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What is a BigFix masthead file?

Technote (troubleshooting)


The action site masthead is a file that was generated during
installation by the BigFix BES Admin Tool. The action site masthead has the
extension .afxm and has several different purposes.

Resolving the problem

The action site masthead serves the following functions:

  • Acts as a configuration file with parameters such as BigFix Server IP Address or Server Name, port number, locking behavior, etc.
  • Contains information necessary for the digital signature security scheme that BigFix uses (the masthead contains the public key information)
  • Contains the licensing information that allow BigFix users to operate BigFix with a specified number of users for a specified length of time

The action site masthead is used in the following ways:

  • The BigFix Installation Generator puts the masthead file in the BigFix Server, BigFix Console, and BigFix Client installer folders
  • The BigFix Server and BigFix Client installers require the masthead file be in the same folder as the other installation folders otherwise they will not run (the masthead file is used by the BigFix Console installer to set up an ODBC driver, but it is not required)
  • The BigFix Clients use the IP Address or Server Name and port number information in the masthead to know which BigFix Server to report to
  • Whenever an action is going to be taken, the BigFix Clients first verify that the digital signature in the action matches the signature in the masthead
  • The BigFix Clients and BigFix Server will use the license information in the masthead when they determine how BigFix Clients can be used and when the license expires
The actions site masthead can be found:
  • In the database, use the BigFix BES Admin Tool to export the masthead from the database.
    • Start Menu --> All Programs --> IBM BigFix --> IBM BigFix Administration Tool
    • Point to the deployment's license.pvk site signing key --> click OK and enter password
    • Masthead Management tab --> click on Export Masthead --> save masthead.afxm to Desktop
  • The named ActionSite.afxm on the BigFix Server and found in one of the following site version folders located at C:\Program Files\BigFix Enterprise\BES Server\sitearchive\actionsite\archiveDir\actionsite_<nnn> - where nnn = actionsite version #
  • C:\Program Files\BigFix Enterprise\BES Server
    or on 64bit Operating Systems C:\Program Files(x86)\BigFix Enterprise\BES Server
  • Named ActionSite.afxm On the BES clients located at  C:\Program Files\BigFix Enterprise\BES Client

Historical Number


Document information

More support for: IBM BigFix family

Software version: All Versions

Operating system(s): Platform Independent

Software edition: All Editions

Reference #: 1505775

Modified date: 02 October 2017