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Managing Linux Computers

Administrators can use Desktop Central to manage computers running Linux  operating system. This document will explain you on the following:

Supported Linux OS

Desktop Central currently supports the following  Linux versions:

    • Ubuntu 10.04 and later versions
    • RedHat Enterprise Linux 6 and later versions
    • CentOS 6 and later versions
    • Fedora  19 and later versions
    • Mandriva 2010  and later versions
    • Debian 7 and later versions
    • Linux Mint 13 and later versions
    • Open SuSe 11 and later versions
    • Suse Enterprise Linux 11 and later versions
    • Pardus 17, and 19
    • Oracle Linux Server 6, 7, and 8

Note:Patch management and software deployment is supported for select Linux flavors. See our complete Linux flavor comparison matrix for better visibility on the features supported by different versions of Linux OS.

Configuring Linux Agent Settings

Desktop Central has different agents for managing windows, Mac and Linux computers. Mac and Linux agents will not be created by default.  You can create Linux agents by configuring the settings in the scope of management.  This will help you automatically create Linux agents for the local office and the remote offices. To Configure the Linux agent settings follow the steps mentioned below.

    1. Click the Admin tab to invoke the Admin page.
    2. Click the Agent Settings link available under SoM Settings.
    3. Select Linux Agent Settings tab
    4. Select the domain or the workgroup to group Linux computers (this is virtual grouping and will not impact on its functions).  Agents that are pushed remotely from SoM --> Add Computers will be shown under the respective Domain/Workgroup from which they are added.

      The credentials added will be used for automatic installation of agents across local office computers irrespective of their domain. While adding credentials, it is recommended that the user account falls under active directory else the credentials can be added under workgroup type.

    5. Click Save Changes to create Linux agents.


      Linux agents can be download from the SoM page, by choosing the appropriate agent, such as LAN agent or WAN agent for specific Remote offices.

Installing Desktop Central Agents

Linux agents can be installed manually in the computers that need to be managed.  Agents should be downloaded on the Linux computer manually before initiating the installation process. For invoking the installation in client computers, SSH port (default port 22) should be open in the computers where the agent needs to be installed. SSH port is used only for agent installation purposes and not for agent-server communication. Follow the steps mentioned below.

    1. Go to the terminal as a root user. If you do not login as a root user, open the terminal and use sudo command to perform each operation mentioned below and enter password whenever prompted. This provides you the root privilege.
    2. Navigate to the location, where the agent is downloaded and Unzip the DCLinuxAgent.zip by using the command "unzip -e DCLinuxAgent.zip".
    3. Verify if,  "DesktopCentral_LinuxAgent.bin" & "serverinfo.json" are located in the same path
    4. Execute the Command, "chmod +x DesktopCentral_LinuxAgent.bin" as a root user. This prepares the executable for installation.
    5. Run the Installer using "./DesktopCentral_LinuxAgent.bin". Agent will be installed by default in "/usr/local/desktopcentralagent" directory.
    6. If you wanted to change the installation location of the agent, use this command "./DesktopCentral_LinuxAgent.bin -d <new_location>" .

You can see that the Desktop Central agent is successfully installed on the Linux computer. You need to install the agents manually on the computers, which needs to be managed using Desktop Central. Once the agent installation is completed, the computer will be scanned automatically and the following details will be updated to the Desktop Central server:

    • System Details : All details about the computer, like Users, Groups and Services. This does not include details on the network shares mapped to the computer.
    • Hardware  Details : All hardware details of the computer like, BIOS, Disk Drives, Physical Memory, Processors, Network Adapters etc. This does not include details on Printers and Ports.
    • Software Details : All details on the software that is installed on the managed computer, with the version of the application and installation date etc.

