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Installing the NS Agent on Ubuntu Linux

Created: 31 Oct 2007 • Updated: 31 Oct 2007 | 5 comments
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jjesse's picture
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While Ubuntu is not a supported operating system by Altiris, the NS Agent can still be installed and Inventory can function correctly. Since Ubuntu does not use the RPM format for maintaining packages, software inventory will not be as complete as when run on a supported build of Linux. These instructions were written for Kubuntu 7.10, the latest version, but can be easily adopted for Ubuntu or any other supported version.

For information on installing the ADLAgent (Deployment Server for Unix/Linux) on Ubuntu, please see my earlier post here.

The first thing we need to do is to make sure we can ping the Notification Server. From the terminal, verify through ping, connectivity to the Notification Server. Once we can ping the server we will need to make sure the correct tools are installed. There is an RPM (Red Hat Package Manager) tool for Ubuntu that is not installed by default. From the terminal, type "sudo apt-get install RPM" and type in the administrator password, as the screen shot shows.

Select Y to install the packages.

The NS Agent cannot be pushed to Ubuntu for two reasons: 1. There is no root user enabled by default 2. SSH is not enabled by default. If we wanted to push to Ubuntu there are many changes to make, so we will do a pull install. Open up your web browser, if you are using Kubuntu it will be Konqueror, and navigate to the Altiris Unix/Linux Agent Download page which is found at http://SERVERNAME/UnixAgent/AltirisUnixAgentDownload.aspx?Id=56 which will look like the following:

Downloading and Installing

Follow these steps to download and execute the file for setup:

  1. Click on the link to download the aex-bootstrap.gz file
  2. Save it to the correct location (For this example it is saved in /home/USERNAME/
  3. Open up a terminal session and navigate to the saved directory
  4. Unzip the file by typing the command: gunzip aex-bootstrap.gz
  5. Type the following command to change the file to allow execution: chmod u+x aex-bootstrap
  6. Execute the aex-bootstrap utility by typing the following command: sudo ./aex-bootstrap http://SERVERNAME
    Note: Because Altiris uses the /opt directory to store the file, we need to execute with administrator rights in order to be able to create the correct directory structure.
    Note: There will be some errors about being unable to run aex-configure, do not worry will create and run this manually.

The Altiris Agent is now installed and is found under the directory, /opt/altiris/notification/nsagent/ and we will need to configure the agent to run. We will also be making some modifications to the system to get the startup script to run correctly as there is no directory /etc/rc.d/init.d/functions.

Please Note: These changes are unsupported by Altiris or the author.

Configuring and Startup

The following will get the NS Agent configured and setup to run as script:

  1. Navigate to the directory /opt/altiris/notification/nsagent/bin directory
  2. Run the command: sudo ./aex-configure -configure
  3. Create a symbolic link to the /etc/rc.d/init.d/functions directory
    1. In the terminal type: sudo mkdir /etc/rc.d
    2. In the terminal type: sudo mkdir /etc/rc.d/init.d
    3. In the terminal type: sudo ln -s /lib/lsb/init-functions /etc/rc.d/init.d/functions
  4. Start the Altiris Notification Server Agent
    1. In the terminal type: sudo /etc/init.d/altiris start
      Note: You may get an error about line 101: success not found, this is normal, the Altiris Agent is running.
    2. Verify the Altiris Agent is running by typing sudo /opt/altiris/notification/agent/bin/aex-refreshpolices which will refresh the policies
    3. Open up Altiris and click on Resources and then navigate to computers, looking for the computer name that you have installed Altiris on
    4. Verify the Altiris Agent will send basic inventory by typing: sudo /opt/altiris/notification/agent/bin/aex-sendbasicinv

The Altiris Agent should be running on your Ubuntu Linux machine. The next step will be enabling the Linux Inventory which will be another article.


Comments 5 CommentsJump to latest comment

riva11's picture

Good information, I will test this installation on my Ubuntu 7.10 test machine.

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mans's picture

How do we create a Install Log in Windows Installer where the log file shows all the information like what all files are installed in the current installation.The log file should be created on every system where msi package is used to install(ie without the clicking of the Command Line)

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R-Vijay's picture

Hi Mans,

Please refer the below techtip on creating an install log.

Hope it helps...


Microsoft MVP [Setup-Deploy]

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pgarrett's picture

Thanks for posting this. I was able to follow the directions about (with some slight modifications) and get a successful install on my Ubuntu 7.10 box.

I had a small issue with a different URL for the agent install file:

instead of

Also, instructions 4b and 4d I needed to use

instead of

But the main problem I ran into was that sudo would not give me the permissions needed for the programs to write to the /opt directions. I had to actually 'su root' to get the install to work. I have no idea why this is.

I figured I'd post the information above in case someone else ran into the same problems I did.

Thanks again....

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Arty_Ziff's picture

Hi There,

I'm a little late to the party on this one.

I am trying to get this to work on Ubuntu 12.04.


Its part of a PoC for Altiris 7.5.  I know its not formally supported but in reality we do need this as we have some machines out there on out estate.


Kind Regards

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