IBM Support

Data Collection: BES Client Diagnostics

Technote (troubleshooting)

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Methods to gather detailed technical client information from BigFix endpoints for troubleshooting purposes.

Resolving the problem

The following tasks in the BES Support site can be actioned upon to collect client diagnostics:
Windows: Task # 353 - "TROUBLESHOOTING: Run BES Client Diagnostics"
Non-Windows: Task # 655 - "TROUBLESHOOTING: Run BES Client Diagnostics (Linux/UNIX/Mac)"

The following tasks in the BES Support can be actioned upon to cleanup the endpoint after collecting client diagnostics:

Windows: Task # 354 - "TROUBLESHOOTING: Run BES Client Diagnostics - Cleanup"
Non-Windows: Task # 656 - "TROUBLESHOOTING: Run BES Client Diagnostics - Cleanup (Linux/UNIX/Mac)"

The client diagnostics action collects the following information and performs the following tasks on the the endpoint:


  • Gathers a variety of information about the local computer (name, OS, DC, user, drive space, language, etc.)
  • Gathers a variety of information about the BigFix Client (masthead info, service status, path, license info, settings info, etc.)
  • Checks each Fixlet site to ensure that it is gathered on the latest version
  • Collects all retrieved properties in a QnA format
  • Analyzes log files
  • Checks for consistency across BigFix Client version files and collect the upgrade history
  • Performs a test to determine the distance to all BigFix Relays (use –r command line option)
  • Performs a test to determine the distance to all BigFix Relays (must run the tool with a command line argument '–runrelayselector')
  • Summarizes all warnings and errors
  • Saves a copy of the ~__BESData folder and the BigFix Client registry keys
  • Creates a human readable XML output of the client's Fixlet history (SiteData)
  • Saves a copy of the Client Usage Profiler log and EMsg (client debug logging) log if they exist
  • Zips up the data for easy collection
    Collection of BES Client Diagnostics for Windows via Task # 353 happens through the deployment and execution of a Windows BESClientDiagnostics.exe executable (current version; which can be downloaded here for manual execution.

    Note: The BESClientDiagnostics.exe executable is also assisted by the SiteDataReader.exe and ParseRelaysDotDat.exe executables during the deployment of the tool via the task. The SiteDataReader assists in unpacking the site data from the client while the ParseRelaysDotDat converts the relays.dat file into human readable text. Each of the tools can be run separately if you are collecting client diagnostics manually using only the BESClientDiagnostics.exe.

    Manual Instructions: You can manually execute this tool on a Windows endpoint to collect diagnostics by remoting into the Windows machine, downloading the client diagnostics .exe to the Windows machine, and then double clicking on it. The tool will output a folder of information in the same directory as the tool. Zip this folder if information up and copy it off of the machine to a network share.

    The ClientDiagnostics tool can also be run via a command line.

    Command line usage:
      Usage: clientdiagnostics.exe [options]
      Command Line Options:
      --nolistsettings: Don't list all the settings
      --nolistproperties: Don't list all the properties
      --nologanalysis: Don't analyze the BES Client logs
      --runrelayselector: Run a test relay selector to debug relay selection problems
      --minimaltests: Run only the minimum set of tests (no properties, no log analysis, no settings)
      --help: displays these options

  • A zip of the client endpoint's __BESData directory

Collecting the uploaded data from the BigFix Server:

The data will be uploaded to the BigFix server machine to a subfolder within the \BES Server\UploadManagerData\BufferDir\sha1 directory. The sub folder will be the last two digits of the endpoint's computer id and then the computer id, for example: \BES Server\UploadManagerData\BufferDir\sha\12\342912

To determine the computer id of a computer, you can look for the Computer ID property on the computer's property Summary sheet.

  • Read the description tab within the deployment tasks for additional information.
  • On Windows systems, during action execution, a small DOS window will be displayed in the task bar.
  • The BESClientDiagnostic.exe executableonly works on Microsoft Windows machines. There is no equivalent version of the tool for non-Windows machines at this time.
  • If the size of the resulting zip file generated by the tool is larger than 15 MB, it will not be uploaded to the Bigfix Server. The action script can be modified to set a higher limit by modifying the _BESClient_ArchiveManager_MaxArchiveSize setting to a higher value in the action script from the Action Script tab right before deploying the action.
  • After executing the above task, the "TROUBLESHOOTING: Run BES Client Diagnostics - Cleanup" task can be used to remove the diagnostics results files from the BigFix client machine.
  • By default, the maximum size of the Upload Manager directory on a BigFix relay is 20 MB. The BES Support site contains the following fixlet message that will alert you if a BigFix relay's Upload Manager directories are at maximum capacity: Task # 343 "WARNING: Upload Manager Directory Full - BES Server / Relay". Refer to the fixlet for further information.

Historical Number


Document information

More support for: IBM BigFix family

Software version: All Versions

Operating system(s): Platform Independent

Reference #: 1567025

Modified date: 14 August 2013