Using the console

LANDesk Management Suite provides a full range of system management tools that let you view, configure, manage, and protect devices on your network. All of these tasks can be performed via a single console. This chapter introduces the console interface and describes how to configure and navigate the console's network view and tool windows.

Read this chapter to learn about:

Console overview

The power of the console is that you can perform all critical network management functions from one convenient location, freeing you from the need to go to each managed device to perform routine maintenance or to troubleshoot problems. From a single console, you can distribute and update software or configuration settings, diagnose hardware and software issues, deploy OS images and migrate user profiles, use role-based administration to control user access to both features and devices, use remote control features to train end users or resolve problems, and more.

You can have multiple core servers and databases to accommodate your specific network management needs. For information on installing a core server and console, additional consoles, Web console, and managing multiple core servers and databases, refer to the LANDesk community:

This chapter describes how to navigate and use the console to view and organize devices; and how to access the various management tools. (Each tool, such as software distribution and remote control, are described in depth in their own separate chapters in this guide.)

Console wizards

Wizards are available for several areas of LANDesk Management Suite. Most wizards proceed through a series of instructions as the user completes the outlined steps.

Getting started wizard

The Getting Started wizard helps the user configure LANDesk Management Suite to perform the following functions:

You can choose to work through the wizard, or click to place a checkmark in the Don’t show this wizard again check box to prevent the wizard from being shown.

Discovering and installing agents

The Discovering and Installing Agents wizard helps the user configure LANDesk Management Suite to perform the following functions:

Security updates

The Download Patch Updates wizard assists the user in downloading and managing security and patch vulnerability definition files from the LANDesk content servers. The wizard helps in configuring tasks to download updates, starting the tasks, and scheduling future downloads.

Creating roles and groups

The Creating Roles and Groups wizard assists you in performing the steps necessary to manage who can access devices on the network and what tools or specific features can be used on those devices. It takes you through the process of creating a scope, a role, and a user group permission.

Starting the console

To start the console
  1. Click Start > Programs > LANDesk > Management Suite. (The actual program name may be different depending on the LANDesk product that's installed and the license used to activate your core server.)
  2. Enter a valid user name and password.

    If you're connecting to a remote core server, follow the normal Windows rules for remote login (i.e., if the user is local to that core server, just enter the user name; if the user is a domain user, enter the domain name\user name).
  1. Select the core server you want to connect to. The user must have proper authentication credentials to that core server.
  2. Click OK.

The console opens with the layout (size, position, open tool windows, etc.) that was being used the last time this user logged out.

For additional consoles, the credentials you use to log into Management Suite must match the credentials used for any drives you have mapped to the core server. Otherwise, you might see a "Multiple connections" error in the console login dialog.

About the Login dialog

Use this dialog to launch the console and connect to a core server.

Changing the core server connection

The console lets you view and manage the contents of any database associated with a core server that you can connect to on your network. This allows you to create databases for different sites, organizational units, or logical internal networks.

You can only be connected to one core server at a time.

To change core server connections
  1. Select a core server from the Core list located on the console toolbar. Or, enter a core server name in the Core text box and press Enter.

    The server is searched for on your network. If found, you're prompted to log in at the standard Login dialog.

  2. Enter a valid user name and password.

Follow the normal Windows rules for remote login (i.e., if the user is local to that core server, just enter the user name; if the user is a domain user, enter the domain name\user name).

Once you've connected to a core server, its name is automatically added to the Core list in the toolbar. 

You can also quickly log in as another user to the current core by clicking the Core list and without changing the core name, pressing Enter.

Understanding the network view

The network view is the main window of the console and is the starting point for most administrative tasks. This is where you view device inventory data, create queries to search for and group devices, select devices to remote control, and so on.

The network view window is always open and contains two panes. The left-hand pane shows a hierarchical tree view of the core server and database you're currently connected to and its Devices, Queries, and Configuration groups. You can expand or collapse the tree objects as needed. The right-hand pane in the network view displays a detailed list of the selected group's items.

You can resize the network view window and its panes and columns, but you can't close it. The network view window is not dockable like the tools windows.

