Chapter 2. Getting Started with Caldera Volution Manager

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Table of Contents
2.1. Starting the VM Management Console
2.2. Using the Console Interface
2.2.1. Browsing the Directory Structure
2.2.2. Using the Menus Wizards Menu Caldera Volution Online Preferences Menu Go to Object Help Menu Logout
2.3. Performing Basic Tasks
2.3.1. Searching for Objects
2.3.2. Creating Objects
2.3.3. Moving an Object
2.3.4. Renaming an Object
2.3.5. Deleting an Object
2.3.6. Setting Console Preferences
2.3.7. Getting Help
2.4. Working with Actions and Links
2.4.1. Understanding Actions Action Types Adding Constraints to an Action Scheduling an Action
2.4.2. Understanding Links

This topic introduces the VM Management Console. It describes how to start and use the console, perform basic tasks, and work with actions and links.

In this topic:

2.1. Starting the VM Management Console

Netscape 4.x and 6.x, and Internet Explorer 5.x web browsers are supported for use with the VM Management Console. To start the console:

  1. Open your web browser and enter the following URL:


    where your.server.address is the host name of the VM Server, and https shows that a secure protocol is being used (HTTP over Secure Socket Layer).

  2. If security certificate information appears, choose to accept or reject the certificates.

  3. Enter a password in the Password field and click Login. Use the password that was entered during the installation in the field labeled Directory Admin Password.

2.2. Using the Console Interface

The following Figure shows a sample VM Management Console interface. This example shows how the console looks immediately after clicking on the organization in the Contents pane.

Figure 2-1. VM Management Console Interface

The console interface is divided into three panes:

When you start VM for the first time, the Contents pane displays the organization name you specified during the installation (o=yourcompany). This container object that holds all of the objects you use, including organizational unit objects, group objects, and individual objects. You can change this start point by altering preferences as described in Section 2.3.6.

2.2.1. Browsing the Directory Structure

Use the Contents pane to browse the directory structure. You can select a container object to display information about that object, or select the Show Details icon next to the container to display its contents. As you expand containers, the Current Location pane is updated to display your current location. You can move back up the structure by clicking on a higher level item in the Current Location pane.

When the desired object is displayed, select it. The tasks you can perform, and summary information about the object, appear in the Page View pane.

Some container objects are already present the first time you start Caldera Volution Manager. These are organizational unit (ou) objects, and include the following items:

Note: You cannot move or rename organization or organizational unit objects.

Table 2-1. Organizational Units

Organizational UnitPurpose
actions A container for scheduled actions. Several pre-configured actions are provided including a software and hardware inventory, a health monitoring action, and a printer configuration change action.
computersA container for computers managed by VM. The name, computers, is the default used during installation, and might be different on your system. Clients are automatically added to this container when they are installed.
policiesA container for policies: objects that configure how actions are implemented. For example, a software inventory policy specifies how many inventories to keep; a health monitor policy describes the types of parameters to monitor.
profilesA container for profiles: lists of software packages to be installed, updated, or removed on one or more clients. A single computer object can be linked to multiple profile objects. A sample profile is provided.
Software RepositoryA container holding RPM, custom, and pkg objects that correspond to installable packages on the VM Server. For each package type, sub-containers specify packages which can be distributed (secure) and packages which are known to be installed on client systems (pub).
UsersContains special users set up to administer the Software Repository and Computer Creation services.

2.2.2. Using the Menus

Links to menus appear across the top of the Page View pane. The following menus are available:

Table 2-2. VM Management Console Menus

WizardsProvides access to the Distribute Software , Run Software Inventory, Run Hardware Inventory and Set Up Logging wizards.
Volution OnlineOpens a new web browser to access Caldera Volution Online. Caldera Volution Online is described in Section 3.1.3.
Preferences You can set tree and search start locations.
Go to ObjectPops up a search panel. You can enter the name of the object you are seeking, and specify where in the directory tree to start searching from.
HelpProvides online help about the object you are currently viewing, and access to this Administration Guide.
LogoutLogs you out of VM.

