Open source Computers and Software inventory

I have a need for a software to help the guys/gals to inventorize all our PCs (now getting to 500+) including their specs and serial number. A quick google search found me an open source candidate, OCS Inventory 3.00 Final released on 29 March 2005. Its main site gives the following introduction …

Open Computers and Softwares Inventory is an application designed to help a network administrator keep track of the computers configuration and the number of copies of software that are installed on the network … The application comes with Microsoft Access database which stores the applications to search for and the results that the inventory agents return … The inventory agent is a small (about 300 K) executable that can be run from the login script for each user … Informations about Hardware and Operating System are collected …

  • BIOS informations through WMI (Windows Me/2000/XP/2003) or BiosInfo tool (Windows 95/98/NT4) … System manufacturer, model, serial number …
  • Processors … numbers, type, speed …
  • Memory slot arrays, if WMI available … type, speed …
  • Total physical memory …
  • Total paging file size …
  • Input devices, if WMI available … type, manufacturer …
  • System Ports …
  • System Slots, if WMI available …
  • System Controllers …
  • Storage peripherals … manufacturer, model, size …
  • Logical drives …
  • Sound devices …
  • Video adapters …
  • Display monitors, if Windows generic driver is not used …
  • Telephony modems …
  • Network Adapters, if Winsock 2 is available … type, MAC address, IP address, network mask …
  • Printers … description, driver …
  • Operating System … name, version …
  • Softwares extracted from the registry as shown in the “Add/Remove softwares” …
  • Registry values if you want to query for some key …
  • Computer description as shown in the Identification Tab …
  • Primary IP address if TCP/IP is available …
  • Agent can also store users logon with date and time of logon on each client computers …

OCS Inventory comes with Windows graphical user interface, OCS Inventory Manager, or web interface, OCS Inventory Web Manager, to view inventory results …
OCS Inventory is GPL software, i.e. free to use & copy … also Open Source …
The application is a no frills solution, but it works well and OCS Inventory Agent “OCSInventory.exe” and Manager “OCSInventoryManager.exe” has been tested on the following operating systems … Windows 95 … Windows Server 2003.

Seems like a good candidate computers inventory software to me. Lets see what they (and others) have to say. 😉

  • Microsoft Software Auditing ? – Steve Hillier on 5 April 2005 says on Security-Basics mailing list that “OCS lets you write the agent output directly to CSV files which we can import into our own database … Ocassionally these mailing lists will reveal some real gems…this is definitely one of them.
  • “Open Workbench” the free/open source alternative to MicrosoftR Project (Gantt, WBS, etc.) – J Antas on 1 April 2005 says on sw-hw mailing list that “There is a member in this [sw-hw] list, Eng. Nuno Rua, who has become an expert at using OCS Inventory to control the IT inventory of a very large portuguese public enterprise.
  • Bizarro. I’m Helping. – M Keadle, 28 March 2005 provides “A collection of freely available tools that are nifty helpful” including OCS Inventory, “By far one of the best, free inventory programs available for Windows. Comes with an agent that, when run on any Windows box, will index installed hardware and all installed software. We’ve stuck it in as part of the login script for a house cleaning account we use. When we login and that script is run, local profiles are killed from the machine and an inventory is performed and stored in a central server. The next time we run the OCS frontend, it imports the new information.” Included good tips on Windows server management tools too.
  • Microsoft Network Analyzer? – Brian Snipes on 2 March 2005 says on Focus-Microsoft maling list that “OCS Inventory 2.01 ( http://ocsinventory.sf.net ) does a good job. It is free and runs from a login script.
  • Enforce Lawful Usage of S/w – by Anoop Mangla, 10 February 2005. “Keep a check on the licensing of software on your network by using OCS Inventory“. Provides instruction to configure OCS Inventory for managing software packages/licenses.
  • OCS 3.0 – Open Source Computer Inventory – E Maynard on 7 May 2004 wrote about the version 3.0 release.
  • Network inventory/patch system suggestions? – John Hubbard on 30 April 2004 suggested OCS Inventory for managing PCs for IT Audit, “Using the software definitions from the web site, you can search for apps requiring licenses (MS Office, AutoCAD, etc.) and apps you don’t want inside your network (Kazaa, etc.). You can view the software installed on any machine, or list machines that have a certain software product installed. Pretty handy for me, anyway, despite a lack of patch features.
  • Software you can’t live without! – Library Technology Exchange Forum event on 17 February 2004, where OCS Inventory is one of the software presented. “Free software and network configuration inventory utility“. Good list of other software too. Includes other events such as “Cornell’s IT Policies“.
  • Any free software for PC’s software inventory? – Robert Creely on 8 September 2003 recommended OCS Inventory, “rather than the MS-Inventory Analyzer (because it scan only MS software)“.
  • SNMP for the Public Community – gave a plug for using OCS Inventory here on 28 May 2003. The site includes very useful information on setup/using SNMP tools too.
  • WinSite: OCS Inventory – refers to Version 2.0 beta 3 getting “User Rating 8.5/10 (6 votes)”
  • Consultants on Call – a Michigan based company seems to use OCS Inventory Web Manager Version 2.01 running here.
  • Network (LAN) Tools Freeware – list OCS Inventory 1.97 released 18 November 2001 with “5/6” ratings.
  • MDC iNet Services – gave a plug for OCS Inventory on their Open Source Solutions page. “OCS Inventory is a computer hardware and software inventory system that can be used to inventory windows based computer systems. It is an automated system that allows to keep track of computer hardware and software.
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About sabre23t

An analyst, researcher, civil engineer & information technologist working in a transportation company.
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