Aclient log file (aclient.log) overview

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Article ID: 181803

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Products

Ghost Solution Suite

Resolution

Question
What is Aclient logging (aclient.log) and how is it used?

Answer
What information it logs

The aclient.log contains information from the initialization of the aclient until it shuts down.  Generally the information that is logged is what functions the aclient is calling and any errors encountered.  There are some exceptions to that where even more granular information is collected such as inventory details and schedule details. 

When to use the aclient.log

Typically this log is collected and analyzed when there is a communication problem with the deployment server or when a configuration task is not working as expected on the client.

Default Location(s)

c:\program files\altiris\aclient
c:\altiris\aclient

How to enable and capture the log

There are multiple methods of enabling the Aclient log, find the method that is most applicable to your needs.  The Aclient can be ran in two different environments.  The first in production.  The second environment is automation (WinPE).  The way to enable and collect the logging from these two environments is very different.  Both ways are covered below.

Production Agent

These are the different methods of enabling aclient logging in production Windows.

  1. During the gui install of aclient
    - Start the install by running aclient.exe
    - Select Advanced button on the first page
    - Enter the DS ip address in the Address/Hostname field (required before you change tabs)
    - Go to the Log File Tab
    - Check "Save log information to a text file"
    - Check the other the other check boxes (Log errors, Log informational messages, Log debugging information)
    - Click OK -> Next -> Next -> Finish
     
  2. Using the systray
    This is the most common way for users to change this setting
    - Right click the aclient icon in the systray and select admin properties or double click the icon and select properties
    - Select the log file tab
    - Check the boxes as described in method #1
    - Click OK
     
  3. Modifying the registry
    Typically this method is only used when pushing down a policy from the domain or when the aclient icon is hidden.
    - Run regedit
    - Browse to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Altiris\Client Service
    - Set the following keys to 1: LogDebug, LogErrors, LogFile and LogInformation
    - Set LogSize to the decimal value of 512000
    - The aclient service needs to be restarted before the changes can take effect
     
  4. During the remote agent install
    The remote agent installer has the ability to change agent settings of existing agents.  Using this method is only recommended for new client installs and existing aclient installs where the aclient is not connected to a deployment server.
    - Start the remote agent installer
    - Click next
    - Check "Use Aclient instead of Dagent on older OS computers" (Only available on Deployment Server 6.9 sp1 and above)
    - Click change Settings
    - Select the Log File tab
    - Check the boxes as described in method #1
    - Click OK then proceed with the reset of the remote agent install.  Any clients installed will get the new setting to enable the log file.
     
  5. Right click menu from the console
    Recommended for a small number connected clients.
    - Right click on the machine in the Win32 console
    - Select change agent settings > production agent
    - Select the log file tab
    - Check the boxes as described in method #1
    - Click ok
    This will only change the configuration of ACTIVE managed clients
     
  6. Using a job
    Recommended for changing a large number of managed clients.  With this method you will be able see which clients of loaded the settings and which have not
    See KB HOWTO8126
     
  7. Using a customized aclient.cfg
    This method is not recommended and is very situational
     

Automation Agent

These are the methods for enabling aclient logging while in WinPE automation.

  1. Boot Disk Creator
    It is recommended that the logging be enabled while building the WinPE environment in boot disk creator.
    - If using PXE open the pxe configuration and select to edit/create a WinPE boot item
    - If you are using boot disk creator for a winpe open the boot disk creator and edit/create a WinPE configuration
    - Get to the step where you can see the files that are going in to WinPE on the left
    - Select the aclient.inp
    - Remove the semi-colon from in front of the following entries and configure these values:
    LogFile=f:\temp\Automation-aclient.log
    LogSize=409600
    LogErrors=Yes
    LogDebug=Yes
    - Click next and continue to build WinPE (accept changes to aclient.inp if prompted)
    Make certain you have the aclient.log file after a machine reboots to production it is important to make sure the LogFile value is going to the eXpress share.  Also remember that this file will get overwritten by every client machine that logs into WinPE.
     
  2. Through a batch file
    The advantage to doing it this way is that the user can add specific information to the batch file to get the aclient to log to a unique log file.  This is also the only way to get aclient to provide a full log in automation with inventory and other initialization procedures.
    This method is best described in KB HOWTO9716 and is recommended if you need to troubleshoot multiple clients in automation or need to troubleshoot inventory related problems.