The agent_control tool allows you to query and get information from any agent you have configured on your server and it also allows you to restart (run now) the syscheck/rootcheck scan on any agent.

Enabling active response will be necessary to start scans remotely and possibly other functions.

agent_control argument options


Display the help message


List available (active or not) agents


List active agents

-i <agent_id>

Extracts information from an agent

-R <agent_id>

Restarts the OSSEC processes on the agent


Requires active response to be enabled.


Run the integrity/rootcheck checking on agents. Must be utilized with agent_control -a or agent_control -u


Requires active response to be enabled.


Utilizes all agents.

-u <agent_id>

<agent_id> that will perform the requested action.

agent_control example usage

Example 1: Listing all active agents

The first interesting argument is agent_control -lc, to list the connected (active agents). To list all of them, use agent_control -l only.

# /var/ossec/bin/agent_control -lc
OSSEC HIDS agent_control. List of available agents:
ID: 000, Name: (server), IP:, Active/Local
ID: 002, Name: winhome, IP:, Active
ID: 005, Name: jul, IP:, Active
ID: 165, Name: esqueleto2, IP:, Active
ID: 174, Name: lili3win, IP:, Active

Example 2: Querying information from agent 002

To query an agent, just use the agent_control -i option followed by the agent id.

# /var/ossec/bin/agent_control -i 002

OSSEC HIDS agent_control. Agent information:
Agent ID: 002
Agent Name: winhome
IP address:
Status: Active

Operating system: Microsoft Windows XP Professional (Build 2600)
Client version: OSSEC HIDS v1.5-SNP-080412
Last keep alive: Fri Apr 25 14:33:03 2008

Syscheck last started at: Fri Apr 25 05:07:13 2008
Rootcheck last started at: Fri Apr 25 09:04:12 2008

Example 3: Executing syscheck and rootcheck scan immediately

To execute the syscheck/rootcheck scan immediately, use the agent_control -r option followed by the agent_control -u with the agent id.

# /var/ossec/bin/agent_control -r -u 000

OSSEC HIDS agent_control: Restarting Syscheck/Rootcheck locally.