You are on page 1of 13

Big Brother Professional Edition

UNIX Client
Getting Started Guide
Version 4.30
© Copyright Quest Software, Inc. 2002–2009. All rights reserved.
This guide contains proprietary information, which is protected by copyright. The software described in this guide is furnished
under a software license or nondisclosure agreement. This software may be used or copied only in accordance with the terms of
the applicable agreement. No part of this guide may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or
mechanical, including photocopying and recording for any purpose other than the purchaser’s personal use without the written
permission of Quest Software, Inc.

Warranty
The information contained in this document is subject to change without notice. Quest Software makes no warranty of any kind
with respect to this information. QUEST SOFTWARE SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS THE IMPLIED WARRANTY OF THE
MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Quest Software shall not be liable for any direct,
indirect, incidental, consequential, or other damage alleged in connection with the furnishing or use of this information.

Trademarks
Quest, Big Brother, Foglight, and Spotlight are trademarks or registered trademarks of Quest Software, Inc. Other trademarks and
registered trademarks used in this guide are property of their respective owners.

Cryptographic routines
This product includes cryptographic software written by Eric Young (eay@cryptsoft.com)
Copyright (c) 1998-2006 The OpenSSL Project. All rights reserved.

World Headquarters
5 Polaris Way
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
www.quest.com
email: info@quest.com
U.S. and Canada: 949.754.8000
Please refer to our Web site for regional and international office information.

Big Brother Professional Edition UNIX Client Getting Started Guide


Updated –Nov 09
Software Version 4.30

Revision: 11/20/09- Copyright © 2008 Quest Software


BIG BROTHER PROFESSIONAL EDITION UNIX CLIENT GETTING STARTED GUIDE

Table of Contents
Description of Big Brother Professional Edition .................. 1

About This Document ............................................................. 1

Big Brother Professional Edition Terminology..................... 2


Naming Conventions ...........................................................................2

System Requirements ............................................................. 3

Big Brother Client Installation ................................................ 3


Before the Installation..........................................................................3
Setup on the Big Brother Server ..................................................3
Getting the Product .......................................................................3
Log in as the Root User ................................................................3
Create the Big Brother User .........................................................3
Installing the Software .........................................................................4
Extracting the Big Brother Archive..............................................4
Running the Main Configuration Script.......................................4

Migration From Older Versions .............................................. 6

Starting the Client.................................................................... 7

What Next?............................................................................... 7

Quest Software ........................................................................ 9


Contacting Quest Software .................................................................9
Technical Support ................................................................................9
Permanent License...............................................................................9

I
BIG BROTHER PROFESSIONAL EDITION UNIX CLIENT GETTING STARTED GUIDE

Description of Big Brother Professional Edition


Big Brother Professional Edition (BBPE, or Big Brother) is a software tool for monitoring computers,
other devices with an IP address, and processes. As long as the machines are connected to a network,
the physical locations of the stations being monitored are not important. This lets you monitor
computer networks remotely, 24-hours a day. Big Brother can generate a web page that can be viewed
internally or externally and notify one or more people of the network status via e-mail or pager. Here is
a sample of the Big Brother status display Web page:

Big Brother consists of two parts: a server and a client. The server monitors services which can be
tested over the Internet: HTTP, FTP, and so on. It does this by sending messages over the Internet to
the host and seeing if it receives a reply. The server also collects status logs, prepares and makes
available the display Web page, and processes all notifications. The server can be installed on one or
more than one computer; a single server instance can monitor many host computers.

The Big Brother client tests services which can only be monitored internally by checking the computer
itself: CPU and disk space usage and so on. The client must be installed on each host where you want
to monitor these internal processes; it sends the results of its tests over the network or Internet to a Big
Brother server.

Big Brother is very flexible. You configure the hosts to monitor and what tests to perform on each. You
also select when e-mail or pager notifications are sent based on test results, and who they are sent to.
You can have different recipients based on the host, the test, the day, and/or the time. You can also add
external scripts to extend the processes and services Big Brother can monitor.

About This Document


This document describes installation and initial configuration of the Big Brother client software on a
UNIX host. It does not discuss installing or using the Big Brother server.

For more detailed information about the Big Brother software, both server and client, please see the
online help.

1
BIG BROTHER PROFESSIONAL EDITION UNIX CLIENT GETTING STARTED GUIDE

Big Brother Professional Edition Terminology


This guide uses the following terminology throughout. Understanding the terminology is important to
running Big Brother successfully.

 Big Brother server — A computer running the Big Brother server software. It may function as
any or all of BBDISPLAY, BBPAGER, and BBNET.

 BBDISPLAY — The computer that accepts incoming reports and prepares them for display.
Big Brother uses the Web as its user interface, so it can be accessed by anyone with clearance
to access the Big Brother site. It is also called the display server.

