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AIX Administration


See also

Redbooks IBM Links Recommended Links Recommended eBooks and Papers Open Source packages for AIX
AIX run levels Patching AIX networking Log administration Hardening Security Performance tuning
sudo smit mksysb Command AIX User and Group administration Useful AIX commands   profile and kshrc
Snapshots Creating External Snapshots with chfs Command images bash on AIX JFS/JFS2 GCC on AIX
Precompiled Binaries and RPMs Compilation of open source on AIX Tips Admin Horror Stories

Random Findings



It used to be said that AIX looks like one space alien discovered Unix,
 and described it to another different space alien who then implemented AIX.
But their universal translators were broken and they'd had to gesture a lot.
-- Paul Tomblin

AIX V1, introduced in 1986, was based on System V Release 3. IBM later ported AIX to the RS/6000 platform were it became the primary operating system. In developing AIX, IBM and INTERACTIVE Systems Corporation (whom IBM contracted) also incorporated source code from Berkeley Software Distribution 4.2 and 4.3.

Later IBM and SCO created AIX 5L (project Monterey) which initially included creation of the OS capable of running on Intel hardware too but later was limited AIX5L to Power systems as IBM started its Linux promotion campaign. Project Monterey is still subject of litigation with SCO.  Here is what Wikipedia stated on the subject [IBM AIX (operating system) - Wikipedia]:

AIX V1, introduced in 1986, was based on System V Release 3. IBM later ported AIX to the RS/6000 platform as AIX/6000; since 1989, AIX has served as the RS/6000's primary operating system. In developing AIX, IBM and INTERACTIVE Systems Corporation (whom IBM contracted) also incorporated source code from Berkeley Software Distribution 4.2 and 4.3.

In the SCO v. IBM lawsuit filed in 2003, the SCO Group alleged that (among other infractions) IBM misappropriated licensed source code from UNIX System V Release 4 for incorporation into AIX; SCO subsequently withdrew IBM's license to develop and distribute AIX. IBM maintains that their license was irrevocable, and continues to sell and support the product pending the outcome of litigation.

AIX is sufficiently different than Solaris, especially when it comes to things like starting and stopping daemons started from init. User and group management is completely different too. The AIX equivalent of Jumpstart is Network Installation Manager.

AIX claims "linux affinity" and it is partially true as for compilation but mostly this is just a marketing trick -- AIX is probably the most distant form linux flavor of Unix I ever encounter.  It is actually extremely idiosyncratic and is distant from any other flavor of Unix too. A lot of AIX features and the way of doing things have mainframe roots. While capable and robust OS that has some interesting technical features (LPAR is one)  it probably stands much father from linux then Solaris. 

Networking is also pretty different, with set of idiosyncratic commands, see AIX networking. No regular RC-levels and ability to change from one RC level to another. Starting and stopping services is performed via  startsrc  and stopsrrc commands. There is also an interesting lssrc which lists status of the daemons. It is somewhat similar to chkconfig in Linux.

AIX 5.3 open source support is much weaker then on Solaris and in this sense AIX "Linux affinity" looks like a joke: very few OSS packages are available. See AIX Toolbox for Linux Applications

Bash 3.0, sudo and screen are available. MC can also be found in precompiled form. Here is some information about precompiled binaries location of same OSS tools that you might be interested in:

Other random observations:

In some way, AIX is really underappreciated flavor of Unix. For example, it attempted some unification of motley crew of Unix commands (idea of ch and ls prefixes) and more sensible configuration files structure. Here is a good intro into some features of AIX that are attractive to enterprise sysadmin (not that they are absent in other flavors of enterprise Unix) taken from redpaper AIX Benefits for System Administrators by Beth Morton, Sheila Endres, Kim Tran (November 30, 2000 ):

The following topics are covered in this paper:

Flexible Installation Options

You can choose which fixes to apply for your maintenance level. This feature,  called selective fix, can be done through the System Management Interface Tool  (SMIT) by typing the following fast path: smitty instfix and selecting the fix in the FIXES to install field.

You can preview a fix to see what filesets are going to change and the space requirements by using the same SMIT fast path and selecting yes in the PREVIEW field. When you apply a fix, you can list what files are affected.

You can test a fix by applying it only. Then, if the fix does not help in your environment, you can back out of it. Rejecting a fix is a simple process when done through SMIT. Type the following fast path: smitty reject You can update to the next maintenance level while your current AIX version is still running. Only a reboot is required at the end of the upgrade. Either product media or update media can be used with this feature. Type the following fast path: smitty update_all

AIX also offers migration as a method of moving to a new release or version of the operating system while maintaining your system configuration and user configuration data. Migration installations preserve the root volume group and user volume groups. New user configuration files are either merged or saved when updated. Saved files can then be replaced by either the new or existing files to a separate directory for the user to merge with existing files and continue using existing files, or save existing files to a separate directory while new configuration files are introduced and tested.

Convenient Backup

AIX gives you the option of backing up your system to CD. Compared to other backup media, CDs are portable, cheap, and highly reliable.  You can create a bootable root-volume group backup or user-volume group backup.

In addition to system recovery, backups can be used to install additional systems with the same image as the system that was originally backed up (called cloning) or to create a customized installation CD for other machines. You can use generic AIX backups confidently on other RS/6000 machines without regard to hardware options.

You don’t have to restore an entire backup. You can list the contents of a system backup and choose to restore only selected files on a running system.

Centralized Installation Administration

The Network Installation Manager (NIM) lets you centralize installation administration for multiple machines and schedule those installations to minimize disruptions and inconvenience. You can choose to install all networked machines at the same time or stagger those installations.

Within NIM, you can remain at your console while installing AIX on remote machines. You can even run typical installations unattended. You can install each machine with unique options or install all machines with consistent options.

You can make a system backup to a NIM server using the mksysb command and use that backup to install another machine (cloning).

Benefits of Alternate Disk Installation

If you already have an AIX version installed, you can choose an alternate disk installation to transition your site through the upgrade process more smoothly.

Alternate Disk Installation lets you install a new version of the operating system while your current version is still running.

You can retain the flexibility of reverting to the earlier version of AIX if the new installation isn’t compatible with your existing applications or customizations.

Using an alternate destination disk, you can install the new version to different machines over time, then, when it is convenient, reboot to implement the new installations.

You can test your applications against the new version on an alternate disk. With this option, you can stabilize your environment before implementing the installation on other machines.

System Resource Controller

The System Resource Controller (SRC) is useful if you want a common way to start, stop, and collect status information on processes. It was designed to minimize the need for operator intervention. The SRC provides a set of commands and subroutines to make it easier for the system manager and programmer to create and control subsystems. A subsystem is any program or process or set of programs or processes that is usually capable of operating independently or with a controlling system. A subsystem is designed as a unit to provide a designated function.

Logical Volume Manager

The Logical Volume Manager (LVM) allows logical volumes to span multiple physical volumes. Data on logical volumes appears to be contiguous to the user, but might not be contiguous on the physical volume. This allows file systems, paging space, and other logical volumes to be resized or relocated, span multiple physical volumes, and have their contents replicated for greater flexibility and availability.

The Logical Volume Manager (LVM) consists of the logical volume device driver (LVDD) and the LVM subroutine interface library. The LVDD is a pseudo-device driver that manages and processes all I/O. It translates logical addresses into physical addresses and sends I/O requests to specific device drivers. The LVM subroutine interface library contains routines that are used by the systemmanagement commands to perform system management tasks for the logical and physical volumes of a system. The programming interface for the library is available to anyone who wishes to expand the function of the system managementcommands for logical volumes.

Benefits that the LVM offers are:

File System Management

The native file system type is called the journaled file system (JFS). This file system  uses database journaling techniques to maintain its structural consistency, preventing damage to the file system when the system is halted abnormally. It supports the entire set of file system semantics.

Some of the benefits of a journaled file system include:

Note: Journaled file system (JFS) is native to the PowerPC platform and is not available on the IA-64 platform.

Note: Enhanced journaled file system (JFS2) is native to IA-64 platform. Although JFS2 is not native to the PowerPC platform, it is available.

Device Configuration

You have complete control over device configuration by usin the following commands:

Commands for AIX System Administrators

The following is a list of commands that are used specifically for administeringAIX:

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Old News ;-)

[Jun 27, 2010] AIX-HP-UX Interoperability Guide - Managing Processes

The ps Command

AIX supports both the AT&T and the BSD form of the ps command. To use the BSD form, simply leave off the minus sign for the command options, for example:

# ps alx

The AT&T version of the above command is:

# ps -elf

Priorities and Nice Values

Both of the above commands provide, among other things, the priority and nice values for each process. The nice value is part of the calculation for the priority value, whose range is 0 to 127. The lower the priority value, the more frequently the process is scheduled. Higher numbers mean lower priority.

