The Agent Installer requires microservices configuration performed by AppDynamics. Configurations are rolled out gradually to SaaS Controllers as of June 8, 2020.

The AppDynamics Agent Installer simplifies deployment to help you instrument your applications faster. You can manage applications instrumented with the Agent Installer with minimal code changes in Monitoring Settings.

The Agent Installer:

  • Deploys Java and Machine Agents, and is compatible with Linux 
  • Automatically instruments applications 
  • Assigns unique names to tiers and nodes

You can deploy other agents using the Getting Started Wizard. 

Agent Installer Overview

The Agent Installer works with the following items:

  • Agent Installer - Executable installer inside the appdynamics-zero-agent-<version>.zip. file (representing the Agent Installer Platform). The Agent Installer installs the Agent Installer Platform with Java and Machine Agents on a system. Access the installer in the Controller UI.
  • Decorator - Library responsible for automatically instrumenting new processes with AppDynamics APM agents. The library auto-instruments the application and auto-names tiers and nodes for the Controller.
  • Agent Installer Platform - Software bundle that manages the Decorator, Java Agent, and Machine Agent. Enables automatic instrumentation and reports the status of various processes to the Controller UI. Collective term for the decorator, agent daemon, agent binaries.
  • Downloader - Script ( that downloads individual zip files containing the Java, Machine (if applicable), and Agent Installer Platform.

Agent Installer Requirements

The Agent Installer requires the following components, permissions, and supported environments. 

AppDynamics Components

  • The Agent Installer requires SaaS Controller version 20.6.0 and later. 
  • You also need sufficient APM licenses to use the Java and Machine Agents. No additional license is required for the Agent Installer Platform. 
  • Access to your specific AppDynamics-related URL: <customername>*
  • Access to the AppDynamics download files site:*

Agent Installer Permission

To use the Agent Installer, you need Install Agent account-level permission and at least one of the following:

  • Any default role
  • Any application-level permission
  • Any dashboard permission
  • Execute Workflow account-level permission

Install Agent permission is not added to any default role. See Roles and Permissions for information on creating roles.

Supported Environments

This table lists the Agent Installer supported environments:

Agent Installer Supported Environments
Operating System

Linux (64 bit). Fully tested flavors:

  • CentOS 7, 8
  • Rhel 7, 8
  • Ubuntu 18.04
  • Fedora 31
  • Debian 10

Other Linux operating systems and versions should work but are not certified by AppDynamics. 

  • Open JDK 1.6 and later
  • Oracle JDK 1.7 and later
  • IBM JDK 1.6 and later
Application Server
  • Apache Tomcat
  • Jboss Wildfly
  • GlassFish
  • Websphere
  • Weblogic

Available Agents with the Agent Installer

The Agent Installer deploys the Agent Installer Platform, which downloads app server agents to your machine. You can install: 

  • Java Agent version 4.5.15 and later
  • Machine Agent version 4.5.15 and later

See Java Supported Environments and Machine Agent Requirements and Supported Environments regarding Java and Machine Agent version compatibility. 

The limit for the number of active agent registrations per account is 1000.

Use the Agent Installer to Deploy an Agent

To use the Agent Installer to deploy an agent:

  1. From the Controller UI, select Home > Agent Installer.
  2. From the Specify Application to Deploy to dropdown, select an existing application, or select New application and enter its name.  

    Application names cannot contain a single quotation mark (').

  3. Download and run the Agent Installer using either an express installation or a custom installation method.

Express Installation Method

  1. The Express installation method is selected as the default. With minimal effort, you can download and install the latest version of all available agents.  
  2. Copy and run the first command to download the latest available agents.  

  3. Select script icon (top right corner of the second command) to copy and run the second command to install the agents. Additionally, you can select Show command to reveal the full command with your access key.

  4. Restart the application processes you want to monitor. 
  5. Click Next to continue with the instrumentation. 

After you finish installing the agents, you are redirected to the Monitoring Settings tab to view instrumented tiers and nodes. 

Custom Installation Method

  1. Select Custom installation
  2. Select the Java and or Machine Agent(s) you want to install. 

    You must select at least one agent to proceed with the installation.

  3. The default version displays next to the selected agent(s). You can edit the version from the corresponding dropdown. A command based on the agent(s) you selected is generated. 

  4. Copy and run the command into your terminal or automated tools. 
  5. Determine how to run the Agent Installer by setting user permissions:
    • Select Instrument processes for all system users (requires sudo access) to run the Agent Installer with sudo permission and enable the Agent Installer Platform for all users on the host.

    • Select Instrument processes for an individual user to run the Agent Installer without sudo permission and enable the Agent Installer Platform for the current user only. 
      See Sudo vs. Non-Sudo Access for more information. 

  6. After confirming the user installation permissions, select script icon (top right corner of the command) to copy and run the command. To reveal the full command with your access key, select Show command.

    When you run the command on a designated host, the agent files download onto that host only. To install agents on multiple hosts, select Run the Agent Installer on Multiple Hosts.

  7. Restart the application processes you want to monitor. 

  8. Click Next to continue with the instrumentation.

After you finish installing the agents, you are redirected to the Monitoring Settings tab to view instrumented tiers and nodes. 

Sudo vs. Non-Sudo Access

You can run the Agent Installer with or without sudo permission.

AppDynamics recommends using the sudo command to install the agents for all users in your system. 

This table describes the differences between sudo and non-sudo installations:

sudo Installation

Non-sudo Installation

DescriptionInstalls the agents on all supported processes for all users in your system.Installs the agents for the current user only.
Automatic Instrumentation ProcessBy default, integrates with systemd to ensure the agents always run. See Customize Agent Installer to override this behavior.Auto-instruments processes that are started by the installing user, running under a Linux shell such as bash.
Agent Compatibility

Works for Java and Java/Machine Agent bundle.

Works for Java Agent only; Machine Agent is not supported.

Run the Agent Installer on Multiple Hosts 

You can download the Agent Installer once and run on multiple hosts. To install the agent bundle across multiple hosts, distribute the binaries to all applicable machines. 

For example, the following steps show how to move files across hosts using the tar command. 

  1. Download the agent bundle (see Use the Agent Installer to Deploy an Agent). 
  2. Distribute the Agent Installer to multiple hosts. 
    1. Make sure you are in the same directory in which you downloaded the agent bundle. 
    2. Use the tar command to place the script in a single file:

      tar cvf zero-agent.tar * 
    3. Copy the file to multiple hosts:

      scp zero-agent.tar <target host>:<directory>
    4. Extract the archived script in the same directory:

      tar xvf zero-agent.tar
  3. Complete the Agent Installer deployment using the custom installation method.

Upgrade the Agent Installer

Before you can upgrade the Java and Machine Agents (which run through the Agent Installer), you must first uninstall your current agents. In the terminal, navigate to the directory where the Agent Installer Platform is installed and run the following command:

<install-directory>/bin/zeroctl uninstall

You can now install the new versions of the Java and Machine Agents with the Agent Installer. 

Customize Agent Installer

See Customize Agent Installer to modify the agent configuration.