Initiating software scans (BigFix scenario)

During the software scans, the scanner collects information about files with particular extensions, package data, and software identification tags to evaluate whether particular software is installed on the computers in your infrastructure. By default, software scans are scheduled to run regularly but you can specify the exact days and times of the scans, or modify their start and end dates.

Before you begin

Backups of software directories that are stored on the endpoints might be reported as separate software instances. It might result in false discoveries and incorrect license consumption. To avoid this problem, either exclude the backups from scanning or compress them with a data compressor.

The scanner does not scan the following elements:
  • Archived files such as ZIP or RAR files
  • Paths that contain certain whitespace characters and other special characters. To avoid a situation in which software is not discovered, ensure that file paths in your infrastructure do not contain the unsupported characters. For more information, see: Limitations.

About this task

If you enabled the default scan configuration or completed the All-in-One installation, software scans are initiated by default and this configuration is not required.

Software scan is resource-consuming, and its duration depends on the number of files in the file system. To minimize the impact of the scan, schedule the software scan for the period that is least critical for your environment, for example, at night or during the weekend. Software scan needs to be run with frequency that is adjusted to the dynamics of the environment, but typically few times per each reporting period. For information about default and minimal scan frequency, see: Frequency of scans and uploads of data.

Additionally, to minimize the impact of the scan, you can set up a CPU threshold for the scan or optimize the cache configuration. Only one of these options can be enabled. If you set the CPU threshold and optimize the cache configuration, CPU threshold is ignored. For more information, see: Optimizing scanner cache configuration (BigFix scenario).


  1. Log in to the BigFix® console.
  2. In the navigation tree, click Sites > External Sites > IBM License Reporting (ILMT) > Fixlets and Tasks.
  3. Select Initiate Software Scan.
    If the task is not applicable, see: Scan problems.
  4. To ensure complete software discovery, select all types of scans under the Software Discovery section.
    Types of scans
    Note: Starting from application update 9.2.33, package data scan is not performed. Moreover, the Software Discovery section is not present. Both catalog-based scan and software identification tags scan are always enabled.

    Different types of scans search for different types of information to determine whether the software is installed. Generally, all types of scans should be run regularly. However, you can choose to run different types of scans at different times or distribute the scan schedule over the computers in your environment to improve the performance of the import. For more information, see: Types of software scans (BigFix scenario).

  5. To see license metric utilization on License Metric Tool reports, select the relevant options under the Additional Scan Capabilities section.
    Additional Scan Capabilities
    Note: Starting from application update 9.2.33, the Additional Scan Capabilities section is not present. Resource utilization scan is always enabled.
  6. Optional: To enable scanning of shared disks in basic mode, select Scan remote shared disks. The basic mode is advised for environments where a single shared disk is mounted on a single computer or a few computers. However, this mode is only one of the available solutions. Before selecting this option, see: Discovering software on shared disks (BigFix scenario).
  7. Optional: To limit the amount of processor resources that the scanner consumes, select Initiate the software scan with CPU threshold. Specify the consumption limit that is in the range 5 - 100.
    The higher value you specify, the higher is the consumption limit. For example, if you specify 75, scanner processes use the average of 75% of the processing power of the target computer.
    Important: Setting the threshold does not guarantee that CPU consumption is always below the specified value. It fluctuates around that value, sometimes exceeding it and sometimes dropping below it. Temporary peaks are expected. The CPU threshold provides the process scheduler of the operating system with information for how long to keep the scanner thread idle. The scanner does not control how the threshold is mapped to the CPU resources that are available. The assignment of resources is determined by the operating system that decides on which processor (or core) to run the scanner thread.
    CPU threshold
  8. To start the scan, click Take Action.
  9. Select the computers on which you want to initiate the scans.
    Only local drives are scanned on the selected computers. For information about scanning shared disks, see: Discovering software on shared disks (BigFix scenario).
    Tip: To ensure that the action is applied on all computers that are added in the future, select Dynamically target by property.
  10. Optional: By default, the scans are scheduled to run weekly. If you want to specify the dates and frequency of the scans, open the Execution tab. Specify the details, and click OK.
    For information about default and minimal scan frequency, see: Frequency of scans and uploads of data.

What to do next

Schedule uploads of software scans results to the BigFix server.