The nice command follows the BSD value range of -20 to 20, again with the larger number representing the lower priority. Though the AIX man page does not say so, the nice command syntax takes two forms: nice -value and nice -n value. The latter is easier when you have to use negative values. Otherwise, to set the nice value to -10, you have to type:

# nice --10 CommandName

The renice command, unlike in HP-UX, does not take a -n option. The syntax of renice is:

# renice Priority -p PID


Like HP-UX, AIX really has two kill commands: /bin/kill and the kill built-in KornShell command. The signals for each differ. For example:

# /bin/kill -l
# kill -l
 1) HUP   14) ALRM     27) MSG       40) bad trap  53) bad trap
 2) INT   15) TERM     28) WINCH     41) bad trap  54) bad trap
 3) QUIT  16) URG      29) PWR       42) bad trap  55) bad trap
 4) ILL   17) STOP     30) USR1      43) bad trap  56) bad trap
 5) TRAP  18) TSTP     31) USR2      44) bad trap  57) bad trap
 6) LOST  19) CONT     32) PROF      45) bad trap  58) bad trap
 7) EMT   20) CHLD     33) DANGER    46) bad trap  59) bad trap
 8) FPE   21) TTIN     34) VTALRM    47) bad trap  60) GRANT
 9) KILL  22) TTOU     35) MIGRATE   48) bad trap  61) RETRACT
10) BUS   23) IO       36) PRE       49) bad trap  62) SOUND
11) SEGV  24) XCPU     37) bad trap  50) bad trap  63) SAK
12) SYS   25) XFSZ     38) bad trap  51) bad trap
13) PIPE  26) bad trap 39) bad trap  52) bad trap

AIX also has a killall command that any user can run to kill all of his or her processes except the sending process. The syntax is:

# killall -Signal

System Resource Controller

AIX has a unique way of managing processes: the System Resource Controller (SRC). The SRC takes the form of a daemon, srcmstr, which is started by init via /etc/inittab. srcmstr manages requests to start, stop, or refresh a daemon or a group of daemons. Instead of typing the name of a daemon to start it, or instead of using the kill command to stop a daemon, you use an SRC command that does it for you. In this way you don't have to remember, for example, whether to use an ampersand when starting a daemon, or what signal to use when killing one. SRC also allows you to stop and start groups of related daemons with one command.

AIX has a hierarchical organization of system processes, and this organization is configured into the ODM in the form of the SRCsubsys and SRCsubsvr object classes. Daemons at the lowest levels are subservers. On a newly loaded system the only subservers are those of the inetd subsystem: ftp, telnet, login, finger, etc. To view these subservers, use the odmget command:

# odmget SRCsubvr
        sub_type = "ftp"
        subsysname = "inetd"
        sub_code = 21

        sub_type = "telnet"
        subsysname = "inetd"
        sub_code = 23

        sub_type = "finger"
        subsysname = "inetd"
        sub_code = 79

        sub_type = "tftp"
        subsysname = "inetd"
        sub_code = 69

The next level is that of subsystem. In the above command, we have the inetd subsystem listed in each of the subserver stanzas. To see a list of all subsystems, use the odmget SRCsubsys command:

# odmget SRCsubsys
        subsysname = "lpd"
        synonym = ""
        cmdargs = " "
        path = "/usr/lpd/lpd"
        uid = 0
        auditid = 0
        standin = "/dev/console"
        standout = "/dev/console"
        standerr = "/dev/console"
        action = 1
        multi = 0
        contact = 3
        svrkey = 0
        svrmtype = 0
        priority = 20
        signorm = 0
        sigforce = 0
        display = 1
        waittime = 20
        grpname = "spooler"
        subsysname = "inetd"
        synonym = ""
        cmdargs = ""
        path = "/etc/inetd"
        uid = 0
        auditid = 0
        standin = "/dev/console"
        standout = "/dev/console"
        standerr = "/dev/console"
        action = 2
        multi = 0
        contact = 3
        svrkey = 0
        svrmtype = 0
        priority = 20
        signorm = 0
        sigforce = 0
        display = 1
        waittime = 20
        grpname = "tcpip"

Related subsystems form a subsystem group, the highest level of the SRC. Subsystem groups can be ascertained from the above command by means of the grpname descriptor. Thus the above output shows the lpd subsystem being part of the spooler subsystem group, and inetd a subsystem of the tcpip subsystem group. An easier way to view all the subsystems and subsystem groups is to use the lssrc -a command:

# lssrc -a
Subsystem         Group            PID     Status
 syslogd          ras              3363    active
 sendmail         mail             4646    active
 portmap          portmap          4908    active
 inetd            tcpip            5167    active
 snmpd            tcpip            5428    active
 keyserv          keyserv          6206    active
 biod             nfs              6465    active
 nfsd             nfs              8010    active
 rpc.mountd       nfs              10067   active
 rpc.statd        nfs              10325   active
 rpc.lockd        nfs              10583   active
 qdaemon          spooler          5981    active
 writesrv         spooler          1631    active
 infod            infod            13684   active
 lpd              spooler          12151   active
 iptrace          tcpip                    inoperative
 gated            tcpip                    inoperative
 named            tcpip                    inoperative
 routed           tcpip                    inoperative
 rwhod            tcpip                    inoperative
 timed            tcpip                    inoperative
 llbd             ncs                      inoperative
 nrglbd           ncs                      inoperative
 ypserv           yp                       inoperative
 ypbind           yp                       inoperative
 ypupdated        yp                       inoperative
 yppasswdd        yp                       inoperative

The most commonly used SRC commands are startsrc, stopsrc, and refresh, each of which takes the following options:

-s Apply this command to a subsystem, using the subsystem name provided in the lssrclssrc -a command
-g Apply this command to a subsystem group, using the subsystem group name provided in the lssrclssrc -a command

The names of these commands imply their purpose: to start a subserver, subsystem, or subsystem group, use the startsrc command. For example, to start the rpc.mountd subsystem (which is actually the rpc.mountd daemon) type:

# startsrc -s rpc.mountd

To start the nfs subsystem group:

# startsrc -g nfs

This command starts all the subsystems (daemons) that comprise the nfs subsystem group: nfsd, biod, rpc.mountd, rpc.lockd, and rpc.statd.

To stop a subsystem or subsystem group, use the stopsrc command in exactly the same way. To stop and restart daemons, or to have daemons reread a configuration file such as /etc/inetd.conf, use the refresh command. For example:

# refresh -s inetd


AIX supports an AT&T-style crontab file with each one-line entry containing the following:

AIX also supports a convenient option to the crontab command: the -e option. This option will load the contents of your crontab file into an editing session. The editor used is determined by the value of the EDITOR variable. Once you save and exit from the editing session, your changes become your new crontab file and take effect immediately.

Officially, the crontab spool directories are found in /var/spool/cron, although there is a link from /usr/spool to /var/spool in AIX for compatibility with previous versions of the operating system.

[May 12, 2010] lssrc - Gets the status of a subsystem, a group of subsystems, or a subserver.

lssrc [ -h Host ] -a

To Get Group Status

lssrc [ -h Host ] -g GroupName

To Get Subsystem Status

lssrc [ -h Host ] [ -l ] -s Subsystem

To Get Status by PID

lssrc [ -h Host ] [ -l ] -p SubsystemPID

To Get Subserver Status

lssrc [ -h Host ] [ -l ] -t Type [ -p SubsystemPID ] [ -o Object ] [ -P
SubserverPID ]

To Get Subsystem Status in SMIT Format

lssrc -S [ -s Subsystem | -d ]

[Dec 3, 2009] AIX tips for RHEL4 administrators by Christian Pruett

Nov 17, 2009 | IBM developerWorks AIX and UNIX

If you log in to an RHEL4 server or an AIX server, at first there will appear to be little difference between the two. Commands like ls, cd, ps, df, su, vi, tar, man, chmod, and chown work in the same fashion, with a few minor flag differences. Both have a similar directory structure-/usr contains executable files, /etc contains system parameter files, /dev contains device files, /var is for temporary files, /opt is for third-party software, and /tmp contains temporary files. But once you start diving deeper than a basic user level, idiosyncrasies emerge. Three main areas of basic administration will help facilitate understanding all other areas of AIX systems administration.

First, the two operating systems have a different logical layout for systems administration commands. Those in RHEL4 have a suffix-based nomenclature, where there is a common command or concept followed by the purpose of that command, such as vgdisplay, vgcreate, and vgreduce. AIX has a prefix-based nomenclature, such as lsvg, mkvg, and reducevg. If you understand the basic prefixes, including ls- (list, display), ch- (change, modify), mk- (create, make), rm- (remove, delete), finding one keyword can lead to other related commands.

Second, although everything is managed through the use of flat files in RHEL4, from network configuration to Kickstart files, AIX has a special database similar to the system registry in Windows® operating systems called the Object Data Manager (ODM). This metastructure stores information about what software is installed on the server, the server's host name, device-tuning parameters, networking routing, and many other facets of the operating system. Although contained in three files in /etc/objrepos, /usr/lib/objrepos, and /usr/share/lib/objrepos, the contents of the ODM reside in a proprietary database that cannot be viewed with standard editing tools like vi or Emacs.

In the older days of AIX, you would have modified this database using low-level commands that involved a high degree of risk to the server, where one typo could wreck the operating system. Fortunately, because things have evolved over the years, the mid- and high-level commands automatically interact with the ODM, reducing hands-on manipulation to a near-nonexistent level. But, without understanding the idea of the ODM, much of the rest of this article would not make sense.

