Overview


Before you can use the Automox console to manage devices in your organization, you need to install the Automox agent. This small-sized application runs in the background on each device. With this agent, your systems are kept up-to-date with all critical patches.

You can install the agent through an onboarding wizard, which uses unique identifiers to detect the devices that belong to your organization. Once the agent is installed, you can set up an initial policy and schedule. With the first system completely setup, hardware and software inventory of your system is visible from the Devices tab. You can continue adding devices right from the Dashboard.

The following topics are described here:

Quickstart Guide


Follow these steps to sign in, install the Automox agent, and start securing your infrastructure.

  1. Register for a free account at www.automox.com.
  2. Sign in to access the Automox console.
    Onboarding Start
  3. Install the Automox agent by following the Onboarding Wizard. This is described in detail in Agent Installation.
  4. Now you can schedule patching for your device by creating a Policy.
  5. Proceed to the Automox dashboard and start patching. For support and user documentation, select the help button in the upper right-hand corner of the console. If you have further questions about using Automox, contact our team at www.automox.com.

Installing the Automox Agent


You can use the onboarding wizard to install the agent. The installation steps depend on the operating system of the device you are installing to.

prerequisites

  • You have an Automox account.
  • You can access the Automox console

note

During installation, a unique identifier or access key will be provided to the agent. This identifier will be used to identify all the devices that belong in your organization. It is also referred to as the organization key.

Downloading and installing the agent using the Installer method

You can use this method to install the agent on a Windows or MacOS device.

  1. From the console, click the Onboarding tab on the left.
  2. Click Get Started
  3. Click the Windows macOS or Linux icon, depending on your device.
    Onboarding Start
  4. Click Installer
    Select Installer
  5. Copy the unique access key.
    1. Click the Installer icon and click Download. The installer file is automatically downloaded to your device.
  6. Double-click on the installer file and follow the steps of the installer.
  7. Agree with the software license agreement.
  8. Enter the unique access key and click Continue.
  9. Select the destination of the software.
  10. Click Install.
  11. From the Automox install wizard, click Search For New Devices.
    The wizard now scans for your device.
    Searching For Devices
  12. When the device is successfully discovered, the Schedule Patching page is displayed.

Downloading and installing the agent using the Command Line method

You can use this method to install the agent on a Linux or MacOS device.

  1. From the console, click the Onboarding tab on the left. This starts the installation wizard.
  2. Click Get Started.
  3. Click the Linux or MacOS icon and click Next Step.
  4. Copy the command line script and run it in a terminal to install the agent installer package.
    Select Installer
  5. Click Search For Devices. The installer file is automatically downloaded to your device.
    The wizard now scans for your device.
  6. When the device is successfully discovered, the Schedule Patching page is displayed. Now you can set a schedule or click Proceed to Dashboard.

note

If you do not set a schedule now, a default policy is automatically created but is set to a disabled state. This can be edited from the Automox console.

Setting an Initial Schedule

You can set a schedule immediately after installing the Automox agent. This schedule determines when patching updates should be performed on the device.

From the Schedule When You Would Like Patching page, follow these steps:

  1. Toggle the button under Automatic Patching to read Enabled.
  2. Click the Set Schedule drop-down list and choose if you want the updates to occur on a weekly or monthly basis.
    Creating Patching Schedule
  3. From the Select Days list, click the days of the week that you want patching updates to occur. Blue indicates days of the week that are selected.
  4. Set the time the update should start.
  5. Verify your settings in the Schedule Preview pane.
  6. Click Proceed to Dashboard.

Viewing Your Inventory

You can view the full inventory of your devices from the Devices tab. From this quick status view, you can do the following with any or all of your devices:

  • Assign to a group
  • Rescan
  • Reboot
  • Export the displayed information to a csv file
  • Remove from your inventory

From this page you can also add devices and create groups. Refer to Adding Devices and Creating Groups for more information.

Adding Devices


You can add additional devices to your inventory from the Devices tab. How to add the three different OS types is described here. The dialog windows that appear differ slightly, but they follow the same basic process as described in the initial installation steps of Installing the Automox Agent.

Adding Linux Devices

You can add Linux devices by using the command line method.

  1. From the Devices tab, click Add Devices in the top right hand corner of the screen.
  2. In the modal tha appears choose Linux from the options.
  3. Copy the curl command and paste it into the terminal.
  4. Run the command.
    The agent is installed and you can view the new device from the Automox console.

Adding macOS Devices

You can add macOS devices by using either the command line method or the installer method.

  1. From the Devices tab, click Add Devices in the top right hand corner of the screen.
  2. In the modal tha appears choose macOS from the options.
  3. Click Choose Install Option.
    1. To install using the command line click Run Command.
      1. Copy the command and paste it into a terminal.
      2. Run the command.
    2. To install using the installer, click Download Installer.
      1. Double-click the Automox Agent installer file that was downloaded.
      2. Follow the steps of the setup wizard.
      3. Accept the license agreement.
      4. Click Install.
      5. Click Finish. The agent is installed. You can view the new device from the Devices tab of the Automox console.

