This documentation space contains information about PATROL Agents when deployed in a BMC Helix Operations Management environment. If you are a TrueSight Operations Management user, see PATROL Agent 22.1.

Support for regular expressions

This section describes what metacharacters the PATROL Agent uses for regular expressions and where regular expressions are supported by the agent.

Regular expressions

PATROL Agent supports the limited use of file name metacharacters (UNIX) or wildcards (Windows) while creating regular expressions. Regular expressions enable you to take advantage of naming conventions and other predictable output. With these expressions, you can perform pattern matching based on text strings or numbers.

The size of the regular expression parenthesis has been increased to 29 because PATROL KM for Log Management relies on the MLS library for handling regular expressions.

Components that support regular expressions

PATROL supports regular expressions for the following components:

  • Inclusion/exclusion lists for instances
  • dump_hist utility (command line arguments)
  • Agent configuration variables
    • accessControlList
    • disabledKMs
    • disabledKMsArch

PATROL supports a subset of regular expressions defined by the REGEXP standard (REGEX API). Do not confuse PATROL supported subsets with the regular expressions used by UNIX commands such as grep.

The benefits of using regular expressions includes a reduction in the number of entries required for an exhaustive list of items with uniform naming conventions.

File name metacharacters and wildcards

File name metacharacters, or wildcards as they are referred to in Windows, describe all the variations of a given pattern.These characters do not match themselves. Instead, they describe the repetition and occurrence of other characters or groups of characters.

Wildcards supported by PATROL regular expressions

SymbolDescriptionExamplePossible results

Match any single characteruser.user1, users

Match the preceding element (group of characters or number) zero or more timesb*" " (empty string), b, bbbb
host.*host, hostname, host_45

Match the preceding element zero or one time5?" " (empty string), 5
user.?user, users, user5

Match the preceding element one or more timesz+z, zzz, zzzzzz
admin.+administrator, admin1
Character classes

[ ]
Match enclosed characters. Commas (,) separate individual characters. Hyphens (-) indicate alphabetic and numeric ranges.[parm90:a,b][parm90:2-5]a2,a3, b4
.*[parm90:3,5,7]host_3, host_5, admin7

Match at end of lineterminate\.$(all lines that end with "terminate.")

Match at start of line^[parm90:eE]rror(all lines that begin with "Error" or "error")

Match beginning of word\<lload, level, limit

Match end of wordx\>fax, hex, box
Escape and group
\Escape a wildcard character so that the expression uses its literal value in comparisonslicense\..*license.nt_server, license.bsmith, licence.

( )
Group regular expressions and determine the order of precedence(ERRMSG.?)*^ w.? generatedERRMSG 44789 ERRMSG 78943 ERRMSG 89991 were generated

Using character classes

The square brackets construct specifies a set of characters (a character class) of which one matches. Character classes consist of text characters, integers, and whitespace characters.


The following examples display a number of ways to employ character classes to create a variety of patterns:




Matches any 2-digit number beginning with a 1 such as 11, 15, 18


Matches any 2-digit number beginning with 1, 2 or 3 such as 10, 39, 24

[2,4,6][a,b,z] a

Matches any 2-digit alphanumeric character beginning with 2, 4, or 6 and ending in a, b, or z, such as 2z, 4a, 6b, 6z


Matches any uppercase or lowercase letter, such as a Y k L

[eE] mail

Matches capitalized and lowercase occurrences of the word "email"

a   Do not enter the comma (,) when specifying the character class.

Using quantifiers (*, ?, +)

The quantifiers specify how many instances of the previous element can match. The expression .* instructs the system to match any single character (represented by the period .) any number of times (represented by the asterisk *). Using patterns before and after quantifiers makes the search more precise. This concept is similar to searching for words based on prefixes and suffixes in English.


The following examples display a number of ways to employ quantifiers to create a variety of patterns:




Matches any string of zero or more "e"s such as an empty string, e, eee


Matches any string of one or more "1"s such as 1, 111, 1111111


Matches any string that begins with "admin" and contains zero or more characters such as administrator, admin_1, admin-bsmith, admin.


Matches any string that begins with "NT" and contains at least one or more characters such as administrator, NT_CPU, NTkm_version, NT_, but not NT.


Matches any string that begins with "admin" and contains zero or one more character such as admin, admin1, admin2, adminZ


Matches any string that begins with an e and ends with Houston such as email_administrator-Houston, ebiz-Houston, ecommerce security advisor in Houston


Matches any string that begins with zero or one occurrences of any character and ends with "Smith" such as BSmith, 1Smith, _Smith, Smith

Using anchors

The anchors specify a position within a string. They are used in conjunction with quantifiers and character classes to find patterns in a specific location.


The following examples display a number of ways to employ anchors to create a variety of patterns. The anchor examples use character classes and quantifiers to make them more meaningful.




Matches any line that begins with "a", "b", or "c" such as a Abort?; Bad disk please insert a valid disk; clusters verified = 231


Matches any line that ends with a period (.)


Matches any word that begins with an upper or lower case letter "s" such as system, Security, storage


Matches any word that ends in "_server" such as oracle8_server, sql-test_server, nt_server

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