Hardware/Machine Reporting Tools

June 4th, 2010

We have a tool at work, Kaseya, for our Windows machines. It handles updates, but also can report back information gathered from them: OS version, patches installed, time since last checkin, last user logged in, user most frequently logged in, plus details about hardware: RAM, disk size, serial number, etc. I’m looking for a tool that can do this on Linux as well.

Of course, we could roll our own; all the above is readily cleaned from standard commands plus examining /proc and /sys. But before we roll our own, we want to be sure there’s nothing else out there worth using.

Down the road, we might also like it to grow in another direction: centralized configuration, storing links between machines and people in a database, and generating DNS, DHCP, etc. configurations out of it. Whether that would be the same tool as this is another question.

There are, of course, expensive and overkilling well-known commercial packages to do this. We’re after something simple that gets the job done.

Any ideas?

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  1. Adrian von Bidder

    IIRC there is a project that goes together with FAI and was / is being deployed in the city of Munich. I don’t know if it depends on FAI, butit’s supposed to do inventory stuff like this.

    Zabbix also has inventory functions, but while it looks nice I’ve repeatedly had problems with its quality. YMMV.


  2. Marcos Mezo

    Though I’ve not jet used it, skolelinux seems happy with cfengine for configurations and sitesummary for collecting hardware configs to a database.

    I’m experimenting myself with gosa (www.gosa-project.org) and fai, but this might be overkill and do more than you want.

    Otherwise, I like FOG too (http://www.fogproject.org). It’s primary use is to store images for cloning and deploying machines, but also keeps track of the hardware in a database. For Windows it even has the user tracking you mention, but not for Linux as far as I know…


  3. anonymous

    GLPi + OCS.


  4. Tollef Fog Heen

    I suggest you take a look at ohai or facter for the gathering bit and chef or puppet (respectively) for the management bit. Personally, I like chef just because I can use searches and such. We don’t yet use searches for writing out DNS zones, but we do it for Nagios configs and ipsec configurations.


  5. John Goerzen

    Thanks everyone for the ideas. We’ll check them out and I’ll report back what we learn.


  6. Petter Reinholdtsen

    Check out sitesummary and OCS Inventory.


  7. Constantine

    I use Open Audit (http://www.open-audit.org/) for the same purposes.


  8. Andrew Ruthven


    We have a system we’ve built that collects info and emails it back to base to go into a DB. Even has Debian packages. It might be interesting, drop me an email and I can see about giving you some more information about it.



  9. cmdrhenner


    we use ocs http://www.ocsinventory-ng.org/ (we got 80 servers and more then 500 clients and it works perfect).

    for the summary of all it-infrastructure we use http://www.i-doit.org/


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