Adding Windows Devices

You can add Windows devices by using the installer method.

  1. From the Devices tab, click Add Devices in the top right hand corner of the screen.
  2. In the modal tha appears choose Windows from the options.
  3. Click Download Installer.
    1. Double-click the Automox Agent installer file that was downloaded.
    2. Follow the steps of the setup wizard.
    3. Accept the license agreement.
    4. Click Install.
    5. Click Finish.

The agent is installed. You can view the new device from the Devices tab of the Automox console.

Deploying the Agent in Bulk


You can deploy the Automox agent to a large number of devices at once. There are different methods available to do remote, bulk deployment of the agent using scripts for the various tools for each of the supported operating systems.

OS Deployment Scripts

You can use scripts to deploy to devices for each of the supported operating systems. Your organization key (unique access key) must be added to a specified section of the script, before running the scripts.

prerequisites

  • Administrative privileges required.
  • The deployment tool or target device must have administrative privileges in order to successfully deploy and install the Automox Agent.

Deploying on OS X / macOS

You can deploy the Automox Agent on a MacOS operating system by using the original command that was required to download the agent installer.

Copying the Agent Installer Command Follow these steps to copy the curl command:

  1. From the Dashboard overview, click Add Additional > Add Endpoints.
    The Get Started dialog appears, where you will see your organization key or unique access key. You will need this key for the script.
  2. Choose OS X from the drop-down list.
  3. From the install options, click Run Command.
  4. Copy the curl command.


Copying the Agent Installer Command The agent installer command needs to be edited in the following manner. You need to add the following code to the deployment command:

launchctl load /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.automox.agent.plist

note

You must replace “accesskey” in the following command with your organization key. Your organization key can be found in Get Started dialog.

curl -sS https://console.automox.com/downloadInstaller?accesskey=Your-Organization-Key-Here | sudo bash
launchctl load /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.automox.agent.plist

Deploying on Windows Using Powershell

You can deploy the Automox Agent using the following Windows Powershell script. This performs an unattended, silent install of the Automox Agent on Windows devices. This script performs the following actions:

  1. Downloads the agent from Automox if it hasn’t already been downloaded.
  2. Installs the agent on the device if it isn’t already installed.
  3. Starts the Automox agent service if it is stopped.


Windows Powershell Script

InstallAndLaunchAutomox.ps1

This script takes the following command line parameters:

  • -organization YOUR-ORGANIZATION-KEY-HERE - A required parameter that associates the device with your Automox organization
  • -group GroupName - Sets the group for this device - can only be used on first invocation of the agent service
  • echo - An optional parameter that will echo logging to the console

Debug Log

If you need to debug the installation process performed by this script, you can find logging information in the following file on the device:

$env:TEMP\InstallAndLaunchAutomox.log

Deplying on Linux

You can deploy the Automox Agent on Linux operating system by using the original command that was required to download the agent installer.

Copying the Agent Installer Command

Follow these steps to copy the curl command.

  1. From the Dashboard overview, click Add Additional > Add Endpoints.
    The Get Started dialog appears, where you will see your organization key or unique access key. You will need this key for the script.
  2. Choose Linux from the drop-down list.
  3. Copy the curl command.

Editing the Curl Command for Linux Bulk Deployment

The agent installer command needs to be edited in the following manner. You need to add

service amagent start
to the deployment command.

note

You must replace “accesskey” in the following command with your organization key. Your organization key can be found in Get Started dialog.

curl -sS https://console.automox.com/downloadInstaller?accesskey=Your-Organization-Key-Here | sudo bash service amagent start




Deploying with Ansible

You can distribute the Automox Agent with Ansible using the following Ansible Playbook: get-automox.yml

From the directory where the ‘get-automox.yml’ file is located, invoke the playbook with the following command, substituting your organization key as indicated:

ansible-playbook get-automox.yml --extra-vars "organization=YOUR-ORGANIZATION-KEY-HERE"




Deploying with JumpCloud

JumpCloud® is a cloud-based Directory-as-a-Service platform that provides authentication, authorization, and management of an organization’s employees and the systems and IP resources they need access to. The JumpCloud platform provides a Commands tab that lets you run commands across any number of devices. This makes it possible to quickly and easily automate tasks across a number of servers, launch those tasks based on a number of different types of events, and get full auditing of all command results.

