syscheck_control provides an interface for managing and viewing the integrity checking database.

syscheck_control argument options


Display the help message.


List available agents.


List only currently connected agents.


Updates (clear) the database for the agent. If all is used as the AGENT_ID, the syscheck databases for all agents are cleared.


Prints database for the agent.

-r -i

List modified registry entries for the agent (Windows only).

-f <file>

Used with -i. Prints information about a modified file.


Used with -f, zeroes the auto-ignore counter.


Used with -f, ignores that file.


Changes the output to CSV (comma delimited).

syscheck_control example usage

Example 1: Getting a list of modified files for an agent

To retrieve information about files that were monitored by OSSEC and modified after OSSEC was deployed, run syscheck_control -i AGENT_ID.

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

Integrity changes for agent 'ossec-agent (002) -':

Changes for 2009 Dec 21:
2009 Dec 21 13:52:40,0 - /etc/authorization
2009 Dec 21 13:52:42,0 - /etc/cups/printers.conf
2009 Dec 21 13:52:42,0 - /etc/cups/printers.conf.O
2009 Dec 21 13:52:58,0 - /etc/postfix/

Changes for 2010 Jan 04:
2010 Jan 04 10:13:58,0 - /etc/authorization

Changes for 2010 Jan 06:
2010 Jan 06 09:45:43,0 - /etc/postfix/

Changes for 2010 Jan 18:
2010 Jan 18 09:18:51,0 - /etc/cups/printers.conf
2010 Jan 18 09:18:51,0 - /etc/cups/printers.conf.O

Changes for 2010 Feb 23:
2010 Feb 23 09:17:22,2 - /etc/cups/printers.conf
2010 Feb 23 09:17:22,2 - /etc/cups/printers.conf.O

Changes for 2010 Mar 24:
2010 Mar 24 08:42:52,3 - /etc/cups/printers.conf
2010 Mar 24 08:42:52,3 - /etc/cups/printers.conf.O

As you can see this command provides an overview about file modifications.

Example 2: Getting more detailed information about a modified file

If you need to get more detailed information about a file that was modified you can use syscheck_control to view

  • the time stamp when the file was added to the syscheck database

  • the integrity checking values when the file was added to the syscheck database

  • the time stamps when OSSEC detected a modification

  • the integrity checking values for every time OSSEC detected a modification.

The integrity checking values include

  • how often the file has changed

  • file size

  • file permissions

  • owner and group id of the file

  • MD5 and SHA1 hashes of the file.

To retrieve this information, run syscheck_control -i AGENT_ID -f FILENAME:

# /var/ossec/bin/syscheck_control -i 002 -f /etc/authorization

Integrity changes for agent 'ossec-agent (002) -':
Detailed information for entries matching: '/etc/authorization'

2009 Dec 21 13:52:40,0 - /etc/authorization
File added to the database.
Integrity checking values:
   Size: 27771
   Perm: rw-r--r--
   Uid:  0
   Gid:  0
   Md5:  dd62912576ae05d611d7469be809cf1d
   Sha1: 530df0283df52f0152b9e7ce1a518119b06ceebc

2010 Jan 04 10:13:58,0 - /etc/authorization
File changed. - 1st time modified.
Integrity checking values:
   Size: >28050
   Perm: rw-r--r--
   Uid:  0
   Gid:  0
   Md5:  >50da55def41bcede7d42ac5ee8fe12c9
   Sha1: >97f4b2b48a97321a3e245221e0ea4353cf4fa8ef

Example 3: Clearing the syscheck database

To clear the syscheck database for a certain agent run the following command:

# /var/ossec/bin/syscheck_control -u 002

** Integrity check database updated.

syscheck_control -i 002 will now show that no modified files for that agent are in the database:

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

Integrity changes for agent 'ossec-agent (002) -':

** No entries found.

To clear the database for all agents and the server run the following command:

# /var/ossec/bin/syscheck_control -u all

** Integrity check database updated.

The next time syscheck is run, the database will be populated again.