PRTG Manual: EXE/Script Advanced Sensor

The EXE/Script Advanced sensor runs an executable file (.exe) or a script (batch file, VBScript, PowerShell) on the probe system. This option is available as part of the PRTG API.

i_round_redThe return value of this sensor must be valid Extensible Markup Language (XML) or JavaScript Object Notation (JSON).

EXE/Script Advanced Sensor

EXE/Script Advanced Sensor

i_square_cyanFor a detailed list and descriptions of the channels that this sensor can show, see section Channel List.

Sensor in Other Languages

  • Dutch: EXE/Script Geavanceerd
  • French: Script/EXE avancé
  • German: Programm/Skript (Erweitert)
  • Japanese: EXE/スクリプト(アドバンスト)
  • Portuguese: EXE/Script avançado
  • Russian: Расширенный сенсор EXE/скрипта
  • Simplified Chinese: 高级 EXE/脚本
  • Spanish: EXE/Script (avanzado)

Remarks

i_podYou cannot add this sensor to the hosted probe of a PRTG Hosted Monitor instance. If you want to use this sensor, add it to a remote probe device.

Detailed Requirements

Requirement

Description

.NET 4.7.2 or later

This sensor requires .NET 4.7.2 or later to be installed on the probe system (on every cluster node, if on a cluster probe).

i_round_redIf the framework is missing, you cannot create this sensor.

i_square_cyanFor more information, see the Knowledge Base: Which .NET version does PRTG require?

Remote PowerShell

This sensor uses PowerShell commands. To monitor devices with this sensor, Remote PowerShell access must be enabled on the target computer. Also make sure that you have at least PowerShell 3.0 installed on both the probe system and the target system.

i_round_blueIf you receive an error message regarding issues with the WinRM connection, make sure that remote commands have been enabled in PowerShell. For more details, see the Knowledge Base: How do I enable and use remote commands in Windows PowerShell?

Add Sensor

The Add Sensor dialog appears when you manually add a new sensor to a device. It only shows the settings that are required to create the sensor. You can change nearly all settings on the sensor's Settings tab after creation.

Sensor Settings

Setting

Description

EXE/Script

Select an executable file from the list. The sensor executes it with every scanning interval.

The list contains all files in the corresponding \Custom Sensors\EXE subfolder of the PRTG program directory on the probe system. For a file to appear in this list, store the file ending in .bat, .cmd, .exe, .ps1, or .vbs into this subfolder.

i_round_redTo show the expected values and sensor states, your files must return the expected XML or JSON format to standard output. Values and message must be embedded in the XML or JSON.

i_round_redIf you use a PowerShell script (.ps1) and if the PowerShell Security Enhancement experimental feature is enabled, scripts that use the write-host cmdlet to provide their output to PRTG do not work. Use the write-output cmdlet instead.

i_round_redIf you use custom sensors on the cluster probe, copy your files to every cluster node.

i_square_cyanFor detailed information on how to create custom sensors and for the return format, see section Custom Sensors.

Basic Sensor Settings

Click the Settings tab of a sensor to change its settings.

Basic Sensor Settings

Basic Sensor Settings

Setting

Description

Sensor Name

Enter a name to identify the sensor.

Parent Tags

Shows tags that the sensor inherits from its parent device, parent group, and parent probe.

i_round_blueThis setting is for your information only. You cannot change it.

Tags

Enter one or more tags. Confirm each tag with the Spacebar key, a comma, or the Enter key. You can use tags to group objects and use tag-filtered views later on. Tags are not case-sensitive. Tags are automatically inherited.

i_round_blueIt is not possible to enter tags with a leading plus (+) or minus (-) sign, nor tags with parentheses (()) or angle brackets (<>).

i_round_blueFor performance reasons, it can take some minutes until you can filter for new tags that you added.

The sensor has the following default tags that are automatically predefined in the sensor's settings when you add the sensor:

  • xmlexesensor

Priority

Select a priority for the sensor. This setting determines the position of the sensor in lists. The highest priority is at the top of a list. Choose from the lowest priority (i_priority_1) to the highest priority (i_priority_5).

i_round_blueUsually, a sensor connects to the IP Address/DNS Name of the parent device. See the device settings for details. For some sensors, you can explicitly define the monitoring target in the sensor settings.

Credentials for Script Sensors

Click b_inherited_enabled to interrupt the inheritance.

Credentials for Script Sensors

Credentials for Script Sensors

Setting

Description

Placeholder 1 Description

Enter a description for Placeholder 1, for example information about the purpose or content of the placeholder.