Mac Version

  1. Navigate to the Commands tab of the JumpCloud console and click the + button to create a new command.
  2. Select Mac as the target operating system, provide a name for the command and in the RUN AS: drop-down list, select root.
  3. Paste the deployment script as specified in Deploying on OS X / MacOS into the COMMAND: text field. Select the systems or tags that will receive the Automox agent, and then press save command to create the command on the JumpCloud platform.
  4. Click the Run Now button adjacent to the command you just created to execute the script on all the target devices.
  5. You will see the Exit Code (0 = success) when the command finishes running on each system. Click the details button to view the execution log.
  6. Finally, as the Automox agent registers itself with the Automox console, you will be able to see the new devices in the Devices tab of the Automox platform.

Windows Version

  1. Navigate to the Commands tab of the JumpCloud console and click the + button to create a new command.
  2. Select Windows as the target operating system.
  3. Provide a name for the command and select the target devices that will receive the Automox agent.
  4. Select Windows Powershell and copy and paste the script into the script box.
  5. Click the Save button and you will return to the command tab. Your command will show in the list of available commands that will be run. Click the Run Now button adjacent to the command that you just created to execute the script on all target devices.
  6. Finally, as the Automox agent registers itself with the Automox console, you will be able to see the new devices in the Devices tab of the Automox platform.

Linux Version

  1. Navigate to the Commands tab of the JumpCloud console and click the + button to create a new command.
  2. Select Linux as the target operating system, provide a name for the command and in the RUN AS: drop-down list, select root.
  3. Paste the deployment script as specified in Deploying on Linux into the COMMAND: text field. Select the systems or tags that will receive the Automox agent, and then press save command to create the command on the JumpCloud platform.
  4. Click the Run Now button adjacent to the command you just created to execute the script on all the target devices.
  5. You will see the Exit Code (0 = success) when the command finishes running on each system. Click the details button to view the execution log.
  6. Finally, as the Automox agent registers itself with the Automox console, you will be able to see the new devices in the Devices tab of the Automox platform.

Advanced Agent Options


The following advanced agent options are described here:

Command Line Options

The Automox agent supports command line options that can control how the agent is installed on the device. You can get a list of agent command options by executing the following code from the command line:

amagent --help

Executing the agent for the first time

The first time the agent executes, it establishes its identifying information to the Automox servers. Some command line switches can only be specified the first time the agent is run on a device. Currently, this applies to the following commands:

--setkey

--setgrp

If you need to reset the agent on a device in order to use these first-time commands, you can use the following command:--deregister

See Deregistering the Agent for more information.

--setkey

This command defines the access key for your organization. It binds the agent and device to a specific organization in the Automox console. This can only be specified at the first time the agent is executed on the device.

--setgrp

This command defines the Automox group that this agent should be placed in when it first connects with the Automox platform. This allows you to easily add the device to a group and is a no-touch way to specify the policies you want to add to the device.

Adding to a Group on First Execution

When using the –setgrp flag, you must predefine the Default Group/ to the group name that you are providing to the setgrp command. For example, to set the device group to the Engineering group, issue the following command:

amagent --setgrp 'Default Group/Engineering'

When specifying groups, remember to separate them with a forward-slash / character. If an agent is already associated with a group and you want to change this from the command line, you can issue a –deregister followed by the –setgrp to accomplish this:

amagent --deregister
amagent --setgrp 'Default Group/New/Group'




--setexecdir

This command defines a temporary directory on a device where scripts and required software will be temporarily stored.

--deregister

This command resets the agent identity and other settings to allow it to re-register as a new device. See Deregistering the Agent for more information.

Changing the Organization Key

You can use command line options to change the organization key. Follow the steps for Reinstalling the Agent to be able to restart the installation process. See Executing the agent for the first time.

Deregistering the Agent

When the Automox agent runs for the first time, it establishes an identity with the Automox servers using public-key cryptographic methods. If you ever need to reset the agent and have it re-register as a new device, you can deregister the agent.

Using the command line or terminal, execute the following command corresponding to your operating system:

macOS

sudo /usr/local/bin/amagent --deregister

Windows

C:\Program Files (x86)\Automox\amagent.exe --deregister

Linux

sudo /opt/amagent/amagent –deregister

Agent re-registration happens automatically when you execute this command. If the device was listed on the Devices page of the console, the device entry is automatically updated with the new registration identity. If the device was previously deleted from the Devices page, deregistering the device adds it back to the list of devices being managed by Automox.

Removing the Automox Agent

To remove the Automox agent from a device, you must first deregister the agent. Follow the steps in Deregistering the Agent. Once the agent is deregistered, follow these steps to remove it completely.

  1. Open a terminal.
  2. Execute the following commands:
sudo launchctl unload /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.automox.agent.plist
sudo rm -f /usr/local/bin/amagent
sudo rm -rf "/Library/Application Support/Automox/"

Reinstalling the Automox Agent

To reinstall the Automox agent, follow these steps:

  1. Deregister the agent. See Deregistering the Agent.
  2. Remove the agent. See Removing the Automox Agent
  3. To start the installation, follow the instructions in Installing the Automox Agent for your device.