Third, RHEL4 has a variety of helpful administrative tools that handle specific parts of the operating system. These tools begin with the prefix of system-config- (formerly redhat-config-). But AIX has a superior hierarchical administrative tool called the System Management Interface Tool (SMIT) that you can access with the smit (graphical) or smitty (text) commands. This interactive menu system goes into most areas of systems administration, from changing the maximum number of processes per user ID to changing the speed of a network interface.

There are some cases where you will always use SMIT because of the complexity and length of commands like those for network administration or creating file systems. But, be cautious and do not let it become a crutch to your systems administration abilities; you can always click the F6 key to see the actual commands that are run. AIX systems administrators can generally tell serious administrators from the inexperienced by the amount of times they rely on SMIT.

With these three points in mind, any RHEL4 systems administrator should be able to step in and start managing servers with a good degree of success. But now, let's dive more into the concepts and nuances of the various pieces of AIX.

Server installation

RHEL4 is typically installed manually by CD or DVD or by using Kickstart to help the process along. During the installation, multiple options are available. You can select or omit specific software, determine the file system layout, choose user ID authentication methods, and even set the root user's password. Comparatively, AIX offers fewer options. If you use standard CDs or DVDs, some options for changing such settings as language preferences and choice of disk are available, but AIX does not offer the versatility of the Linux installation process. AIX does, however, have a more versatile Network Installation Manager (NIM) tool that provides some options that RHEL4 does not, such as installing from an operating system backup and grabbing necessary driver software along the way.

Here's how a basic AIX installation works:

  1. When you boot the server (or activate the LPAR), a variety of LED codes will flash as the system runs its basic hardware checks. At some point-usually, when the LED code E1F1 appears-the screen displays its first main output, and five icons or words appear.
  2. After the keyboard icon or word appears, you usually presses the F1 key to drop the server into the System Management Services (SMS) menu. Then, from the boot list option, you select the device from which the installation will take place. If you are using the network for a NIM installation, you must first set up the network configuration in the Remote Initial Program Load (RIPL) menu.
  3. After exiting SMS, the server boots up on the devices specified in its boot list. Assuming that you are not using NIM, you then see the AIX installation window after a few more moments of testing. In this installation window, you can choose the hard disk (hdisk) on which AIX will be installed, which language will be used, and whether some software bundles will be chosen from a limited list of options.
  4. After all the selections have been made, the installation runs, the server reboots, and the operating system comes up with no password for the root user. At this point, AIX is officially "up."

Here are a couple of commands you should know:

Software management

RHEL4 uses the Red Hat Package Manager (RPM) for installing, upgrading, and removing software. The rpm command can query individual packages, determine requisite software, and see which files are contained within what package. You can find the particular version and update of RHEL4 installed on the server by looking at the /etc/redhat-release file.

AIX manages software through the ODM. It tracks which software is installed, the versions, dependencies, and other, similar attributes like RPM. In AIX, software packages are called filesets and are segregated into Licensed Program Products (LPPs). Unlike RHEL4, though, AIX uses a variety of commands-provided later in this article-to install, view, and prepare filesets for installation. But two facets of AIX are worth mentioning with respect to software management.

First, AIX allows you to install software in one of two states: applied or committed. Software that is committed is in a static state and can only be removed. Applied software preserves the underlying committed fileset and can be rejected without harming the last committed fileset. This behavior can allow software to be backed out without damaging underlying software structures.

Second, AIX breaks down its versioning into four levels of granularity: version, release, technology level (formerly maintenance level), and service pack. You can find the particular version of AIX by using the oslevel -s command. For example, if the output displays 5300-05-02, this means that the server is AIX Version 5, Release 3, Technology Level 5, Service Pack 2. If not all filesets are present in the particular technology level or service pack, only the prior complete software set level will be displayed.

Commands to know for server management include:

Logical volume management

The Logical Volume Manager (LVM) featured in RHEL4 was based on the one developed for AIX, and most of the core concepts are the same between the two. Here's how things are laid out:

There are two types of file system structures in AIX: journaled file systems (JFS) and enhanced journaled file systems (JFS2). The former is a throwback to the earlier days of AIX, and space is limited by the Number of Bytes Per Inode setting (NBPI) setting, with a maximum file system size of 2TB. The latter became a standard with AIX 5L and can go up to nearly 1PB in size (but the maximum recommended size is 16TB). Both types of file systems can be dynamically increased in size, but with AIX 5.3, JFS2 file systems can be dynamically decreased in size, as well.

AIX tracks most LVM information through the ODM. But the /etc/filesystems file is the equivalent of the /etc/fstab in RHEL4 for file system tracking. The format is different, however-a paragraph-structured delineation rather than a single line per file system.

Commands to know for LV management include:

Device management

AIX has a variety of robust tools for managing devices. Simply put, if the appropriate device fileset is installed on the server, AIX can automatically detect and establish settings for it. And even if the fileset is not installed, AIX will tell you what is needed to make it work.

You manage devices are through the ODM, and you can set them in a defined or available state. Defined devices have registered components in the ODM but cannot be actively used, because they have been removed or are otherwise disabled. Available devices can be used and configured.

Devices can be hierarchical in how they are linked together, and some devices have both physical and logical representations. For example, the first Fibre Channel card defined on a server appears as fscsi0. The logical representation of this device is fcs0. And hard disks assigned through a SAN will have the same device address as the card. The underlying devices cannot be removed until the child devices are deleted first.

The customizable settings for each device are called attributes. Some device attributes cannot be modified dynamically while a device is active, such as network link speeds or Fibre Channel heartbeats, but the changes can be made if the device is changed to the defined state, or you can set changes to take place after a reboot.

Commands to know for device management include:

User ID and group management

User ID and group management in AIX are not handled by the ODM but instead reside in flat files much like RHEL4. Their locations and formats are slightly different, however. The /etc/passwd and /etc/groups files are roughly the same between RHEL4 and AIX. But, the /etc/security directory contains files that handle password complexity (user), ulimits (limits), encrypted passwords (passwd), and group metadata (groups).

Commands to know for user ID and group management include:

Process management

In RHEL4, the automation of operating system processes is handled through Services and configurable through the chkconfig and services commands. Similarly, AIX has a System Resource Controller (SRC) that starts, maintains, and manages processes.

The SRC is handled by the srcmstr process, spawned from the /etc/inittab file at boot time. Processes that the SRC manages are broken into groups, such as rcnfs for NFS-related processes, and then into individual subsystems, such as automountd for automounter processes. Each process managed by the SRC correlates with at least one process on the normal process table (ps). AIX also uses the inittab for managing processes and can start applications in a similar manner to RHEL4, Sun Solaris, and other System V flavors of UNIX by dropping files in the /etc/rc.d subdirectories.

Commands to know for process management include:

Virtual memory management

Just like with other forms of UNIX, AIX employs virtual memory structures to help complement physical memory. But there are several differences and nuances between RHEL4 swap space and AIX's paging space.

The structure for paging space is specialized LVs. Paging space is not managed through the -lv commands but instead through specialized commands that help register information with the ODM. However, paging space can be manipulated with some of the more specialized LVM commands, such as moving them from disk to disk.

Generally, paging space should be one to two times real memory in size. A system may have more than one paging space defined, but it is best to keep paging spaces at equal sizes and to limit one paging space per disk.

Commands to know for virtual memory management include:

Network management

In RHEL4, the configuration of network devices is handled through flat files based out of /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts. There are also a few related files, such as the /etc/hosts and /etc/resolv.conf files, that track hostnames and DNS information. In AIX, the ODM manages network configuration. It tracks system IP addresses, netmasks, routes, and gateway information. But, the hosts and resolv.conf files perform the same functions as in RHEL4.

Each network interface has a physical device definition, such as ent0 for an Ethernet adapter. This is where the Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU) size and media speed attributes are stored. Then, at least one logical interface will be linked to this physical device, such as en0 or et0, on which the IP address will be configured.

Although the ifconfig command can handle some temporary device configuration changes, these changes will not be registered permanently unless you use the chdev command.

Commands to know for network management include:


AIX has wonderful tools for actively detecting and diagnosing potential problems with servers. Because the hardware and operating system were developed side by side, when hardware glitches arise, the system knows how to track them and report them for repair.

AIX has a rotating log called the error report-errpt for short-that logs hardware and software errors. Unlike the messages file in Linux, the errpt contains pieces of meta-information such as identification numbers that can aid in looking for specific errors. The errpt can also be viewed in an abbreviated form for quick scanning or a detailed view for in-depth information.

AIX also has a diagnostic tool, diag, that can test errors in the errpt and determine whether they are temporary, one-off hiccups or necessitate a part replacement. And if IBM wants more information from the server, the snap utility can gather a wide variety of information and package it for technical support to troubleshoot the problem.

Commands to know for troubleshooting include:

[Oct 21, 2009] Re Equivalent command in AIX to top command in Linux

Jun 14, 2006 |

James wrote:

Hi all,

I wondered if there is an equivalent command in AIX to the "top" command in Linux.

I think there is a "top" in the Linux Toolbox for AIX, but what you really want is "nmon", written by Mr. Nigel Griffiths of IBM. A little Googlemancy should get you a download link. Used by IBMers worldwide for performance investigations. Does everything that top does and more.

Or (as the man said) use topas, which is already included on the AIX installation media. if memory serves.