Placeholder 1

Enter a value for the placeholder. PRTG inserts the value for the script execution if you add %scriptplaceholder1 in the argument list. PRTG does not display the value in the sensor log or the sensor's settings.

Placeholder 2 Description

Enter a description for Placeholder 2, for example information about the purpose or content of the placeholder.

Placeholder 2

Enter a value for the placeholder. PRTG inserts the value for the script execution if you add %scriptplaceholder2 in the argument list. PRTG does not display the value in the sensor log or the sensor's settings.

Placeholder 3 Description

Enter a description for Placeholder 3, for example information about the purpose or content of the placeholder.

Placeholder 3

Enter a value for the placeholder. PRTG inserts the value for the script execution if you add %scriptplaceholder3 in the argument list. PRTG does not display the value in the sensor log or the sensor's settings.

Placeholder 4 Description

Enter a description for Placeholder 4, for example information about the purpose or content of the placeholder.

Placeholder 4

Enter a value for the placeholder. PRTG inserts the value for the script execution if you add %scriptplaceholder4 in the argument list. PRTG does not display the value in the sensor log or the sensor's settings.

Placeholder 5 Description

Enter a description for Placeholder 5, for example information about the purpose or content of the placeholder.

Placeholder 5

Enter a value for the placeholder. PRTG inserts the value for the script execution if you add %scriptplaceholder5 in the argument list. PRTG does not display the value in the sensor log or the sensor's settings.

Sensor Settings

Sensor Settings

Sensor Settings

Setting

Description

EXE/Script

Shows the executable or script file that the sensor executes with each sensor scan.

i_round_bluePRTG shows this value for reference purposes only. If you need to change this value, add the sensor anew.

Parameters

If your executable or script file catches command-line parameters, you can define them here. You can use placeholders as well. Enter a string or leave the field empty.

i_square_cyanFor a full list of all placeholders, see section Custom Sensors.

i_round_redYou need to escape special characters and whitespaces in your parameters and surround them with double quotes. See section Escape Special Characters and Whitespaces in Parameters for details.

Environment

Select whether PRTG command-line parameters are also available as environment parameters:

  • Default environment: Do not provide values of PRTG placeholders in the environment. Select this secure option if you are not sure.
  • Set placeholders as environment values: From within your executable or script, the values of the PRTG command-line parameters are available via environment variables. For example, you can then read and use the current host value of the parent device from within your script. This option can pose a security risk because credentials are provided in several variables as well.

i_square_cyanFor a full list of all available variables, see section Custom Sensors.

Security Context

Define the Windows user account that the sensor uses to run the executable or script file:

  • Use security context of probe service: Run the file under the same Windows user account that the probe runs under. By default, this is the Windows system user account.
  • Use Windows credentials of parent device: Use the Windows user account in the parent device settings.

Mutex Name

Define a mutual exclusion (mutex) name for the process. Enter a string or leave the field empty.

i_round_bluePRTG executes all EXE/Script sensors that have the same mutex serially, not simultaneously. This is useful if you use a lot of sensors and you want to avoid high resource usage caused by simultaneously running processes.

i_square_cyanSee the Knowledge Base: What is the Mutex Name in the EXE/Script sensor settings?

Timeout (Sec.)

Enter a timeout in seconds for the request. Enter an integer. The maximum timeout value is 900 seconds (15 minutes).

i_round_blueIf the reply takes longer than this value, the sensor cancels the request and shows a corresponding error message.

Result Handling

Define what the sensor does with the result that the executable file gives back:

  • Discard result: Do not store the sensor result.
  • Store result: Store the last sensor result in the \Logs\sensors subfolder of the PRTG data directory on the probe system. The file names are Result of Sensor [ID].txt and Result of Sensor [ID].Data.txt. This setting is for debugging purposes. PRTG overwrites these files with each scanning interval.
  • Store result in case of error: Store the last sensor result only if the sensor shows the Down status.

i_round_blueEnable this option if you do not want failures to be overwritten by a following success of the script.

i_round_blueIn a cluster, PRTG stores the result in the PRTG data directory of the master node.

Sensor Display

Sensor Display

Sensor Display

Setting

Description

Primary Channel

Select a channel from the list to define it as the primary channel. In the device tree, the last value of the primary channel is always displayed below the sensor's name. The available options depend on what channels are available for this sensor.

i_round_blueYou can set a different primary channel later by clicking b_channel_primary below a channel gauge on the sensor's Overview tab.