 BBPAGER — The computer that sends notifications if alarm levels are exceeded. It is also
called the pager server.

 BBNET — The computer that performs all network tests for each protocol, for each system
listed in the bb-hosts file. Starting with BBPE 4.00, you can have multiple BBNETs running
in parallel (as long as each are defined with a unique location tag)

 Big Brother client — A computer that retrieves CPU, disk, and process information and
messages using the Big Brother client software.

 BB user — The UNIX user name created to run Big Brother under. For security reasons, Big
Brother cannot be run as root.

Naming Conventions

When referring to specific installation directories, this book uses these naming conventions:

Item Referred to as

Name of Big Brother user bb


Big Brother user’s home directory /home/bb
Big Brother’s home directory /home/bb/bbc4.30-bbpe
Apache’s home directory /var/www/html
Apache’s cgi-bin directory /var/www/cgi-bin

2
BIG BROTHER PROFESSIONAL EDITION UNIX CLIENT GETTING STARTED GUIDE

System Requirements
Big Brother UNIX client requires one of the following operating systems:

 RedHat Enterprise Server 3.0, 4.0 or 5.0 (x86)

 SUSE Enterprise Linux 9.0, 10.0, 11.0 (x86)

 Solaris 8 or greater (Sparc and x86)

 HP-UX 11.0 or 11i (PA-RISC), HP-UX 11i (Itanium)

 AIX 5.2 , 5.3 or 6.1 (PPC)

 Mac OS X (x86 Darwin 9.7)

Big Brother Client Installation

Before the Installation

Setup on the Big Brother Server

Before installing the Big Brother client on a host, you need to have the Big Brother server software
installed and working on its host. Make sure the etc/bb-hosts file on the server (bb-hosts.cfg on
a Windows server) includes a line defining the host you will be installing the client on. You should do
this before installing the client so you can copy the bb-hosts file during client installation.

Getting the Product

You can download the Big Brother Professional Edition UNIX client software from the Quest website
at http://www.bb4.com/.

Log in as the Root User

Before starting the installation, login or su to root and change directory to the directory where you
downloaded the Big Brother archive. The instructions below assume it is in /tmp.

Create the Big Brother User

Use the appropriate commands for your operating system to create the user ID which will own and run
the Big Brother client (it cannot be run as root). Throughout the instructions, we refer to this user as
bb, but that does not have to be the actual user ID.

3
BIG BROTHER PROFESSIONAL EDITION UNIX CLIENT GETTING STARTED GUIDE

Installing the Software

Extracting the Big Brother Archive

1. Copy the Big Brother archive file to the Big Brother user’s home directory. The archive name
includes the name of the operating system it is for. Here is a sample command, assuming the
operating system is Solaris 10 (Sparc) and the bb user’s home is /home/bb:
cp /tmp/BBCLT-solaris5.10-sparc-bbc4.30-bbpe.tar /home/bb
2. Change to the Big Brother user’s home directory:
cd /home/bb
3. Untar the archive:
tar xvf BBCLT-solaris5.10-sparc-bbc4.30-bbpe.tar
This creates the bbc4.30-bbpe subdirectory under /home/bb. This is the Big Brother home
directory.

4. Change to the Big Brother home directory:


cd /home/bb/bbc4.30-bbpe
5. Copy the bb-hosts file from the BBDISPLAY server to the Big Brother client’s etc
subdirectory. If the Big Brother server is installed on the machine where you are installing the
client, copy the file from the bb4.30-bbpe/etc directory using a command similar to this:
cp /home/bb/bb4.30-bbpe/etc/bb-hosts /home/bb/bbc4.30-bbpe/etc

Running the Main Configuration Script

1. Change to the client’s install subdirectory:


cd install
2. Run the main configuration script, bbconfig.
./bbconfig
3. The script now prompts you for information about your setup. The following steps describe each
prompt and show sample responses.

First, it asks if you agree to the license terms:


Do you agree to the terms of this license (y/n): y
4. The next prompt asks you to verify your operating system:
Please confirm your OS: [solaris]: <ENTER>
5. The next prompt asks for the Big Brother user ID. This is the user you created before starting the
installation. The Big Brother client will run as this user:
What will be the user ID of BBPE[bb]: bb
4
BIG BROTHER PROFESSIONAL EDITION UNIX CLIENT GETTING STARTED GUIDE

6. The next prompt asks for the name of the BBDISPLAY server. Just press Enter if the host name
shown (the current host) is correct:
What host will be the BBDISPLAY[current.host.company.com]:
7. The next prompt asks for the name of the BBPAGER server. Just press Enter if the host name
shown (the current host) is correct:
What host will be the BBDISPLAY[current.host.company.com]:
8. A message will remind you that the bb-hosts file from the BBDISPLAY server needs to be
copied to this machine. If you have already copied the bb-hosts file as described in the previous
section, you do not need to run the su – bbuser –c … command the instructions specify.