[Oct 17, 2009] Monitoring logs and command output

Aug 25, 2009 | developerWorks

Summary: Monitoring system logs or the status of a command that produces file or directory output are common tasks for systems administrators. Two popular open source tools simplify these activities for modern systems administrators: the multitail and watch commands. Both are terminal-oriented commands, which means that they are easily ported to most UNIX® or UNIX-like systems because they do not depend on any specific graphical desktop environment.

[Oct 17, 2009] IBM and HP virtualization

A very good article

Learn about the virtualization capabilities of both HP-UX and AIX, the fundamental differences between virtualization products on HP and IBM, and how these products integrate with the hardware platforms on which they run. The intent of this article is to educate you and also to help you make informed decisions as to which platform works best for you, from a feature and functionality standpoint and for your long-term strategic goals.

[Apr 20, 2009] Sun goes to Oracle for $7.4B

Oracle+Sun has the power to seriously harm IBM. Solaris still has the highest market share among proprietary Unixes. And AIX is only third after HP-UX. Wonder if Solaris will become Oracle's main development platform again. Oracle is a top contributor to Linux and that might help to bridge the gap in shell and packaging. Telecommunications and database administrators always preferred Solaris over Linux.
Yahoo! Finance

Oracle Corp. snapped up computer server and software maker Sun Microsystems Inc. for $7.4 billion Monday, trumping rival IBM Corp.'s attempt to buy one of Silicon Valley's best known -- and most troubled -- companies.

... ... ...

Jonathan Schwartz, Sun's CEO, predicted the combination will create a "systems and software powerhouse" that "redefines the industry, redrawing the boundaries that have frustrated the industry's ability to solve." Among other things, he predicted Oracle will be able to offer its customers simpler computing solutions at less expensive prices by drawing upon Sun's technology.

... ... ...

Yet Oracle says it can run Sun more efficiently. It expects the purchase to add at least 15 cents per share to its adjusted earnings in the first year after the deal closes. The company estimated Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun will contribute more than $1.5 billion to Oracle's adjusted profit in the first year and more than $2 billion in the second year.

If Oracle can hit those targets, Sun would yield more profit than the combined contributions of three other major acquisitions -- PeopleSoft Inc., Siebel Systems Inc. and BEA Systems -- that cost Oracle a total of more than $25 billion.

A deal with Oracle might not be plagued by the same antitrust issues that could have loomed over IBM and Sun, since there is significantly less overlap between the two companies. Still, Oracle could be able to use Sun's products to enhance its own software.

Oracle's main business is database software. Sun's Solaris operating system is a leading platform for that software. The company also makes "middleware," which allows business computing applications to work together. Oracle's middleware is built on Sun's Java language and software.

Calling Java the "single most important software asset we have ever acquired," Ellison predicted it would eventually help make Oracle's middleware products generate as much revenue as its database line does.

Sun's takeover is a reminder that a few missteps and bad timing can cause a star to come crashing down.

Sun was founded in 1982 by men who would become legendary Silicon Valley figures: Andy Bechtolsheim, a graduate student whose computer "workstation" for the Stanford University Network (SUN) led to the company's first product; Bill Joy, whose work formed the basis for Sun's computer operating system; and Stanford MBAs Vinod Khosla and Scott McNealy.

Sun was a pioneer in the concept of networked computing, the idea that computers could do more when lots of them were linked together. Sun's computers took off at universities and in the government, and became part of the backbone of the early Internet. Then the 1990s boom made Sun a star. It claimed to put "the dot in dot-com," considered buying a struggling Apple Computer Inc. and saw its market value peak around $200 billion.

AIX snapshot

Hi guys... Need some help. How do i get a snapshot of vital configuration into a text file. Is there any way to do it?

Replies To This Message

Re: AIX snapshot
Posted by: johnnyk ® 02/08/2006, 15:39:23 Author Profile | Post Reply | Alert | Recommend | Current page | Edit | Main Forum
you can download a script "cfg2html" from web and launch it.
the result file ".html" contains the configuration.

Topic: Re: AIX snapshot
Posted by: christou ® 02/08/2006, 15:48:55
Author Profile | Post Reply | Alert | Recommend | Current page | Edit | Main Forum

You have a command called "snap". As root ru the the following command :

snap -a

This command will gather all system iformation under /tmp/ibmsupt
Then you can copy this directory and do what you want.

If you want to send information to IBM Tech Support, you better get a look on "pax" and "snap"

AIX Version 6.1

The next step in the evolution of the UNIX OS
Businesses today need to maximize the return on investment in information technology. Their IT infrastructure should have the flexibility to quickly adjust to changing business computing requirements and scale to handle ever expanding workloads-without adding complexity. But just providing flexibility and performance isn't enough; the IT infrastructure also needs to provide rock solid security and near-continuous availability and while managing energy and cooling costs.

These are just some of the reasons why more and more businesses are choosing the AIX operating system (OS) running on IBM systems designed with Power Architecture® technology. With its proven scalability, advanced virtualization, security, manageability and reliability features, the AIX OS is an excellent choice for building an IT infrastructure. And, AIX is the only operating system that leverages decades of IBM technology innovation designed to provide the highest level of performance and reliability of any UNIX operating system.

The newest version of AIX, Version 6.1, is binary compatible with previous versions of the AIX OS, including AIX 5L™ and even earlier versions of AIX. This means that applications that ran on earlier versions will continue to run on AIX 6.1-guaranteed.1 AIX 6.1 is an open standards-based UNIX OS that is designed to comply with the Open Group's Single UNIX Specification Version 3.

AIX 6.1 runs on systems based on POWER4™, PPC970, POWER5™ and the latest generation of POWER™ processor, POWER6. Most of the new features of AIX 6.1 are available on the earlier POWER processor-based platforms, but the most capability is delivered on systems built with the new POWER6 processors. The AIX OS is designed for the IBM Power™, System p™, System i™, System p5™, System i5™, eServer™ p5, eServer pSeries® and eServer i5 server product lines, as well as IBM BladeCenter® blades based on Power Architecture technology and IBM IntelliStation® POWER workstations.

AIX 6.1 extends the capabilities of the AIX OS to include new virtualization approaches including the ability to relocate applications between systems without restarting the application, new security features to improve and simplify security administration, new availability features inspired by IBM legacy systems and numerous features designed to make the AIX OS easier and less expensive to manage. This AIX release underscores IBM's firm commitment to long-term UNIX innovations that deliver business value. This release of AIX continues the evolution of the UNIX OS that started in Austin, Texas, with AIX on the RT PC and the RISC Systems/6000™ (RS/6000).

AIX 6.1 is available in two different editions: a Standard Edition that includes AIX only and an AIX Enterprise Edition that includes AIX 6, the Workload Partitions Manager for AIX and several Tivoli® products. AIX Enterprise Edition is designed to provide enterprise management capabilities with all the capabilities of AIX 6 in a single product.

[Sep 11, 2008] The LXF Guide 10 tips for lazy sysadmins Linux Format The website of the UK's best-selling Linux magazine

A lazy sysadmin is a good sysadmin. Time spent in finding more-efficient shortcuts is time saved later on for that ongoing project of "reading the whole of the internet", so try Juliet Kemp's 10 handy tips to make your admin life easier...

  1. Cache your password with ssh-agent
  2. Speed up logins using Kerberos
  3. screen: detach to avoid repeat logins
  4. screen: connect multiple users
  5. Expand Bash's tab completion
  6. Automate your installations
  7. Roll out changes to multiple systems
  8. Automate Debian updates
  9. Sanely reboot a locked-up box
  10. Send commands to several PCs

[Jun 14, 2008] IBM Redbooks PowerVM Virtualization on IBM System p Introduction and Configuration Fourth Edition

10 July 2008 |


This IBM® Redbooks® publication provides an introduction to PowerVM™ virtualization technologies on IBM System p™ servers. The Advanced POWER™ Virtualization features and partitioning and virtualization capabilities of IBM Systems based on the Power Architecture® have been renamed to PowerVM.

PowerVM is a combination of hardware, firmware and software that provides CPU, network and disk virtualization. The main virtualization technologies are:

POWER6™ and POWER5™ hardware
POWER Hypervisor™
Virtual I/O Server

Though the PowerVM brand includes partitioning, software Linux® emulation, management software, and other offerings, this publication focuses on the virtualization technologies that are part of the PowerVM Standard and Enterprise Editions.

This publication is also designed to be an introduction guide for system administrators, providing instructions for:

While discussion is focussed on IBM System p hardware and AIX® , the basic concepts can be extended to the i5/OS® and Linux operating systems as well as the IBM System i™ hardware.
This edition has been updated with the new features available with the IBM POWER6 hardware and firmware.

[Jan 30, 2008] The Unix Guardian--AIX 20 Years Down, Many More to Go

Old news, you know ;-)
AIX: 20 Years Down, Many More to Go

Published: January 26, 2006

by Timothy Prickett Morgan

It can be honestly said that IBM had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the Unix market. Not once, but twice. First in 1986 with the RT PC and then again in 1990 with the RS/6000. But starting in 1997, with its first 64-bit PowerPC processors and a substantially improved AIX 4.3, Big Blue became a credible Unix player. While IBM's RS/6000, pSeries, and p5 servers have to take a lot of credit for the ascendancy of the AIX platform in the Unix space, the AIX Unix variant, which turned 20 last week, deserves some of the credit.