The following describes these menus in more detail. Wizards Menu

The Wizards menu contains the following options:

Table 2-3. Wizards Menu Items

Distribute Software This wizard helps you create a profile so that you can distribute software to one or more computers.
Run Software InventoryThis wizard helps you create an action that runs a software inventory for one or more computers.
Run Hardware InventoryThis wizard helps you create an action that runs a hardware inventory for one or more computers.
Setup LoggingThis wizard helps you create a gateway policy that determines what to monitor and how you are to be notified. Caldera Volution Online

This link opens a new web browser window to access Caldera Volution Online. Caldera Volution Online is described in Section 3.1.3. Preferences Menu

The Preferences menu lets you set default tree and search start locations.

Table 2-4. Preferences Menu Fields

Tree locationSet the default Current Location when starting a session. If you check the Keep last location used before logout box, the current location is always set to the last location accessed during the previous session.
Search locationSet the default Start Searching From point when using Go to Object. If you check the Keep last location used before logout box, your Go to Object location is always set to the last location accessed during the previous session. Go to Object

The Go to Object panel is used to search the directory tree for an object.

Table 2-5. Go to Object Fields

Search expressionEnter the name of the object you want to find.
Start searching fromEnter the pathname in the directory tree from where you want to begin your search.

If you uncheck Automatic wildcard search, the search only finds objects that exactly match the search expression you entered.

See Section 2.3.1 for information about searching for objects. Help Menu

The Help menu provides access to this Administration Guide, and help about a specific object type.

Table 2-6. Help Menu Items

Admin GuideThis Caldera Volution Manager Administration Guide.
Help for this ObjectProvides help on the selected object type (for example, profiles or policies)
Index of all ObjectsProvides a list of online help topics. Logout

Select Logout to log off from the VM Management Console and end your session.

2.3. Performing Basic Tasks

This topic describes how to use the console to:

2.3.1. Searching for Objects

All objects are located in the directory structure. You can enter search criteria in the Go to Object panel to find the object you want. The Go to Object panel appears whenever you:

  • select Go to Object

  • need to select an object; for example, when adding or removing a link, searching for a computer, or moving an object into a container

    Note: The appearance of the Search tool changes somewhat depending on context. Specialized versions of the Search tool like Search for Computers or Search for Packages appear in some task lists. The search panel label and layout also change depending upon context. Despite these differences, it is essentially the same Search tool.

Searching works the same way regardless of how you access the Go to Object panel. When it appears:

  1. Enter your search criteria in the Search expression field.

    • You can enter a search string. For example, to find an RPM package file containing ``lilo'', enter lilo. You can enter the entire name, or a substring contained in the object name (such as lil in this example).

    • You can constrain the search by entering a directory path in the Start searching from here field. For example, you might enter ou=Software Repository,o=yourcompany to search for packages in the Software Repository. Any directory path you enter must be complete (end with o=yourcompany). You cannot enter only ou=Software Repository.

    • If you don't enter a search string or a directory path, the entire structure is searched and all objects are displayed.

  2. Uncheck Enable Wildcard if you only want to search for items which exactly match the search expression you entered.

  3. Click Search.

  4. If you are searching for an object using Go to Object, you can select the checkbox to the left of the desired object, then click Go There. You move to the object, the Summary for the object is displayed, and the Contents and Current Location panes are updated accordingly.

    If you are searching for an object to link to, you can select the checkbox to the left of the desired object, then click Link. The selected object is linked to the target(s) you searched for.

2.3.2. Creating Objects

Caldera Volution Manager provides a number of default containers, actions, profiles, and policies for your use. In addition, computer objects are created automatically by the Computer Creation Daemon as new clients come online. You need to create new objects to:

  • Organize your directory structure: you can create new organizational units (containers) for computer groups, various types of profiles and policies, or any other group of objects that you want to be able to view and manipulate more easily.

  • Create new profiles, policies, actions, and links to perform the kinds of actions you want.

To create an object:

  1. Select the desired container for the object (for example, the profiles container if you want to create a profile).

  2. Select Create an object from the Page View pane.

  3. Select the desired Object Type from the drop-down list.

  4. Enter a unique name for the object in the Object Name field.

  5. Click Create.

After you create an object, you can move it, rename it, or remove it. Creating Additional Computers Containers

A default computers container is created when Caldera Volution Manager is installed, but you might want to create additional containers for computers. For example, you might want a separate computers container for each site your company has. This is a special case. First you must create a new organizational unit (ou). Then, edit /etc/ldap/slapd.conf and locate this entry:

access to dn="(.*,)?cn=(.*),ou=computers,your_organization"

For each new container to be added, copy this entry and change ou=computers to ou=new_ou_name, where new_ou_name is the name of the new organizational unit.

