PRTG Manual: Python Script Advanced Sensor

The Python Script Advanced sensor executes a Python script on the probe system (local probe or remote probe). This option is provided as part of the PRTG application programming interface (API). The return value of this sensor must be valid JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) or Extensible Markup Language (XML).

The sensor can show the following:

  • Values returned by the Python script in multiple channels
Python Script Advanced Sensor

Python Script Advanced Sensor

Sensor in Other Languages

Dutch: Python Script Geavanceerd, French: Paramètres du capteur avancé, German: Python-Skript (Erweitert), Japanese: Python スクリプト(上級), Portuguese: Script Python Avançado, Russian: Настройки расширенного сенсора, Simplified Chinese: Python 脚本高级, Spanish: Secuencia de comandos Python avanzada

Remarks

  • You must store the script file on the system of the probe where you create the sensor: If used on a remote probe, you must store the file on the system running the remote probe. In a cluster setup, copy the file to every cluster node.
  • This sensor does not officially support more than 50 channels.
  • Print commands in the Python script are not supported and lead to an invalid JSON result.
  • Exceptions in the script are not supported.
  • Sensor channel values greater than 2^62 are not supported.
  • The timeout of the sensor is its scanning interval minus 1 second. Ensure that your Python script does not run longer than this.
  • For best sensor usage, we recommend that the return value is JSON encoded.
  • We recommend Windows 2012 R2 on the probe system for best performance of this sensor.

icon-prtg-on-demandYou cannot add this sensor to the Hosted Probe of a PRTG hosted by Paessler instance. If you want to use this sensor, add it to a remote probe device.

Limited to 50 Sensor Channels

icon-i-bluePRTG does not officially support more than 50 sensor channels. Depending on the data used with this sensor, you might exceed the maximum number of supported sensor channels. In this case, PRTG tries to display all sensor channels. Be aware, however, that you experience limited usability and performance.

Add Sensor

The Add Sensor dialog appears when you manually add a new sensor to a device. It only shows the setting fields that are required for creating the sensor. Therefore, you do not see all setting fields in this dialog. You can change (nearly) all settings in the sensor's Settings tab later.

The following settings in the Add Sensor dialog differ in comparison to the sensor's Settings tab.

Sensor Settings

Python Script

Select a Python script from the list. The sensor executes it with every scanning interval.

This list shows all Python script files available in the \Custom Sensors\python subdirectory of the probe system's PRTG program directory (see Data Storage). For the files to appear in this list, store the files in this folder ending in .py. To show the expected values and sensor status, your files must return the expected XML or JSON format to standard output. Values and message must be embedded in the XML or JSON. We recommend JSON-encoded return values.

icon-book-arrowsFor detailed information on how to build custom sensors and for the expected return format, see section Custom Sensors.

icon-i-round-redWhen using custom sensors on the Cluster Probe, copy your files to every cluster node installation.

Sensor Settings

On the details page of a sensor, click the Settings tab to change its settings.

icon-i-roundUsually, a sensor connects to the IP Address or DNS Name of the parent device on which you created the sensor. See the Device Settings for details. For some sensors, you can explicitly define the monitoring target in the sensor settings. See below for details on available settings.

Basic Sensor Settings

Sensor Name

Enter a meaningful name to identify the sensor. By default, PRTG shows this name in the device tree, as well as in alarms, logs, notifications, reports, maps, libraries, and tickets.

Parent Tags

Shows Tags that this sensor inherits from its parent device, group, and probe. This setting is shown for your information only and cannot be changed here.

Tags

Enter one or more Tags, separated by spaces or commas. You can use tags to group sensors and use tag–filtered views later on. Tags are not case sensitive. We recommend that you use the default value.

There are default tags that are automatically predefined in a sensor's settings when you add a sensor. See section Default Tags below.

You can add additional tags to the sensor if you like. Other tags are automatically inherited from objects further up in the device tree. These are visible above as Parent Tags.

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

Priority

Select a priority for the sensor. This setting determines where the sensor is placed in sensor lists. A sensor with a top priority is at the top of a list. Choose from one star (low priority) to five stars (top priority).

Default Tags

pythonxml, python, xml, json, script

Sensor Settings

Python Script

Shows the Python script file that the sensor executes with each scan as defined at sensor creation. Once you have created the sensor, you cannot change this value. It is shown for reference purposes only. If you need to change this value, add the sensor anew.

Security Context

Define the Windows user account that the sensor uses to run the Python interpreter:

  • Use security context of probe service: Run the selected file under the same Windows user account that the probe runs on. By default, this is the Windows system user account (if not manually changed).
  • Use Windows credentials of parent device: Use the Windows user account defined in the settings of the parent device on which you create this sensor. You can change these Windows credentials in the parent device settings of this sensor.

