SNMP Errors, Their meaning and How to correct them

In case of erroneous conditions, SNMP PDU sent by agent in response to an SNMP request contains error status and error index. Error status indicates the cause of error whereas error index indicates the field/attribute/object that caused the error. Various SNMP error status, their meanings and way to correct them is as follows:

  • tooBig(1) – This error occurs when the size of response exceed the maximum size of message the agent can send. In this scenario, the response PDU is discarded. A new response PDU is created by agent with error-status as tooBig and error-index as zero. To overcome this error, reduce the number of OIDs sent in get request.
  • noSuchName(2) – This error occurs when the agent could not find the object name requested by the snmp manager. To overcome this error, check the attribute name or OID sent in get/set request. Sometimes this error may occur because of wrong community name.
  • badValue(3) – This error occurs when the manager tries to modify an object on agent with an incorrect or invalid or inconsistent value. As obvious by it’s name, to overcome this error, check the value that is being tried to set on the agent.
  • readOnly(4) – This error occurs when the manager tries to modify an object that according to a community profile is read only and can not be written into.
  • genErr(5) – This error status indicates any other error apart from the errors specified above. It is little difficult to find out the root cause of such errors and correct them.

There is another error status noError(0), which actually is not an error but indicates that the request was successfully processed.

Hope you find the information presented here useful. Please let us know for any further queries or suggestions.


  1. Really good one and useful also. I am new to SNMP. I want plz provide some basic and fundamental information about SNMP (like request type, response type, what is an object, attribute, parameter and its uasge as per condition basis) so i can clarify my doubt.


    • Thank you Manasi for such a wonderful feedback, we really appreciate that…!!

      We will definitely try to get some good content on your queries regarding SNMP and publish it here as soon as possible.

      Till then we would be really happy to answer any of your specific query or doubt, please feel free to post it here or write to us at

  2. Really good one.I’m getting “General variable binding error” index=5.Could you please help me to resolve this .

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