NOTE: Role-based administration
The devices you can view and manage in the network view, and the management tools you can use, are determined by the access rights and device scope assigned to you by the administrator. For more information, see Role-based administration.

The Network View contains the following groups and subgroups:


The Core object identifies the core server you're currently connected to. The Core object is located directly under the network view root and can be collapsed and expanded.

Core object name syntax

The syntax for the core object name is:

Server Name\Database Instance


The Devices group contains the following device subgroups.

NOTE: Dragging and dropping items in the network view
When you click an item in order to drag it to another group in the network view, the cursor indicates where you can and can't drop the item. As you move the cursor over a group object, a plus-sign (+) indicates that you can add the item to that group, and a "no symbol" (circle with a slash through it) indicates that you can't add the item to that group.

For regular users, All Devices is a composite of their user's My devices and Public devices groups.

Administrators and users can run asset reports on the devices in this group.

You can also manually add computers to the network view by right-clicking the All devices group, selecting, clicking Insert new computer, filling in the device and network information, and clicking OK. These computers also appear in the User added computers subgroup under the Configuration group.

Virtual OS Hosts

The Virtual OS Hosts group shows VMWare ESX virtual host servers. The Virtual OS Hosts group contains the following configuration groups:


The Queries group contains the following query subgroups.

Any query a user runs is limited to the range of devices defined by the user's scope. For example, if a user's scope is All machines, the query will search all devices in the core database, but if the user's scope is restricted to 20 machines, only those 20 machines will be searched by the query. For more information on creating queries, see Creating database queries.

Administrators can use this group to run a user's queries against that user's scope, as if they were that user. In this way, an administrator can preview exactly the results a user will see when they run a query.


The Configuration group contains the following configuration subgroups.

Fast Find

The Fast Find feature appears in a toolbar wherever it makes sense for the user to search for a specific item in a corresponding list. For example, any time a list of items is displayed in either the upper or lower portion of the console, the Fast Find field is included in that view to facilitate locating a specific item in the corresponding list.

An example of when this can be helpful is if an organization has 10,000 nodes listed in the database. A user calls for assistance, and the helpdesk team member needs to find the device in the console. The helpdesk member can ask for the caller’s login name, or machine name, or any other user and device specific information, and (as long as the view includes the column with the specific information) the Fast Find can find the exact entry among the 10,000 entries in a second or two.

Creating groups

Groups help you organize devices and queries in the console's network view. You can create groups to organize network devices based on function, geographic location, department, device attribute or any other category that meets your needs. For example, you could create a marketing group for all devices in the marketing department or a group that includes all devices running a specific OS.

Rules for creating groups

To create a group
  1. In the console's network view, right-click the parent group (such as My devices), and then click New group. Or, select the parent group, and then click Edit > My Devices > New Group.
  2. Type in a name for the new group, and then press the Enter key.

You can right-click groups to perform various tasks, based on the type of group. For example, if you created a device subgroup, its shortcut menu lets you:

For more information on right-click features, see Shortcut menus.

Device icons

Device icons display in the console's network view and show the current agent and health status of a device.

You can update the agent and health status for devices one at a time as you select them in the network view, or for all of the visible devices in the network view at the same time. You can also update a device's status by selecting it and clicking the Refresh toolbar button. For information on configuring how agent discovery is handled, see Configuring agent discovery.

NOTE: Icon display quality
These are high-color icons and require at least a 16-bit color-depth setting. If the icons in your console appear out of focus, change your color settings in the Windows Display Properties.

Viewing managed devices in the All Devices group

Devices running LANDesk agents automatically appear in the All devices group when they are scanned into the core database by the inventory scanner. Typically, this scan takes place for the first time during a device's initial agent configuration. Once a device is scanned into the core database it is considered to be a managed device. In other words, it can now be managed by that core server. For more information on setting up devices, see Configuring device agents.

Because the All devices group is populated automatically, via an inventory scan, you may never need to manually discover devices. However, to discover devices not already in the core database, you can scan the network for devices with the unmanaged device discovery tool. For more information, see Unmanaged device discovery.

