Altiris Notification Server 6.0 Reference - SymWISE Support Site ...

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A
LTIRIS
®
Notification Server 6.0 SP3
Reference
Notification Server Reference 2

Notice
Altiris Notification Server Reference 6.0 SP3SP3
© 1998-2005 Altiris, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Document Date: January 12, 2006
Protected by one or more of the following U.S. Patents: 5764593, 6144992, 5978805, 5778395, 5907672, 4701745, 5016009, 5126739,
5146221, 5414425, 5463390, 5506580. Other patents pending.
Due to the inherently complex nature of computer software, Altiris does not warrant that the Altiris software is error-free, will operate without
interruption, is compatible with all equipment and software configurations, or will otherwise meet your needs.
The content of this documentation is furnished for informational use only, is subject to change without notice, and should not be construed as
a commitment by Altiris. Altiris, Inc. assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or inaccuracies that may appear in this
documentation. For the latest documentation, visit our Web site at www.altiris.com.
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Notification Server Reference 3

Contents
Part I: Getting Started. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Chapter 1: Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Tasks Performed by Notification Server. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Notification Server Data Flow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Part II: Altiris Agent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
Chapter 2: Altiris Agent Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
Chapter 3: Altiris Agent Installation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
Altiris Agent Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Installing the Altiris Agent Using the Altiris Agent Installation Program. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Example of Installing the Altiris Agent Using a Login Script . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
AeXNSC Command Line Arguments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Installing the Altiris Agent Using Active Directory Policies (Intellimirror) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Altiris Agent Bootstrap Program. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
AeXSWDInstSvc Command Line Arguments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Altiris Agent Installation Troubleshooting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Push Status Events. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Chapter 4: Using the Altiris Agent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
Data Flow for a Newly Installed Altiris Agent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Altiris Agent Directory Structure. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Switching Altiris Agents from between Notification Servers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Altiris Agent Utility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
LAN, WAN, and Disconnected Environments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Software Delivery and the Altiris Agent. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Package Snapshot Caching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Viewing the Version of Altiris Agent Components through the Altiris Console. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Accessing Altiris Agent Configuration Information. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Event Queue Size. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Disk Imaging with Altiris Agent installed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Altiris Agent Log On Events. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Altiris Agent Diagnostics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Altiris Agent Registry Keys. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Part III: Notification Server . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41
Chapter 5: Memory Configuration. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42
Understanding NS and Memory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Configure Virtual Memory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Configure SQL Memory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Chapter 6: Inventory Forwarding. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46
Inventory Forwarding and Data Forwarding to SMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Notification Server Reference 4

Chapter 7: Package Servers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48
Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Overview. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Package Server Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Package Server Agent Rollout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Package Server User Interface. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Package Server . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Icons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Package Server for UNIX and Linux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Deleting the Package Server Agent. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Using Package Servers without Software Delivery Solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Using Package Servers to Send Files over the Network. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Selecting a Different Package Destination Location on your Package Servers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Package Status and Synchronization. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Deleting Software Delivery Packages from Package Servers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
Getting Status on Package Servers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Disk Space Planning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Recovering and Replacing Files. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Viewing Package Information on the Altiris Agent. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Package Servers and the Altiris Agent. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Package Distribution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Package Download Retry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
Windows Package Server Configuration Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
Package Server for UNIX and Linux Configuration Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Chapter 8: Software Delivery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .78
Chapter 9: Reports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .80
Generating Reports Automatically. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
Chapter 10: Monitoring Notification Server Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .81
Altiris Agent and Notification Server Event Queues. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
Common Notification Server Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Status Event Categories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
Using Reports to monitor Notification Server Load . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
Chapter 11: Notification Database . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .98
Notification Database and Altiris Solution Uninstallation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
Extending the Notification Database. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
Notification Database Schema . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
Database Tables. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
Database Views . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
Chapter 12: Disaster Recovery and High Availability. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108
Disaster Recovery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108
Back up Notification Server . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108
Restore Notification Server . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
Restore the Notification Server with a previous configuration. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
High Availability. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
Notification Server Reference 5

Chapter 13: Security Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .112
Understanding Global Privileges. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
Security Roles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
Understanding Permissions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
Permissions Inheritance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
Configure Resource Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
Understanding Item tasks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
Understanding Resource Reports & Security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
Sample Multiple-Access User Scenario . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
Sample Simple-Access User Scenario . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
Chapter 14: Integrating IIS Lockdown and URLScan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123
Part IV: General Reference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .125
Chapter 15: Troubleshooting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .126
Troubleshooting on the Notification Server and Altiris Agent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126
Troubleshooting the Package Server. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127
Problem Seeing the Solution Center when using a Proxy Server. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127
Name Resolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127
Package Download Error . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
E-mail Notification Not Working . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
Event Viewer Security Log Receiving Too Many Logon/Logoff Errors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
Sending Events to NS, But You Don’t See Any Data on the Notification Server Computer . . . . . . . 129
Rebuilding a Notification Server . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130
Unable to Validate the Software Delivery Connection Point Credentials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131
Windows XP: Problem Deploying Altiris Agent in a WorkGroup. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132
Log Error: Exceeding Optimal Number of Connections When Using MSDE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132
Configure NS to operate on Windows 2003 with IE hardening enabled. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133
Chapter 16: Registry and Configuration Settings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .134
Registry Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
Configuration Settings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140
Altiris NS Configurator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
Using Registry and Configuration Settings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
Configuring Notification Server to use a Proxy Server. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
Performance Counters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145
Chapter 17: Log Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .147
Index. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .151
Notification Server Reference 6

Part I
Getting Started
Welcome to the Altiris Notification Server Reference, a complete reference manual and
administration guide for the Notification Server and its components (the Notification
System), and for managing resources.
For help on using the Notification Server with the Altiris Console and the Resource
Manager, see the Altiris Notification Server Help.
Quick Links
Introduction on page 7 Introduction to the Notification System.
Notification Server Reference 7

Chapter 1
Introduction
For a comprehensive introduction to the the Altiris Console, the Notification System,
Altiris Solutions, and Altiris Suites see Notification Server Help.
The diagrams in this section give a more complete description of detail that already
appears in Notification Server Help.
Tasks Performed by Notification Server

Collects and stores Altiris Agent reported information in the Notification Database.

Forwards Altiris Agent inventory to SMS (with the installation of the Altiris Connector
for Microsoft SMS).

Schedules the running and storing of reports.
Notification Server Reference 8


Sends policy enforcement criteria to Altiris Agents and responds to incoming events
associated with these policies. (Policies can include transmission of SNMP traps,
generation of reports, e-mailing notification of the event to an SMTP address, and
invoking any process with command-line context.) For information on the handling
of these events, see Altiris Agent and Notification Server Event Queues on page 81.
Notification Server Reference 9

Notification Server Data Flow
Notification Server Reference 10

Part II
Altiris Agent
This section provides information on the Altiris Agent, including how to deploy it to your
various computers throughout your enterprise.
Quick Links
Altiris Agent Overview on
page 11
Learn about the Altiris Agent.
Altiris Agent Installation on
page 12
Install the Altiris Agent throughout your
enterprise.
Using the Altiris Agent on
page 24
Learn how to effectively use the Altiris Agent.
Notification Server Reference 11

