Altiris ITMS 8.6 RU3 released

The third update for Release 8.6 of the Symantec IT Management Suite (ITMS 8.6 RU3) has been released just a few days ago. The update can be installed immediately via the Symantec Installation Manager (SIM).
We are happy to support you with this update, please contact us.

→ You can conveniently find these release notes and other useful documents on Altiris at:
Altiris Links & Downloads

We have compiled the new features for you.

These new features were realized with Release 8.6 RU3:

New Symantec Management Platform Features

Two new options to determine the HTML engine to use for the Notification Task pageThe Notifications Settings section of the End User Notification Task page has two new options to determine the HTML engine to use for the task: MS Edge or Internet Explorer (IE).
By default, both options are selected for new tasks, and IE is selected only for the existing tasks. Before this release, only IE was supported.
To use MS Edge, you must install Edge using one of these two options:
– MS Edge WebView2
Note: If you use the Fixed Version, you can install it in any folder, and the folder path should be registered in registry under  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Folders key, with a value name of MSEdgeWebView2.
– MS Edge browser.
The Admin can use the ITMS software distribution functionality to deliver MS Edge packages to the end points.
New “Pending Task Schedules” ReportThe Pending Task Schedules report shows Jobs and Tasks with their associated schedules.As an Administrator, you can find this report by selecting Reports, the Task Server folder, the Status folder, and then selecting the Pending Task Schedules report.
Apply SLIC license files with future start dates When you get them.As an ITMS administrator, you can apply SLIC license files with future start dates that you receive at the time when purchasing a renewal. You can load such license files when you receive them rather than waiting until the start date to apply them.
RHEV and GCP are now classified as virtualEndpoints running in either the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) or Google Cloud Platform (GCP) are now properly classified as virtual. Specifically, virtual machines running under the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) and Google Compute Engine (GCE) hypervisors are now identified as virtual machines, rather than physical machines, in the Resource Manager UI.
Determine if there is an active maintenance window on a particular computer to determine if an admin executes a taskAs an IT administrator, you can quickly and easily see whether a computer currently has an active maintenance window to determine if it is possible to execute a task on that computer now. For more information, see Viewing Information about a Computer’s Maintenance Window.

New Symantec Management Agent Features

Show Active Policies in the Computer View
The Show only active policies option in the Policies pane of the Computer View enables an administrator to quickly and easily identify the active policies of a specific computer.

New OS Support
The following operating systems are now supported for the installation of the Symantec Management Agent and solution plug-ins:

– Oracle Linux 8.5
– Oracle Linux 8.6
– Red Hat 8.5
– Red Hat 8.6
– Red Hat 9
– SUSE Linux 15 SP3
– SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 SP5
– Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

You can find the links to the support statements in the Release Notes.
New Notification Server OS SupportThe following operating system is now supported for the installation of the Notification Server:

– Windows Server 2022

You can find the links to the support statements in the Release Notes.
Track everything under a specified folderAs an administrator, you can create item trackers and  specify the items for which you want to collect history data, and also configure special cases when the tracking data should be collected. There are two new options in the Items to track section of the New Item Tracker page:
– The Items in Folders option lets you select an entire folder, such as Reports or Policies, instead of having to select all items in a folder.
– The Exclude items of class option lets you select individual items to not track.
For more information, see Creating an Item Tracker.

New Patch Management Solution Features

Option to not install patches on systems using only battery powerThe Do not install updates if machine is on battery option prevents installing any new updates on a device that is using only battery power (“On battery”), and that is not plugged-in.
The following conditions apply to this option:
– Only applies to Windows devices
– By default, this option is disabled for all updates.
– A Software Update Installation task ignores this option.
– You can NOT override the global configuration of this option with an individual patch distribution policy.
Support for updates that do not have a download urlAs an administrator, you can manage software updates that cannot be downloaded automatically to the Notification Server. You can use the Patch Management Solution to both install such updates and report on their compliance. For more information, see the Release Notes.

Note: This feature involves changes to both the product and the Windows patch management data feed. The changes to the product are included in this release. The changes to the data feed are expected to be made a few weeks after the RU3 product release. When the changes to the data feed are released, this disclaimer will be removed.
Filter the Compliance by Computer report by the severity levels of the bulletins and updatesAs an administrator, you can filter the Compliance by Computer report by the severity levels of the bulletins and updates. This sorting helps you determine the compliance rate with respect only to the bulletins and updates of those severity levels.
Updated Windows Software Update Assessment task and Windows Software Update Installation tasks.The Windows Software Update Assessment task can now scan for all available software updates or just select software updates. The Windows Software Update Installation task can now install all latest updates (new), only latest updates that are enabled (new), or just select software updates.

You will find further reading and links in the Release Notes.
The new Install Latest Software Updates jobThe new Install Latest Software Updates server job contains the software update assessment and software update installation tasks. Use them to install applicable patches as part of the provisioning process.

You will find further reading and a link in the Release Notes.

New Deployment Solution Features

Creating Preboot Environments as an ISO fileAdministrators can create an .ISO file containing either WinPE or Linux PE, and then save the .ISO file to the Notification Server. The admin can then use the .ISO file to create a bootable disk from a USB drive, CD, or DVD. The .ISO file can also be published to a web page from which it can be downloaded.
Boot Using a Local PXEThe feature allows admins to perform a PXE boot when clients and the PXE server are located in the same local network. Before 8.6 RU3, the PXE Server also had to be located in the same network with the Windows Notification Server.
Now, the PXE Server can communicate with the Notification Server through a CEM Gateway. For example,  the Notification Server could be hosted in the Cloud, while only the Site Servers and their clients are physically located in the office network.
Deployment Solution supports imaging Linux machines with UEFI mode where the Secure Boot is not enabled.This feature allows admins to capture and deploy Linux Images on computers with UEFI mode.

Note: Imaging Linux computers with enabled Secure Boot is not supported.

– Added support for the 64bit Linux preboot environment
– The LinPE kernel is updated to 5.10.
LinPE is not delivered out of the boxLinux x64 and x86 LinPE can be downloaded from the console and imported manually.

You will find further reading on this topic in the Release Notes.
The Boot To task is extendedThis release extended the Boot To task to allow boot computers running in UEFI mode to UEFI boot media with a specified name
Configuring Windows Boot menu timeoutBy default, the Windows Boot Menu has a 30 second timeout. Administrators can now change this timeout value as part of Preboot Configurations management.
Install Software Updates on Pre-Defined ComputersAdministrators can now run the Windows Software Update Assessment and Windows Software Update Installation tasks on pre-defined computers by setting the value of the new PatchCheckPluginVersionForClientTasks Core setting to False.

With ITMS 8.6 RU3, various improvements or «fixed issues» in the following solutions were also realized:

  • Notification Server Solution
  • Symantec Management Platform
  • Asset Management Solution
  • Deployment Solution
  • Inventory Solution
  • Patch Management Solution
  • Workflow Solution

Release Notes and User Guides

The release notes and other useful documents for Altiris can be conveniently found at:

Altiris links & downloads

As with all updates, there are a few things to consider, especially if you are running multiple clients and servers. We have profound experience in this area and would be happy to advise you on updating to the latest version. Feel free to contact us.