When connected to a particular core server, the administrator can see every device managed by that core server. Regular users, on the other hand, are restricted and can only see the devices that reside within their assigned scope (a scope is based on either a database query or a directory location). For more information, see Role-based administration.

Shortcut menus

Shortcut (context) menus have been significantly expanded for all items in the console, including groups, devices, queries, scheduled tasks, scripts, reports, and so on. Shortcut menus provide quick access to an item's common tasks and critical information.

To view an item's shortcut menu, select and right-click the item.

Available options in the shortcut menu
Options that appear in a device's shortcut menu, as well as options that are disabled or dimmed, may differ depending upon the device platform and upon which LANDesk agents are installed on the device.

For example, when you right-click a managed device in the network view, its shortcut menu will typically display the following options:

This guide does not cover every item type's possible shortcut menu. We recommend that you right-click any item to see the options that are available.

NOTE: If your firewall blocks UDP packets
If you manage devices through a firewall that blocks UDP packets, you won't be able to use these device shortcut menu features: Wake Up, Shut Down, Reboot, and Inventory Scan.

Configuring the network view with column sets

Column sets allow you to customize the inventory data that displays in the right pane of the network view, for both device lists and query results lists. Each column in a column set represents a unique attribute (or component) from the scanned inventory. For example, the default column set that displays in the network view is comprised of the Device Name, Type, and OS Name attributes.

Use the Column Set Configuration tool (Tools > Administration > Column Set Configuration) to create as many column sets as you like. Then, to apply a column set, drag the desired column set to device groups and query objects in the network view tree.

Column sets tool

The Column sets tool organizes column sets into three categories:

A user can copy a column set from the Public Column Sets group into their own My Column Sets group and then modify the column set properties.

You can create subgroups under the My column sets object to further organize your column sets.

Creating column sets

The Column configuration dialog is where you create column sets. Each column represents a single inventory attribute or component that has been scanned into the core database. Columns appear from left to right in the network view in the order that they appear in the Columns list.

To create a column set
  1. Click Tools > Administration > Column Set Configuration.
  2. Select the My column sets object (or the Public column sets object), and then click the Create a new column set toolbar button.
  3. In the Column Configuration dialog, enter a name for the new column set.
  4. Select inventory attributes from the list and add them to the Columns list by clicking Add to columns. Remember to select attributes that will help you identify the devices in the device list or returned by the query.
  5. (Optional) You can customize how and where the columns appear in the network view by directly editing a component's heading, alias, and sort order fields; or by removing or moving the selected component up or down in the list with the available buttons.
  6. (Optional) You can specify more precise qualifying data for software components. Select the software component, click the Qualify button, and then select a primary key value from the list of available values. For more information, see Using the qualify option with software components.
  7. Click OK to save the column set.

NOTE: Restoring the original default columns
To restore the default columns in the network view, simply create a custom column set that includes the Device Name, Type, and OS Name attributes, and then apply it to device groups and query objects. Or, you can use the predefined column set named Original in the My column sets group.

Applying column sets to device groups and queries

Once you've created a column set, you can drag it to a devices group or subgroup, or to a specific query object in a queries group or subgroup. The device list, or query results list, displays the inventory data specified by the selected column set in the right pane of the network view.

Note that for device lists, once a column set is applied to a group it persists even when you select different device groups. However, for query results lists, the column set must be reapplied when changing between various queries.

You can also right-click a column set to access its shortcut menu and perform common tasks, as well as view and edit its properties. The shortcut menu includes the following options:

Using the qualify option with software components

When creating column sets that include software components, you can specify a qualifier for those software components by choosing a specific primary key value. A software qualifier lets you more precisely identify the data you want a query to search for and display in that software component's column. For example, you can configure the column set to display version information for only one specific application by selecting that application's executable file name as the qualifier.

To specify a software component's qualifier, select the software component in the Columns list, click the Qualify button, and then select a value from the list of available primary key values.

As with the Alias field, once you select a primary key value and add it to the software component's Qualifier field, you can manually edit it by clicking in the field.

About the Column Configuration dialog

Use this dialog to create a new column configuration.

Toolbar options

The console includes a toolbar that provides one-click access to common network view operations and some basic console configuration options. The toolbar buttons are dimmed when an item in the network view is selected that does not support that operation.