Chapter 2
Altiris Agent Overview
The Altiris Agent is a program that you can install on your managed computers, allowing
Notification Server to gather information from and interact with your managed
computers. Computers running the Altiris Agent are called managed computers.
managed computers receive configuration information from and send data to the
Notification Server. The Altiris Agent also helps in the downloading of files. Altiris
solutions that interact with Windows operating system based managed computers use
the Altiris Agent. Altiris solutions that do not interact with managed computers do not
use the Altiris Agent.
Many Altiris solutions interact with the Altiris Agent. Example: you can use Inventory
Solution to gather detailed information from all of your computers that are running the
Altiris Agent. With the Altiris Agent installed, you can set up Software Delivery tasks to
run policies on a schedule. So, with Inventory Solution, you can run a detailed inventory
on a group of managed computers every day and run a detailed inventory on another
group every week.
The Altiris Agent provides shared functionality, such as providing a common transport
mechanism, and providing the user interface for changing settings on the end-user
computer. It also provides the core (bootstrap) capabilities for installing and managing
various solution-specific agents.
Several Altiris solutions include additional solution-specific agents that provide additional
capabilities to the base functionality of the Altiris Agent. These agents (called Solution
agents) snap on to the Altiris Agent.
Notification Server Reference 12

Chapter 3
Altiris Agent Installation
This section contains Altiris Agent installation topics, including requirements for
installation and Push and Pull installation.
Note
When Notification Server is installed, the Altiris Agent is installed automatically on the
Notification Server computer.
Note
The Altiris Agent uses IP to communicate with the Notification Server. Port 80 is used for
this communication. Except for when Power Management is used, in that a specific TCP
port is specified, the Altiris Agent initiates communications with the Notification Server.
For installation requirements, see Altiris Agent Requirements on page 12.
There are several options for installing the Altiris Agent:

Agent Push installation - This is a Notification Server initiated Altiris Agent
installation. The Notification Server pushes Altiris Agent files to the managed
computers (for Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 managed computers only). For
information on the Altiris Agent Push installation, see Altiris Notification Server Help.

Agent Pull installation - This is a managed computer initiated Altiris Agent
installation. In this type of installation, managed computers pull Altiris Agent files
from the Notification Server. For information on the Altiris Agent Pull installation, see
Altiris Notification Server Help.

The Altiris Agent installation file is run from the network or locally. This file can be
distributed through e-mail or distributed media. For information, see Installing the
Altiris Agent Using the Altiris Agent Installation Program on page 13.

The Altiris Agent files are installed over the network using Active Directory policies
(Intellimirror). For information, see Installing the Altiris Agent Using Active
Directory Policies (Intellimirror) on page 16.
Altiris Agent GUID Creation
Each Altiris Agent has a unique GUID. This GUID is created by the Notification Server
after the Altiris Agent sends the computer name and domain to the Notification Server.
This Name and Domain is found in the AeX AC Identification class.
Altiris Agent Requirements
General

8 MB available Hard Disk (more required to install additional Solution agents and
software packages if using Software Delivery Solution)

64 MB RAM
Notification Server Reference 13

Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Me Computers

Current version of DCOM
Windows Me comes with the required version of DCOM

Internet Explorer 4.01 SP1

Microsoft TCP/IP
Windows NT 4 Computers

Service Pack 4

Internet Explorer 4.01 SP1

Local administrator rights on the computer to install the Altiris Agent on the
Windows NT computer

Microsoft TCP/IP
Windows 2000/XP/2003 Computers

Internet Explorer 5.0

Local administrator rights on the computer to install the Altiris Agent on the
Windows 2000/XP/2003 computer
Important
Microsoft Windows XP enables Simple File Sharing during installation. Simple File
Sharing must be turned off for you to install the Altiris Agent to the Windows XP
computer. For information, see Windows XP: Problem Deploying Altiris Agent in a
WorkGroup on page 132.
Microsoft XP SP2 with firewall enabled

Unblock ports 80 and 445. After installation, these ports can be re-blocked.

Create an exception for the Altiris Agent in the Windows Firewall dialog.
Note
If all Altiris Agents are installed in one location, a group policy can be applied to
create the exception on all XP SP2 computers. Agents running separately also
require separate exceptions. Example: Deployment Server Agent (DS), Carbon Copy
Agent.
Installing the Altiris Agent Using the Altiris Agent
Installation Program
The Altiris Agent installation program (AeXNSC.exe) extracts the Altiris Agent
installation files into a temporary location and then runs the Altiris Agent installation
setup on a single computer. You can install the Altiris Agent installation program on
multiple computers using login scripts (see Example of Installing the Altiris Agent Using
a Login Script on page 14).
The Altiris Agent bootstrap program usually downloads and runs the Altiris Agent
installation program (see Altiris Agent Bootstrap Program on page 19). However, if you
run the Altiris Agent installation program run using login scripts, you need to specify the
Notification Server Reference 14

Notification Server name and the Notification Server Web name. If you do a Push or Pull
installation, you will specify various parameters based on your type of installation.
By default, the Altiris Agent is not added to Add/Remove Programs. You can add the
Altiris Agent to the Add/Remove Programs by using the /ADDREMOVE switch. If the
Altiris Agent is not added to the Add/Remove Programs, you can only remove the Altiris
Agent from the managed computer using these methods:

Uninstall the Altiris Agent using the Altiris Agent uninstall option on the Altiris
Console.

Run AeXNSC.exe with the /remove argument on the managed computer.

Run AeXAgentUtil.exe with the /clean argument on the managed computer.

Add a registry value to
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\{92F2A534-C3E4-
4B18-BEBD-329F5E848C8B}DisplayName = “Altiris Agent”. This causes the Altiris
Agent to be displayed in the Add/Remove Programs and can be uninstalled from
there.
To install the Altiris Agent by running the Altiris Agent installation
program
1.Run the AeXNSC.exe on the target computer (see AeXNSC Command Line
Arguments on page 15). (On the Notification Server, this file is found at
NSCap\Bin\Win32\X86\NS Client Package.)
After the Altiris Agent installation setup program completes, you will see a new icon
in the system tray of the managed computer, if you set this option.
As part of the setup process, you define the name of the Notification Server that the
Altiris Agent will interact with, the hostname for the Notification Server, and the IP
address. You can also use the fully qualified domain name. From the managed computer,
you must be able to resolve the hostname entered. You can verify this by running
ping
<hostname>
from a command prompt at the managed computer.
Example 1:
aexnsc.exe –s –a ns=”lab1.altiris.com” nsweb=”http://
lab1.altiris.com/Altiris” NOSTARTMENU NOTRAYICON OKTOREBOOT /s
The above command line installs the Altiris Agent on the computer connecting to the
Notification Server on “lab1.altiris.com”. No start menu is installed. Tray icon will not be
shown on startup. The installation may ask to reboot if needed. The entire installation
process will be done silently.
Example 2:
The command line to perform an automated install is:
aexnsc.exe -s -a ns=”lab1.altiris.com” nsweb=”http://
lab1.altiris.com/Altiris” /s
Example of Installing the Altiris Agent Using a Login Script
The following is an example of using a login script to install the Altiris Agent.
Notification Server Reference 15

