System Center 2012 Extends Client Management and Security to Mac and Linux

This week at TechEd North America, general manager Garth Fort discussed two key release milestones that will enable organizations using System Center Configuration Manager to extend client management and security to heterogeneous platforms.  Both are available for download today.

  • Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Service Pack 1 for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager and Endpoint Protection: an early release that features client management support for Windows 8, Mac OS X, Linux and Unix operating systems.
  • System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection Client for Mac and Linux: anti-malware protection for unmanaged desktops and servers running Mac or Linux operating systems. 

Together, these releases will provide organizations with a single infrastructure to manage Windows, Mac, and Linux/Unix desktops and servers.  Let’s take a look at the capabilities you’ll be able to try out for each platform.

Windows 8
Customers who download the Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 CTP can test out new management support for Windows 8, currently available as a downloadable Release Preview.  One of the great new benefits of this platform are Windows 8 apps, and ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 allows you to deploy and update these apps alongside your existing native and virtual applications.  It will also allow you to manage policies for new Windows 8 client-side caching, roaming user profiles, and folder redirection features.  For mobile workers, ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 CTP will include the new ability to detect 3G and 4G network connections to prevent delivering software at a time when data charges may apply.

The Windows 8 support we’re adding in ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 complements the robust support we have today with Windows 7, supporting employees’ flexible work styles and helping them be more productive.  Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager helps you to empower people to use the devices and apps they need to be productive, while maintaining corporate compliance and control.  As expressed by industry analysts, System Center 2012 Configuration Manager is the leading desktop management tool to manage your Windows environment.   We’re excited to begin sharing our plans to extend that support to Windows 8.

Extended Management
In addition to the enhanced support for Windows 8, we’re also providing support for other platforms, including Mac OS X and Linux.

To help manage Mac OS X desktops, Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 CTP enables network discovery, along with hardware and software inventory capabilities.  It also allows to you manage policy settings and distribute software and patches. 

For Linux (and Unix) Servers, Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 CTP provides hardware inventory, software inventory, and the ability to deploy and update software.  It also provides secure and authenticated communications to the Linux (and Unix) servers, along with consolidated reporting capabilities. 

Extended Security
To secure these Mac OS clients, Endpoint Protection 2012 is now available to provide antimalware detection and remediation of viruses.  It also offers real-time analysis of new content arriving on the Mac client, and the ability to scheduled disk scanning. 

Endpoint Protection 2012 Client for Linux is also available now, and provides the same antimalware and content scanning as its Mac counterpart, along with a System Center Operations Management pack that can remotely monitor and control a group of Linux machines.  For example, the management pack could alert administrators to outbreaks or allow them to remotely stop and start protection services on the managed set of machines.

We hope that these releases will help further streamline your client management and security infrastructure, and we encourage you to download them today.  Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 CTP is available for evaluation on the Download Center.  System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection Client for Mac and Linux is available to all Endpoint Protection customers on the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC).


Jason Leznek
Principal Product Planner
Enterprise Client Management


Comments (1)

  1. Vidkidruss says:

    Hi Jason,

    The ability to manage Mac OS clients is very exciting news. I wanted to know that with the support of Apple Disk Image files (DMG) does this mean we will be able to push OS images to our Mac clients? Having trouble finding clarification on this topic. Thanks for any insight.



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