You can enable text descriptions for toolbar buttons by clicking View > Show toolbar text.

The console toolbar includes the following buttons:

Using console tools

Tools are available through both the Tools menu and the Toolbox. To enable the Toolbox, click View > Toolbox.

A Management Suite administrator sees all of the tools in both the Tools menu and the Toolbox. Other Management Suite users will see only the tools (features that are allowed by their assigned rights). Tools dependent on rights that a user hasn't been granted don't appear at all in the Tools menu or in the Toolbox when that user is logged in to the console. For example, if a user doesn't have the "Power management" right, the Power management tool does not appear in either the Tools menu or the Toolbox.

When you click a tool name, the tool's window opens in the console. Tool windows can be resized, docked, floating, hidden, and closed. You can have multiple tool windows open at the same time, docked or floating. See the next section for more information on manipulating tool windows.

Dockable tool windows

Dockable windows is a console feature that lets you open as many of the tools as you want and move them in and out of the main console window.

NOTE: You can save console layouts you've designed and prefer for certain management tasks, and restore a saved layout whenever you need it. For more information, see Saving window layouts.

When you open multiple tool windows, they're tabbed in a single window. The active tool window displays on top, with a tab for each open tool running along the side or bottom. Click a tab to display that tool window. You can dock the tabbed tools window or drag it so that it is floating outside of the console window.

Docking a tool window means attaching it to one of the edges of the console. The window is said to be in a docked state if it is currently attached to an edge of the console. You can also undock the tools window and have it free-floating outside of the console. You can dock windows horizontally or vertically in the console.

To dock a tool window
  1. Click the window's title bar and drag the window to an edge of the console
  2. When the docking rectangle (dim outline of the window) appears indicating that the window will be docked, release the mouse button. The window attaches to that edge of the console.

Note that only tool windows (those windows accessible from the Tools menu or Toolbox) can exist as docked windows, floating windows, or tabbed windows. The network view window can be resized but can't be tabbed with other windows, floated outside the console, or closed.

If you minimize and then restore the main console window, then all docked and floating windows, including tabbed windows, are also minimized and restored with it.

Auto hide

The tool windows also support the auto hide feature. Auto hide is a push pin button in the upper right-hand corner of a window that lets you hold a window in place or hide it.

When the push pin is in (i.e., the pin points down), the window is pinned in place and auto hide is temporarily disabled. When the push pin is out (i.e., the pin points to the left) the window goes into auto hide mode when the cursor moves off of the window. Auto hide minimizes and docks the window along one of the edges of the console and displays a tab in its place.

The Toolbox also supports auto hide.

Saving window layouts

Layouts are saved console configurations, meaning the position and size of the network view, the Toolbox, and all open tool windows. You can use window layouts to save and restore customized console configurations that are especially useful for certain tasks or users.

To change the layout of the console, select a saved layout from the Layout list on the main toolbar.

To save your current layout
  1. Configure the console interface the way you want it.
  2. Click the Disk button next to the Layout list on the toolbar.
  3. Enter a unique name for the layout.
  4. Click OK.

About the Manage window layouts dialog

Use this dialog to manage saved window layouts and to reset the console window to the previous layout.

Find bar

Find lets you search for items in a list containing a specific word or phrase. The Find bar is available in the network view and tool windows that contain flat lists of items. For example, the Find bar appears when you're viewing the:

To search for an item with the Find bar
  1. Select the All devices group. The Find bar appears at the top of the list.
  2. In the Find text box, type any text you want to search for.
  3. From the In column list, select the column you want to search
  4. Click the Search toolbar button.

The resulting list displays only those items that matched your search criteria.

Status bar

The status bar at the bottom of the console displays the following information (from left to right):

The status bar is always visible.

Viewing device properties

In the console's network view, you can quickly view information about a device by right-clicking the device in the device list and selecting Properties.

More detailed information about the device is available in its inventory data. You can view inventory data in the network view columns (which are configurable), or by right-clicking the device and selecting Inventory to open the full Inventory window.

About the Device properties dialog

Use this dialog to view useful information about the selected device. The dialog includes three tabs: Inventory, Device, and Agents. Click each one to view related information.

