Windows things

Working with Windows is a bit different from what most of us are probably used to since there is no package manager to delegate installation to and services behave a bit differently. Here is a collection of things that might come in handy when working with installation and agent role.

Adding new Sensu Go version manually

As already state, Windows has no built-in package manager backed by a repository, which means we have to do a bit more work when installing packages. And this is why our installation role contains a few pieces of information about the available Sensu Go agent packages.

We can add a new version of Sensu Go for Windows using the following steps:

  1. Find the version and build we are interested in on packagecloud.

  2. Download the x64 and x86 msi files from the download page. Use the download URL from the installation guide as a base and adjust as needed.

  3. Extract product codes from the msi packages (document author used orca msi editor, would be very much interested in a PowerShell script).

  4. Add a new entry to the roles/install/vars/Windows.yml file.

Automating version sync

Because manually extracting the product code from the msi archive is not something we would like to devote our lives to, we created a script that knows how to do two things:

  1. It can check if the variable file is missing any upstream versions.

  2. It can automatically update the Windows variable file.

To check for the missing versions in out current file, we can run the following command:

$ tools/ check roles/install/vars/Windows.yml
The following versions are missing:,,
The following versions are obsolete:,

This command will check if our variable file contains any outdated versions and if it is missing any new versions Sensu released since our last update. The command also exits with a non-zero status if action is required, which is great for CI/CD usage.

We also added the common invocation to the Makefile, which makes running check as simple as:

$ make check_windows_versions

Once we know our variables and upstream availability diverged, we can run the update command to get things back in sync:

$ tools/ update roles/install/vars/Windows.yml

This command will download any missing packages, extract product codes from them, and update the variable file. By default, temporary files are put ino the /tmp directory, but this is configurable via the --cache command-line switch.

As with the check command, we also added the common invocation to the Makefile, which allows us to update the variable file with a simple make run:

$ make update_windows_versions


The update process needs msiinfo executable. The package should be available for most mainstream Linux distributions.

Once the update is over, we must commit the changes to the variable file and we are done.