Note: The following characters are not valid in LDAP names: , = + \ ' # ;

If you move computers from their original container to a new container, the permissions on the new computers container must be modified. Immediately following the access to dn="(.*,)?cn=(.*),ou=new_ou_name,your_organization" line, specify permissions as shown in this example (this information is order dependent):

by dn="$2,ou=new_ou_name,o=your_organization"

by dn="cn=Computer Creation Manager,ou=Users,o=your_organization" write

by users read

After editing slapd.conf, verify that permissions for the file remain 600. The LDAP administration password is stored in this file in plain text, so this file should only be accessible to administrators.

2.3.3. Moving an Object

To move an object:

  1. Select the desired object (for example, a computer named dev1).

  2. Select Move this Object from the Page View pane.

  3. Enter a search expression which corresponds to the container you want to move the object to. For example, if you have a computer group container named desktops that you want to move dev1 into, enter desktops.

  4. Click Search.

  5. Choose desktops from the Search Results by selecting the checkbox to the left of it.

  6. Click Move.

The Current Location and Contents panes indicate the new location for the object.

2.3.4. Renaming an Object

To rename an object:

  1. Select the desired object (for example, a computer named dev1).

  2. Select Rename this Object from the Page View pane.

  3. Enter the new name (such as dev3), and click OK.

The Contents pane indicates the new name.

2.3.5. Deleting an Object

To delete an object:

  1. Select the desired object (for example a computer named dev3).

  2. Select Delete this Object from the Page View pane.

    Note: To successfully delete a computer object, you must first stop the VM client daemon by issuing the following command on the client system:

    /etc/rc.d/init.d/volutiond stop

    If you delete the computer object before stopping or removing the client daemon, the CCD immediately creates a new computer object for the computer.

  3. Confirm that the object should be deleted by clicking OK. Or, you can cancel the deletion by clicking Cancel.


Deleting a container object (organizational unit) removes the container and all objects in the container.

2.3.6. Setting Console Preferences

To set console preferences, select Preferences. You can set:

Tree Location 

The start location each time you begin a session. By default, this is the top of the directory structure. If you spend most of your time managing profiles, you can enter a full pathname (such as ou=profiles,o=yourcompany) into the Tree Location field.

You can also specify the start location as the location you were in when you ended your previous session by selecting Keep Last Location Used before Logout.

Search Location 

The search location is used whenever you want to constrain a search to a particular organization or organizational unit. If you mostly search through the Software Repository, you can enter the pathname ou=Software Repository,o=yourcompany into the Search Location field. You then only need to specify a different search location whenever you wanted to perform a broader search.

You can also specify the search location as the location you were in when you ended your previous session by selecting Keep Last Location Used before Logout.

2.3.7. Getting Help

Online help is available in these formats:

  • this Caldera Volution Manager Administration Guide.

  • online help about objects

To access online help, select one of these menu items from the Help menu:

Admin Guide 

displays a table of contents for this guide


displays help about the currently selected object, and provides links to related subjects


displays an index of all available online help topics

2.4. Working with Actions and Links

Actions and links are key building blocks that allow you to perform software distribution and systems management tasks. While policies define parameters for the tasks you perform, no change actually takes place until you define an action (a scheduled task to implement your activity) and link the action (and its associated policy) to a computer or container.

Note: You do not need to define an action for a profile because the process of creating or editing a profile includes scheduling the activity. You do, however, need to link the profile to a computer or computer group.

2.4.1. Understanding Actions

An action determines the task to run and when to run it:

  • Pre-configured actions are provided that help you accomplish many typical tasks. (See Section

  • You can create your own task by defining a shell script to run on a remote system. (See Section 4.5.3).

  • Each action you create can be constrained, within the action, to only run on certain types of computers. Therefore, the action can be linked to all computer objects (for example, by linking to the computers container), but still only run on those systems matching the constraint criteria. (See Section

  • Each action you create runs at a time you schedule, and can be scheduled one or more times, at particular times, or when certain events take place. (See Section

  • Actions can be governed by a policy (such as a Health policy), but sometimes stand alone.

