Overview of the Altiris Agent for UNIX, Linux and Macintosh Installation Process

Article:HOWTO2518  |  Created: 2006-02-24  |  Updated: 2012-03-15  |  Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/HOWTO2518
Article Type
How To



Question
 

How do I perform a push or pull install of the Altiris Agent for UNIX?

Answer
 

Pre-requisites

  1. Ensure that name resolution is setup, either via DNS or by adding the Notification Server's hostname and IP address to the client's /etc/hosts file. There is an option to use the Notification Server's IP address but this is not recommended as it requires reconfiguration of the Notification Server's codebase and snapshot settings. See article 22966 for details.
  2. Ensure that SSH or telnet is enabled on the client. SSH is preferred, of course. This is a requirement for only the Push installation method from the NS Console.
  3. The push install must be able to detect the shell actually in use (Bourne vs. C). No loading one type while changing the environment to indicate another type.
  4. Customized prompts on the client may cause a push install to fail.
  5. Login scripts may not have interactive prompts if doing a push install.
  6. Computers do not need to be discovered (via Network Discovery Solution) prior to doing a push install to them.
  7. Third-party firewalls must be configured to allow an SSH connection from the NS/SMP to the ULM client using the credentials provided in the ‘Installation Settings” screen when doing a push from the NS/SMP Console.
     

Push Install:

  1. On the Notification Server Console's Configuration tab, expand Altiris Agent, Altiris Agent Rollout, and select Altiris Agent Installation.
  2. Click the Install Altiris UNIX Agent tab or the Install Altiris Macintosh Agent tab.
  3. Add the IP address or hostname of the client.
  4. Highlight the client's entry on the main window and click the Install Settings button.
  5. Add the root password. For Unix/Linux, the user must be root. For a Macintosh client, any admin user and corresponding password will work. Note that the user id is case sensitive on Macintosh clients.
  6. Save the settings and close the window.
  7. Ensure that the computer is still highlighted.
  8. Click the Install Altiris Agent button. A new window should appear showing the status of the push install.
  9. When it states that the bootstrap has started, that's the last message you will get. The agent should shortly be found in the /opt/Altiris/notification/nsagent directory on a Unix/Linux client or /Applications/Utilities/Altiris/NSAgent/ on a Macintosh. Note that on a Mac client, the subdirectory names are preceeded with a '.' and are hiddent in Finder. It should report basic inventory and shortly appear in the 'all platforms' collection, as well as other appropriate collections. At that point, you can enable inventory policies or whatever solution you are working with. If the push fails for any reason, it will be indicated in this window. You can view the installation logs for clues as to why and correct them. If you choose, you can do a manual installation, instead.

Manual Install using aex-bootstrap:

  1. Use any desired method to copy the aex-bootstrap file to a temporary directory on the client computers. By default, the bootstrap files are found on the NS server at \program files\altiris\notification server\nscap\bin\unix\agent\<platform>\.
  2. Unzip/uncompress the bootstrap file.
  3. Make the bootstrap executable: "chmod 755 aex-bootstrap".
  4. Ensure that the client can resolve back to the NS server either via a name resolution system or via an entry in the client's /etc/hosts file.
  5. Run 'aex-bootstrap <NS server name>'.
  6. The agent should soon install to the /opt/Altiris/notification/nsagent directory on a Unix/Linux client or /Applications/Utilities/Altiris/NSAgent/ on a Macintosh. (Note that on a Mac client, the subdirectory names are preceeded with a '.' and are hiddent in Finder.) The agent should report basic inventory and appear in the 'all platforms' collection, as well as other appropriate collections, after collection update runs on the Notification Server. At that point, you can enable inventory policies, refresh policies on the client, etc.

Manual Install using native package:

 Follow the same procedure as outlined in the 'Manual Install using aex-bootstrap' section using the file name 'aex-nsclt*' for the appropriate platform. Use the appropriate install command for the platform, i.e., rpm, smit, etc.

If an aex-agent-install-config.xml file was used, the agent should be communicating with the NS server. If not, then it will be necessary to configure the agent. To configure the agent, do the following:

  1. cd to /opt/altiris/notification/nsagent/bin.
  2. run 'sudo rcscript stop'.
  3. run 'aex-configure -iconfigure'.
  4. Enter the server name at the first prompt and accept the default for all other prompts. The agent will start automatically and begin communicating with the NS server.

Pull or browser-based Install:

  1. On the Notification Server Console's Configuration tab, expand Altiris Agent, Altiris Agent Rollout, and select Altiris Agent Installation. Then, click the Install Altiris UNIX Agent tab or the Install Altiris Macintosh Agent tab.
  2. Toward the bottom of the page, there is a section titled URL of download page for UNIX users. A corresponding section exists on the Macintosh Agent installation screen. In that section, select the appropriate platform and allow the page to refresh. The URL in the next line will update with the appropriate ID value.
  3. Copy that URL and browse to it from each client computer. (It may be possible to use curl or wget to download the package.)
  4. Follow the instructions on the download page.

The knowledge base has many articles on installing the agent under various conditions. If further information is desired, please browse to kb.altiris.com and search for keywords such as, 'unix agent install'. Please make special note of the two related articles attached to this kb article.

 



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Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/HOWTO2518


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