Important
Before implementing this example, run it on a test server to ensure that it will work for
your environment. Also, ensure you have administrative rights to the computer you are
installing the Altiris Agent on.
If you use this example, ensure that you include the quotes around the URL path as
shown, substitute MY_NS_SERVER with your Notification Server name, and substitute
domain with your domain name.
if exist c:\winnt\sytem32\aexswdinstsvc.exe goto install
net use n: \\MY_NS_SERVER\x86 /persistent:no
copy n:\aexswdinstsvc.exe c:\winnt\system32
net use n: /delete
:install
if exist c:\winnt\system32\aexnsc.log goto end
c:\winnt\system32\aexswdinstsvc.exe -u “http://MY_NS_SERVER/
Altiris/nscap/bin/win32/x86/ns client package/aexnsc.exe” -s
MY_NS_SERVER.domain.com -w http://MY_NS_SERVER/Altiris
:end
AeXNSC Command Line Arguments
aexnsc.exe [-s]
[-a
arguments
]
[ns=
“NotificationServer”
]
[nsweb=
“NotificationServerWeb”
]
[path=
InstallationPath
]
[NOSTARTMENU]
[NOTRAYICON]
[OKTOREBOOT]
[/Nologging]
[/remove]
[/ADDREMOVE]
[/s]
[reinstall]
Parameter Description
-s Silent mode for the package to extract the files for the
Altiris Agent installation setup.
-a arguments Specifies the arguments to be passed to the Altiris Agent
installation setup.
ns=“NotificationServer” Specifies the Notification Server that the Altiris Agent
connects to.
Notification Server Reference 16

Installing the Altiris Agent Using Active Directory
Policies (Intellimirror)
This section describes how to install the Altiris Agent to computers and automatically
configure it using Group Policy. The Altiris Agent installation service requires parameters
to specify the Notification Server to download and report to once the Altiris Agent is
installed. Using MsiExec.exe, you can create an Administrative Install containing the
required public properties.
Note
If you want to install the Altiris Agent to remote computers, behind a firewall, use the
Altiris Agent Bootstrap Program on page 19.
The installation process consists of the following steps:
1.Create the Administrative Install.
2.Create a file share to distribute the Install service.
3.Create the AD Group Policy.
4.Add/Move machines to target OU.
nsweb=“NotificationServer
Web”
Specifies the Notification Server Web that the Altiris Agent
connects to. This is optional. By default, it is “http://
NSName/Altiris”.
path=InstallationPath Specifies the folder where the Altiris Agent is installed.
NOSTARTMENU Specifies that no start menu item will be installed for the
Altiris Agent.
NOTRAYICON Specifies that the Altiris Agent will not show tray icon on
initial startup.
OKTOREBOOT Specifies that the installation will prompt for rebooting the
managed computer if needed. If this switch is not
specified, the installation will not prompt or attempt to
reboot the managed computer.
/nologging Turns off logging.
/regdiags Enables diagnostics. These diagnostics allow the user to
view the log file through the Altiris Agent User Interface. It
also displays other current settings on the Altiris Agent.
We only recommended enabling diagnostics for test
environments, or when troubleshooting.
/remove Specifies that the Altiris Agent will be uninstalled from the
managed computer. This is a silent uninstall. You can
create a task to send this to all managed computers you
want to uninstall the Altiris Agent from.
/ADDREMOVE Specifies that the Altiris Agent will be added to Add/
Remove Programs.
/s Silent mode for the Altiris Agent installation setup.
/reinstall Specifies that the Altiris Agent can be installed on a
computer with Altiris Agent already installed.
Parameter Description
Notification Server Reference 17

When using Active Directory Group Policies (Intellimirror) to install the Altiris Agent, the
Altiris Agent software should be assigned to the Computer Configuration section of the
Group Policy Object. This ensures the software will be installed on all computers and will
not rely on the user interaction required to install software that is either Assigned or
Published to users. This is because the software should be installed according to the
computers on the network and not the users of those computers. (The Altiris Agent
collects user information during its operation, but the installation should be targeted to
computers.)
Installation using Active Directory/Group Policy Objects should be performed following
the Windows 2000/2003 documentation. It is suggested that you create organizational
units (OUs) to contain the computers you will be deploying the Altiris Agent to.
For information on this process, see the MS KB Article “HOW TO: Use Group Policy to
Remotely Install Software in Windows 2000 (Q314934)” that outlines the steps required
to do this. You can find this article by clicking on the following URL.
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q314934
For suggestions on how to use Active Directory Group Policies to install the Altiris Agent,
see the Altiris Support Forums on the Altiris Web site. Go to www.altiris.com and select
Support > Forums.
Step 1 - Create the Administrative Install
At \\nsserver\NSCap\Bin\Win32\X86\NS Client Installation enter the following path and
your required public properties:
msiexec /a <path to AeXNSCInstSvc.msi> [MSI Public Properties]
MSI Public Properties
Properties Description
NS Name of the Notification Server the Altiris Agent will report to
(without leading \\). This argument is required. See AeXNSC
Command Line Arguments on page 15.
NS_WEB Specifies the Notification Server Web the Altiris Agent connects to.
This is optional. By default, it is http://NSName/Altiris. See AeXNSC
Command Line Arguments on page 15.
SOURCE_URL URL used to download AEXNSC. By default, it will be retrieved from
the Notification Server. See AeXNSC Command Line Arguments on
page 15.
Notification Server Reference 18

Example:
msiexec /a AeXNSCInstSvc.msi NS="www.yourserver.com"
AGENT_PARAMS="-notrayicon -nostartmenu" SERVICE_PARAMS="-c 2048 -p
15"
This Altiris Agent install will will not show the tray icon on initial startup and no start
menu item will be installed. Also, the Altiris Agent is configured to download 2048 bytes
of data each time, with 15ms between each chunk download. See AeXSWDInstSvc
Command Line Arguments on page 20 for information.
Step 2 - Create a file share to distribute the Install Service
Once the transform is created, it must be placed on a share so all target machines have
access. See http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;278472 for
information.
Step 3 - Create the AD Group Policy
1.Create a new OU for machines that will have the 'AeXNSCInstSvc.msi' deployed to
them in Active Directory Users and Computers MMC.
2.Right-click the OU and select Properties from the right-click menu menu.
3.Click the Group Policy tab of the displayed dialog.
4.Click New to create a new group policy object and then name it.
5.Select the new group policy object and click Edit to display the Group Policy
Object Editor window.
6.Select the Computer Configuration\Software Settings\Software installation item,
right-click and select New > Package.
7.Select the MSI from the share on the DC. When the Deploy software dialog
appears select the Assigned option and click OK to continue.
AGENT_PARAMS Altiris Agent parameters in AexSVCInstSvc that can be passed to
AEXNSC.EXE:

notrayicon

nostartmenu

preconfig
See AeXSWDInstSvc Command Line Arguments on page 20 for
information.
SERVICE_PARAMS Parameters that can be passed to AexSVCInstSvc:

-d path

-c chunk_size

-p pause_interval

-checkonly

-exe
See AeXSWDInstSvc Command Line Arguments on page 20 for
information.
MSI Public Properties
Properties Description
Notification Server Reference 19

8.To install the software at next logon click the Deployment tab and click Assigned.
9.Select the Install the software at logon checkbox.
10.Click OK to save the options to the package.
Step 4 - Add machines to Target OU
After creating the AD group polic,y add or move the machines, that will have the
software deployed to them, to the new OU with the Agent GPO applied.
Note
For Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 machines, it may be necessary to set the
Always wait for the network at computer startup and logon policy if the package
deployment is required at logon. See http://support.microsoft.com/
default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;305293.
Note
The Agent install service only will be downloaded from the file share and the Agent
install executable will be 'trickle' downloaded from the /NScap share on the Notification
Server itself.
Altiris Agent Bootstrap Program
When the Altiris Agent is installed using a Push or Pull installation, a small
(approximately 100 KB) bootstrap program is used. This program, the Altiris Agent
Bootstrap program, downloads a larger (approximately 4.5 MB) program, the Altiris
Agent installation program, that actually performs the Altiris Agent installation. The
Altiris Agent Bootstrap program gets sent to all managed computers at the same time to
prevent an overload of the network. The Altiris Agent Bootstrap program then handles
the network throughput (starting and stopping), until it downloads the Altiris Agent
installation program to the managed computer.
Because the Altiris Agent Bootstrap program controls how fast the Altiris Agent
installation program gets downloaded to the managed computer, it can reliably
download the Altiris Agent on remote computers or managed computers with poor
connections.
For information on the command line arguments that the Altiris Agent Bootstrap
program accepts, see AeXSWDInstSvc Command Line Arguments on page 20.
The following steps show the installation process during an Altiris Agent installation
using a Push or Pull installation:
1.The Altiris Agent bootstrap program (AeXSWDInstSvc.exe) is downloaded to the
managed computer (either by Push or by Pull).
This program is quite small (approximately 100k) and can be sent quickly even over
a slow line. Because the Altiris Agent bootstrap program is an NT service, it runs as
soon as it is downloaded.
Notification Server Reference 20

