We present the hardware and software systems implementing autonomous operation, distributed real-time monitoring, and control for the EBEX instrument. EBEX is a NASA-funded balloon-borne microwave polarimeter designed for a 14 day Antarctic flight that circumnavigates the pole. To meet its science goals the EBEX instrument autonomously executes several tasks in parallel: it collects attitude data and maintains pointing control in order to adhere to an observing schedule; tunes and operates up to 1920 TES bolometers and 120 SQUID amplifiers controlled by as many as 30 embedded computers; coordinates and dispatches jobs across an onboard computer network to manage this detector readout system; logs over 3 GiB/hour of science and housekeeping data to an onboard disk storage array; responds to a variety of commands and exogenous events; and downlinks multiple heterogeneous data streams representing a selected subset of the total logged data. Most of the systems implementing these functions have been tested during a recent engineering flight of the payload, and have proven to meet the target requirements. The EBEX ground segment couples uplink and downlink hardware to a client-server software stack, enabling real-time monitoring and command responsibility to be distributed across the public internet or other standard computer networks. Using the emerging dirfile standard as a uniform intermediate data format, a variety of front end programs provide access to different components and views of the downlinked data products. This distributed architecture was demonstrated operating across multiple widely dispersed sites prior to and during the EBEX engineering flight.© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.