead of the log file.

snmptrapd must be started as root, as it will bind to the default SNMP trap port (UDP port 162). It will drop privileges to the navcron user as soon as the port is bound.

usage: [-h] [-d] [-c COMMUNITY] [address [address ...]]

NAV SNMP Trap daemon

positional arguments:

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -d, --daemon          Run as daemon
  -c COMMUNITY, --community COMMUNITY
                        Which SNMP community incoming traps must use. The
                        default is 'public'

One or more address specifications can be given to tell the trap daemon which
interface/port combinations it should listen to. The default is,
and, if the system appears to support IPv6, also [::]:162, which means the
daemon will accept traps on any IPv4/IPv6 interface, UDP port 162.


snmptrapd, when daemonized, logs to snmptrapd.log.

When developing new handler modules, or otherwise debugging trap reception in NAV, it may be desirable to log full dumps of the trap packet contents. This can be done by setting the loglevel nav.snmptrapd.traplog = DEBUG in NAV’s logging configuration (logging.conf).


nav.snmptrapd.traplog will log the full contents of any received trap, whether any handler modules decided to act on the trap or not.


The configuration file snmptrapd.conf is divided into sections. There is one general section for the daemon itself, and sections specific to each trap handler plugin.

Trap handlers

When snmptrapd receives a trap, it is stored in generic trap object (nav.snmptrapd.trap.SNMPTrap).

and offered to each of the trap handlers (that are configured in snmptrapd.conf) in turn. Each trap handler can inspect the offered trap and decide to either process it or discard it.

A trap handler plugin is a Python module that must provide a function called handleTrap().

handleTrap(trap, config)

Takes a trap object and a ConfigParser reference. Processes or discards the trap and returns a status value.

There is template module for a handler plugins, called It contains some comments and shows the basics you need to write your own trap handler.


For a trap handler to take effect, snmptrapd must first be restarted.