I said some. You cannot underestimate the effect of IBM's Power-based server hardware on its success in the Unix market. In the past few years, through brutal price and performance competition, IBM has pulled alongside Unix juggernauts Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard. That price competition has been enabled, in part, by the sharing of a common Power-based platform with the iSeries line, which runs the OS/400 and i5/OS operating systems. IBM has a monopoly on this iSeries platform, and it can charge a pretty hefty premium for the hardware and software used in the iSeries, which allows it to aggressively price its similar AIX-based Power platforms. Without the iSeries, IBM would not have been able to be as aggressive in the Unix market. Period. Unfortunately for IBM, the iSeries market has shrunk by half because the need to charge such a high premium to subsidize its Unix server business has made the iSeries uncompetitive with alternative entry Windows, Unix, and Linux platforms. iSeries customers love their RPG and COBOL applications and their DB2/400 database, but love can only be so expensive. In any event, because of IBM's aggressive roadmap, the iSeries buffer, and the delivery of dynamic logical partitioning and other sophisticated technologies in the AIX-p5 product line in the summer of 2004, IBM took the lead in the Unix server market and accounts for most of the growth this market saw last year.

This is truly remarkable for such a former also-ran in the Unix space. And it seems likely that even if Sun can stabilize its Solaris platform sales as it shifts increasingly to Opterons and new product lines like the "Niagara" Sparc T1s and if HP can grow its HP-UX sales on Integrity, IBM will, from here on out, remain neck-and-neck with the former leaders in the Unix space. This will be a three-horse race for a long, long time unless something radical happens. IBM will continue to rely on its hardware to give it an edge--although for many workloads, AMD's Opteron processors will give the Power5 and Power5+ chips a run for the money and IBM may not retake a solid lead until the Power6 chip comes out in 2007.

So what is in store of AIX in the coming years, and how will IBM use its Unix operating system to further differentiate its pSeries family servers? According to Satya Sharma, who holds the title of distinguished engineer and who has been in charge of AIX development in the Austin, Texas, labs where many Power chips and AIX were developed, Big Blue has big plans for AIX. Sharma should know. He has been working on AIX in one form or another since 1993, when IBM developed its RS/6000 PowerParallel machines (remember Deep Blue playing chess?), and has been in charge of AIX since 2000, when IBM was readying AIX 5L for market on its Power4 dual-core processors.

Because IBM is so gung-ho about the open source Linux operating system, it is easy for AIX to get drowned in the Linux cacophony. Linux has run in partitions or as a standalone operating system across its entire eServer product line for the past several years and accounts for a lot of the growth in server sales, particularly on its zSeries mainframes and xSeries X86 and X64 servers and to a lesser extent on its pSeries and iSeries Power machines. Being a community developed, open source operating system has many advantages, Sharma concedes, but IBM also thinks that there are significant advantages to owning both the hardware and operating system platforms. "The Unix server market is a $20 billion market, and the Linux server market is a $7 billion market, and we are going to play in both," explains Sharma. "But AIX is the operating system that IBM controls, and that means as we add features in hardware, AIX can fully exploit those features when they are announced." By contrast, Linux is a community developed operating system, and support for many hardware features often lags the initial release of a new Linux kernel. To be fair, that has more to do with the way hardware vendors like IBM disclose information to the open source community. If IBM gave Linux developers the same lead times it gave its own AIX developers on a new feature, there would be no Linux lag or it would certainly be a lot smaller.

In the fall, IBM quietly announced to customers and partners its Unix Systems Agenda, which lays out IBM's commitment to Unix and delivering server platforms that run it. While not disclosing all of the details in the roadmaps, Sharma says that the current AIX roadmaps go out to 2011, and that IBM plans to put out a new version or release of its Unix platform every two to three years. (The difference between a version and a release is a matter of argument between IBM's technologists and marketeers, and is supposed to be based on how much new functionality is added to AIX. If the technologists had won this argument, then AIX 5.3 would have been AIX 6.0, since it had a lot of new functionality, but given that IBM is on the Power5 chips, marketing clearly wanted AIX 5 and p5 servers to have "five" in their names.)

Sharma says that the next major release of AIX is due in the second half of 2007, which roughly coincides with the delivery of IBM's Power6 processors. He won't say what the name is because IBM has not yet decided. "There will be significant innovations going into this implementation of AIX operating system," says Sharma, "so much so that we are wondering whether or not we should call it AIX 6 or not." It stands to reason that this platform will be called AIX 6, probably without the "L" for Linux because Linux affinity is no longer an issue. People don't want a Linux recompilation environment that sits inside AIX, which is what IBM was peddling in 2001 when AIX 5L first came out and the pSeries platform did not realty support native Linux as yet. What they want is to run Linux, and IBM has dynamic, logical partitioning on its Virtualization Engine hypervisor to do this on both the pSeries and iSeries platforms. Technically, it should be called AIX 5Li, since both Linux and i5/OS (formerly OS/400) run on the p5 servers these days. AIX 6 is cleaner, and given that a new hardware platform is coming, I expect IBM to peddle AIX 6, i6/OS, and Linux 2.6 on the Power6 platforms. (That's a lot of sixes, and don't go all numerological on me.)

Sharma is cagey about what will be in the future AIX, but it is going to have new features that allow operating systems and the applications that run on top of them to be more stable and reliable. "The hardware reliability is getting pretty darned good, and is approaching that of a mainframe," says Sharma. "But the OS and application reliability of Unix"--and he obviously meant all Unixes, not just AIX--"is not as good." To that end, IBM is taking another page out of its mainframe playbook, and it will be adding fault isolation and other z/OS features to AIX. Like other Unixes, AIX has a single address space for the kernel, the file system, and the drivers. With the future AIX, IBM will give these different parts of the operating system their own separate memory spaces, so crashes in one area do not take down the whole operating system, and therefore the applications that run on top of them. Specifically, a feature called "storage keys" for managing these separate memory spaces will be pulled from the mainframe into AIX. According to Sharma, 75 percent of the crashes that all Unix customers experience if Unix were retooled in this manner.

In the meantime, Sharma says that IBM is preparing a maintenance release for the current AIX 5.3 that will be put out some time in the second half of 2006, which will allow the Virtualization Engine hypervisor to span multiple, physically separated servers and allow workloads running in a logical partition on one machine in either AIX or Linux to be passed to another machine's AIX or Linux partitions, on the fly and over the network. This feature is tentatively called "partition relocation," and it is similar in concept to the VMotion feature of VMware's ESX Server for X86 and X64 servers and a similar feature expected in the open source Xen 3.0 hypervisor for X86 and X64 platforms.

IBM Wikis - AIX 5L Wiki - Adapter and Device Support

Diagnostic tools

[Nov 6, 2007] nmon performance A free tool to analyze AIX and Linux performance

Free tool


The nmon tool is designed for AIX and Linux performance specialists to use for monitoring and analyzing performance data, including:

Also included is a new tool to generate graphs from the nmon output and create .gif files that can be displayed on a Web site.

See the README file for more details.

Benefits of the tool

The nmon tool is helpful in presenting all the important performance tuning information on one screen and dynamically updating it. This efficient tool works on any dumb screen, telnet session, or even a dial-up line. In addition, it does not consume many CPU cycles, usually below two percent. On newer machines, CPU usage is well below one percent.

Data is displayed on the screen and updated once every two seconds, using a dumb screen. However, you can easily change this interval to a longer or shorter time period. If you stretch the window and display the data on X Windows, VNC, PuTTY, or similar, the nmon tool can output a great deal of information in one place.

The nmon tool can also capture the same data to a text file for later analysis and graphing for reports. The output is in a spreadsheet format (.csv).

AIX commands you should not leave home without

How would I know if I am running a 32-bit kernel or 64-bit kernel?

To display if the kernel is 32-bit enabled or 64-bit enabled, type:

bootinfo -K
How do I know if I am running a uniprocessor kernel or a multiprocessor kernel?

/unix is a symbolic link to the booted kernel. To find out what kernel mode is running, enter ls -l /unix and see what file /unix it links to. The following are the three possible outputs from the ls -l /unix command and their corresponding kernels:

/unix -> /usr/lib/boot/unix_up 		# 32 bit uniprocessor kernel 
/unix -> /usr/lib/boot/unix_mp 		# 32 bit multiprocessor kernel
/unix -> /usr/lib/boot/unix_64 		# 64 bit multiprocessor kernel       
Note: AIX 5L Version 5.3 does not support a uniprocessor kernel.

How can I change from one kernel mode to another?

During the installation process, one of the kernels, appropriate for the AIX version and the hardware in operation, is enabled by default. Let us use the method from the previous question and assume the 32-bit kernel is enabled. Let us also assume that you want to boot it up in the 64-bit kernel mode. This can be done by executing the following commands in sequence:

ln -sf /usr/lib/boot/unix_64    /unix
ln -sf /usr/lib/boot/unix_64    /usr/lib/boot/unix

bosboot -ad  /dev/hdiskxx
shutdown -r

The /dev/hdiskxx directory is where the boot logical volume /dev/hd5 is located. To find out what xx is in hdiskxx, run the following command:

 lslv -m hd5 

In AIX 5.2, the 32-bit kernel is installed by default. In AIX 5.3, the 64-bit kernel is installed on 64-bit hardware and the 32-bit kernel is installed on 32-bit hardware by default.