Note
The Altiris Agent bootstrap program creates a log file, AeXSWDInstSvc.log, in the
OS directory. This log file records the process of downloading the Altiris Agent
installation program and installing it. It displays “Sending ‘Remote Install Finished:
Success’ message to NS” when the process of downloading and installing the Altiris
Agent installation program is complete. Some messages recorded in this log file are
sent back to the Notification Server and logged in the Notification Database.
2.The Altiris Agent bootstrap program downloads the Altiris Agent installation program
(AeXNSC.exe) from the Notification Server. It has the ability to stop and start again
until the Altiris Agent installation program is downloaded completely.
3.The Altiris Agent bootstrap program runs the Altiris Agent installation program.
4.The Altiris Agent installation program installs the Altiris Agent onto the computer.
Note
The Altiris Agent installation program adds itself to the registry run key so that, if
the computer is rebooted, it will run when a user logs on.
5.When the installation is complete, you will see an Altiris Agent icon in the system
tray of the managed computer, if you selected that option.
Note
During the installation process, status messages are sent back to the Notification
Server. There is a chance that one or more of these messages can end up in a Bad
event directory on the Notification Server and not be processed into the Notification
Database (see NSE Processing and Bad Event Directories on page 86). However, the
Altiris Agent installation could still be successful. For information on how to
determine if the Altiris Agent installation was successful, see Altiris Agent
Installation Troubleshooting on page 21.
Note
From the time you start a Push or Pull installation, it can take several minutes
before the Altiris Agent icon appears in the system tray. This is because the Altiris
Agent bootstrap program is downloaded, then the Altiris Agent bootstrap program
downloads the Altiris Agent installation package, then the Altiris Agent installation
package installs the Altiris Agent on the computer. Depending on the network traffic,
this process can take some time.
Note
There is an MSI program available, AeXNSCInstSvc.msi, that also installs the Altiris
Client Installation Service. This service downloads the Altiris Agent installation program
from the Notification Server and installs it on the managed computer. The only
parameter that AeXNSCInstSvc.msi takes is [NS=NSName.domain.com], where
NSName is the name of your Notification Server and domain is the domain that your
Notification Server is on. This MSI supports the elevated privilege install (see Installing
the Altiris Agent Using Active Directory Policies (Intellimirror) on page 16).
AeXSWDInstSvc Command Line Arguments
AeXSWDInstSvc [-u URL]
[-s server_name]
Notification Server Reference 21

[-w URL]
[-d path]
[-c chunk_size]
[-p pause_interval]
[-exe]
[-checkonly]
[-notrayicon]
[-nostartmenu]
[-preconfig]
[-?] [-h]
Altiris Agent Installation Troubleshooting
The following are some tips for checking to see if your Altiris Agent was installed on your
managed computers and how to troubleshoot if the installation fails.

Run reports to find out if managed computers have the Altiris Agent installed on
them - Click the Reports tab and navigate to Reports > Notification Server
Infrastructure > Agent in the left pane:
AeXSWDInstSvc Parameters
Parameter Description
u URL URL to download the Altiris Agent setup program from. This is an
HTTP site. This argument is required.
s server_name Name of the Notification Server that the Altiris Agent will report to
(without leading \\). This argument is required.
w URL URL that the Altiris Agent will use to report to the server. This
argument is required.
d path Destination path the Altiris Agent will be installed to.
c chunk_size Size (in bytes) of data to download each time. If omitted, 1 KB is
used.
p pause_interval Time (in ms) between downloading each chunk. If omitted, 25 ms is
used.
exe Forces the program to run as an EXE under Windows NT/2000/XP/
2003, ignoring any service registration to this EXE. This option has
no effect under Windows 95, 98, 98 SE, or Me.
checkonly Forces the program to check the Altiris Agent minimum
requirements are met. Details are displayed on screen.
notrayicon Specifies that the Altiris Agent will not show the tray icon on initial
startup. This will be overridden by the Altiris Agent Settings policies
as soon as they are downloaded.
nostartmenu Specifies that no start menu item will be installed for the Altiris
Agent.
preconfig If specified, the program and the Altiris Agent will use the existing
client proxy configuration. If omitted, both will attempt to connect to
the Notification Server directly.
? or h Shows the usage dialog.
Notification Server Reference 22


Altiris Agent Deployment - These reports let you see what Altiris Agent
versions you have.

Altiris Agent Discovery - These reports let you see what computers have
been discovered by Notification Server, if your Push installation failed on any
computers, and a report listing managed computers with Altiris Agents installed
on them using methods other than Push.

Altiris Agent Inventory - There are two reports in this group that are of
interest for troubleshooting: one that lists your newest installed/registered
managed computers, and one that lists your oldest managed computers.

Check the logs on the managed computer if the Altiris Agent installation failed.

AeXSWDInstSvc.log - The Altiris Agent bootstrap program
(AeXSWDInstSvc.exe) creates this log file in the OS directory (WINNT on
Windows NT/2000/2003 and windows\system on Windows 9x after a Push
installation and WinDir\system32 after a Pull installation). This log file records
the process of downloading the Altiris Agent installation program and installing
it. Look in this log file to determine if the Push or Pull part of the installation
failed. If there is an entry in this log file saying that the “Remote Install
Finished”, it means that the download of the Altiris Agent installation program
was a success and the command to install it was performed.

AeXNSC.log - The Altiris Agent installation program (AeXNSC.exe) creates this
log file in the OS directory (WINNT\system32 on Windows NT/2000/2003 and
windows\system on Windows 95/98/Me/XP). This log file records the process of
installing the Altiris Agent on the computer. If there is an entry in this log file
saying that the installation failed, it means the actual Altiris Agent installation
failed.

After the Altiris Agent is up and running, the AeXNSAgent.exe process should be on
the managed computer (viewed by using the Task Manager).

Click Update Configuration on the Altiris Agent and ensure the Configuration
Last requested time reflects the time of the action. Also, ensure that any new
policies have been downloaded.

Ensure the installdrive\program files\altiris agent\site code folder is free of files.

Run AexAgentDiagnostics.dll. Click Run on the Start menu and enter the following
command; regsrv32"C:\program files\altiris\altiris agent\AexAgentDiagnostics.dll".
Right-click the Altiris Agent icon, navigate to Diagnostics > Log View and check
for errors.

