Features and Supported Operating Systems

IBM BigFix has many tools and features to help IT staff manage the systems they are responsible for with greater efficiency. Below is a list of the main features that BigFix provides for common systems management tasks.

Application Deployment

Administrators can deploy and update applications silently on client machines. If the installer has command line switches for a silent install, there's a good chance it will work without being repackaged into an MSI. 

  • Applications can be deployed immediately, during specific time periods, and/or while a user is logged into the machine or not. System restarts can also be scheduled as a part of application deployment.
  • BigFix can identify application that failed to install properly through the console.
  • Applications can be deployed to a single machine or all the machines an administrator has rights over. Applications can also be installed if the system meets conditions set by the administrator. 

Patch Management

BigFix allows IT professionals to easily identify and apply operating system and application patches that are needed on any client, and can verify that the patch was installed correctly.

  • To ensure quick and reliable patch management, IBM develops and publishes Fixlets, which are ready-to-deploy update packages specifically for use with BigFix.
  • IBM publishes Fixlets for multiple products from vendors including Adobe, Mozilla Firefox, Symantec, and Microsoft. BigFix also gives IT professionals the ability to create their own custom Fixlets for software packages that are not currently published by IBM through the software distribution wizard.

Power Management

BigFix includes tools for managing and monitoring power settings, as well as estimating overall power consumption and potential savings. More information about how power management is available here.


BigFix collects the hardware and software inventory of each machine that has the BigFix Agent installed. The BigFix Agent continuously monitors the inventory of a system for changes, and sends inventory updates to the server as needed, without being intrusitive or affecting endpoint response.

Included in the BigFix platform is a robust web interface for generating hardware and software inventory reports.

Cross Platform

BigFix provides a central system management console for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems. For more information, please see the full list of supported operating systems below.

Environment Independent

BigFix is not dependent on Active Directory, and it can fully support machines that are not part of a domain. However, it can also display and sort machines by domain and organizational unit if they are part of an Active Directory domain.


The BigFix platform itself is secure, to ensure that only BigFix Administrators can deploy valid contents to endpoints:

  • BigFix requires all actions to be "signed" before they are executed. These actions are logged centrally for debugging as well as auditing.
  • BigFix verifies that all files deployed to endpoints match what was originally uploaded by the BigFix Administrator.

Delegated Authority

BigFix is capable of assigning each console operator rights to a specific group of workstations, which allows each administrative unit to have full management control over the machines in BigFix to which they are assigned. 

Supported Operating Systems

BigFix supports most modern operating systems and architectures (including virtual machines) from almost every major vendor:

  • AIX
  • HP
  • Linux
  • Mac OS
  • Solaris
  • Windows

For a specific, up-to-date full list of supported operating systems, please see IBM's BigFix Platform Support Policy.

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Last Updated October 7, 2015