9. You may want to restrict configuration of all Big Brother files to the Big Brother user by entering
this command:
chown –R bb /home/bb/bb4.30-bbpe
/home/bb/bb4.30-bbpe is where the Big Brother client is installed

5
BIG BROTHER PROFESSIONAL EDITION UNIX CLIENT GETTING STARTED GUIDE

Migration From Older Versions


Big Brother can be moved to another system or upgraded from an older version. Perform the following
steps to migrate the Big Brother UNIX Client

1. Stop the Big Brother client. Change to the Big Brother installation directory and enter:
./runbb.sh stop
2. Install Big Brother client (see the installation instructions on page 4). Make sure the top level
directory is the same as the current Big Brother installation (for example, /home/bb). The new
version will be placed in a different subdirectory.

3. Copy the appropriate files from the previous Big Brother etc directory to the new etc directory.
Most likely, these files will be bb-hosts, bb-dftab, bb-proctab, etc. If external scripts
are running. do not forget to copy over the scripts into the ext directory and the etc/bb-
bbexttab file.

4. Update the bbdef.sh, bbdef-client.sh, bbinc.sh, and bbinc-client.sh files for the new
version to match the settings you were using in the older version.

5. Restart the new version of Big Brother client(assuming that /home/bb is the home directory of the
BB user):
/home/bb/bbc4.30-bbpe/runbb.sh stop
/home/bb/bbc4.30-bbpe/runbb.sh start
6. Wait five minutes and check update times to make sure everything is updating properly. If there is
a problem, start with a clean bb-hosts file. Gradually modify it and note results after stopping
and starting Big Brother.

7. Remove or archive the old Big Brother directory. Reboot the system to make sure the proper
version of Big Brother automatically starts.

6
BIG BROTHER PROFESSIONAL EDITION UNIX CLIENT GETTING STARTED GUIDE

Starting the Client


If you copied the bb-hosts file before running the configuration program, the Big Brother client
should have started successfully. If necessary, you can manually start the client by entering these
commands (if still in the root account):
su – bb
/home/bb/bbc4.30-bbpe /runbb.sh start
Big Brother should display a message saying it has started successfully.

After a few minutes, when you view the Big Brother Web page, you should see extra columns for tests
performed by the client. This is a typical display as it appears before the client is installed:

Here is a typical display after the client is installed on both hosts:

There are now columns showing results for the additional tests performed by the client.

What Next?
Once both the Big Brother server and client are up and running, you can modify settings to make the
client behave the way you want it to. Many of these default settings are in the bbdef-client.sh file.
You can also define and modify the bb-cputab, bb-proctab, bb-msgstab and bb-dftab files. For

7
BIG BROTHER PROFESSIONAL EDITION UNIX CLIENT GETTING STARTED GUIDE

example, you can set the warning thresholds for the CPU and disk tests, define the message files for
Big Brother to monitor, and more. For more information on configuring the Big Brother client and
server, see the online help available from the Big Brother Web page display. Warning! Do not define
any values in the BBPERFTESTS variable of bbdef-client.sh until the target BBDISPLAY is upgraded
to a 4.20 version or greater.

You can also download scripts from http://www.deadcat.net/ which is a Big Brother community web
site (note that scripts on deadcat are not supported by Quest).

8
BIG BROTHER PROFESSIONAL EDITION UNIX CLIENT GETTING STARTED GUIDE

Quest Software
Quest Software, Inc. delivers innovative products that help organizations get more performance and
productivity from their applications, databases and Windows infrastructure. Through a deep expertise
in IT operations and a continued focus on what works best, Quest helps thousands of customers
worldwide meet higher expectations for enterprise IT. Quest’s Windows Management solutions
simplify, automate and secure Active Directory, Exchange and Windows, as well as integrate Unix,
Linux and Java into the managed environment. Quest Software can be found in offices around the globe
and at www.quest.com.

Contacting Quest Software

You can contact Quest Software for product and pricing information in any of the following ways:
Phone 949.754.8000 (United States and Canada)

E-mail bbsales@quest.com

Mail Quest Software, Inc.


5 Polaris Way
Aliso Viejo, CA. 92656
USA

Web site www.bb4.com


www.quest.com

Please refer to our Web site for regional and international office information.

Technical Support

Visit the support web site for current contact information and hours of operation:
www.quest.com/support

Permanent License

To receive a permanent license, you must purchase Big Brother Professional Edition. To do so, contact
your Quest sales representative, send e-mail to bbsales@quest.com, or call (949) 754-8000. Once
you’ve purchased the product, send your key string in an e-mail to license@quest.com. Please see the
online help for instructions on finding your key string and entering your permanent license.