SSH Probe

Execute a command via a remote SSH shell.

Identification and Properties

Probe Type ID: ssh


Name Type Default value Description.
host string 'localhost' to host to connect onto to execute the commands.
username string (none) the username to use to log onto host to execute the commands.
password string (none) the username‘s password on host.
timeout float 5.0 the maximum amount of time, in s, allowed to __start__ executing the command on host. Includes the SSH login sequence.
convert_eol boolean True if set to True, convert \r\n in output to \n. This way, the templates are compatible with ProbeExec.
working_dir string (none) the diretory to go to before executing the command line. By default, the working dir is the login directory (usually the home dir).
strict_host boolean True if set to False, the probe removes the target host from $HOME/.ssh/known_hosts to avoid failing when connecting to an updated host. Otherwise, the connection fails if the SSH key changed.
max_line_length integer 150 the max number of characters before splitting a line over multiple lines with a -based continuation. Currently the splitting algorithm is pretty dumb and may split your command line in the middle of a quoted argument, possibly changing its actual value. Increasing this size may be a workaround in such cases.


This probe implements a single shot command execution interface (the same as ProbeExec) through SSH.

Basically you just specify a command to execute that will be executed within a shell, and you get a response once its execution is over. The response contains both an integer return code and the whole command output.

If you consider the command execution is too long (no response received), you can cancel it at any time from the userland. Such a cancellation terminates all the subprocess tree with a SIGKILL signal. Once cancelled, you should not expect a command response anymore.

No interaction is possible during the command execution.

Like ProbeExec, this probe is not re-entrant and is only able to execute one command at a time. You can execute another one (using the ExecCommand execute message template) only when the previous command execution was either complete (i.e. you received a ExecResponse message) or cancelled via a ExecCommand cancel command (no response in this case).

If you need to execute multiple commands in parallel, you should use multiple probes - consider that each one is as if you had one open ssh terminal connection to your SUT.


  • When starting daemons from this probe, make sure that your daemon correctly closes standard output, otherwise the probe never detects the command as being complete. For poorly written daemonized programs, adding a >/dev/null 2>&1 in the execute command line is usually enough to make the probe return in such cases.


All POSIX platforms. Windows platforms are not supported.


Requires a ssh client installed on the machine running the probe, as it is only a wrapper over it.

See Also

  • Local Execution Probe, implementing the same port type for local execution (convenient when you have no SSH access to your machine, but you must deploy an agent on it)
  • Local Interactive Execution Probe, to run a command line program and interact with it (CLI testing, etc)

TTCN-3 Types Equivalence

The test system interface port bound to such a probe complies with the ExecPortType port type as specified below:

type union ExecCommand
  charstring execute,
  anytype    cancel

type record ExecResponse
  integer status,
  charstring output

type charstring ErrorResponse;

type port ExecPortType message
  in  ExecCommand;
  out ExecResponse, ErrorResponse;