PAExec is a free command-line tool for Windows that allows you to launch applications on the remote windows computers. Launching a remote IPConfig session to check out the remote computer’s network setting without going through RDP is pretty neat.
As you can see, the syntax of this tool is fairly easy and straightforward, the simplest one could just be like this as following:
paexec \\computername command arguments
But you can get a lot more than that with a few more switches thrown in. For example,
You can launch the same command on multiple computers the same time by going like this:
paexec \\computer1,computer2,computer3 command arguments
paexec @file command arguments – where @file is a text file that contains all remote computer names in it.
You can even a particular app over to the remote computer and run it there.
paexec \\computername -c myapp.exe
And you can run it as a local system account
paexec \\computername -s command
Or as a specific user
paexec \\computername -u username -p password command
Or as a limited user
paexec \\computername -l command
You can check out the full usage on the product page.
If you have used PSExec before, the one originally by SysInternal’s Mark Russinovich, you would find this PAExec is very similar to it, more than 80%, I would say. The syntaxes are the same, the switches are identical. But PAExec comes with a few extra bonus that don’t exist in the original PSExec.
First, PAExec comes with a few more unique switches that might come in handy.
Second, PAExec passes all parameters in scrambled format, though not encrypted, to add a little bit insurance to protect them from the casual wire tapping. However, the data that are passing between PAExec and the remote computer are still encrypted. Not a huge big of deal but adding a little to prevent the password from transmission in clear text format is always nice.
Overall, PAExec can be a useful tool especially for IT admins for doing remote installations, checking remote configurations, etc..