New and updated version for Debian Stretch and OCS Inventory NG server 2.5 can be found here!

Hi !
Long time, no see, right?

Today I would like to introduce long awaited OCS Inventory NG server 2.3 on updated Jessie version of Debian. New version comparing to 2.1 introduces few new features as well as completely redesigned User Interface. As daily user of older version of OCS NG Server it was quite hard to switch to new UI but eventually I find it more clear and useful. Also, it is more up-to-date in technical aspects but I leave this for others to describe.

Right now I would like to show how we can install it, configure, tweak it a bit, connect computers and deploy software. YES! All in one guide!

Never done this before. Took me few good days to develop all the steps as well as test it. Finally (after around 10 builds)  I was able to setup and make it fully functional with deployment checked in less than an hour (with Debian net install). So… hope you will find it useful and it will help you, dear Reader.

Let’s begin

Table of Contents

  1. Assumptions for installing OCS Inventory NG on Debian
  2. Preparation to install OCS Inventory NG
  3. Debian Installation
  4. Apache, MySQL and packages installation
  5. OCS Inventory NG Installation
  6. OCS Inventory NG Configuration
  7. OCS Inventory NG Agent Installation
  8. OCS Inventory NG Software Deployment
  9. Summary

This seems to be long and complicated but I found this release of OCS Inventory NG server more user friendly and actually easier to setup. There are, however, few catches that you have to keep in mind, but they are all described or mentioned. So don’t be afraid. Just proceed and in and hour or two you should get fully working OCS Inventory NG server with first computer inventoried and deployment tested and working!

We will install everything from the scratch (well, without VM Host/VM Player/Workstation). Everything is in their newest versions at the time of writing this Guide. All commands are tested and can be directly copied to console. I advise using PuTTY as console host since it provides copy/paste and I find it more convenient than using VM console. Also, for performing file copy/paste to VM/Linux host I’m using WinSCP. As VM for this guide I will use VM Workstation Player which is pretty good and allows you do define all VM settings as well as configure advanced network settings like lan-segments and network type. It can be downloaded here.

Ok, making long story short. It’s easy and it’s FREE! 🙂

1. Assumptions for installing OCS NG on Debian

  • We are installing OCS Inventory NG on official Debian Linux Distro available at:
  1. http://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/current/amd64/iso-cd/debian-8.7.1-amd64-netinst.iso
  • We are installing official OCS NG Inventory Server and OCS NG reports available at: https://github.com/OCSInventory-NG
  • We are installing all in VMWare Workstation Player available at: http://www.vmware.com/pl/products/workstation.html but this not really matter. Just pointing this.
  • We will install both roles (yeah, I know it sounds kind a Windows Server naming) on one Virtual Machine. Unless your environment is very big or distributed it’s ok.
  • We will use self-signed certificates in order to secure communication and allow proper working of Deployment feature
  • We will set ocs-reports as main page for Apache since it runs on separate VM. No more fqdn/ip/ocsreports for accessing reports console.
  • VM will use 2 addresses: WAN (bridged to real network) and LAN (host only network)
  • We will use MySQL as DB and phpMyAdmin as admin console for MySQL

Ok now, if we know what exactly we will do, let’s actually do something! Let’s prepare all stuff that will be needed:

2. Preparation to install OCS Inventory NG

Download current Debian ISO from http://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/current/amd64/iso-cd/debian-8.7.1-amd64-netinst.iso

  1. Download or keep links for both OCS Inventory NG Reports:

https://github.com/OCSInventory-NG/OCSInventory-ocsreports/releases

  1. Download and install VMWare player or anything else capable of running this VM OR install on real host (I do not recommend this in terms of time, scalability, moving capabilities etc.)
  2. Download and install WinSCP if you do not have it already (we will use it to download SSL cert from the server)
  3. Download OCS Packager from: https://github.com/OCSInventory-NG/Packager-for-Windows/releases
  4. Download OCS Windows Agent from: https://github.com/OCSInventory-NG/WindowsAgent/releases
  5. Generate some passwords: for DB, for Root Users (DB and Debian), for Admin

If we have all the data, we can proceed to installing stuff. It will take some time but if you follow all the steps, it should be successful.