Graph Type

Define how different channels are shown for this sensor:

  • Show channels independently (default): Show a graph for each channel.
  • Stack channels on top of each other: Stack channels on top of each other to create a multi-channel graph. This generates a graph that visualizes the different components of your total traffic.
    i_round_redYou cannot use this option in combination with manual Vertical Axis Scaling (available in the channel settings).

Stack Unit

This setting is only visible if you enable Stack channels on top of each other as Graph Type. Select a unit from the list. All channels with this unit are stacked on top of each other. By default, you cannot exclude single channels from stacking if they use the selected unit. However, there is an advanced procedure to do so.

i_round_redThe Stack Unit setting for stacking graphs only works if you explicitly define the same <unit> for at least two channels. For detailed information about sensor settings, see section Custom Sensors.

Inherited Settings

By default, all of these settings are inherited from objects that are higher in the hierarchy. We recommend that you change them centrally in the root group settings if necessary. To change a setting for this object only, click b_inherited_enabled under the corresponding setting name to disable the inheritance and to display its options.

i_square_cyanFor more information, see section Inheritance of Settings.

Scanning Interval

Scanning Interval

Scanning Interval

i_square_cyanFor more information, see section Root Group Settings, section Scanning Interval.

Schedules, Dependencies, and Maintenance Window

i_round_blueYou cannot interrupt the inheritance for schedules, dependencies, and maintenance windows. The corresponding settings from the parent objects are always active. However, you can define additional schedules, dependencies, and maintenance windows. They are active at the same time as the parent objects' settings.

Schedules, Dependencies, and Maintenance Window

Schedules, Dependencies, and Maintenance Window

i_square_cyanFor more information, see section Root Group Settings, section Schedules, Dependencies, and Maintenance Window.

Access Rights

Access Rights

Access Rights

i_square_cyanFor more information, see section Root Group Settings, section Access Rights.

Channel Unit Configuration

i_round_blueWhich channel units are available depends on the sensor type and the available parameters. If no configurable channels are available, this field shows No configurable channels.

Channel Unit Configuration

Channel Unit Configuration

i_square_cyanFor more information, see section Root Group Settings, section Channel Unit Configuration.

Escape Special Characters and Whitespaces in Parameters

You need to escape special characters in parameters that you pass to an executable or script and surround them with quotation marks to make sure that the characters are correctly interpreted. PowerShell scripts in particular require adequate escaping so that the parameters are passed in a valid PowerShell syntax. PRTG automatically does most of the escaping for you.

Follow these rules to escape special characters and whitespaces in the parameters fields:

  • Use quotes for parameters that contain whitespaces.

-name "Mr John Q Public"
-name 'Mr John Q Public'

  • Use double quotes for parameters that contain single quotes.

-name "Mr 'John Q' Public"

  • Use single quotes for parameters that contain double quotes.

-name 'Mr "John Q" Public'

  • Use a backslash (\) to escape and pass a literal double quote.

-name pub\"lic

  • Use double quotes for parameters that contain double and single quotes and escape double quotes.

-name "pu'b\"lic"

i_round_blueIn SSH scripts, you can use alphanumeric characters and the special characters ".", "_", "-", "=", and "/" outside of quoted strings.

i_round_blueWe recommend that you do not pass passwords in parameters. Use placeholders instead. See section Custom Sensors for details.

Channel List

i_round_blueWhich channels the sensor actually shows might depend on the target device, the available components, and the sensor setup.

Channel

Description

Downtime

In the channel table on the Overview tab, this channel never shows any values. PRTG uses this channel in graphs and reports to show the amount of time in which the sensor was in the Down status in percent.

[Value]

The values that the executable file or script file returns in several channels

i_square_cyanFor details about the return value format, see section Custom Sensors.

More

i_square_blueKnowledge Base

What is the Mutex Name in the EXE/Script sensor settings?

How can I test if parameters are correctly transmitted to my script when using an EXE/Script sensor?

How can I show special characters with EXE/Script sensors?

Why do I have to store SQL sensor queries and custom scripts in files on the probe computer?

How can I use meta-scans for custom EXE/Script sensors?

Which .NET version does PRTG require?

How do I enable and use remote commands in Windows PowerShell?

What security features does PRTG include?

For which sensor types do you recommend at least Windows Server 2012 R2 and why?

How can I test if parameters are correctly transmitted to my script when using an EXE/Script sensor?