View the Push status events for specific managed computers. See Push Status
Events on page 22.
Push Status Events
Push Status events let you see if the Altiris Agent installation requirements were met
and if the Altiris Agent installation succeeded.
To access the Push Status events
1.In the Resource Manager, click the Events tab. (See Altiris Notification Server
Help.)
2.In the left pane, navigate to Data Classes > Computer Events and select AeX
Push Status.
Notification Server Reference 23

Push Status events are sent in two groups. The first is the result of the Altiris Agent
requirements check (status 1 or 2). The second is the result of the actual installation
(status 3 or 4). Descriptions are as follows:
status 1 - The Altiris Agent installation requirements were met.
status 2 - The Altiris Agent installation requirements were not met.
In both of the above cases, the message contains a list of the requirements and the
detected versions.
status 3 - The Altiris Agent installation succeeded.
status 4 - The Altiris Agent installation failed.
In the case of status 4, the message contains a description of the error.
Notification Server Reference 24

Chapter 4
Using the Altiris Agent
The Altiris Agent retrieves Altiris Agent Settings policy requests, downloads files from
the Notification Server, and posts status feedback information and settings to the
Notification Server. The Altiris Agent interface lets the end user view Software Delivery
tasks for programs that can be installed onto a local computer. It also lets the end user
view basic configuration settings about the Altiris Agent.
You can define the programs (stored in packages) that can be installed on each
managed computer. Software Delivery packages are usually software installation
programs that can perform actions such as installing new applications, updating the
operating system components, updating virus definition files, and so forth. Software
Delivery Solution must be installed in order to create Software Delivery packages.
When Software Delivery tasks, with only the notify user option set, are sent to the Altiris
Agent by the administrator, a pop-up notification is received (if not running in silent
mode). From this pop-up notification, the user can start the Software Delivery task,
view the properties of the package (and subsequently execute it), dismiss the pop-up,
or postpone the reminder for some time period. On Windows XP/2003 a balloon is
displayed before the pop-up, and the pop-up is displayed only if the balloon is clicked.
Important
ICMP (ping) traffic is required in order for the Altiris Agent to access Package Servers
and to utilize bandwidth control.
Note
If a user runs a Software Delivery task that has been scheduled “once” using the pop-
up, this Software Delivery task will not be run again at the scheduled time. If the
administrator has set a recurring scheduled Software Delivery task, then it will run at
the scheduled time regardless of whether the user has executed it already.
Quick Links

Data Flow for a Newly Installed Altiris Agent on page 25

Altiris Agent Directory Structure on page 28

Switching Altiris Agents from between Notification Servers on page 29

LAN, WAN, and Disconnected Environments on page 31

Software Delivery and the Altiris Agent on page 32

Viewing the Version of Altiris Agent Components through the Altiris Console on
page 33

Accessing Altiris Agent Configuration Information on page 33

Event Queue Size on page 33

Disk Imaging with Altiris Agent installed on page 34

Altiris Agent Log On Events on page 34

Altiris Agent Diagnostics on page 34
Notification Server Reference 25


Altiris Agent Registry Keys on page 35
Data Flow for a Newly Installed Altiris Agent
After the Altiris Agent is installed, it does the following:
1.Requests and gets a Global Unique Identifier (GUID) from the Notification Server
that it was installed from.
Requests a MachineGuid from the Notification Server using the CreateResource.aspx
page. It gives its name and domain to the Notification Server. The Notification
Server then generates the MachineGuid and gives it to the Altiris Agent. The Altiris
Agent places its MachineGuid in its registry at:
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Altiris\Altiris Agent
This is used by Notification Server as a unique identifier for the managed computer.
2.The Altiris Agent generates and sends the computer’s basic inventory to the
Notification Server. Basic inventory contains basic identification information of the
managed computer, such as the IP address, computer name and domain, operating
system, and so on.
Notification Server Reference 26

When the Notification Server next runs its Collection Update, it places the Altiris
Agent in one or more collections based on the information in the basic inventory
(such as whether it is a Windows or UNIX computer, and so on). The Notification
Server cannot send the Altiris Agent any policies until it is in a collection. For
information, see Altiris Notification Server Help.
Note
By default, the Altiris Agent sends basic inventory every 1 day. This can be changed
in the Altiris Agent Settings policy configuration.
3.The Altiris Agent asks the Notification Server for its Altiris Agent Settings policies.
It does this by running the GetClientPolicies.aspx page from the Notification Server.
Every 15 minutes, the Altiris Agent requests the latest Altiris Agent Settings policies
from the Notification Server. The Notification Server evaluates all of its policies and
sends only the policies to the Altiris Agent that apply to the collection that the Altiris
Agent is in. The Altiris Agent Settings policies contain instructions for the Altiris
Agent such as the schedules for downloading packages and sending back basic
inventory. To see the Altiris Agent Settings policies that the Altiris Agent has
received, look in the following directory on the managed computer:
Notification Server Reference 27

install path\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Client Policies
Look in the file named for your Notification Server to ensure the Altiris Agent is
receiving the correct configuration changes.
Note
Several Altiris Agent Settings policies are provided out-of-the-box by Notification
Server. We recommend you leave the settings in these policies as-is until you have
set up a test environment and become familiar with Notification Server. Then you
can adjust the settings for your enterprise.
4.The Altiris Agent sends events to the Notification Server. These events are
generated either when policies send information back to the Notification Server or
when inventory needs to be sent to the Notification Server.
On the Notification Server, there is a file in the install path\Altiris\Notification Server
directory called PostEvent.asp, that is the entry point for sending and posting events
from the Altiris Agent.
The events that are sent from the Altiris Agent can be viewed in the Resource
Manager in the Events tab. For information, see Altiris Notification Server Help.
Notification Server Reference 28

Note
An Altiris Agent Settings policy that comes by default with Notification Server applies to
the All Desktop Computers (excluding ‘Package Servers’) collection. When an
Altiris Agent sends basic inventory, and it is a Windows desktop computer, it gets placed
in the this collection. If you want Altiris Agent Settings policies to be applied to
computers that are not in the this collection, such as All Unix Computers, you need to
create an All Unix Computers collection, then create a new Altiris Agent Settings policy
and apply it to that collection. You can also do this by cloning the All Desktop
Computers (excluding ‘Package Servers’) collection and making the necessary
changes (see Altiris Notification Server Help).
The Altiris Agent can request its Altiris Agent Settings policies before it sends its basic
inventory. (This could happen if an Altiris Agent was moved from one Notification Server
to another Notification Server.) If the Notification Server receives a request for Altiris
Agent Settings policies from an unknown Altiris Agent, it creates a computer resource
for that Altiris Agent and places the managed computer in the All Computers collection.
However, the Notification Server will not send Altiris Agent Settings policies to the Altiris
Agent until it receives the basic inventory from it.
Data Flow Troubleshooting Example
The Altiris Agent requests Altiris Agent Settings policies by running the
GetClientPolicies.aspx page (the entry point for Altiris Agent Settings policies) with this
MachineGUID as the parameter:
Gand so onlientPolicies.aspx?{60418A85-
577E-98D3-3430F6EE66DC}
. The Notification Server doesn’t return any Altiris Agent
Settings policies.
If you just installed the Altiris Agent, it is possible that the Notification Server has not
processed the basic inventory yet. If the Notification Server has not received basic
inventory from the Altiris Agent, it has not created any Altiris Agent Settings policies for
the Altiris Agent.
The speed this happens depends on the Altiris Agent Settings policies request interval
and how often the basic inventory is sent.
Note
When the Altiris Agent receives Altiris Agent Settings policies from the Notification
Server, it always caches them into the XML file found in the Client Policies directory.
Check this file to know if the Altiris Agent is receiving all the Altiris Agent Settings
policies.
Altiris Agent Directory Structure
This section describes the Altiris Agent directory and its subdirectories found on the
managed computer after the Altiris Agent has been installed. This directory is found at:
install path\Altiris\Altiris Agent.

Client Policies - This directory contains the Altiris Agent Settings policies it receives
from the Notification Server. The Altiris Agent Settings policies are appended to a
file named after the Notification Server that sent them.

