How can you manage Linux based clients in System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager ?



System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager supports a wide variety of operating systems including alternative operating systems such as the following:-


Mac Client:


  • Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
  • Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion)
  • Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion)

UNIX/Linux Client:


  • AIX Version 7.1, 6.1, 5.3
  • Solaris Version 11, 10, 9
  • HP-UX Version 11iv2 , 11iv3
  • RHEL Version 6 , 5, 4
  • SLES Version 11, 10, 9
  • CentOS Version 6, 5
  • Debian Version 6, 5
  • Ubuntu Version 12.4 LTS, 10.4 LTS
  • Oracle Linux 6, 5



In this post I will show you how to install the Linux client on a popular Linux operating system (Centos 6.4) and do some basic actions like hardware and software inventory in System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager. This guide assumes you have already installed your Linux server and are ready for the next step. If you have not installed it yet just download the Live CD from here and boot from it, choose the option to Install to hard drive once the os has booted to the desktop.


Step 1. Download the Alternative Client files


When you started the System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager installation you probably didn’t notice that there was a link to download alternative clients on the splash screen highlighted in the screenshot below




Download clients for additional operating systems.png




If you did click on the link it would bring you here




so go ahead and download those client files.




Step 2. Extract the Linux client files on a Windows computer


On the computer you downloaded the alternative client files, locate the Linux client exe file and extract the contents somewhere local by double clicking on the ConfigMgr Clients for Linux.exe file.




downloaded client files.png




extract the files to somewhere useful.




ConfigMgr Clients for Linux.png




the files are extracted..




extracted files.png




Step 3. Copy the linux client files to your linux server

Logon as a testuser on the Centos server, click on the Computer icon, and click on File, then Connect to server




connect to Server.png




enter the details required to connect to a server that has the client files downloaded from Step 1 above and click on connect (notice I chose windows shares in the service type drop down menu) then click on Connect








you may be prompted for a password, enter it




enter password.png




Locate the extracted files and copy them to your desktop




linux clients copied to the desktop.png



Step 4. Install the Linux client


To install the client we need the right permission, and the permission needed is that of root. We will install the Linux client using the command line. Start a terminal by clicking on Applications, System tools and choosing Terminal.








become root (the Linux equivalent of Administrator) by typing


su -


This will prompt you for a password, enter the password for root.




become root.png




change directory (cd) to the directory that holds the client installation files. Linux is case sensitive so keep that in mind.




cd to the client install files.png




make the installer executable by typing the following


chmod +x install


chmod plus x.png




and then install the client using the following command (for an X64 server os, use the corresponding X86 file if it’s 32 bit). Change the management point FQDN and sitecode to match your infrastructure.


./install -mp sccm.server2008r2.lab.local-sitecode P01 ccm.Universalx64.


After some moments you’ll see Installation Complete.




installation complete.png




You can review what’s happening realtime via the log file using the following command


tail -F /var/opt/microsoft/scxcm.log


linux log file.png






Step 5. Change logging options




Logging for the Linux based client is pretty much all done in one log file called scxcm.log contained in /var/opt/microsoft/. How that log file gets written to is governed by the following configuration file /opt/microsoft/configmgr/etc/scxcm.conf.




Below is what the conf file looks like by default:-




PATH: /var/opt/microsoft/scxcm.log
MODULE: scx.client WARNING




using vi or your favorite text editor in Linux, change it so that it now reads as follows




PATH: /var/opt/microsoft/scxcm.log
MODULE: scx.client TRACE


scxcm.conf in vi.png




save the changes and stop and then start (or simply restart) the Linux client






To start the client:


/etc/init.d/ccmexecd start


To stop the client:


/etc/init.d/ccmexecd stop


start linux client.png




Tip: The default logging mode for the scxcm.log file is WARNING which Indicates possible problems for the client operations. TRACE mode logs verbosely. As the log file is not trimmed in any way, when you are finished doing your diagnosis it is recommended to change it back to WARNING mode and restart the client daemon.




Step 6. Approve the Linux client


In the Configuration Manager console, locate the new linux client in Devices, and right click choose Approve.





answer yes when prompted



answer yes when prompted.png



the client is now listed as Approved in the console



client is approved.png






Step 7. Request a machine Policy



as root issue the following command


/opt/microsoft/configmgr/bin/ccmexec -rs policy


policy requested.png


in the log file above you can see the word TRACE repeated over and over, this confirms that our change to the logging options were indeed processed and it’s now in Trace mode.




Step 8. Perform a hardware inventory




as root issue the following command


/opt/microsoft/configmgr/bin/ccmexec -rs hinv


perform a hinv.png




on your Configuration Manager server, you can check the MP_HINV.log and look for the HINV details from our Centos computer coming in…




mp_hinv log file.png




now’s a good time to start Resource Explorer in the console to see what info it has got




start resource explorer.png




and here is what the installed applications look like




resource explorer details of installed applications.png




and that’s it, you’ve installed the Alternative client on our Centos server and performed a Hardware Inventory and got the information uploaded to your Primary server. You can even install RPM packages using Packages (and programs). I’ll deal with that in a separate post.




until then, adios






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