Device Credentials

Define if you want to transmit device credentials to the Python script. PRTG adds the device credentials to the JSON object that is passed to the script as command-line parameter. You can change these Windows credentials in the parent device settings of this sensor. Choose between:

  • Do not transmit device credentials: No device credentials are transmitted to the script.
  • Transmit Windows credentials: Windows credentials are transmitted to the script.
  • Transmit Linux credentials: Linux credentials are transmitted to the script.
  • Transmit SNMP credentials: SNMP credentials are transmitted to the script.
  • Transmit all device credentials: Windows, Linux, and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) credentials are all trasmitted to the script.

icon-i-roundAll parameters are transmitted in plain text.

Additional Parameters

Define additional parameters to add to the JSON object that is passed to the script as command-line parameter. Enter a string or leave the field empty.

icon-i-roundAll parameters are transmitted in plain text.

Mutex Name

Define any desired mutual exclusion (mutex) name for the process. All script sensors that have the same mutex name are executed serially (not simultaneously). This is useful if you use a lot of sensors and want to avoid high resource usage caused by processes running simultaneously. Enter a string or leave the field empty.

icon-book-bulbFor more details, see the Knowledge Base: What is the Mutex Name in the PRTG EXE/Script Sensor settings?

Debug Options

Sensor Result

Define what PRTG does with the sensor results:

  • Discard sensor result: Do not store the sensor result.
  • Write sensor result to disk (File name: Result of Sensor [ID].txt): Store the last result received from the sensor to the Logs (Sensors) subfolder of the PRTG data directory on the probe system that the sensor runs on (on the Master node if in a cluster). File names: Result of Sensor [ID].txt and Result of Sensor [ID].Data.txt. This is for debugging purposes. PRTG overwrites these files with each scanning interval.
    For more information on how to find the folder used for storage, see section Data Storage.

icon-prtg-on-demandThis option is not available when the sensor runs on the Hosted Probe of a PRTG hosted by Paessler instance.

icon-i-roundYou can use Write sensor result to disk to inspect the passed JSON object that contains all parameters (PRTG on premises only). This way, you can find out which key you can access when you script.

icon-i-roundTransmitted passwords are masked in the logfile.

Sensor Display

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.

icon-i-roundYou can set a different primary channel later by clicking the pin symbol of a channel 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.
    icon-i-roundThis option cannot be used in combination with manual Vertical Axis Scaling (available in the Sensor Channel Settings settings).

Stack Unit

This field 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.

Inherited Settings

By default, all of the following settings are inherited from objects that are higher in the hierarchy and should be changed there if necessary. Often, best practice is to change them centrally in the Root group's settings. For more information, see section Inheritance of Settings. To change a setting for this object only, disable inheritance by clicking the button next to inherit from under the corresponding setting name. You then see the options described below.

Scanning Interval

Click inherited_settings_button to interrupt the inheritance. See section Inheritance of Settings for more information.

Scanning Interval

Select a scanning interval (seconds, minutes, or hours). The scanning interval determines the amount of time that the sensor waits between two scans. You can change the available intervals in the system administration on PRTG on premises installations.

If a Sensor Query Fails

Define the number of scanning intervals that the sensor has time to reach and check a device again in case a sensor query fails. Depending on the option that you select, the sensor can try to reach and check a device again several times before the sensor shows a Down status. This can avoid false alarms if the monitored device only has temporary issues. For previous scanning intervals with failed requests, the sensor shows a Warning status. Choose from:

  • Set sensor to down immediately: Set the sensor to a Down status immediately after the first failed request.
  • Set sensor to warning for 1 interval, then set to down (recommended): Set the sensor to a Warning status after the first failed request. If the following request also fails, the sensor shows an error.
  • Set sensor to warning for 2 intervals, then set to down: Set the sensor to a Down status only after three consecutively failed requests.
  • Set sensor to warning for 3 intervals, then set to down: Set the sensor to a Down status only after four consecutively failed requests.
  • Set sensor to warning for 4 intervals, then set to down: Set the sensor to a Down status only after five consecutively failed requests.
  • Set sensor to warning for 5 intervals, then set to down: Set the sensor to a Down status only after six consecutively failed requests.

icon-i-roundSensors that monitor via Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) always wait at least one scanning interval before they show a Down status. It is not possible to immediately set a WMI sensor to a Down status, so the first option does not apply to these sensors. All other options can apply.

icon-i-roundIf you define error limits for a sensor's channels, the sensor immediately shows a Down status. No "wait" option applies.

icon-i-roundIf a channel uses lookup values, the sensor immediately shows a Down status. No "wait" options apply.