Package Delivery - This directory exists on all managed computers the Package
Server Agent is loaded on. This is where Package Server packages are stored on a
Package Server. This directory contains packages that have been downloaded from
Notification Server Reference 29

the Notification Server or another Package Server. Each package is in a directory
named after the package GUID.

Package Server Agent - This directory contains the files necessary for running the
Package Server Agent. The Package Server Agent is loaded on the managed
computer if it has been selected to be a Package Server. For information, see Altiris
Notification Server Help.

Queue - This directory contains the event queue used by the Altiris Agent. Events
that are generated by the Altiris Agent are placed in a subdirectory named after the
Notification Server that needs to receive the events. Events are only stored here
temporarily. They are sent to the Notification Server as soon as possible.

Software Delivery - This directory contains all the Software Delivery information
used by the Altiris Agent. This is where the Software Delivery packages are stored
on the managed computer. This directory also contains package status information.

Tasks - This directory is used by the Task Scheduler.
Troubleshooting Tip: If the Altiris Agent is not functioning correctly, check the Client
Policies and Queue directories to ensure policies and events are getting processed
correctly.
Switching Altiris Agents from between Notification
Servers
You can switch Altiris Agents from one Notification Server to another and still use the
same Software Delivery packages without needing to re-download them. Packages are
Notification Server independent. A utility is provided that lets you do this. For
information on this utility, see Altiris Agent Utility on page 29.
To switch an Altiris Agent from one Notification Server to another
1.From the Altiris Agent, run the following from the install path\Altiris\Altiris Agent
directory:
AeXAgentUtil.exe /Server:
NSName
where NSName is the name of the Notification Server that you want the Altiris Agent
to be attached to.
Notes
The packages that are the same (have exact IDs) on both of the Notification Servers will
not need to be downloaded again onto the managed computer unless the version has
changed. Even if the version has changed, the Altiris Agent will compare the snapshots
and only download the differences.
The packages on the new Notification Server, but not on the old one, are downloaded
onto the managed computer.
The packages on the old Notification Server, but not on the new one, are deleted from
the managed computer when they expire.
Altiris Agent Utility
The Altiris Agent utility lets you:
Notification Server Reference 30


Start and Stop the Altiris Agent

Set the default Notification Server that the Altiris Agent is configured to.

Clean the Altiris Agent from a client computer.

Set up a log file for logging all running processes of the managed computer.
IMPORTANT
An Altiris Agent can only communicate with one Notification Server at a time. If you
want to change the Notification Server that the Altiris Agent reports to, use this utility.
AeXAgentUtil [/?]
[/Start]
[/Stop]
[/Clean]
[/Server:server]
[/Web:web]
[/RegisterMSXML]
[/EnableSmsClient]
[/RegisterClient]
[/DeleteDevices]
[/UninstallAgents]
[/ListProcess]
[/EnableASP]
[/Log:logname]

Switches:
AeXAgentUtil Parameters
Parameter Description
?Shows a usage dialog.
Start Starts the Altiris Agent (6.0 or later)
Stop Stops the Altiris Agent (Altiris Agent 6.0 or NS Client 5.x)
Clean Attempts to completely remove the Altiris Agent. This will attempt to
detect the relevant version and remove all files and registry entries.
This is provided in the event of Altiris Agent install failing on
managed computers. You can use this to “clean” the managed
computer, and then try a fresh Altiris Agent install.
Server:server Sets server as the Notification Server.
Web:web Sets the URL of the Notification Server. This is only valid if used with
/Server.
Lets you specify the Notification ServerWeb for your server. By
default, the Notification ServerWeb is
http://server01/Altiris.
Example:
To add a server with NSWeb specified:
AeXAgentUtil.exe Server:server02 Web:http://server02/Altiris
Notification Server Reference 31

LAN, WAN, and Disconnected Environments
The Altiris Agent is specifically designed to work with LAN, WAN, and infrequently
connected environments. The following core capabilities are part of every Altiris Agent
on all Windows computers:

Throttled download of files - When the Altiris Agent receives a policy indicating a
set of files needing to be downloaded, the Altiris Agent limits the rate the files are
downloaded from Notification Server. The bandwidth used by the Altiris Agent when
downloading files from the Notification Server is controlled from the Altiris Console.

Restart and recovery during the downloading of files - When the Altiris Agent
is downloading files associated with a policy, it maintains a record of downloaded
files. If the network link to the Notification Server is discontinued during a
download, the Altiris Agent will resume later. Files that were already downloaded are
not downloaded twice.

Queuing of information to be sent to the Notification Server - All of the
solution products that can be installed on the Altiris Agent have data returned from
the Altiris Agent to the Notification Server. These include inventory results, event log
data, and process data. This information is placed in a file queue on the Altiris
Agent. When a file is placed in the file queue directory, the Altiris Agent tries to post
this data to Notification Server. If the connection to the Notification Server is not
available, the information remains in the queue on the Altiris Agent. The Altiris
Agent then retries later to establish the connection to the Notification Server and
post the information.
RegisterMSXML Registers the MSXML library (MSXML through MSXML4).
The MSXML library is used by the Altiris Agent and this parameter is
provided for your managed computers that do not have the MSXML
library registered.
EnableSmsClient Activates the SMS Client.
Note
Installing the Notification Server Client 5.x will automatically disable
the SMS Client.
RegisterClient Registers the DLLs of the Altiris Agent.
DeleteDevices Deletes the known Altiris legacy device drivers.
UninstallAgents Deletes all registered agents installed by Altiris solutions (excluding
the Altiris Agent).
ListProcess Logs all running processes to the filename set by /Log. In order to
use this, /Log must be set.
EnableASP Permits use of ASP pages (only for IIS 6 or later).
Log:logname Sets the log filename that will be used in the system32 directory. If
this parameter is omitted, CEReportEvent logger will be used.
Quotes are required if the filename has spaces.
Examples:
/Log:somelog.log
/Log:“long name.log”
AeXAgentUtil Parameters (Continued)
Parameter Description
Notification Server Reference 32


Use standard HTTP/HTTPS protocols to communicate with the Notification
Server - HTTP protocol is used for all communication between the Altiris Agent and
the Notification Server. This lets you leverage existing VPN and firewall configuration
networking settings to control Windows managed computers. The Altiris Agent
Settings policy requests that are downloaded are accessed from a defined URL on
the Notification Server. The Notification Server responds to the Altiris Agent Settings
policy request with an XML formatted document that contains the policy
information. Correspondingly, when an Altiris Agent is posting data from the Altiris
Agent queue to the Notification Server, the data is sent to a URL as XML formatted
information in the HTTP packet.
Note
Because the HTTP protocol works independently of Windows NT/2000/2003 domains
and security, managed computers do not have to be a member of a domain, nor
does the user on a managed computer need to log in to a Windows domain in order
for the Altiris Agent to be managed.

Basic inventory transfer - After the Altiris Agent is installed on a Windows
computer, it sends a basic inventory record. This basic inventory record includes
information about the operating system, the domain, and the TCP/IP settings on the
computer. The Altiris Agent sends this basic inventory record to Notification Server
regardless of whether you have installed Inventory Solution. (Inventory Solution
provides much more comprehensive inventory information.)
Software Delivery and the Altiris Agent
The Altiris Agent downloads files from Notification Server in order to perform basic
Software Delivery functions, such as policy updates and agent distribution. You can see
the status of the Software Delivery tasks on the local computer by running the Altiris
Agent interface, if available, in the system tray. After additional solutions are purchased,
the following Software Delivery policies are sent to the Altiris Agent:

Software that is installed to support one of the Notification Server solution products
such as Inventory Solution or Event Solution. These solutions are installed on
managed computers when they are installed on Notification Server. No license for
Software Delivery Solution is required for this capability. The installation of the
solution on the Notification Server defines the software package and the policies
that cause the files to be installed on the managed computers.

