Making a BigFix MSI

(imported topic written by DavidMS91)

I am trying to automatically deploy bigfix via group policy and MSI files. However I am having some trouble packing the file and the masthead in an MSI (is there a utility to automate this?) and generate an installer. Or do I need to use a third party tool? I am pretty new to pushing out MSI installers via AD but see that others have succeeded here.

I know that it also does not help that I am not the one who normally works with bigfix.

(imported comment written by SystemAdmin)

on your BigFix server there should be a directory - \BESInstallers\ClientMSI - which already contains a BESClientMSI.msi for installs. I would start with that as I know it works when using group policy.

(imported comment written by DavidMS91)

Does it include the masthead?

(imported comment written by JCope)

David, did you ever find an answer to the question of whether the Masthead was included in the \BESInstallers\ClientMSI\BESClient.msi file?

I have been gleaning through the IEM Administrators manual and several websites on GPO and I cannot find any indication of how the masthead or config files get connected to the MSI.



(imported comment written by jgstew)

I believe that the MSI from BigFix/IBM’s websites do not include the Masthead.

I am not certain about the MSI’s referenced as residing here: \BESInstallers\ClientMSI on the root server.

It has been my understanding that you must have the MSI and masthead in the same folder when running the MSI in order for the masthead to be set properly, otherwise you would need a 3rd party tool to package the MSI to include it.

I’d recommend creating an MSI that ONLY installs the masthead and push out both MSIs using Group Policy.

(imported comment written by GreenEagleLeader)

See the following documentation:

The client msi does not contain the actionsite.afxm masthead but the client can be deployed without it. However, before starting and running the client, the actionsite.afxm needs to be placed in the
C:\Program Files (x86)\BigFix Enterprise\BES Client folder.

Thank you,

IBM Endpoint Manager Support

(imported comment written by nberger91)

create a system startup script which executes a simple bat file. create a folder, copy the setup.exe, masthead, and the bat file … run !

@echo off

if exist “%ProgramFiles(x86)%\BigFix Enterprise\BES Client\BESClient.exe” goto AgentFound

if exist “%ProgramFiles%\BigFix Enterprise\BES Client\BESClient.exe” goto AgentFound

%LOGONSERVER%\netlogon\BigFix\setup.exe /s /v"/qn /l*voicewarmup “C:\BigFixInstallLog.log”



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(imported comment written by MBARTOSH)

In our environment a login script is not a good idea because of bandwidth contraints. A logon script ill at least download the batch file everytime a user logs on. I am not sure but it may also copy setup.exe also.

Bigfix needs discovery with automatic client installation, like SCCM.

Just noticed this thread while looking for something else. The client MSI installer generated at install time (located in the \BESInstallers\ClientMSI folder) DOES have the masthead built in and you can run it as-is without the need to copy over the masthead or any other trickery. It has been this way as far back as version 8.2… if not longer. The documentation is wrong and needs to be updated. I will get a bug opened to get that sorted out.

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I should add that this is how it works for Windows-based installations. I am not 100 percent sure about RHEL-based installations. Maybe someone can chime on on that. I do not have a RHEL install nearby at the moment to check.

Yes the installation generator will shove the masthead into the MSI (into the registry). I have already on the list to get the utility that we use inside there pulled out so it can be used by some people to update the masthead periodically as well, and for those users that have Linux servers to do the same work on the MSI we ship in that package.

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One way to periodically update the masthead in the MSI generated by the installers is to actually click ‘Change’ within Add/Remove Programs (or Programs and Features on newer Windows OS), then select ‘I want to replace the masthead file in my installation’:

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I dont think it works for

I believe that is correct. should be the only version where the above approach does not work (the issue was introduced in 9.2.6, and fixed with 9.2.7).

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Thanks for the prompt response.
So, there is no way to bundle the masthead with the msi file? or do we have to manually copy paste it to the agent dir.

In order to use the 9.2.6 MSI, the file will need to be updated to inject the actionsite masthead. There is a method to do this (the details of which I am working to publish), but in the meantime, please feel free to PM me directly on this and I can try to assist.

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any updates on this?

Is it possible to just edit the MSI in Orca and add something there?

If you require a 9.2.6 Client MSI with a particular actionsite masthead, PM me, and I will try to assist (unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to publish the details around this…stay tuned however, as I’ll be updating this post shortly!).

Otherwise, the method I previously outlined ( Making a BigFix MSI ) allows you to generate an MSI with the desired masthead.

I did some digging with Orca.

It seems the masthead info is in the Registry table of the MSI.

  • RegistryMasthead
  • SOFTWARE\BigFix\EnterpriseClient\GlobalOptions
  • ActionMasthead
  • RegistrySiteURL
  • SOFTWARE\BigFix\ClientComplianceAPI
  • SiteURL
  • Registry3
  • SOFTWARE\BigFix\EnterpriseClient\Settings\Client__RelayServer1

There is also a MASTHEADFILE entry in the MSI property table

The SOFTWARE\BigFix\EnterpriseClient\GlobalOptions\ActionMasthead value seems to be very close to the size of the contents of the masthead file in a hexadecimal representation with #x on the front.

With some further digging, I think this is exactly it:

("#x" & it) of (it as hexadecimal) of concatenations of (characters it) of bytes (integers in(0,size of it)) of files "C:\Program Files (x86)\BigFix Enterprise\BES Installers\Server\actionsite.afxm"

This seems to go in the ActionMasthead value in the SOFTWARE\BigFix\EnterpriseClient\GlobalOptions\ActionMasthead 32bit reg key.


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We have plans to publish a tool/utility that will allow injecting or modifying the actionsite masthead into a BigFix Client MSI. More details to come very shortly…