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Error messages

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Error messages in Zabbix should follow these guidelines.

Frontend and API

  • The error message should mention the invalid value that triggered the error. Exceptions are values that can be too long or aren't human-readable such as integer values or boolean flags.


  • Messages that state that some action cannot be performed should start with "Cannot". For example:
    Cannot delete item.
  • Messages that state that some value is invalid should use the word "Incorrect". For example:
    Incorrect status for item "%itemName%".

Referencing objects

  • An error was triggered by a specific object it must be mentioned in the message. For example:
    Incorrect expression "%expression%" for trigger "%triggerName%".
  • If an object cannot be uniquely referenced by one name (for example, there can be items with the same name on different hosts) the message must provide a more detailed reference:
    Incorrect key "%key%" for item "%itemName%" on host "%hostName%".
  • When referencing a host or template its visible name must be used.


  • Zabbix error messages about items (from the agent and other sources) start with "Cannot obtain", for example: "Cannot obtain number of CPUs.". Invalid parameters are denoted just by their placement, without specifying valid suggested/valid values, for example: "Invalid first parameter." - such an approach reduces maintenance effort.

Syntax and glossary

The error messages must respect the common syntax and naming guidelines.