Software that is installed as part of a standalone Software Delivery task. In this
case, the package and Software Delivery task are defined using the Altiris Console.
You must have a valid license for Software Delivery Solution in order to use this
capability.
Example: You can define a package to update a virus definition file or install a
service pack for Windows 2000 computers.

Software that is installed as a result of a Microsoft SMS advertisement that is
targeted to an Altiris Agent. You must have a valid license for Software Delivery
Solution in order to use this capability.
All three of the different types of Software Delivery tasks are consistently presented to
the end user in the Altiris Agent interface. The end user can’t tell the type.
Notification Server Reference 33

Package Snapshot Caching
To improve performance, the Notification Server sends a snapshot of each package to
the Altiris Agent. When there has been a change in the package, the Altiris Agent will
know by comparing the snapshots. It will then download only the new or updated files in
the package.
Note
If the package was only partially downloaded, the downloading will resume from where
it was interrupted.
Viewing the Version of Altiris Agent Components
through the Altiris Console
If you want to find the installed version of your Altiris Agents, you can run a report from
the Altiris Console.
To run the Altiris Agent version report
1.In the Altiris Console, select the Reports tab.
2.In the left pane, navigate to Reports > Notification Server Infrastructure >
Agent > Altiris Agent Deployment.
3.Run the Altiris Agent version report.
Accessing Altiris Agent Configuration Information
You can access configuration information about an Altiris Agent from a browser by using
the following URL:
http://NSName/Altiris/NS/Agent/Gand so onlientPolicies.aspx?xml=
<Request><WrkstaGuid>GUID</WrkstaGuid><WrkstaName>ClientName</
WrkstaName></Request>
NSName is the name of the Notification Server computer, ClientName is the managed
computer that you want configuration information on, and the GUID is replaced by the
GUID of the managed computer.
The Altiris Agent configuration information is also stored in the following file:
install path\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Client Policies\NSName.xml
where NSName is the name of your Notification Server.
Event Queue Size
Each managed computer contains an event queue. The event queue size is managed by
two registry key values (found at HKLM\Software\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Transport).

Max Queue (percent free space) - This is the maximum size the queue is allowed
to grow to as a percentage of free space on the drive the Altiris Agent is installed on.
This is set to 5 by default. If it is set to 0, it is ignored.
Notification Server Reference 34


Max Queue Count - This is the maximum number of events allowed in the queue.
This is set to 0 by default, causing this setting to be ignored. If it were set to 1000,
there could never be more than 1000 events in the queue.
Once the queue is full, the oldest 10% of the events are discarded.
Disk Imaging with Altiris Agent installed
You can image a computer that has the Altiris Agent installed and then deploy that
image to other computers. However, there are some steps you need to perform before
doing so to prevent all of your computers from having the same managed computer
GUID (MachineGUID). If you do not do these steps, you will have an inventory reporting
problem as you will only see the name of the last computer that has reported that
managed computer GUID to the database.
Before making an image, do the following
1.Stop the Altiris Agent, set its stills to autostart.
2.Open the managed computer’s Registry Editor.
3.Search for and delete the MachineGuid registry value from the
HKLM\Software\Altiris key and all child keys. Ensure you delete
HKLM\Software\Altiris\Altiris Agent\MachineGuid.
4.In the file system under install path\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Client Policies, delete any
.xml files.
5.In the file system, delete all subdirectories in the install path\Altiris\Altiris
Agent\Software Delivery directory.
6.In the file system, under the install path\Altiris\Altiris Agent directory and
subdirectories, delete all *.nsi, *.nse, and *.tmp files.
7.Shut down the computer and image it. Make the image before the Altiris Agent
posts any event to the Notification Server (when this happens, a new unique
MachineGUID will be created by the Notification Server and sent to the Altiris
Agent). All deleted files will be regenerated.
Altiris Agent Log On Events
Every time a user logs on or off a computer, the Altiris Agent records a logon/logoff
event. These primary user events are sent to the Notification Server as part of basic
inventory. These events can be viewed in the Resource Manager by clicking the Events
tab, and then navigating to Data Classes > Computer Events > AeX Client LogOn.
Altiris Agent Diagnostics
The Altiris Agent diagnostics let the user view the log file through the Altiris Agent User
Interface. It also displays other current settings on the Altiris Agent. Enabling the
diagnostics is only recommended for test environments, or when troubleshooting.
Notification Server Reference 35

Altiris Agent Registry Keys
Important
Altering Registry Keys incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to
re-install the Altiris Agent to correct them.
Basic Inventory Registry Keys

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Inventory]
Agent Policy Registry Keys

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Servers]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altiris\Altiris
Agent\Servers\NSHOSTNAME.DOMAIN.COM]
Value Type Default Description
ConnectionTimeLan DWORD variable Storage for basic inventory details.
Cannot be modified, will be
overwritten by system.
ConnectionTimeWan DWORD variable As above.
ConnectionTimeNone DWORD variable As above.
PrimaryUser STRING variable As above.
PrimaryUserMaxEntries DWORD variable As above.
ConnectionTimeMaxDays DWORD variable As above.
Value Type Default Description
Default STRING variable Fully qualified hostname of the
Notification Server the Altiris Agent
reports to.
Value Type Default Description
Version STRING variable Notification Server version.
Policy Next Request STRING variable Time of next policy config request in
"YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS" format.
Basic Inventory Next
Post
STRING variable Time to next send basic inventory in
"YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS" format.
Web STRING variable URL of the Notification Server, that
is, "HTTP://
NSHOSTNAME.DOMAIN.COM:80/
Altiris/".
Policy Last Requested STRING variable Time of last policy config request in
"YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS" format.
Policy Last Received STRING variable Time of last policy config received in
"YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS" format.
Policy Update Interval
(mins)
DWORD variable Interval between policy update
requests in minutes.
Notification Server Reference 36

Software Delivery Registry Keys

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Software Delivery]
Policy Retry Interval
(mins)
DWORD variable Interval between policy retry
requests in minutes.
Basic Inventory Hash STRING variable HASH of last inventory results
Basic Inventory Last Post STRING variable Time of last inventory post to
Notification Server in "YYYY-MM-DD
HH:MM:SS" format.
Basic Inventory Update
Interval (mins)
DWORD variable Interval between basic inventory
generation in minutes.
Value Type Default Description
ExecutionHistorySize DWORD 0000001e Size of history to keep regarding
SWD execution.
DefaultImmediateDownload DWORD 00000001 Immediate download or download
before run.
DefaultMinDownloadSpeed DWORD 00000000 Minimum interface speed to
download packages.
DefaultMinRunSourceSpeed DWORD ffffffff Minimum interface speed to
execute advertisements.
ShowOptions DWORD 00000001 Show 'options' in Altiris Agent UI.
DefaultMinConnectionSpeed DWORD 00000000 Minimum interface speed to
connect to the Notification Server.
NotifyRunPrograms (Mins) DWORD 00000000 Interval between program
notification and execution.
NotifyMandatoryAds DWORD 00000000 Notify regarding mandatory
assigned advertisements.
NotifyOptionalAds DWORD 00000001 Notify regarding optional assigned
advertisements.
AgentUITasksFoldout DWORD 00000001 Expand 'Tasks' in UI by default.
AgentUIActionsFoldout DWORD 00000001 Expand 'Actions' in UI by default.
AgentUIDescFoldout DWORD 00000001 Expand 'Description' in UI by
default.
AgentUIOptionFoldout DWORD 00000000 Expand 'Options' in UI by default.
AgentUIShowDisabled DWORD 00000000 Show 'Disabled' advertisements in
UI by default.
AgentUIShowInternal DWORD 00000000 Show 'Internal' advertisements in
UI by default.
AgentUIShowMandatory DWORD 00000000 Show 'Mandatory' advertisements
in UI by default.
AgentUISplitPosition DWORD 00000000 Default position of 'split' between
left and right hand panes of Agent
UI.
Auto Restart Agent (mins) DWORD 00000000 How often the Agent Service will
restart.
Value Type Default Description
Notification Server Reference 37

