Command Line

The command_line binary sensor platform issues specific commands to get data.


To use your Command binary sensor in your installation, add the following to your configuration.yaml file:

# Example configuration.yaml entry
  - platform: command_line
    command: "cat /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward"

It’s highly recommended to enclose the command in single quotes ' as it ensures all characters can be used in the command and reduces the risk of unintentional escaping. To include a single quote in a command enclosed in single quotes, double it: ''.

Configuration Variables

command string Required

The action to take to get the value.

name string (Optional)

Let you overwrite the name of the device.


name from the device

device_class string (Optional)

Sets the class of the device, changing the device state and icon that is displayed on the frontend.

payload_on string (Optional, default: ON)

The payload that represents enabled state.

payload_off string (Optional, default: OFF)

The payload that represents disabled state.

value_template string (Optional)

Defines a template to extract a value from the payload.

scan_interval integer (Optional, default: 60)

Defines number of seconds for polling interval.

command_timeout integer (Optional, default: 15)

Defines number of seconds for command timeout.

unique_id string (Optional)

An ID that uniquely identifies this binary sensor. Set this to a unique value to allow customization through the UI.


The command is executed within the configuration directory.

If you are using Home Assistant Operating System, the commands are executed in the homeassistant container context. So if you test or debug your script, it might make sense to do this in the context of this container to get the same runtime environment.

With a 0 exit code, the output (stdout) of the command is used as value. In case a command results in a non 0 exit code or is terminated by the command_timeout, the result is only logged to Home Assistant log and the sensors value is not updated.


In this section you find some real-life examples of how to use this sensor.


Check the state of an SickRage instance.

# Example configuration.yaml entry
  - platform: command_line
    command: 'netstat -na | find "33322" | find /c "LISTENING" > nul && (echo "Running") || (echo "Not running")'
    name: "sickragerunning"
    device_class: moving
    payload_on: "Running"
    payload_off: "Not running"

Check RasPlex

Check if RasPlex is online.

  - platform: command_line
    command: 'ping -c 1 rasplex.local | grep "1 received" | wc -l'
    name: "is_rasplex_online"
    device_class: connectivity
    payload_on: 1
    payload_off: 0

An alternative solution could look like this:

  - platform: command_line
    name: Printer
    command: 'ping -W 1 -c 1 > /dev/null 2>&1 && echo success || echo fail'
    device_class: connectivity
    payload_on: "success"
    payload_off: "fail"

Consider to use the ping sensor as an alternative to the samples above.

Check if a system service is running

The services running is listed in /etc/systemd/system and can be checked with the systemctl command:

$ systemctl is-active [email protected]
$ sudo service [email protected] stop
$ systemctl is-active [email protected]

A binary command line sensor can check this:

  - platform: command_line
    command: '/bin/systemctl is-active [email protected]'
    payload_on: "active"
    payload_off: "inactive"


Available services: reload.

Service command_line.reload

Reload all command_line entities.

This service takes no service data attributes.