Creating Plixer maps

When creating a Plixer map, the user is presented with the following options:

  • Settings

    • Name: The name given to the map. It can be changed later.
    • Pass Status: If some maps are intended to be submaps, the status can be passed to another ‘Parent’ map that contains an icon representing the lower map. This in effect will cause the icon color status of the Parent to change. The status of an icon is determined by CrossCheck which considers multiple factors.
    • Auto-add Devices (RegEx): This option is used to add similar devices quickly using regular expressions. For example, if a number of IP addresses resolve to host names that all contain the text ‘company.local’, this can be entered here. When Save is clicked, all devices that resolve to a host name containing this text will automatically be added to the map.
    • Truncate Map Labels on: Sometimes the icon labels can contain excessive amounts of text. Often times, a portion of the trailing text on each icon can be omitted. Enter the text here that shouldn’t be displayed.
  • Objects

    • Add/Remove objects: Use this window to move Available objects from the right side to the Members section on the left. Multiple objects can be selected by holding down the shift or CTRL key. Use the filter on the left to quickly locate objects. The search can be performed by IP address or host name by clicking on the button below the filter.
    • New: Non-flow sending objects can be added to the maps. IP addresses are optional (E.g. text box).

Form fields for Object Type > Icon are:

  • Icon: Use the arrow keys on the key board to scroll through the different icon options.
  • Label: This names the object and displays in the maps and groups listings.
  • IP Address: By default, the optional IP address is polled every 60 seconds.
  • Primary Status: The Primary Status indicator is the largest colored portion of the icon.
  • Link: The web site that is launched when the icon is clicked in the map.
  • Additional notes: Help the user understand what the object represents.

Form fields for Object Type > Text Box are:

  • Label: Name of the object, displays in the maps and groups listings.
  • Shape: Select Rectangle, Circle, Polygon
  • # of Sides: (Polygon only) Select from 3 - 10 sides for the polygon shape.
  • Height (px) / Width (px): (Rectangle only) Define the height and width of the rectangle in pixels.
  • Radius (px): (Circle and Polygon): Define the size of the shape in pixels.
  • Color: Click on the box to open the color palette to choose the Text Box color.
  • Type: Choose from Text or Background text box type.
  • Link: The web site that is launched when the text box is clicked in the map.
  • Connections

Connections change color based on the utilization settings found in Admin tab > Settings > System Preferences and require that an interface speed was collected from, or defined for, the device. Without an interface speed, the connection will stay blue. The arrow on a connection represents the highest flow direction in the last five minutes.

When a map is in view mode, clicking on a link will launch a report showing the last 5 minutes in the highest utilized direction (I.e. inbound or outbound). Connections using a Saved Report are based on the inbound value for that report.

  • Connections: Click this button to list all of the configured connections with options to either delete or edit a connection. i

  • Create: Links between devices and objects can be connected using interfaces, saved filters, or a simple black line.

    1. Select a ‘From’ device
    2. The Type of connection
    3. Fill out the additional options
    4. Then select the ‘To’ device or object
    5. Click Save
    6. Continue this process to represent the major connections on the network.
  • Background

There are multiple options to represent the background of a map:

  • Existing Map: select a map image from the dropdown selection list that is provided.
  • Set background color: click the color in the square to select from the color pallet.
  • Upload: create a custom background by transferring an image file to the Scrutinizer server. You can copy the new images directly to the home/plixer/scrutinizer/files/map_backgrounds directory.

Maps with background images autoscale to the size of the image. Very light, grayscale backgrounds are ideal as they allow the status of the icons to be visible. The images can be in .gif, .jpg, or .png format. The image size should be at least 800x600 pixels to allow room for icon positioning. Maps with background images autoscale to the size of the background image.


By default, the maximum file size is 5 MB (5000000). You can adjust the setting as well as disable file uploads via the Admin>Settings>System Preferences page. The application will discard values below the minimum file size of 200KB (200000).

Laying out the Plixer map

After a new Plixer map has been created and objects added, the objects will be all clustered in the upper left hand corner. To start arranging the icons, the user must enter Edit Mode. When finished editing the map, the user should return to View Mode. Select a blank area on the map and click the RIGHT mouse button, then in the menu, select “Edit Mode”.

  • Gear Menu: Use these options to set the refresh rate, to display either the IP Address or hostname on the icons, and to reset the zoom level.
  • Edit Mode: Right click anywhere in the map and select Edit Mode to enter this mode.

The Edit Mode status is then clearly indicated at the top left of the map.In this mode, the icons can be selected with the mouse and dragged to different areas of the map for custom arrangement. Click the right mouse button and notice that several new options present themselves in the Mapping Menu.

  • Align: (Applies to a group of selecte objects only) Aligns selected objects.
  • Auto Arrange: Select Auto Arrange to get started with laying out the icons and then drag the icons to a more optimal position.
  • Change Background: Opens Map modal to Background tab, select background as described above.
  • Create a Connection: (Available only if right clicking on object) Select Create a Connection to connect two devices. The mouse will have a line connected to it. Click on the destination icon. The same two devices can be connected with multiple links.
  • Dependencies: Configure Map Dependencies
  • Edit Connections: Edit existing map connections, or create new from the Map modal.
  • Lasso Objects (or SHIFT+drag mouse): Used to select multiple objects in the map view. Use the crosshair icon to drag over and select a group of objects.
  • Map Settings: Opens the Map modal to the Settings tab.
  • Objects: Opens the Map Modal to the Objects tab.
  • Order: (Available when an object or a group of objects is selected) Indicates object placement. Options are: Bring to front, Send to back, Raise, and Lower.

Background text objects default to being behind all other object types and connections, but their order can be changed using the Order button.

  • Properties: (Only available when right clicking on an object.) Opens the Edit Object modal to Properties tab.
  • Remove Object: (Only available when right clicking on an object.) Removes selected object.
  • Save: Click Save and then select View Mode when finished editing the map.
  • View Mode: This selection exits Edit Mode.

When finished editing the map, save and exit Edit Mode. The status of the devices will update automatically as configured in the Gear menu.