Event Handling Registry Keys

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Transport]
Installer Registry Keys

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altiris\APackageStub]
Communications Registry Keys

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altiris\Communications]
Value Type Default Description
ExecutionHistorySize STRING variable Path to local Agent file queue.
DefaultImmediateDownload DWORD 0000c350 Size of Buffer when copying files
locally.
DefaultMinDownloadSpeed DWORD 00000005 Percentage of available disk space
to use as maximum file queue size.
DefaultMinRunSourceSpeed DWORD 00000000 Maximum number of events for file
queue, "00000000" = Limited only
by File queue size.
ShowOptions DWORD 00000000 System flag - When queue is full
oldest 10% of NSE are dumped.
DefaultMinConnectionSpeed STRING BLANK Support debugging option,
alternate dump for NSE traffic.
NotifyRunPrograms (Mins) DWORD 00032000 Maximum size of NSE data before
compression is used.
NotifyMandatoryAds DWORD 000007d0 Delay between posts of NSE data
to Notification Server.
Value Type Default Description
LastExecute STRING variable Last process executed by the Altiris
packager
LastTemp STRING variable Last TEMP path used by Altiris
packager
Execute STRING variable Last sub process spawned by Altiris
packager including arguments
Value Type Default Description
Enable Bandwidth Control DWORD 00000001 Enable bandwidth throttling.
Absolute Throttle DWORD 00000000 Maximum allowed throughput when
throttling is enabled, in bytes per
second.
Relative Throttle DWORD 00000000 Percentage of available bandwidth
to use (0 - 100%).
Bandwidth Threshold DWORD 77359400 Throughput threshold (minimum) at
that bandwidth throttling is
enabled. In bytes per second.
Network Test Frequency
(secs)
DWORD 0000003c Period at which the Altiris Agent
transport will re-check available
throughput to network connections
Notification Server Reference 38

Package Delivery Registry Keys

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altiris\Communications\Package Delivery]
Listener Port DWORD 00000000 Listener Port for Power
Management.
Multicast Address STRING NULL Multicast address for Power
Management.
Multicast Port DWORD 00000000 Multicast Port for Power
Management.
HTTP Timeout (secs) DWORD 0000000f HTTP timeout period in seconds.
Require Intermediate
Cache Revalidation
DWORD 00000001 System HTTP setting.
Package Access User STRING variable UID for IIS and UNC package
authentication.
Package Access Password STRING variable PWD for IIS and UNC package
authentication (encoded).
IP Expiry (mins) DWORD 00000168 Number of minutes before
connectivity to an Host is retested.
Speed Expiry (mins) DWORD 00000168 Number of minutes before
connection speed to an Host is
retested.
Error Expiry (mins) DWORD 0000003c Number of minutes a Host will be
flagged as unavailable.
MaxErrorsPerServer DWORD 00000014 Number of errors allowed before a
host is flagged as unavailable.
Proxy Server STRING NULL Proxy server to be used for HTTP
connections.
Proxy Port DWORD 00000000 Proxy port to be used for HTTP
connections.
Proxy Auto Detect DWORD 00000001 Use HTTP proxy settings from IE
configuration.
Trusted Servers STRING variable List of servers that can remote
Power Manage the Altiris Agent.
Only SYSTEM can modify this
setting.
Blockouts STRING variable Altiris Agent blockout periods as set
through UI
MaxServersToCheck DWORD 00000006
Value Type Default Description
Download history size DWORD 0000001e Number of Package download
events to save as history.
Maximum download
attempt time (mins)
DWORD 0000001e Maximum time permitted for
attempting downloads.
Maximum download
attempts
DWORD 00000000 Number of Package download
events permitted.
Value Type Default Description
Notification Server Reference 39


[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altiris\Communications\Server
Profiles\Servers]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altiris\eXpress]
Logging Registry Keys

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altiris\eXpress\Event Logging]
Compatibility Registry Keys

[EventQueuePath\Altiris\eXpress\NS Client]]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altiris\eXpress\NS
Client\NSs\Nshostname.DOMAIN.COM]]
Maximum retry delay
(mins)
DWORD 00000078 Maximum time permitted for delay
before retrying downloads.
Min Disk Free Space DWORD 000001f4 Sets the minimum disk free space
for package delivery.
Package Source Expiry DWORD 0000001a Sets the package source expiry.
Retry Delay DWORD 00000013 Time before retrying downloads.
Value Type Default Description
NShostname BINARY variable NS server profile (dynamic data)
Value Type Default Description
MachineGUID STRING variable Altiris Agent unique identifier.
Value Type Default Description
FilePath STRING PATH Path for log files install path\Logs.
FileName STRING agent.log Naming format for log files.
Severity DWORD variable Severity level of message logging.
Value Type Default Description
DefaultServer STRING variable Default Notification Server that the
Altiris Agent connects to.
Version STRING variable Version number of the installed
Altiris Agent.
IntsallDir STRING variable Install path for the Altiris Agent.
MachineGUID STRING variable Unique identifier for the Altiris
Agent.
Value Type Default Description
NSweb STRING variable HTTP string for Altiris Agent to
server communications, 'HTTP://
Nshostname.DOMAIN.COM:80/
ALTIRIS’
Value Type Default Description
Notification Server Reference 40

Scheduler Registry Keys

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altiris\Scheduler]]
Value Type Default Description
Enable Logging DWORD 00000000 Enable verbose logging.
Execution Queue Size DWORD 00000032 Queue size of tasks to execute.
Thread Pool Size DWORD 00000005 Available threads to allocate to
scheduled tasks.
WorkFolder STRING path Path where scheduled tasks are
stored - install path\Altiris
Agent\Tasks
Notification Server Reference 41

Part III
Notification Server
This section provides detailed reference information on the Notification Server and its
components.
Quick Links
Memory Configuration on
page 42
Learn how Notification Server events affect memory
usage and how to configure memory settings for both
the Notification Server and the SQL Server.
Inventory Forwarding on
page 46
Learn how to gather basic inventory from managed
computers and, if you desire, forward that inventory to
SMS.
Package Servers on page 48 Package Servers can be set up to distribute your
Software Delivery packages to your Altiris Agents. This
helps reduce the load on Notification Servers as well as
reduce network traffic.
Software Delivery on page 78 Software Delivery is the mechanism for delivering
software packages to your managed computers.
Monitoring Notification Server
Operations on page 81
Provides information on how to monitor Notification
Server operations. This helps you understand how to
monitor the performance and load on your Notification
Server.
Extending the Notification
Database on page 98
Provides supports options for extending your
Notification Database.
Disaster Recovery and High
Availability on page 108
Provides information on how to keep your data
recoverable if disaster strikes.
Security Management on
page 112
Understand security in the Notification Server, know
how roles, privileges, permissions, and item tasks are
configured and used.
Integrating IIS Lockdown and