How would I know if my machine is capable of running AIX 5L Version 5.3?

AIX 5L Version 5.3 runs on all currently supported CHRP (Common Hardware Reference Platform)-based POWER hardware.

How would I know if my machine is CHRP-based?

Run the prtconf command. If it's a CHRP machine, the string chrp appears on the Model Architecture line.

How would I know if my System p machine (hardware) is 32-bit or 64-bit?

To display if the hardware is 32-bit or 64-bit, type:

bootinfo -y

How much real memory does my machine have?

To display real memory in kilobytes (KB), type one of the following:

bootinfo -r    
lsattr -El sys0 -a realmem 

Can my machine run the 64-bit kernel?

64-bit hardware is required to run the 64-bit kernel.

What are the values of attributes for devices in my system?

To list the current values of the attributes for the tape device, rmt0, type:

lsattr -l rmt0 -E

To list the default values of the attributes for the tape device, rmt0, type:

lsattr -l rmt0 -D

To list the possible values of the login attribute for the TTY device, tty0, type:

lsattr -l tty0 -a login -R

To display system level attributes, type:

lsattr -E -l sys0

How many processors does my system have?

To display the number of processors on your system, type:

lscfg | grep proc

How many hard disks does my system have and which ones are in use?

To display the number of hard disks on your system, type:


How do I list information about a specific physical volume?

To find details about hdisk1, for example, run the following command:

lspv hdisk1		

How do I get a detailed configuration of my system?

Type the following:


The following options provide specific information:

-p Displays platform-specific device information. The flag is applicable to AIX 4.2.1 or later.
-v Displays the VPD (Vital Product Database) found in the customized VPD object class.

For example, to display details about the tape drive, rmt0, type:

lscfg -vl rmt0

You can obtain very similar information by running the prtconf command.

How do I find out the chip type, system name, node name, model number, and so forth?

The uname command provides details about your system.

uname -p Displays the chip type of the system. For example, PowerPC.
uname -r Displays the release number of the operating system.
uname -s Displays the system name. For example, AIX.
uname -n Displays the name of the node.
uname -a Displays the system name, nodename, version, machine ID.
uname -M Displays the system model name. For example, IBM, 9114-275.
uname -v Displays the operating system version.
uname -m Displays the machine ID number of the hardware running the system.
uname -u Displays the system ID number.


What version, release, and maintenance level of AIX is running on my system?

Type one of the following:

oslevel -r

lslpp -h bos.rte

How can I determine which fileset updates are missing from a particular AIX level?

To determine which fileset updates are missing from 5300-04, for example, run the following command:

oslevel -rl 5300-04

What SP (Service Pack) is installed on my system?

To see which SP is currently installed on the system, run the oslevel -s command. Sample output for an AIX 5L Version 5.3 system, with TL4, and SP2 installed would be:

oslevel –s

Is a CSP (Concluding Service Pack) installed on my system?

To see if a CSP is currently installed on the system, run the oslevel -s command. Sample output for an AIX 5L Version 5.3 system, with TL3, and CSP installed would be:

oslevel –s

How do I create a file system?

The following command will create, within volume group testvg, a jfs file system of 10MB with mounting point /fs1:

crfs -v jfs -g testvg -a size=10M -m /fs1 

The following command will create, within volume group testvg, a jfs2 file system of 10MB with mounting point /fs2 and having read only permissions:

crfs -v jfs2 -g testvg -a size=10M -p ro -m /fs2	

How do I change the size of a file system?

To increase the /usr file system size by 1000000 512-byte blocks, type:

chfs -a size=+1000000 /usr

In AIX 5.3, the size of a JFS2 file system can be shrunk as well.

How do I mount a CD?

Type the following:

mount -V cdrfs -o ro /dev/cd0  /cdrom

How do I mount a file system?

The following command will mount file system /dev/fslv02 on the /test directory:

mount /dev/fslv02 /test 

How do I mount all default file systems (all standard file systems in the /etc/filesystems file marked by the mount=true attribute)?

The following command will mount all such file systems:

mount {-a|all}

How do I unmount a file system?

Type the following command to unmount /test file system:

umount /test

How do I display mounted file systems?

Type the following command to display information about all currently mounted file systems:


How do I remove a file system?

Type the following command to remove the /test file system:

rmfs /test

How can I defragment a file system?

The defragfs command can be used to improve or report the status of contiguous space within a file system. For example, to defragment the file system /home, use the following command:

defragfs /home

Which fileset contains a particular binary?

To show bos.acct contains /usr/bin/vmstat, type:

lslpp -w /usr/bin/vmstat

Or to show contains /usr/bin/svmon, type:

which_fileset svmon

How do I display information about installed filesets on my system?

Type the following:

lslpp -l 			

How do I determine if all filesets of maintenance levels are installed on my system?

Type the following:

instfix -i | grep ML

How do I determine if a fix is installed on my system?

To determine if IY24043 is installed, type:

instfix -ik IY24043

How do I install an individual fix by APAR?

To install APAR IY73748 from /dev/cd0, for example, enter the command:

instfix -k IY73748 -d /dev/cd0			

How do I verify if filesets have required prerequisites and are completely installed?

To show which filesets need to be installed or corrected, type:

lppchk -v

How do I get a dump of the header of the loader section and the symbol entries in symbolic representation?

Type the following:

dump -Htv

How do I determine the amount of paging space allocated and in use?

Type the following:

lsps -a

How do I increase a paging space?

You can use the chps -s command to dynamically increase the size of a paging space. For example, if you want to increase the size of hd6 with 3 logical partitions, you issue the following command:

chps -s 3 hd6			

How do I reduce a paging space?

You can use the chps -d command to dynamically reduce the size of a paging space. For example, if you want to decrease the size of hd6 with four logical partitions, you issue the following command:

chps -d 4 hd6			

How would I know if my system is capable of using Simultaneous Multi-threading (SMT)?

Your system is capable of SMT if it's a POWER5-based system running AIX 5L Version 5.3.

How would I know if SMT is enabled for my system?

If you run the smtctl command without any options, it tells you if it's enabled or not.

Is SMT supported for the 32-bit kernel?

Yes, SMT is supported for both 32-bit and 64-bit kernel.

How do I enable or disable SMT?

You can enable or disable SMT by running the smtctl command. The following is the syntax:

smtctl [ -m off | on [ -w boot | now]]

The following options are available:

-m off Sets SMT mode to disabled.
-m on Sets SMT mode to enabled.
-w boot Makes the SMT mode change effective on next and subsequent reboots if you run the bosboot command before the next system reboot.
-w now Makes the SMT mode change immediately but will not persist across reboot.

If neither the -w boot or the -w now options are specified, then the mode change is made immediately. It persists across subsequent reboots if you run the bosboot command before the next system reboot.

How do I get partition-specific information and statistics?

The lparstat command provides a report of partition information and utilization statistics. This command also provides a display of Hypervisor information.

Volume groups and logical volumes

How do I know if my volume group is normal, big, or scalable?

Run the lsvg command on the volume group and look at the value for MAX PVs. The value is 32 for normal, 128 for big, and 1024 for scalable volume group.

How to create a volume group?

Use the following command, where s partition_size sets the number of megabytes (MB) in each physical partition where the partition_size is expressed in units of MB from 1 through 1024. (It's 1 through 131072 for AIX 5.3.) The partition_size variable must be equal to a power of 2 (for example: 1, 2, 4, 8). The default value for standard and big volume groups is the lowest value to remain within the limitation of 1016 physical partitions per physical volume. The default value for scalable volume groups is the lowest value to accommodate 2040 physical partitions per physical volume.

mkvg -y name_of_volume_group -s partition_size list_of_hard_disks

How can I change the characteristics of a volume group?

You use the following command to change the characteristics of a volume group:


How do I create a logical volume?

Type the following:

mklv -y name_of_logical_volume name_of_volume_group number_of_partition

How do I increase the size of a logical volume?

To increase the size of the logical volume represented by the lv05 directory by three logical partitions, for example, type:

extendlv lv05 3

How do I display all logical volumes that are part of a volume group (for example, rootvg)?

You can display all logical volumes that are part of rootvg by typing the following command:

lsvg -l rootvg

How do I list information about logical volumes?

Run the following command to display information about the logical volume lv1:

lslv lv1

How do I remove a logical volume?

You can remove the logical volume lv7 by running the following command:

rmlv lv7

The rmlv command removes only the logical volume, but does not remove other entities, such as file systems or paging spaces that were using the logical volume.

How do I mirror a logical volume?

  1. mklvcopy LogicalVolumeName Numberofcopies
  2. syncvg VolumeGroupName

How do I remove a copy of a logical volume?

You can use the rmlvcopy command to remove copies of logical partitions of a logical volume. To reduce the number of copies of each logical partition belonging to logical volume testlv, enter:

rmlvcopy testlv 2

Each logical partition in the logical volume now has at most two physical partitions.

