Unicode support requirements and limitations

This is a list of BigFix Platform V10 requirements and limitations when using non-ASCII characters:

  • BigFix installation:
    • The BigFix components (server, relays, WebReports) must be installed on systems whose hostname contains only ASCII characters.
    • The installation paths of the components must contain only ASCII characters.
    • The License Key Password cannot contain double quotes and cannot be longer than 35 characters.

  • BigFix upgrade to V10:
    • You can upgrade BigFix server to V10 only manually.
    • After the upgrade, passwords containing non-ASCII characters are corrupted and users can no longer log in. In this case, before using the product, you must reset this type of password. When resetting the corrupted password, you can choose to use the same password or a new password that can have non-ASCII characters.
    • You might encounter issues upgrading a BigFix client having settings whose names or values contain non-ASCII characters. If custom settings with these names or values exist, check they are still valid after upgrading to V10.
    • After the upgrade, non-ASCII characters input in action message tabs might be garbled on Client user interfaces because of missing character sets, when the BigFix deployment encoding code page is different from the client code page. As a workaround, you can edit the /usr/share/fonts/liberation/fonts.dir file to remove references to fonts that do not exist, and correct the font count at the beginning of the file to match those actually found. It must also be noted that including the xorg-x11-fonts-misc font package might provide the missing character sets for certain localized installations.
    • After the upgrade of the BigFix Server to V10, if you have settings with non-ASCII characters on clients earlier than V10, you might need to reset them.
    • After upgrading BigFix to V10, the filldb process on clients might fail if the filldb buffer directory contains reports that use an unexpected report encoding value, for example ReportEncoding: hp-roman8. If so, clean up the filldb buffer directory containing the reports and then restart filldb.
    • The License Key Password cannot contain double quotes and cannot be longer than 35 characters.

  • BigFix proxy agent:

    Subscription to computer groups containing special characters in the name is not correctly evaluated by devices managed by the BigFix proxy agent. Avoid special characters in the computer group names.

  • BigFix interfaces:
    • The BigFix interface generally allows only characters belonging to the FXF encoding (that is the value assigned to the x-bes-fxf-charset). For example, if a user tries to create a custom site whose name contains characters other than FXF encoding (suppose x-bes-fxf-charset parameter is Windows 1252, and the name of the site is Site_albêrto, where character ê is specific to the Windows 1250 encoding), the BigFix console displays an error message. The same error occurs when trying to create the custom site via REST API or Command-Line Interface (CLI). This rule does not apply to Operator Name and Fixlet Description that allow non-ASCII characters.
    • Operators with non-ASCII characters in the user name might have problems to log in through REST API. It is recommended that your REST API client uses the UTF-8 encoding format.
    • The BigFix APIs, including server, client, dashboard, and Web Reports, support only UTF-8 encoding.
    • Situations in which non-ASCII data is used might change behavior. For example, manually percent encoded data in an action script might be decoded assuming a different encoding than in previous client versions, resulting in a different action operation.

  • Files:
    • The name of a custom site can contain only characters belonging to the FXF encoding (that is the value assigned to the x-bes-fxf-charset parameter). When a user creates a new custom site, BigFix console and REST APIs will block any input names that contain characters outside that set. If a client of the deployment has a local OS encoding other than the FXF, a local client user might not be able to display the name of the Subscribe or Unsubscribe files correctly.
    • Files that are added to custom sites must be ASCII named.

  • Linux and the Windows HTTP servers:

    Both the Linux and the Windows HTTP servers now accept both raw UTF-8 encoded URLs as well as percent encoded UTF-8 URLs .

  • Client Relevance:
    Client relevance supports characters in FXF encoding (the value assigned to the x-bes-fxf-charset parameter). Session relevance supports Unicode characters because it uses UTF-8 encoding with all interfaces (that is.BigFix console, WebReports, REST API, SOAP API). The following session relevance inspector, which allows you to get the FXF encoding of a BigFix Server is available:
    fxf character set of <bes server>: string
  • Key exchange:

    The BigFix client can include passwords with ASCII characters only in its key exchange with the authenticating relay.

  • Log files:
    • Product log files are always UTF-8 encoded. On platforms other than Windows, log paths and file names must contain ASCII characters only.
    • If you change the name or the path of the client log in the _BESClient_EMsg_File setting, to avoid character display problems, ensure that you use names that have only ASCII characters.

  • DB2 Administrative user password:

    You can use only ASCII characters when setting the DB2 Administrative user password.

  • Download and upload:
    • Dynamic download of URL having non-ASCII characters fails on Windows clients. The URLs in the file should be percent encoded UTF-8 to avoid this kind of issue.
      For example the URL:
      should be represented as:
    • From Macintosh clients V9.2 or earlier, you cannot upload files with file name containing non-ASCII characters that are not contained in the server code page.
    • You cannot download a file that contains non-ASCII characters in its name.
    • You cannot use non-ASCII characters in file names to be downloaded.

  • Command prompt property:

    Command prompt property whose font is set to Raster Fonts on the BigFix server workstation might generate problems in displaying characters. It is recommended to set the font to a value different from Raster Fonts.

  • Earlier clients:

    A client BigFix V9.2 or earlier working on a code page different from the FXF code page might not support the file archive operation. When the name of an archived file has a character that does not exist on the FXF code page, the file is not available on the target directory after archive now.

  • Server system locale:

    Do not change the system locale on the BigFix server to avoid compromising the server functionalities.

  • Web Reports server:

    Web Reports cannot aggregate data sources that have different FXF encodings. For example, you cannot aggregate a Windows-1252 data source with a Shift-JIS data source within the same instance of a Web Reports server.

  • Fixlet Debugger (QnA) tool and QnA command line:
    • The Fixlet Debugger graphical breakdown window can only render 256 unique text characters. Relevance text characters outside the supported range will be replaced by an 'X' with inverted foreground and background colors.
    • If you want to use non-ASCII characters in the QnA tool, ensure that the font in the command prompt properties of your workstation is set to a value compatible with non-ASCII characters, otherwise characters might not display correctly. Alternatively, use only ASCII characters.

  • Client settings:

    Setting names on BigFix V10 UNIX and Linux clients cannot contain any of these three characters: "]" (right square bracket), "\" (backslash), "=" (equals) If you use any of these characters in a setting name, the Add Setting will appear to succeed but the setting will be either missing or corrupt. It is also possible that neighboring settings might be affected adversely.

  • BES Support:
    • Fixlets are not properly displayed when BigFix was installed using the Korean language. In particular, the Take Action drop-down list is blank. As a workaround, either reinstall BigFix by selecting a language different from Korean and create a new masthead, or create a custom site and copy the tasks/Fixlets/analyses from the BES Support site to the custom site.
    • If the task 2283-WARNING: BES Client has local codepage limiting content is relevant for a client, the local codepage of the client has some limitations and might be able to understand only ASCII as the codepages are not in common with the codepage of the server. A simple restart of the client service could address the issue. Because on some platforms the default installation is only available in ASCII (AIX for example) , as a workaround you should install the Unicode language functionality.