Inventory tab

The Inventory tab contains a summary of the device's inventory data. For more details, see Viewing a summary inventory.

Device tab

The Device tab contains basic information about a device, including its location and identity on the network. This tab also appears when you manually insert a device (from the All devices group's shortcut menu, click Insert new computer).

Agents tab

The Agents tab contains information about the current status of agents and remote control settings for the device.

Configuring agent discovery

Agent discovery is the process used to find managed devices that have the standard LANDesk agent or remote control agent installed. These two agents provide the following capability:

Agent discovery uses TCP/IP to verify agents running on the devices.

IP addresses are used as search criteria in order to perform standard LANDesk agent discovery with TCP/IP. Management Suite looks for the standard LANDesk agent and remote control agent on devices within a specific range of IP addresses. This range of addresses is implied by the IP network address you supply.

If you don't designate subnet network addresses when searching on TCP/IP, discovery is performed only on the network segment where the console initiating the discovery resides. For example, if you've installed four consoles, each residing on a different network segment, you would have to initiate four scans, one from each of the four consoles.

On network segments where consoles don't exist, you must use subnet network addresses to access the information on that network segment.

NOTE: Note on firewalls: If you have one or more firewalls on your network, agent discovery can't be used to search outside firewalls, because firewalls generally limit the flow of packet traffic to designated ports.

To configure agent discovery options
  1. Click Configure > Agent status options.
  2. Select whether you want agent discovery to update agent status for only the selected item in the network view, or all visible items in the network view.
  3. Specify the agent status refresh rate.
  4. Configure how you want to discover the remote control agent, and prioritize the address resolution methods.
  5. Specify how long agent discovery will attempt to discover the remote control agent on the device before timing out.
  6. Click OK.

About the Agent status options dialog

Use this dialog to configure the following agent discovery options.

Monitoring devices for network connectivity

Device monitoring lets you regularly monitor the connectivity of any of your managed devices.

Ping settings are specific to the device you've selected. When a device stops responding to a ping (when it goes offline), an alert notification is added to the log on the core server. If you want to be notified with another alert action, such as receiving an e-mail when a device goes offline, you can configure an alert in the core alert ruleset.

To monitor connectivity for managed devices
  1. Click Configure > Device monitoring.
  2. Click Add. Select one or more devices that you want to monitor, and then click Add.
  3. Specify the Ping frequency setting, the number of retries, and the timeout limit.
  4. Click OK.

About the Configure device monitoring dialog

Use this dialog to configure the following device monitoring options.

Configuring device monitoring alerts

If you want device monitoring to notify you when managed devices come online or go offline, you have to first configure an alert ruleset that has additional actions (such as receiving an e-mail when the alert is sent).

To configure device monitoring alert settings
  1. Click Tools > Configuration > Alerting.
  2. In the Alerts tree, expand the Alert rulesets item.
  3. Right-click Core alert rulesets and click Edit.
  4. In the Ruleset window's Alert ruleset pane on the left, click Alerts.
  5. In the Alerts pane, under the Standard folder, click Device monitor.
  6. In the right pane, click Rules > Add.
  7. Drag the Device monitor system connectivity alert to the Alerts well at the bottom of the page.
  8. In the Ruleset window's Alert ruleset pane on the left, click Actions and drag any additional actions that you want down to the Actions well. By default the core alert log handler configuration is the action. You can choose to send an e-mail or an SNMP trap, or run an executable on the core when the alert is received. (You need to define each action, such as specifying where to send e-mail alerts.)
  9. In the Ruleset window's Alert ruleset pane on the left, click Time and drag Always down to the Time well.
  10. Click the OK button next to the wells.
  11. In the Actions pane on the right, click Publish.
  12. In the Alert ruleset pane on the left, click Rules summary and double-click the rule you created.
  13. In the dialog that appears, check the Health box if you want a device's health status in the console to change when it is online/offline, then click OK to close the dialog.
  14. Click Publish to publish any changes you made in the dialog and close the Ruleset window.

NOTE: When you configure alert settings, they apply to all of the devices you're monitoring.