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Hanging Commands and Tasks on the HMC

Rob McNelly reveals the commonality that some problematic tasks share.

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Chris Gibson alerted me to this information about commands and tasks that may hang indefinitely on the HMC.

Per IBM, "certain task executions can hang indefinitely with no progress for hours." This problem is specific to the 7063-CR1 POWER HRM platform V9R1. The problematic tasks are:
  • Installing a PTF with updhmc or through the Install Corrective Service task
  • Performing a LIC Code Update or Code Upgrade with updlic or through the Change Licensed Internal Code wizard
  • Collecting pedbg
The commonality with these tasks and commands is that each "calls the underlying Linux® rpm command for execution. The rpm commands hang and prevent the tasks or command from continuing to completion."
Typically I'd ask you check the document itself, but since this one is relatively short I'll share the bulk of it here:

Diagnosing The Problem

Each of the tasks stops at a different message specific to the individual task and not proceed further:
            HMC installation > Installing Updates ...
            LIC Code Update to the managed system > Retrieving Updates ...
            pedbg collection > Collecting PTF History ...

Resolving The Problem

Terminate the task that is hung either with Ctrl c from CLI or if executed from the GUI by navigating to:
Users and Security > Users and Roles > Manage Users and Tasks
Find the task and select it then "Terminate"
If the HMC is at V9.R1.930 and is updated with the following PTF, or higher:
PTF MH01825 HMC V9 R1.930.1–for 7042 Machine Types or vHMC for x86 hypervisors (5765-HMW)
PTF MH01826 HMC V9 R1.930.1–for 7063 Machine Types or vHMC for PowerVM (5765-HMB)
Then the following command can be run as user hscpe: #runsig -s 700
The runsig command will kill all rpm processes, remove the rpm database, and then rebuild it.
This will allow the previous tasks/commands to be performed and now complete successfully. Until a fix is available the RPM command could hang again in the future....
The document was last modified on Aug. 19, so as of this writing there's no fix yet. Hopefully one will come in time, but for now you'll need to rely on runsig.
I believe it's helpful to circulate this type of information. Awareness of a problem makes it easier to deal with should you actually encounter this issue. After all, knowing is half the battle.

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