Agent Footprint - The Comprehensive Guide to the NS Agent for Unix


Article ID: 178941


Updated On:


Notification Server Agent for Macintosh (Altiris)




Once Inventory Solution and Software Delivery Solution for Unix are installed, additional directories will be created in the .../nsagent/var directory, such as 'packages' and 'swd'. These will have additional files for policies, logs, settings, package contents, etc. The number and size of files is variable based on customer settings.

Note that other solutions will create their own 'base' directories, as shown here:


The following chart lists all the files deployed to a client computer with a default installation of the Altiris Agent for Unix. It does not include any files or directories created by any other solution. Most file sizes are static. However, some files, such as logs, the <servername>.xml, etc. may vary somewhat in size. The total size of the agent footprint is approximate.

File Path / File Name File Size Description
aex-bootstrap 2,083,200 Sets up the environment, downloads the agent package file and initiates the package installation. This file can be removed after the installation is complete.
aex-nsclt-install.log 1,630 Details of the push installation.
# of files 2  
Size of all bin files: 2,084,830  
/opt/altiris/notification/nsagent/bin 84,188 Translates configuration XML items into settings in the client.conf file. 85,584 The objects in this library create and send events to the Notification Server. They will wrap the objects in XML to identify where the events came from, and queue events in the case where the Notification Server is not available. 130,404 Provides low level communication services: HTTPS, FTP, and Package retrieval
aex-configure 1,516 Script to run aex-configure.bin
aex-configure.bin 516,492 Used by the install process to initially configure the agent settings and is used subsequently when processes or policy changes the agent settings.
aex-diagnostics 128 Script to run aex-diagnostics.bin
aex-diagnostics.bin 21,808 Used by agent processes for monitoring. Can also be ran as a stand-alone utility to return specific information and perform specific tasks. Run 'aex-diagnostics -h' for more information.
aex-env 2,869 A bourne shell script which contains PATH and library environment variables that allow many of the binaries to run correctly.
aex-helper 123 Script to run aex-helper.bin
aex-helper.bin 189,044 A stand-alone utility to return specific information and perform specific tasks. Run 'aex-helper -h' for more information. 216,784 48,444 Processes XML policy for inventory agent. 286,028 Manages basic inventory.
aex-mkmanifest 127 Script to run aex-mkmanifest.bin
aex-mkmanifest.bin 16,168 Creates manifest files for maintaining file permissions, etc. in SWD packages. Not required if package contents are tared and zipped. 75,300 445,144 Used for package delivery.
aex-pluginmanager 130 Script to run aex-pluginmanager.bin
aex-pluginmanager.bin 233,100 The actual agent process. 138,104 Refreshes policies from the Notification Server as required.
aex-refreshpolicies 132 Script to run aex-refreshpolicies.bin
aex-refreshpolicies.bin 627 Requests new policy xml from the Notification Server.
aex-sendbasicinv 129 Script to run aex-sendbasicinv.bin
aex-sendbasicinv.bin 626 Sends basic inventory to the Notification Server.
aex-swdapm 123 Script to run aex-swdapm.bin
aex-swdapm.bin 64,472 Runs a text-based utility to run tasks assigned to the client computer. 312,724 Implements SWD policies and keeps track of those that have run, require schedules etc. 124,692 Manages all scheduled tasks including periodic refreshing of policies and active SWD tasks. 123,644 Can be called from the NS console via the agent process. It will return basic inventory, etc.
aex-uninstall 5,071 Uninstalls the agent, restoring a system to a near pre-install state.
killem 1,133 This command is similar to kill or killall but not the same. However, this depends on the script 'whose' to be on the system and in the PATH. It uses that to build the list of process IDs to send a signal to. This allows the user to specify any pattern that can be found in the ps -ef output that they want to send the signal to.
rcscript 19 A link to /etc/init.d/altiris to start, stop and restart the agent process.
wait_for_proc 1,664 Used to wait for a process to either enter or exit the process table.
whose 2,006 This is a reworked version of the usual whose command.
# of files 34  
Size of all bin files: 3,128,547  
client.conf 19,269 the main configuration file for the NS Agent. It includes all of the settings for the various features of the agent. The size can vary slightly.
client.proto 17,880 client.proto is a template file for client.conf. It is used by aex-configure script for generation of the new client.conf on user demand.
host.GUID 39 stores the GUID that was generated for that specific machine by the NS.
om-ior 4 Contains the process id (PID) of the agent process. Used for internal processing.
rcscript.proto.linux 2,982 An rc startup script template for RedHat Linux.
rcscript.proto.suse 2,696 rcscript.proto.suseAn rc startup script template for SuSE Linux.
# of bin files 6  
Size of all etc files: 42,870  
This directory contains various supporting files required by the Altiris Agent for Unix 97,988 939,108 30,000 113,028 685,636 154,240 1,060,740 71,412 20,328 52,352 979,436 209,452 30,844 3,156,564 687,804 187,692 769,572 187,140 407,692  
# of lib files 19  
Size of all lib files: 9,841,028  
<NS_servername>.xml 11,487 Contains policy information of tasks assigned to this computer. Size varies according to the number of policies enabled for each client computer.
aex-client.log 43,855 Main log file for agent processes. Debug detail is configured in the client.conf file. There may be multiple backup log files. The combined size of all log files is configured in the client.conf file.
# of var files 2  
Size of all var files: 55,342  
: /opt/altiris/notification/nsagent/var/tasks
MID01.nst 365  
PD01.nst 374  
PD02.nst 372  
PM01.nst 370 PM01.nst is the policy refresh scheduling task used by the core NS Agent upon restart
PM02.nst 367  
# of var/tasks files 5  
Size of all var/tasks files: 1,848  
Startup Scripts and Links
/etc/init.d/altiris 3,016 Script to start, stop and restart the agent process.
link: /etc/rc0.d/K01altiris -> ../init.d/altiris 17 A link to /etc/init.d/altiris to start or stop the agent process
link: /etc/rc1.d/K01altiris -> ../init.d/altiris 17 A link to /etc/init.d/altiris to start or stop the agent process
link: /etc/rc2.d/K01altiris -> ../init.d/altiris 17 A link to /etc/init.d/altiris to start or stop the agent process
link: /etc/rc3.d/K01altiris -> ../init.d/altiris 17 A link to /etc/init.d/altiris to start or stop the agent process
link: /etc/rc4.d/K01altiris -> ../init.d/altiris 17 A link to /etc/init.d/altiris to start or stop the agent process
link: /etc/rc0.5/K01altiris -> ../init.d/altiris 17 A link to /etc/init.d/altiris to start or stop the agent process
link: /etc/rc06.d/K01altiris -> ../init.d/altiris 17 A link to /etc/init.d/altiris to start or stop the agent process
# of var/tasks files: 8  
Size of all var/tasks files: 3,135  
Agent Binary Links   Links to agent binaries in the /opt/altiris/notification/nsagent/bin directory. These are the most frequently used agent binaries. The location of these links is configurable and is intended to be a directory in the default path environment variable. A configuration setting allows for providing privileges for all users to run these scripts.
/usr/bin/aex-diagnostics 53  
/usr/bin/aex-helper 48  
/usr/bin/aex-mkmanifest 52  
/usr/bin/aex-pluginmanager 55  
/usr/bin/aex-refreshpolicies 57  
/usr/bin/aex-sendbasicinv 54  
/usr/bin/aex-swdapm 48  
# of var/tasks files: 7  
Size of all var/tasks files: 367  
Total # of files: 83  
Total size of all NS Agent files: 15,157,607  

Installation - The Comprehensive Guide to the NS Agent for Unix