  • Actions, like profiles and policies, must be linked to computer or container objects. Action Types

The following pre-configured actions are provided:

Table 2-7. Pre-configured Actions

Type Purpose Associated Objects
Hardware Inventory Inventories hardware on computers on which it is run. Inventory Policy
Health Monitor Monitors health levels (CPU, disk, and memory usage, filesystem and inode usage, and others).Gateway Policy and Health Policy
Printer Configuration Modifies the printcap files on computers linked to the printer policy (applicable on Linux systems only).Printer Policy
Run Software Inventory Inventories the packages on computers on which it is run. Inventory Policy
Software InventoryRuns a software inventory automatically whenever a package is installed or uninstalled.Inventory Policy

You can use one of the pre-configured actions or create your own. See Section 4.5.3 for information about creating a custom action. Adding Constraints to an Action

An action can be constrained to run only on systems matching the criteria you select. This can be particularly useful on networks with mixed operating system vendors, platforms and versions.

To constrain an action:

  1. Select the action in the Contents pane, then select Edit Constraints.

  2. Select one or more of the following items to constrain.

    OS Vendor 

    Select from a list of Linux system and UNIX system vendors.

    OS Platform 

    Select the brand and release of the Linux system or UNIX system.

    OS Version 

    Enter the version string that matches the release you are interested in.

    OS Architecture 

    Select 32-bit (IA32), 64-bit (IA64), or none.

  3. Click OK.

You can combine constraints to target specific combinations of systems. An action only runs if it matches all of the constraint values selected. Scheduling an Action

All actions must be scheduled. Actions can be scheduled to occur:

  • immediately

  • at a specific time (once, or on a repeating basis)

  • when a particular event takes place

To schedule an action:

  1. Select the action in the Contents pane, then select Edit the Schedule.

  2. Select a schedule type, then click OK. Scheduling an Action to Run Once

You can schedule to run an action once in any of these ways:

  • Select Immediate to run the program when changes are saved.

  • Select Relative to run the program at a time relative to the present time, such as 12 hours from now.

  • Select another time from the list, such as weekly, monthly, or so on.

    In any case, select Run action once to ensure that the action only runs once the first time the schedule is valid. For example, if you set a weekly schedule beginning the following Tuesday, the action only runs on that Tuesday. If you later need to run the action again, you can select Run again. Scheduling an Action to Run at Specified Intervals

You can schedule your action to run daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly. Select one of these options, enter the desired days, weeks, or months, and then enter any particular scheduling constraints. Constraints are:

Start Time 

The time of day to start the action.


The length of the time window; the time the action has in which to execute.

Length of Time 

The estimated time the program takes to run. This is optional. If the length of time exceeds the duration left when the program is able to start, it does not execute until the next scheduled time. You can check Repeat Every 24 Hours to override this limitation.

Randomly Run 

Run the action at any time during the time window (the time between the start time and end time implied by the duration). Scheduling an Action to Run Based on an Event

You can schedule an action so that it only runs if a particular event occurs. For example, you might want to only distribute software if a profile has been changed, or run a software inventory after software packages have been distributed or removed.

To schedule an action based on an event:

  1. Select Event.

  2. Select the desired event from the drop-down list. If you defined a custom action (see Section 4.5.3), select Custom Event and enter the name of the event in the Custom Event field.

  3. Select Run action once, if desired. If you do not, the action takes place each time the associated event occurs.

2.4.2. Understanding Links

Links form relationships between objects in the directory structure. The profiles and policies you define cannot be executed unless you create the appropriate links.

  • If you create a profile, you must link it to one or more computer objects or containers (such as the computers container).

  • If you create a policy, you must link it to one or more computer objects or containers , and link an action to the same computer or group.

  • Another common use of links is for creating computer groups. If you create a computer group, you must also link the computer objects you want to have associated with the computer group, to the computer group.

For a selected object, the Summary in the Page View pane lists any links that currently exist. To add or remove links:

  1. Select the object you want to link from or to.

  2. Select Add or Remove Links. Any current links are displayed in the Summary area, along with Add and Remove buttons.

    • To remove a link, select the checkbox associated with the link and click Remove.

    • To add a link, click Add and continue this procedure.

  3. Search for the object to which you want to link. (See Section 2.3.1).

  4. When found, select the checkbox next to the object and click Link.

  5. Click Save Changes. Events associated with the linked objects occur as scheduled. If you do not save changes, the links are not made.