Queries about volume groups

To show volume groups in the system, type:


To show all the characteristics of rootvg, type:

lsvg rootvg

To show disks used by rootvg, type:

lsvg -p rootvg

How to add a disk to a volume group?

Type the following:

extendvg   VolumeGroupName   hdisk0 hdisk1 ... hdiskn 

How do I find out what the maximum supported logical track group (LTG) size of my hard disk?

You can use the lquerypv command with the -M flag. The output gives the LTG size in KB. For instance, the LTG size for hdisk0 in the following example is 256 KB.

/usr/sbin/lquerypv -M hdisk0

You can also run the lspv command on the hard disk and look at the value for MAX REQUEST.

What does syncvg command do?

The syncvg command is used to synchronize stale physical partitions. It accepts names of logical volumes, physical volumes, or volume groups as parameters.

For example, to synchronize the physical partitions located on physical volumes hdisk6 and hdisk7, use:

syncvg -p hdisk4 hdisk5			

To synchronize all physical partitions from volume group testvg, use:

syncvg -v testvg			

How do I replace a disk?

  1. extendvg VolumeGroupName hdisk_new
  2. migratepv hdisk_bad hdisk_new
  3. reducevg -d VolumeGroupName hdisk_bad

How can I clone (make a copy of ) the rootvg?

You can run the alt_disk_copy command to copy the current rootvg to an alternate disk. The following example shows how to clone the rootvg to hdisk1.

alt_disk_copy -d  hdisk1


How can I display or set values for network parameters?

The no command sets or displays current or next boot values for network tuning parameters.

How do I get the IP address of my machine?

Type one of the following:

ifconfig -a

host Fully_Qualified_Host_Name

For example, type host

How do I identify the network interfaces on my server?

Either of the following two commands will display the network interfaces:

lsdev -Cc if

ifconfig -a

To get information about one specific network interface, for example, tr0, run the command:

ifconfig tr0

How do I activate a network interface?

To activate the network interface tr0, run the command:

ifconfig tr0 up

How do I deactivate a network interface?

For example, to deactivate the network interface tr0, run the command:

ifconfig tr0 down

[Oct 25, 2007] IBM AIX Toolbox for Linux Applications - GNU and open source tools for AIX

Limited selection but basic things like sudo are available and work on AIX5.3. I tested bash 3.0, screen, expect and sudo.

[Oct 15, 2007] AIX V6 Advanced Security Features Introduction and Configuration

A new redbook. Published on 12 September 2007, Rating: (based on 1 review)

[Jul 19, 2007] Using the GNU C-C++ compiler on AIX

IBM should provide tech support with gcc on your system, but with libraries-hell you are on your own.

AIX 5L Binary Compatibility

IBM provides binary compatibility amongst AIX 5.1, AIX 5.2 and AIX 5.3 versions of the operating system. Therefore applications running on AIX 5.1 or on AIX 5.2 will run on 5.3 as-is if they follow the criteria listed in the IBM's AIX 5L binary compatibility statement at With that said, ISVs vary wildly on the processes they use to add support of a new OS release level. Many of the top ISVs run their applications through some form of testing. In most cases they will run them through a subset of their final testing procedures prior to adding support. Many other ISVs, however, review our binary compatibility details and add support based on their applications compliance with our statement. In either case, there is no need to recompile the application to get them to AIX 5.3.

Installing GCC on AIX

... Make sure that you install a version of GCC that corresponds to the AIX release installed on the system. GCC installs private copies of some header files that have to integrate properly with AIX system header files for GCC to function correctly, otherwise running the compiler may produce error messages about header files. The header files should be rebuilt if they do not match. One can delete the header file cache to build a new release of GCC from sources with an old version, but GCC should not be operated without the header file cache.

Website links

For more information on the GNU project and the GCC compiler, see the official web sites at A list of new features in GCC version 3.3 is at Similarly, the list of new features in GCC version 3.4.3 is at:

[Jun 11, 2007] IBM Redbooks AIX 5L Practical Performance Tools and Tuning Guide

This IBM Redbook incorporates the latest AIX 5L performance and tuning tools. It is a comprehensive guide about the performance monitoring and tuning tools that are provided with AIX 5L Version 5.3, and it is the ultimate guide for system administrators and support professionals who want to efficiently use the AIX performance monitoring and tuning tools and understand how to interpret the statistics.

The usage of each tool is explained along with the measurements it takes and the statistics it produces. This redbook contains a large number of usage and output examples for each of the tools, pointing out the relevant statistics to look for when analyzing an AIX system's performance from a practical point of view. It also explains the performance API available with AIX 5L and gives examples about how to create your own performance tools.

This redbook also contains an overview of the graphical AIX performance tools available with AIX 5L and the AIX Performance Toolbox Version 3.0.

This redbook is a rework of the very popular redbook AIX 5L Performance Tools Handbook, SG24-6039, published in 2003.

[Jun 11, 2007] IBM Wikis - AIX 5L Wiki - nmon Manual

nmon is a free performance monitoring tool for AIX and Linux and is downloadable from this Wiki.
This Wiki is the sole place to get nmon.
nmon now includes other tools like

There is also a free spreadsheet analyser for nmon captured data from Stephen Atkins from

This nmon tool gives you a huge amount of information on one screen and can save data to a comma separated values (.csv) file for latest analyses. This tool runs on:

Once you have proved these versions are OK, all previous versions of nmon should be deleted.

[Jun 11, 2007] nmon performance: A free tool to analyze AIX and Linux performance

Usage notes: This nmon tool is NOT OFFICIALLY SUPPORTED. No warrantee is given or implied, and you cannot obtain help with it from IBM. If you have a question on nmon, please go on the Performance Tools Forum site (see Resources) so that others can find and benefit from the answers. To protect your email address from junk mail, you need to create a USER ID first (takes 20 seconds at most).

The nmon tool runs on:

The nmon tool is updated roughly every six months, or when new operating system releases are available. To place your name on the e-mail list for updates, contact Nigel Griffiths.

Use this tool together with nmon analyser (see Resources), which loads the nmon output file and automatically creates dozens of graphs.


The nmon tool is designed for AIX and Linux performance specialists to use for monitoring and analyzing performance data, including:

Also included is a new tool to generate graphs from the nmon output and create .gif files that can be displayed on a Web site.

See the README file for more details.

[Jun 11, 2007] IBM Wikis - AIX 5L Wiki - nmonanalyser

Usage notes: The nmon_analyser tool is NOT OFFICIALLY SUPPORTED. No warrantee is given or implied, and you cannot obtain help with it from IBM.

The tool currently comes in the form of a spreadsheet for use with Microsoft® Excel™ 2000 or later.

The nmon_analyser tool is designed to work with the latest version of nmon, but it is also tested with older versions for backwards compatibility. The tool is updated whenever nmon is updated, and at irregular intervals for new function. To place your name on the e-mail list for updates, contact Stephen Atkins.

Benefits of the tool

The nmon_analyser tool is helpful in analyzing performance data captured using the nmon performance tool. It allows a performance specialist to:

The tool also automatically produces graphs for each major section of output.

In addition, the tool performs analyses of the nmon data to produce:

AIX free perfomance tools (set of shell scripts)

Develop with Java and PHP technology on AIX Version 5.3, Part 1 Setting up the Java environment

Develop a Java™ application on AIX® and learn how to extend it by using a PHP interface to look at the underlying Java code. It is possible to develop applications that employ both Java and PHP technology on AIX. You can use Java code for the core logic (or redeploy an existing Java-based application), while gaining the benefits of PHP as a Web-based interface platform. This article, the first in a series, examines the basics of the Java environment and PHP integration methods on AIX, provides a quick overview of a sample application that uses this structure, and then looks at the core elements required before you start developing the application itself by installing the Java programming language and Apache Tomcat.

[Apr 12, 2007] AIX Reference for Sun Solaris Administrators

Old but useful Redbook. Also available from Amazon. See also Quick ReferenceSolaris to AIX

[Dec 7, 2006] IBM New AIX V5.3 training - IBM Training - United States

[Dec 7, 2006] IBM Training /AIX Security - IBM Training - United States

Course title Delivery type Course code Public price Public schedule
AIX 5L Configuring TCP/IP Classroom Q1307 USD $2,795 Yes
AIX 5L Security I: System Administration Classroom AU410 USD $3,195 Yes
AIX 5L Security I: System Administration Classroom Q1345 USD $3,195 Yes
AIX 5L Security II: Network Administration Classroom AU420 USD $3,995 Yes
AIX 5L Security II: Network Administration Classroom

[PDF] AIX 5L: Essential Knowledge Guide for Power Users

[Aug 30, 2006] AIX commands you should not leave home without

[May 23, 2006] IBM AIX 6 Previewing AIX 6 and open beta program

AIX 6 beta will be available at the end of the year. Stable version of AIX 6 will be available somewhere in 2008. IBM tries to match Solaris 10 feature by feature (they implemented RBAC, Zones, hardware error detection and correction capabilities, DTrace, patch application without rebooting, etc) and provide some useful enhancements to existing Solaris 10 capabilities like live zone migration (called Live Application Mobility).
Imitation is the highest form of flattery you know :-). I hope that linux developers wake up and do the same.
Here are the most important enhancements:

[Feb 6, 2006] OpenSSH is now bundled with AIX

OpenSSH is a free software tool that supports SSH1 and SSH2 protocols. It's reliable and secure and is widely accepted in the IT industry to replace the r-commands, telnet, and ftp services, providing secure encrypted sessions between two hosts over the ...