Installing Desktop Central Agent Remotely

If you wanted to install agents for computers within the LAN, then you can choose the computers and invoke agent installation from the Desktop Central web console  Admin tab --> SoM -->Select computers and invoke agent installation. If you wanted to install agents to computers which belongs to a different remote office, then you will have to use SSH port (default port 22)

 

When you want to push Desktop Central agents to remote office computers,  you can install  them using SSH (default port 22), provided the port should be open. Follow the steps mentioned below to install Desktop Central agent using SSH (default port 22):

    1. Login to a Linux computer
    2. Download the appropriate agent, based on the remote office
    3. Copy the downloaded Desktop Central agent to the remote computer on which the agent needs to be installed
      1. Go to terminal as root user
      2. Navigate to the location where the agent is being copied/downloaded
      3. Type "scp DCLinuxAgent.zip username@hostname:<Path_To_Storage_Directory_If_Needed>" to copy the agent to the target computer, enter password if prompted
        where username refers to the root user name of the target computer
        hostname refers to the local host name of the target computer
        If no path is specified, then the agent will be copied to "/home/username" in the target computer
    4. Install the agent by following the steps mentioned below:
      1. Go to the terminal and Type "ssh rootusername@hostname"  to login to the target computer
      2. Login as a root user. If you do not login as rootuser, open the terminal and use sudo command to perform each operation mentioned below and enter password whenever prompted. This provides you the root privilege.
      3. Navigate to the location, where the agent is downloaded/copied, if the downloaded agent is a remote office agent, then extract <Remote_Office_Name>.zip  and navigate to Unzip the DCLinuxAgent.zip by using the command "unzip -e DCLinuxAgent.zip".
      4. Verify if,  "DesktopCentral_LinuxAgent.bin" & "serverinfo.json" are located in the same path
      5. Execute the Command, "chmod +x DesktopCentral_LinuxAgent.bin" as a root user. This prepares the executable for installation.
      6. Run the Installer using "./DesktopCentral_LinuxAgent.bin".  Ensure that the Property File "severinfo.json" exists in the Same Directory as "DesktopCentral_LinuxAgent.bin".  Agent will be installed by default in "/usr/local/desktopcentralagent" directory. You also have an option to force Linux agent installation even if an agent is already installed on a machine by using the command "./DesktopCentral_LinuxAgent.bin -f
      7. If you wanted to change the installation location of the agent, use this command "./DesktopCentral_LinuxAgent.bin -d <new_location>" .

You have successfully installed the Desktop Central agent on a remote computer using SSH.

Uninstalling Desktop Central Agents

If you do not want to manage a computer, you can follow the steps mentioned below to uninstall the Desktop Central agent. Once Desktop Central agent is uninstalled, all the details related to the computer will be removed from Desktop Central server. If you wanted to manage this computer again, then you will have to re-install Desktop Central agent in it. However the previous details related to the computer will not be available. To uninstall the agents from the computers, follow the steps mentioned below:

      1. Go to the terminal as a root user. If you do not login as root user, open the terminal and use sudo command to perform each operation mentioned below and enter password whenever prompted. This provides you the root privilege.
      2. Navigate to the location, where the agent is installed, (default Location : /usr/local/desktopcentralagent) execute this command to "chmod +x RemoveDCAgent.sh" to initiate the uninstaller. You need to have root privilege to uninstall the agent. If you do not remember the installation location, you can locate it here, Agent Installed Directory : "/etc/desktopcentralagent/dcagentsettings.json"
      3. Execute this command "./RemoveDCAgent.sh"  to uninstall the agent.

    You can see that the Desktop Central agent has been uninstalled successfully from the computer.

Supported Features:

Desktop Central currently supports the following features for Linux computers.

Features supported in the Inventory Module

    1. Managing Software License
    2. Managing Software Categories
    3. Hardware & Software Inventory Reports
    4. Alerting by email for every Hardware & Software Changes

Features supported in the Patch Module

    1. Automate patch deployment to Linux OS and third-party applications
    2. Patch compliance audits and reports

Features supported in the Software Deployment Module

    1. Supports installing/uninstalling of DEB based applications
    2. Customize and schedule software deployment during non business hours

Feature supported in the Configurations Module

    1. Execution of custom scripts
    2. Install/Uninstall third-party and Linux OS related patches
    3. Install/Uninstall software in Linux machines
    4. Display message to target users

Features supported in Remote Control

    1. Remotely access computers on LAN and WAN using Active X and HTML5 Viewer
    2. Prompts user confirmation before providing access to a remote desktop
    3. Multi-monitor support with easy switching options