Frequently used commands with the SMP Agent for Unix, Linux and Mac
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Frequently used commands with the SMP Agent for Unix, Linux and Mac


Article ID: 178936


Updated On:


IT Management Suite Client Management Suite


Frequently used commands with the SMP Agent for Unix, Linux and Mac.


ULM Agent client.conf & Frequently Used Agent Commands


Following are frequently Used sections and name/value pairs in the client.conf file, which is the main agent configuration file. This file is found on managed clients in the following directory, by default: /opt/altiris/notification/nsagent/etc/client.conf. It is possible to manually edit this file, using 'vi' or a similar editor, or by using the following aex-helper commands. 






 [Event Queue]





[Notification Servers]





Updating client.conf settings using aex-helper


Usage: Get/View a value:      aex-helper agent -g [section name] name

Set a value:           aex-helper agent -s [section name] name  newvalue

Get a value sample:      aex-helper agent -g "Event Queue" backup_dir

Set a value sample:       aex-helper agent -s "Event Queue" backup_dir /tmp/nse


Sample to gather basic inventory NSE files:

      # These four will capture client-side NSE files and reset the value to blank:

      mkdir /tmp/nse
      aex-helper agent -s "Event Queue" backup_dir /tmp/nse
      aex-helper agent -s "Event Queue" backup_dir ""



Set/unset debug level:

      aex-helper agent –s Configuration debug_level debug

      Possible values: ERROR, WARNING, INFO, DEBUG, DBGVERBOSE and DEVNOTE. NOT case sensitive.

      as of 8.x  (sets/resets both debug_level and debug_file_size):

            aex-helper debug on
            aex-helper debug off


Set/unset DevNote level:

To enable Devnote logging run this in Terminal:

--Raise the logging level to debug state.
aex-helper agent -s Configuration debug_level devnote

--Turn off the limit of log size.
aex-helper agent -s Configuration debug_file_size 0

Collect agent logs from:  /opt/altiris/notification/nsagent/var/ 

To Disable devnote logging run this in Terminal:

  aex-helper agent -s "Configuration" debug_level ERROR
  aex-helper agent -s "Configuration" debug_file_size 1024


Configure agent to communicate to a different Notification Server:

aex-helper agent -s "Notification Servers" Server-1 <new, resolvable ns name>


 View & configure resource key creation:

aex-helper agent –g "MachineID" ignore_resource_keys

aex-helper agent –s "MachineID" ignore_resource_keys fqdn, uniqueid


Aex-helper& Other Commands

Here’s an explanation of the aex-helper command, various options and commands and a few KB articles. I have also attached a document showing aex-helper commands to set and unset values in the client.conf file. 

‘aex-helper’ is the main client-side app. It has tons of options or parameters. The features available are different depending if you are root (or use sudo) versus being a non-root user without using sudo. Login as a non-privileged user and run both ‘aex-helper -h’ and‘sudo aex-helper -h’ to see the differences in the available parameters. 

In most cases, you can get additional help for command parameters. Running 'aex-helper agent -h’ will give all the “agent” options. ‘aex-helper info -h’ will give all the “info” options. The same applies to the parameters or options for most other agent and solution commands. 

Try running ‘which aex-helper’. This will show the directory where we placed soft links (shortcuts) to various aex commands. Then, run ‘ls -l <that directory>/aex*’ to see all apps that have a short cut. These commands can be run from any directory without specifying the full path of the command. The shortcuts are typically in the /user/bin directory. The full, literal path for the actual commands is, by default: /opt/altiris/notification/<solution>/bin/.There’s a client.conf configuration entry that allows/disallows non-root users to use or not use these commands.


Aex-Helper Commands:

  • aex-helper -h: show available parameters for the ‘aex-helper’ command
  • aex-helper info -h: show available parameters for the ‘aex-helper info’ command
  • aex-helper agent -h: show available parameters for the ‘aex-helper agent command
  • aex-helper -v: show version of the installed agent
  • aex-helper list: lists installed solutions and components
  • aex-helper list solutions: lists installed solutions only
  • aex-helper check: see if the agent is running
  • aex-helper info ns: which ns is the client managed by. This is helpful in a variety of situations since it can be executed within another shell command: "openssl s_client -connect `aex-helper info ns`:443  -showcerts". (The back-ticks tell the shell to execute the command rather than use the literal string.) 
  • aex-helper uninstall all: uninstalls the agent and all solutions. Same as executing /opt/altiris/notification/nsagent/bin/aex-uninstall -f.


Other helpful commands include: 

  • aex-uninstall: uninstalls the entire agent and all solutions from the client. Use the ‘-f’ parameter to avoid the verification prompt. 
  • aex-configure: Configure the agent. Two parameters are ‘-configure’ (automatic/non-interactive) and ‘-iconfigure’ (interactive). For the non-interactive method, if there’s a "config.xml" file available, the values in that file will be used to configure the agent. Otherwise, default values will be used. 
  • aex-cta ts: Which task server is the ctagent registered to, etc. 
  • aex-cta register: force the ctagent to register or re-register
  • aex-cta list: list all client task history
  • aex-swdapm: list any available software management policies. Use of root/sudo is required to actually execute the task. 
  • aex-smf: software FRAMEWORK (not solution) app to list, run and send certain basic inventory types of software

All of these have a ‘-h’ option that works similar to the agent’s help functionality. 

Additional note: We also use OS native packages to install the agent. The bootstrap downloads these and installs them using the native package command. So, you can use the OS’s native package commands to view which components, agents, solutions, etc are installed. Examples include: ‘rpm -qa | grep -i aex’ on linux and ‘pkgutil –pkg-info <pkgname>’ on Mac. See TECH40673 for a bit more info on this. 



The following kb articles may also be helpful: 

KB 176609 - NS Agent for Unix, Linux and Macintosh commands and command-line parameters

TechDocs  - Symantec Management Agent for UNIX, Linux, and Mac troubleshooting commands

KB 178936 - Frequently used commands for the SMP Agent for Unix, Linux and Mac

KB 177032 - Client Task Agent 7.x for Unix, Linux and Macintosh Command Lines

KB 179990 - Unix, Linux and Macintosh aex-smf command-line tool

KB 181065 - Managed Software Delivery Reporting on Unix, Linux and Mac Clients

KB 176816 - NS Agent for Unix and Linux Package formats and installation commands