Quick ReferenceSolaris to AIX

A User's Guide to UNIX and Workstations

[Mar 07, 2002] The Register IBM preps AIX 5L 5.2 for October release By ComputerWire

IBM is said to be working hard to get the next release of its Unix operating system, AIX 5L V5.2, ready to roll by October of this year, and is expected to deliver the kicker to this release sometime in the second half of 2003, Timothy Prickett Morgan writes.

Historically, IBM puts out a major update to AIX once every two years or so. The annual releases for AIX 5L V5.2 in 2002 and V5.3 in 2003 do not represent IBM ramping up its rate of release on AIX - IBM is cutting in half what it would have delivered by 2003 and doing it in two steps rather than one.

These releases seem to be timed with future Power4-II servers due in late 2002 and Power5 servers, due sometime in the second half of 2003.

Much of the inner plumbing of AIX was replaced with AIX 5L 5.1, which was known under the code-name of Project Monterey until IBM branded it AIX 5L in January 2001.

The L in AIX 5L stands for Linux affinity, which means that many of the Linux APIs are supported within AIX so applications written for Linux can be recompiled to run natively on PowerPC and Power4 processors. IBM had originally intended to offer the ability to run Linux binaries compiled for Intel processors on AIX 5L, but this part of the operating system never got off the ground because of the performance penalties involved with running emulated X86 instructions on the IBM Power chip architecture.

AIX 5l V5.1 includes support for Power4 processors, 32-way symmetric multiprocessing, rudimentary static logical partitions, 256Gb of main memory, and 64-bit AIX kernel and drivers. The prior AIX 4.3 releases supported 24-way SMP and 96Gb of main memory and had support for some 64-bit APIs.

According to sources familiar with IBM's plans, AIX 5L V5.2 will have support for dynamic logical partitions - presumably only on Power4-based pSeries 690 servers, but perhaps also on S-Star PowerPC-based pSeries 680 servers.

These S-Star servers have the electronics that allow dynamic OS/400 and Linux logical partitions on IBM's iSeries (formerly AS/400) line, so it seems possible that IBM could offer dynamic partitions on these machines as well. For all anyone knows, the entire pSeries line running S-Star processors has been given electronics to support dynamic logical partitions. IBM has been mum on this.

AIX 5L V5.2 will also include performance enhancements and tuning specifically for the Power4 processors and will support multipath I/O, something that the iSeries line also has already. AIX 5L V5.2 will also include a new workload manager and various eLiza self-healing enhancements. The October 2002 release of AIX will be limited to 32-way SMP support, which suggests that IBM will not deliver the 64-way Power5 servers until AIX 5L V5.3 begins shipping sometime in the second half of 2003.

AIX 5L V5.3 is expected to coincide with the initial Power5-based servers, which will support 64-way SMP and up to 512Gb of main memory.

It is unclear whether AIX 5L V5.2 or V5.3 will provide NUMA clustering that expands beyond the 32-way or 64-way SMP clustering of the base operating system to provide a single system image for very large databases and application sets.

But one of these two releases is expected to offer such capabilities. The limits of this NUMA clustering are also unknown, but it seems likely that IBM will allow 8, 16, or 32 giant pSeries servers to be clustered in a NUMA configuration for customers who need such capabilities, particularly to support datawarehousing needs. Storefront MQ series books

AIX 5L Version 5.1

The only one
AIX®5L Version 5.1, the next generation of AIX, is an open, scalable UNIX operating system from IBM. Compared to AIX version 4.3, it provides increased levels of integration, flexibility and reliability essential for meeting the high demands of today's mission-critical e-business applications. Only one UNIX operating system leads the industry in delivering advanced software functions, an operating system for POWER and Intel® Itanium -based platforms, and an affinity with Linux. That UNIX is AIX.

Robust, scalable and reliable
AIX 5L Version 5.1 builds on its solid AIX heritage to deliver advanced technology and provide customers with a competitive advantage. It operates over a range of POWER-based systems, including the IBM pSeries and IBM RS/6000®. In addition, AIX 5L provides the reliability, availability, performance and security required by today's e-business. It continues as a leader in its adherence to operating system standards and is UNIX 98 branded.

AIX is fully integrated to support existing 32-and 64-bit hardware systems in their full range of scalability, with improved software features. It integrates key Internet technologies, such as Java and IP multipath routing, and offers a full complement of development tools, including a Performance Toolbox for system profiling and tuning.

AIX provides the widest choice of UNIX business solutions, leadership technology and flexibility for the future. And, with 32-bit application binary compatibility, customers can be assured that AIX 4.3 applications (developed in accordance with IBM guidelines) will continue to run.

Brings new enhancements
AIX continues its tradition of innovation and excellence, strengthening its leadership network security by enabling the use of Certificate Revocation Lists with the Internet Key Exchange (IKE) protocol for authenticating remote users or devices. This feature further enhances the AIX IPsecurity function for Virtual Private Networking support. AIX 5.1 implements MIT's Kerberos V5 Release 1.1 network authentication service to negotiate and optionally encrypt communication between two points on the Internet or between components in a system.

AIX helps ensure that critical applications meet user expectations even during periods of heavy, unpredictable demand. AIX Workload Manager (WLM) allows customers to define a resource allocation policy that dynamically addresses application requirements and allows processor cycles, real memory and disk I/O to be divided between jobs. Business needs are translated into policies that automatically recognize job priority and scheduler dynamics. This is a valuable asset for critical business solution areas such as e-business, business intelligence, server consolidation and enterprise resource planning.

Linux affinity for flexible solutions
AIX provides a wide choice of critical UNIX business solutions, leadership technology and strategic flexibility for the future. A strong affinity between AIX and Linux provides APIs that allow popular applications developed on Linux to run on AIX with a simple recompilation. These APIs work in conjunction with Linux open source software available separately from IBM as the AIX Toolbox for Linux Applications. Customers can port existing Linux open source applications to AIX, enhance those applications and develop portable applications utilizing common Linux development tools.

AIX incorporates Linux compatible APIs and header files to provide source compatibility. AIX and the AIX Toolbox for Linux Applications can help customers realize a smooth technology transition between two of the industry's most open standards-based operating environments, AIX and Linux.

Because the applications are running on AIX, customers are able to combine the flexibility of Linux with the advanced features of AIX, including advanced workload management, sophisticated systems management tools and security.

Freedom of choice: POWER or Itanium
IBM has taken the UNIX platform to the next level by including a 64-bit kernel that exploits the speed and processing power of both the IBM POWER and Intel Itanium architectures. Further more, AIX has embraced the open development movement through a strong affinity with Linux, making it the most open UNIX operating system in the industry.

AIX allows users to run the applications they want, on the hardware they want. It offers an unprecedented level of flexibility, choice and openness for managing the demands of e-business now and in the future.

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Dealing with the Challenges of a Solaris-to-AIX Migration A discussion on some of the challenges systems administrators who are more familiar with Solaris might encounter with the migration to AIX.

AIX EXTRA: Migrating from Solaris to AIX This is the first in a two-part series. Part two will cover some key differences system administrators will find between Solaris and AIX and provide resources that can introduce Solaris administrators to the AIX environment.

Quick Reference: Solaris to AIX Use this reference to contrast the AIX Version 5.1 and Solaris 8 operating systems.

AIX Reference for Sun Solaris Administrators This redbook is written for Sun Solaris administrators who want to transfer their knowledge of Solaris UNIX skills to the AIX 5L operating system.

All about AIX Learn how AIX 5L compares to what you're used to, and how it's beyond compare.

Migrating Solaris Applications to AIX White paper reviews various migration scenarios.

A Secure Way to Protect Your Network: IBM SecureWay Firewall for AIX V4.1, SG24-5855-00
Redbook, published November-19-1999

Additional AIX Security Tools on IBM e(logo)server pSeries, IBM RS/6000, and SP/Cluster, SG24-5971-00
Redbook, published December-20-2000, last updated January-19-2001

Elements of Security: AIX 4.1, GG24-4433-00
Redbook, published September-29-1994

AIX 4.3 Elements of Security Effective and Efficient Implementation, SG24-5962-00
Redbook, published August-18-2000

IBM AIX Version 5:

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Precompiled binaries and RPMs

Welcome to Bull AIX freeware site

UCLA Public Domain Software Library for AIX


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Man pages

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AIX-HP-UX Interoperability Guide, Version 1 - Table of Contents


comp.unix.aix Frequently Asked Questions (Part 1 of 5)

AIX 4.3 System Management Concepts Operating System and Devices First Edition (September 1999)

IBM Redbooks Elements of Security AIX 4.1 (September 1994)

This document discusses many of the security-related elements of AIX
4.1. It is directed toward a reader who is a system administrator for
one or more AIX systems, although much of the material may be useful
to AIX users. Recommendations and suggestions for installation and
day-to-day administration are included. Specialized topics, including
DCE and NIS, are not discussed. Basic UNIX knowledge is assumed.

Random Findings



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Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law


Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Hater’s Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

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