Schedules, Dependencies, and Maintenance Window

icon-i-roundYou 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 settings here. They are active at the same time as the parent objects' settings.

Schedule

Select a schedule from the list. Schedules can be used to monitor for a certain time span (days or hours) every week.

icon-book-arrowsYou can create schedules, edit schedules, or pause monitoring for a specific time span. For more information, see section Account Settings—Schedules.

icon-i-roundSchedules are generally inherited. New schedules are added to existing schedules, so all schedules are active at the same time.

Maintenance Window

Specify if you want to set up a one-time maintenance window. During a maintenance window, the current object and all child objects are not monitored. They are in a Paused status instead. Choose between:

  • Not set (monitor continuously): No maintenance window is set and monitoring is always active.
  • Set up a one-time maintenance window: Pause monitoring within a maintenance window. You can define a time span for a monitoring pause below and change it even for a currently running maintenance window.

icon-i-roundTo terminate a current maintenance window before the defined end date, change the time entry in Maintenance Ends to a date in the past.

Maintenance Begins

This field is only visible if you enable Set up a one-time maintenance window above. Use the date time picker to enter the start date and time of the maintenance window.

Maintenance Ends

This field is only visible if you enable Set up a one-time maintenance window above. Use the date time picker to enter the end date and time of the maintenance window.

Dependency Type

Define a dependency type. You can use dependencies to pause monitoring for an object depending on the status of another object. You can choose from:

  • Use parent: Use the dependency type of the parent object.
  • Select a sensor: Use the dependency type of the parent object. Additionally, pause the current object if another specific sensor is in a Down status or in a Paused status caused by another dependency.
  • Master sensor for parent: Make this sensor the master object for its parent device. The sensor influences the behavior of its parent device: If the sensor is in a Down status, the device is paused. For example, it is a good idea to make a Ping sensor the master object for its parent device to pause monitoring for all other sensors on the device in case the device cannot even be pinged. Additionally, the sensor is paused if the parent group is paused by another dependency.

icon-i-roundTo test your dependencies, select Simulate Error Status from the context menu of an object that other objects depend on. A few seconds later, all dependent objects are paused. You can check all dependencies under Devices | Dependencies in the main menu bar.

Dependency

This field is only visible if you enable Select a sensor above. Click the Search button and use the object selector to select a sensor on which the current object will depend.

Dependency Delay (Sec.)

This field is only visible if you enable Select a sensor above. Define a time span in seconds for dependency delay.

After the master sensor for this dependency comes back to an Up status, monitoring of the dependent objects is additionally delayed by the defined time span. This can help avoid false alarms, for example, after a server restart, by giving systems more time for all services to start up. Enter an integer value.

icon-i-round-redThis setting is not available if you set this sensor to Use parent or to be the Master sensor for parent. In this case, define delays in the parent Device Settings or in its parent Group Settings.

Access Rights

Click inherited_settings_button to interrupt the inheritance. See section Inheritance of Settings for more information.

User Group Access

Define the user groups that have access to the selected object. A table with user groups and types of access rights is shown. It contains all user groups from your setup. For each user group, you can choose from the following access rights:

  • Inherited: Use the access rights settings of the parent object.
  • None: Users in this group cannot see or edit the object. The object neither shows up in lists nor in the device tree. Exception: If a child object is visible to the user, the object is visible in the device tree but it cannot be accessed.
  • Read: Users in this group can see the object and review its monitoring results.
  • Write: Users in this group can see the object, review its monitoring results, and edit its settings. They cannot edit access rights settings.
  • Full: Users in this group can see the object, review its monitoring results, edit its settings, and edit access rights settings.

You can create new user groups in the System Administration—User Groups settings. To automatically set all objects further down in the hierarchy to inherit this object's access rights, set a check mark for the Revert children's access rights to inherited option.

icon-book-arrowsFor more details on access rights, see section User Access Rights.

Channel Unit Configuration

Click inherited_settings_button to interrupt the inheritance. See section Inheritance of Settings for more information.

Channel Unit Types

For each type of sensor channel, define the unit in which data is displayed. If defined on probe, group, or device level, these settings can be inherited to all sensors underneath. You can set units for the following channel types (if available):

  • Bandwidth
  • Memory
  • Disk
  • File
  • Custom

icon-i-roundCustom channel types can be set on sensor level only.

More

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

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

Edit Sensor Channels

To change display settings, spike filtering, and limits, switch to the sensor's Overview tab and click the gear icon of a specific channel. For detailed information, see section Sensor Channel Settings.

Notification Triggers

Click the Notification Triggers tab to change notification triggers. For detailed information, see section Sensor Notification Triggers Settings.

Others

For more general information about settings, see section Object Settings.

Sensor Settings Overview

For information about sensor settings, see the following sections: