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How do you use SCCM 2012 to see Linux systems?

System Center Configuration manager can monitor and manage systems. Learn which Linux distros it supports.

System Center 2012 Configuration Manager 2012 R2 can collect and organize inventory data for Linux and UNIX client...

systems. This is accomplished on Linux systems using a Common Information Model server that implements a management scheme consistent with Windows Management Instrumentation capabilities on Windows systems.

The CIM server is installed with the SCCM Linux and UNIX clients, and the two ends can communicate directly without the typical Web Services Management interface.

Linux clients report hardware data back to the CIM server. Inventory data uses a mapping scheme similar to Windows including BIOS, disk, network adapter, operating system, processes, services, processor and other typical categories. For example, a Linux client will report hardware inventory data in Win32_DiskDrive and Win32_DiskPartition categories to highlight physical details of local disks as well as logical disk partition information. Similarly, the Linux client will report hardware in Win32_NetworkAdapter and Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration categories providing details about the physical Network Interface Card as well as its logical setup (such as frame size).

SCCM 2012 supports a wide range of Linux distributions including Red Hat Enterprise Linux versions 4 through 7, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server versions 9 through 11, CentOS versions 5 through 7, Debian versions 5 through 7, Ubuntu versions 10.04 through 14.04 and Oracle Linux versions 5 through 7. Clients can be obtained from the Microsoft Download Center.

By default, Linux hardware inventories are collected every seven days, though inventories can also be run on demand (especially if changes occur through upgrades or maintenance). Once SCCM 2012 collects the hardware inventory from Linux systems, administrators can use the inventory data just like inventory from any Windows systems.

For example, administrators can form queries to search for systems with particular hardware setups, review Linux system hardware details through Resource Explorer, generate reports that include Windows and Linux system hardware details, or create system groups (collections) using specific hardware setups. Queries and collections can help administrators direct software deployments, establish maintenance windows or specify client settings. All inventory activities are logged in the scxcm.log file.

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