dummy-ups - Driver for multi-purpose UPS emulation


This man page only documents the specific features of the dummy-ups driver. For information about the core driver, see nutupsdrv(8).


This program is a multi-purpose UPS emulation tool. Its behavior depends on the running mode:

Dummy Mode

dummy-ups looks like a standard device driver to upsd(8) and allows one to change any value for testing purposes. It is both interactive, controllable through the upsrw(1) and upscmd(1) commands (or equivalent graphical tool), and batchable through script files. It can be configured, launched and used as any other real driver. This mode is mostly useful for development and testing purposes.

Repeater Mode

dummy-ups acts as a NUT client, simply forwarding data. This can be useful for supervision purposes. This can also allow some load sharing between several UPS instances, using a point-to-point communication with the UPS.


The port specification depends on the running mode, and allows the driver to select the right mode.

Dummy Mode

Port is a definition file name for dummy-ups. This can either be an absolute or a relative path name. In the latter case the NUT sysconfig directory (ie /etc/nut, /usr/local/ups/etc, …) is prepended.

For instance:

        driver = dummy-ups
        port =
        desc = "dummy-ups in dummy mode"

This file is generally named "". It contains a list of all valid data and associated values, and has the same format as an upsc(8) dump (<varname>: <value>). So you can easily create definition files from an existing UPS using "upsc >". It can also be empty, in which case only a basic set of data is available: device., driver., ups.mfr, ups.model, ups.status

Samples definition files are available in the "data" directory of the nut source tree, and generally in the sysconfig directory of your system distribution.

Since dummy-ups will loop on reading this file, you can dynamically modify it to interact with the driver. This will avoid message spam into your system log files, if you are using NUT default configuration.

You can also use the "TIMER <seconds>" instruction to create scheduled events sequences. For example, the following sequence will loop on switching ups.status between "OL", "OB" and "OB LB" every minute:

ups.status: OL
ups.status: OB
ups.status: LB

It is wise to end the script with a TIMER. Otherwise dummy-ups will directly go back to the beginning of the file.

Repeater Mode

Port is the name of a remote UPS, using the NUT form, ie:


For instance:

            driver = dummy-ups
            port = ups@hostname
            desc = "dummy-ups in repeater mode"

Unlike UPS specifications in the rest of NUT, the @hostname portion is not optional - it is the @ character which enables Repeater Mode. To refer to an UPS on the same host as dummy-ups, use port = upsname@localhost.


Once the driver is loaded in dummy mode, you can change any variables, except those of the driver.* and server.* collections. You can do this by either editing the definition file, or use the upsrw(1) and upscmd(1) commands.

Note that in simulation mode, new variables can be added on the fly, by adding these to the definition file. Conversely, if you need to remove variable (such as transient ones, like ups.alarm), simply update these by setting an empty value. As a result, they will get removed from the data.

In repeater mode, the driver acts according to the capabilities of the UPS, and so support the same instant commands and settable values.


Dummy Mode was originally written in one evening to replace the previous dummycons testing driver, which was too limited, and required a terminal for interaction.

dummy-ups is useful for NUT client development, and other testing purposes.

It also helps the NUT Quality Assurance effort, by automating some tests on the NUT framework.

It now offers a repeater mode. This will help in building the Meta UPS approach, which allows one to build a virtual device, composed of several other devices (either UPS, PDUs).


Instant commands are not yet supported in Dummy Mode, and data need name/value checking enforcement, as well as boundaries or enumeration definition.


Arnaud Quette


Internet Resources:

The NUT (Network UPS Tools) home page: