Welcome to the BigFix Enterprise Suite. Using these instructions you should be able to quickly and easily get a license to use BigFix and then install the BigFix Server, BigFix Console, and BigFix Clients.

Note: In order to install a production copy of BigFix, you will first need to have purchased a license from BigFix, Inc. or authorized reseller. Click here if you would like to try an evaluation version of BigFix.

Part 1: BigFix Installation Requirements

Before installing BigFix, you need to make sure that you have an "install computer" that will be used to create the private keys, create the installers, and run the BigFix Console (often this computer will be your workstation or BigFix Server computer) and you will need a server computer that meets all of the BigFix Server system requirements. For more detailed installation and administration information, please refer to the BigFix Administrator's Guide in the IBM Tivoli Endpoint Manager Information Center.

Part 2: Creating the License Certificate

Before you can use BigFix, you need to create the Private Key (license.pvk) and installation masthead (masthead.afxm) for security and license reasons. (Perform the steps listed below on the install computer.) You should have been given a BigFix License Authorization (*.BESLicenseAuthorization) file from BigFix Licensing Group. If you have not received your license contact TEM@dk.ibm.com.

Creating Site Credentials and Requesting a License

  1. Download the latest version of BigFix from here: http://support.bigfix.com/bes/install/downloadbes.html.
  2. Run the installer (bes.exe), and when prompted choose "Production" installation.
  3. Choose the option "I want to install with a BES license authorization file". A wizard will open that will take you through the steps of creating your Private Key and installation Masthead.
  4. Click "Browse...", select your BES License Authorization file, and click "Next".
  5. Check the values for "Number of Clients", "License Start Date", "License End Date", and "Organization Name" to make sure they match up with what you have ordered and click "Next".
  6. Choose a hostname for your BigFix Server that will allow BigFix Clients to connect to it. A hostname, such as "bes.companyname.com", is recommended because of its flexibility when changing server computers and doing advanced network configurations. After you have entered the hostname, click "Next".

    Note: After the License Certificate is created, the hostname cannot be changed. If change is needed for hostname, a new license will need to be created, which requires a completely new installation.
  7. Type in a site credentials password. This is the "master" password for BigFix. It will be used whenever you create additional users or change the masthead parameters. This password is very important and should follow your organization's policies for important passwords.

    Important: If you lose this password, a new license will need to be created, which requires a completely new installation.
  8. You will be prompted to save your Private Key (license.pvk) file. Save it in new folder in a secure location (i.e., in a folder "BES Site Credentials" with secure permissions or on a removable drive).

    Important: If you lose the Private Key file, a new license will need to be created, which requires a completely new installation. In addition, anyone with the Private Key file and Password will theoretically have full control over all computers with BigFix Clients installed so make sure to keep the Private Key file and Password secured.
  9. If you have internet connectivity, choose the option to submit your request over the Internet. You will be prompted for a location to save the resulting License Certificate (license.crt) file, and a request file will be sent to BigFix for license verification.

    Note: Your private key files and password are NOT sent to BigFix or anywhere else. This process may take several minutes. When it is done, click "Finish". If you are on an airgap without internet connectivity, choose the option to save the request to a file. Take the file to a machine with internet connectivity and submit it to URL shown in the installer. The page will provide you with a license.crt file. Take that file back to the installation computer and import it into the installer.
  10. Create a masthead file with specific parameters for your deployment.
  11. Choose the folder to install the BigFix component installers.

    Note: This step will create the installers for the BigFix Client, BigFix Console, and BigFix Server, but will not actually install the components.
  12. The BigFix Installation Guide will now be launched to lead you through the installation of the BigFix components.
  13. From the online installation instructions at http://support.bigfix.com/bes/install/besinstall.html, complete your installation starting with Part 3, "Installing BigFix Components":

Part 3: Installing BigFix Components

Now you are ready to install the BigFix Enterprise Suite. You will need to install each component on the appropriate computer(s).

Installing the BigFix Server

  • When you create a user, it will automatically create a database account and a set of private key files that will allow the BigFix Console operator to digitally sign actions.
  • The username, password, and keys will need to be delivered to the BigFix Console operator so they can use the BigFix Console.
  • Check the "Give this user ability to administer management rights" to give the user full control over all computers in BigFix. Otherwise, you will need to explicitly grant rights to non-admins on specific computers.
  • There needs to be at least one administrator created for BigFix to function properly.
  • Check the "Custom Actions" box to allow users to create Custom Actions in BigFix, which allows them to take any action on BigFix Client computers instead of only actions predefined in the Fixlet content (such as installing patches).
  • If there are any errors, click the "Full Interface" button and see which reports are reporting an error (red/yellow lights).
  • Click on the "?" next to each red/yellow light for a knowledge base article with more information about the issue.
  • If you cannot resolve the issue based on the knowledge base article or BigFix is not functioning properly, contact Support.
  1. Click on "Install BigFix Server" in the BigFix Installation Guide or, alternately, copy the BigFix Server installation folder from the install computer (default "C:\BESInstallers\Server") to the BigFix Server computer and run setup.exe.
  2. Follow the installer's directions to continue the installation.
  3. The installer will prompt you to install SQL Server 2005 Express Edition (if SQL Server 2005/2008 is not already installed) -- choose 'Yes' to install SQL Server 2005 Express Edition.
  4. You will be prompted to use either the BigFix Root Server or IIS for the installation. The BigFix Root Server is recommended because it performs better and configuration is simpler.
  5. Choose the appropriate folders to place the BigFix Server and web server files.
  6. Create a default 'sa' (System Administrator) password for SQL Server to be used whenever database administration functions need to be performed.
  7. You will be prompted to select the masthead, license.crt, and license.pvk that were created in the "BigFix Site Credentials" folder in Part 2 above. You can store the BigFix keys on a removable drive or on a different computer for additional security.
  8. Create users who are authorized to use the BigFix Console.
  9. The BigFix Diagnostics tool will run after the installer completes (or if you need a restart, the diagnostics tool will run after the restart completes) to ensure that everything is working properly.

Installing the BigFix Console

  1. Copy the BigFix Console installation folder from the install computer (default "C:\BESInstallers\Console") to the BigFix Console computer and run setup.exe.
  2. Follow the installer's instructions to complete the installation.
  3. After installation run the BigFix Console from the icon on your desktop.
  4. Log on to the database using the adminstrative user you created in step 8 of part 3. You will be also be prompted to select your publisher keys.
  5. The BigFix Server will then gather the latest Fixlet content for the BigFix Fixlet Sites. This process may take a few minutes.

Installing BigFix Clients

  • You can use network shares to manually install the BigFix Clients (simply run the setup.exe from the BigFix Client installation folder while logged in as a user with admin rights on that computer).
  • For Windows NT domains or Windows AD domains, you can use your domain administration user to deploy BigFix Clients using the BigFix Client Deploy Tool located at Start > Programs > BigFix Enterprise > BigFix Client Deploy (on the computer that was used to run the BigFix Installation Generator).
  • You can use login scripts to automatically install the BigFix Client on computers.
  • You can use package deployment applications (such as SMS, Tivoli, etc.) to deploy BigFix Clients.
  • You can use any mechanism/procedure that you currently use to install applications within your network.
  • More information on BigFix Client deployment can be found in the BigFix Administrator's Guide available here.
  1. The BigFix Clients should be installed on all the computers that you wish to administer (including the computers running the BigFix Server and BigFix Console).
  2. Click on "Install BigFix Clients" > "Install Locally" in the BigFix Installation Guide or, alternately, run the BigFix Client installer manually from the install location (default "C:\BESInstallers\Client") by running setup.exe.
  3. Follow the installation instructions.
  4. For the other computers in your network, you have multiple options to deploy BigFix Clients.
  5. Shortly after you install the BigFix Clients (within 1-3 minutes), you will see them appear in the "Computers" and report their relevant Fixlet messages in the BigFix Console.
  6. You can now view relevant Fixlet messages and deploy actions across your network using the BigFix Console.